US amines demand to reach 3.1 billion pounds in 2019
US demand for amines will expand at a modest pace, reaching 3.1 billion pounds in 2019. The growing use of pesticide-resistant crops will drive amine demand in agricultural chemicals. Ethanolamines and specialty amines will benefit from rising demand for natural gas as power generation companies continue to replace coalfired power plants with more efficient natural gas burning plants. Rising construction activity will help drive strong demand for polyetheramines, as well as other amines used in adhesives. However, the use of amines in wood treatment chemicals will not recover significantly as consumers shift to wood-alternative decking, and as treated wood producers increasingly turn to non-metal-based preservatives that are not formulated with amines. Additionally, faster growth will be limited by the maturity of some of the largest markets for amines such as cleaning products and personal care products.
New herbicide-resistant crops to boost agricultural market
Amine demand in agricultural chemicals has expanded rapidly in recent years as the widespread planting of glyphosate-resistant crops resulted in robust growth in herbicides demand, and as Monsanto (the sole US producer of glyphosate) chose to pursue market share in 2010 by cutting prices. More recently, growing weed resistance to glyphosate, both in the US and abroad, has continued to drive amine demand for glyphosate as farmers have increased usage to maintain weed control. Agricultural companies have also responded by developing new varieties of corn and soybeans resistant to other herbicides beyond glyphosate, including the well-known herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba. Increased usage of these crops going forward will spur growth in amine demand as farmers increase their herbicide consumption on crops containing the new genes.
Regulations favoring natural gas to benefit ethanolamines
Government regulations intended to im-prove air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will further drive amine demand going forward. Industry efforts to comply with the increasingly stringent regulations will boost natural gas con-sumption (and production) as coal-fired power plants are retired in favor of more efficient, and less polluting, natural gas power plants. Ethanolamines and spe-cialty amines utilized to remove sulfur and other impurities from the natural gas as it is processed and transported will benefit the most.
Polyetheramines to be fastest growing amine type
Robust growth in building construction will help boost the production of coatings and adhesives, benefiting most of the commodity amines. Polyetheramines, which have found growing usage in adhesives and advanced composites, will be among the biggest beneficiaries, and achieve the fastest growth of all amine types overall. However, rapid consumer adoption of wood-alternative decking options will limit demand for amines in wood preservatives. Additionally, an industry shift toward non-metal-based preservatives will further restrain amine demand, as these newer products do not require amines in their formulations.