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Natural Polymers

US natural polymer demand to surpass $4 billion in 2016
US demand for natural polymers is forecast to expand at a strong pace to over $4 billion in 2016. Growth in market value will stem primarily from expanding volume demand, spurred by an improving economic outlook that will boost industrial activity. Of particular importance will be the rebound in nondurable goods output, as this will generate significant opportunities for natural polymers. However, growth will continue to be impacted by the climatic and political uncertainties associated with natural products, particularly those such as guar gum and gum arabic, which are derived from plants that are grown only in certain parts of the world.

Methyl cellulose to remain top cellulose ether segment
Cellulose ethers represent the single largest natural polymer type, with about one-third of the market. Methyl cellulose will continue to lead the category, although demand for hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC), microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) will also be significant. Methyl cellulose is widely used in construction materials such as grouts, mortar, plaster, and stucco, and will therefore benefit from a notable rebound in construction activity. The improving construction outlook will also fuel rapid growth for HEC, which is utilized primarily in water-based paint. Demand for MCC, which is employed in tablet filling and binding uses in the pharmaceutical market segment, will benefit from its advantages in terms of quality and performance, in addition to increased production of pharmaceuticals.

Exudate, vegetable gums to be fastest growing products
Exudate and vegetable gums are forecast to see the fastest gains of any product type through 2016, with guar gum responsible for the vast majority of growth. This will nevertheless represent a deceleration from the stellar gains achieved between 2001 and 2011, when demand for guar gum skyrocketed due to the rising use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the US oil and gas industry. Increased demand, combined with the limited availability of this material -- which is derived from a plant grown mainly in India and Pakistan -- has resulted in strong upward pricing pressure in recent years. This, in turn, has caused users, especially those in the more price-sensitive food and beverage industry, to seek out substitutes for guar gum. However, there are currently few alternatives available at a low cost, so demand for guar gum will continue to expand strongly going forward.

Food, beverage industry to remain largest market
The food and beverage industry will remain the leading outlet for natural polymers through 2016 and beyond. In this market, natural polymers are increasingly employed as emulsifiers and stabilizers. Cellulose ethers such as CMC and methyl cellulose are key products used in this market, as they are valued for their ability to add velvety texture and stability to products such as hot, thick liquids. Methyl cellulose -- along with other products such as xanthan, guar, and locust bean gums; carrageenan; and pectin -- are used in reduced fat foods to compensate for the loss of flavor and texture that often accompanies fat reduction. Xanthan gum is expected to offer healthy growth opportunities, benefiting from its use in microwaveable food, as well as its suitability as a substitute for wheat gluten in gluten-free foods, which are increasingly popular.


PRESS RELEASE

US Demand for Natural Polymers to Reach $4.6 Billion in 2016

US demand for natural polymers is forecast to expand at a strong 6.9 percent annual pace to $4.6 billion in 2016, reaching 1.7 billion pounds. Growth will stem from continued trends favoring natural ingredients in the large food and beverage industry. In particular, this will support demand for cellulose ethers, as well as natural gums. A favorable outlook for oilfield drilling will bode well for guar gum and other natural polymers that are used as additives in drilling and stimulation (fracturing) fluids. Growth will continue to be impacted by the climatic and political uncertainties associated with natural products that are derived from plants that are grown only in certain parts of the world. These and other trends are presented in Natural Polymers, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Cellulose ethers represent the single largest natural polymer type, accounting for over one-third of the market. Methyl cellulose will continue to lead the category, although demand for microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), and hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) will also be significant. Methyl cellulose is widely used in construction materials and will therefore benefit from a notable rebound in construction activity. The improving construction outlook will also fuel rapid growth for HEC, which is utilized primarily in water-based paint.

Exudate and vegetable gums are projected to enjoy the most rapid gains through 2016, with guar gum accounting for the vast majority of growth. This will nevertheless represent a deceleration from the stellar gains achieved between 2001 and 2011, when demand for guar gum skyrocketed due to the rising use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in the US oil and gas industry.

