US demand to rise 6% annually through 2017
Demand for disinfectant and antimicrobial chemicals is forecast to grow six percent annually to $1.6 billion in 2017 as more moderate price growth and shifts toward lower cost disinfectants are offset by strong volume demand growth. A rebound in building construction activity, in conjunction with an improving economy, will drive strong increases in industrial markets such as paints and coatings and plastics. In institutional and consumer applications, anxieties about disease -- foodborne, healthcare-associated infection, and antibiotic-resistant -- will lead to healthy gains amid increasing regulatory scrutiny and intensifying cleaning regimens. Rising public concern about microbial pathogens will also support growth in some industrial markets as disinfectant and antimicrobial additives are incorporated in a broader array of products.
Changing routines to favor quaternary ammonium compounds
Several factors will result in generally more thorough disinfection routines among food and beverage processors, hospitals and other health care providers, restaurants, and hotels. Heightened public concerns about foodborne illnesses such as E. coli and salmonella, increased regulatory scrutiny due to the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, and growing liability concerns will contribute to increased disinfectant demand in the food and beverage processing and restaurant and lodging markets. In the medical and health care market, growing awareness of healthcare-associated infections such as C. difficile, and antibiotic- resistant pathogens such as MRSA, compounded by the mass media’s enthusiastic coverage of deadly outbreaks, has resulted in changes in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rules. These changes, along with pressure from insurers, will continue to drive increasing disinfectant and antimicrobial consumption in the healthcare market. Quaternary ammonium compounds are projected to grow the fastest in these applications, owing to their efficacy, ease of use, and low toxicity.
Housing rebound to benefit organosulfur compounds
Significant growth in building construction activity, led primarily by the housing rebound, will result in the increased production of antimicrobial-containing products such as water-based architectural paint, floor coverings, home textiles, and other construction materials. Organosulfur compounds will register the most significant growth in these applications, particularly in plastics, due to performance advantages and environmental concerns about competing products.
Demographics to influence institutional, consumer uses
Demographic trends and consumer spending patterns will also influence demand for disinfectants and antimicrobials in institutional and consumer applications. An older population will spend more money at restaurants and hotels, driving disinfectant use in those environments. Aging baby boomers will also demand more medical care, necessitating more disinfectants for health care settings. Consumer spending, which is projected to rise through 2017 as consumer confidence recovers, will support sales of specialty disinfectant cleaners and “value-added” consumer products imbued with antimicrobial properties, such as odor-resistant athletic apparel and degradation-resistant plastic products.