Among the other types of natural polymers, starch and fermentation products will see particularly healthy gains, supported by the rising use of xanthan gum in oilfield applications and the increasing availability of polylactic acid. In the protein-based polymer sector, collagen will find greater use in wound dressings, but will face competition from alternative materials in the cosmetic injectables segment. Marine polymers will be restricted by their use in mature applications and by competition from other natural polymers.

  • INTRODUCTION
  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    • Table NATURAL POLYMER DEMAND (million dollars)
  • MARKET ENVIRONMENT
    • General
    • Macroeconomic Outlook
      • Table MACROECONOMIC INDICATORS (billion 2005 dollars)
    • Demographic Trends
      • Table POPULATION & HOUSEHOLDS (million persons)
    • Consumer Income & Spending
      • Table PERSONAL CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURES (billion 2005 dollars)
    • Manufacturing Outlook
      • Table MANUFACTURERS' SHIPMENTS (billion 2005 dollars)
    • Competitive Materials
    • Pricing
      • Table SELECTED NATURAL POLYMER PRICES (dollars per pound)
    • Environmental & Regulatory Considerations
      • Food & Beverages
      • Cosmetic & Toiletry Chemicals
      • Pharmaceuticals
      • Other
    • International Activity
    • Foreign Trade
      • Table NATURAL POLYMER FOREIGN TRADE (million dollars)
  • MARKETS
    • General
      • Table NATURAL POLYMER DEMAND BY MARKET (million dollars)
    • Food & Beverages
      • Food & Beverage Industry Overview
        • Table FOOD & BEVERAGE SHIPMENTS (billion dollars)
      • Natural Polymer Demand
        • Table FOOD & BEVERAGE DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS BY APPLICATION & PRODUCT (million dollars)
        • Table CONFECTION & BAKED GOODS DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS
        • Table DAIRY & DESSERT DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS
        • Table OTHER FOOD & BEVERAGE DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS
    • Medical
      • Pharmaceuticals Overview
        • Table PHARMACEUTICAL SUPPLY & DEMAND
      • Natural Polymer Demand
        • Table MEDICAL DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS BY APPLICATION & PRODUCT (million dollars)
    • Oilfield
      • Petroleum & Natural Gas Industry Overview
        • Table OIL & GAS PRODUCTION
      • Natural Polymer Demand
        • Table OILFIELD DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS BY PRODUCT (million dollars)
    • Cosmetics & Toiletries
      • Cosmetic & Toiletry Industry Overview
        • Table COSMETIC & TOILETRY SUPPLY & DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Natural Polymer Demand
        • Table COSMETIC & TOILETRY DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS (million dollars)
    • Paint & Inks
      • Paint & Ink Industry Overview
        • Table PAINT & PRINTING INK INDICATORS
      • Natural Polymer Demand
        • Table PAINT & INK DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS (million dollars)
    • Construction
      • Building Construction Overview
        • Table BUILDING CONSTRUCTION EXPENDITURES (billion 2005 dollars)
      • Natural Polymer Demand
        • Table CONSTRUCTION DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS (million dollars)
    • Adhesives
      • Adhesive Industry Overview
        • Table ADHESIVE SHIPMENTS
      • Natural Polymer Demand
        • Table ADHESIVE DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS (million dollars)
    • Packaging
      • Packaging Industry Overview
        • Table PACKAGING SUPPLY & DEMAND (billion dollars)
      • Natural Polymer Demand
        • Table PACKAGING DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS BY APPLICATION & PRODUCT (million dollars)
        • Table FILM DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS
        • Table LOOSE-FILL PACKAGING DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS
        • Table THERMOFORMED PRODUCT DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS
        • Table FOODSERVICE & OTHER APPLICATIONS FOR NATURAL POLYMERS
    • Textiles
      • Textile Industry Overview
        • Table TEXTILE MILL PRODUCT SHIPMENTS
      • Natural Polymer Demand
        • Table TEXTILE DEMAND FOR NATURAL POLYMERS (million dollars)
    • Other Markets
      • Table OTHER MARKETS FOR NATURAL POLYMERS
  • PRODUCTS
    • General
      • Table NATURAL POLYMER DEMAND BY TYPE (million dollars)
    • Cellulose Ethers
      • Table CELLULOSE ETHER DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Methyl Cellulose
        • Table METHYL CELLULOSE DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Microcrystalline Cellulose
        • Table MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Carboxymethyl Cellulose
        • Table CARBOXYMETHYL CELLULOSE DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Hydroxyethyl Cellulose
        • Table HYDROXYETHYL CELLULOSE DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Other Cellulose Ethers
        • Table OTHER CELLULOSE ETHER DEMAND (million dollars)
    • Starch & Fermentation Polymers
      • Table STARCH & FERMENTATION POLYMER DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Xanthan Gum
        • Table XANTHAN GUM DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Starch Derivatives
        • Table STARCH DERIVATIVE DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Polylactic Acid
        • Table POLYLACTIC ACID DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Hyaluronic Acid
        • Table HYALURONIC ACID DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Other Starch & Fermentation Polymers
        • Table OTHER STARCH & FERMENTATION POLYMER DEMAND (million dollars)
    • Exudate & Vegetable Gums
      • Table EXUDATE & VEGETABLE GUM DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Guar Gum
        • Table GUAR GUM DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Gum Arabic
        • Table GUM ARABIC DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Other Exudate & Vegetable Gums
        • Table OTHER EXUDATE & VEGETABLE GUM DEMAND (million dollars)
    • Protein-Based Polymers
      • Table PROTEIN-BASED POLYMER DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Collagen
        • Table COLLAGEN DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Other Protein-Based Polymers
        • Table OTHER PROTEIN-BASED POLYMER DEMAND (million dollars)
    • Marine Polymers
      • Table MARINE POLYMER DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Alginates
        • Table ALGINATE DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Carrageenan
        • Table CARRAGEENAN DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Other Marine Polymers
        • Table OTHER MARINE POLYMER DEMAND (million dollars)
    • Other
      • Table OTHER NATURAL POLYMER DEMAND (million dollars)
      • Pectin
      • Natural Phenolics
      • All Other
  • INDUSTRY STRUCTURE
    • General
      • Table US NATURAL POLYMER SALES BY COMPANY, 2011 (million dollars)
    • Market Share
    • Acquisitions & Divestitures
      • Table SELECTED ACQUISITIONS & DIVESTITURES
    • Marketing Strategies
    • Channels of Distribution
    • Research & Development
    • Competitive Strategies
    • Cooperative Agreements
      • Table SELECTED COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS
    • Company Profiles
      • Akzo Nobel NV
      • Allergan Incorporated
      • American Excelsior Company
      • Archer-Daniels-Midland Company
      • Arizona Chemical Company LLC
      • Ashland Incorporated
      • AVEBE UA
      • BASF SE
      • Borregaard ASA
      • Cargill Incorporated
      • Cereplast Incorporated
      • Croda International plc
      • CSM NV
      • Dow Chemical Company
      • DuPont (EI) de Nemours
      • Economy Polymers & Chemicals
      • FMC Corporation
      • Huber (JM) Corporation
      • ICC Industries Incorporated
      • Importers Service Corporation
      • Ingredion Incorporated
      • Jungbunzlauer AG
      • Manildra Group
      • Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation
      • Metabolix Incorporated
      • MGP Ingredients Incorporated
      • Novamont SpA
      • Orkla ASA
      • Penn Carbose Incorporated
      • Rettenmaier (J.) & Söhne GmbH & Company KG
      • Sanofi
      • Seagarden ASA
      • Shin-Etsu Chemical Company Limited
      • Solvay SA
      • Storopack Hans Reichenecker GmbH
      • Tanac SA
      • TIC Gums Incorporated
      • Vertellus Specialties Incorporated
      • Wacker Chemie AG
    • Other Companies Mentioned in the Study

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