The consumer goods, food processing, pharmaceutical, automotive, and packaging industries use a variety of special chemicals. also called performance chemicals, they are used as additives by these industries to give the desired effect to finished products. For instance, the automotive industry uses such low-volume chemicals to improve the properties of fuel. Similarly, the pharmaceutical industry uses methyl oleate, a performance chemical, as an active pharmaceutical ingredient in different creams and lotions. Thus, the flourishing end-use industries will create a huge requirement for specialty chemicals globally.
Moreover, the accelerating urbanization and industrialization rate in developing countries, such as China, Brazil, and India, will help the specialty chemicals market progress at a CAGR of 5.5% during 2020–2030. According to P&S Intelligence, the market was valued at $639,935.8 million in 2019, and it is expected to generate $980,423.7 million revenue by 2030. The rising urbanization rate in emerging economies is encouraging the consumption of packaged food products, pharmaceutical products, and cosmetics, which use specialty chemicals as essential ingredients.
In recent years, specialty chemical manufacturers have been shifting their production base from Western countries to Asia-Pacific nations, due to the increasing business opportunities for them here. The shift toward APAC nations is buoyed by the flexible environmental norms here and government support in the form of infrastructure creation and foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction. Additionally, the availability of cheap labor and raw materials in India and China is encouraging chemical companies to establish their manufacturing facilities in such countries.
Nowadays, manufacturers of such products are engaging in facility expansion to meet the escalating needs of several industries. For example, in February 2018, Evonik Industries AG established another production line for specialty polyamide 12 powder (PA 12), provided under its VESTOSINT brand, in Marl Chemical Park, Germany. The new facility is involved in the production of this high-performance powder for the 3D printing market. Likewise, in December 2019, BASF SE revealed its plan to invest in its coating business in Asia and increase the capacity of its automotive coating producing facility in Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, southern China.
Similarly, in September 2020, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA proposed to invest $23 million in the expansion of its hand sanitizer and liquid hand soap manufacturing facilities in New York and Pennsylvania (U.S.) and Geneva (Switzerland), to cater to the booming demand for cleaning chemicals amid the COVId-19 pandemic. Other companies involving in facility expansions include Ashland Global Holdings Inc., Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Clariant International Limited, Eastman Chemical Company, Huntsman Corporation, Akzo Nobel N.V., Dow Inc., and Mitsui Chemicals Inc.
Geographically, APAC dominated the specialty chemicals market in the recent past due to the surging need for these formulations in the electrical and electronics, personal care and cosmetics, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and automotive sectors of India and China. Furthermore, the region is expected to consume specialty chemicals at the highest rate in the forthcoming years owing to the flourishing construction industry, increasing installation of water treatment systems in several industries, and burgeoning demand for plastics and adhesives from the packaging sector.
Thus, the expanding end-use sectors and escalating industrialization and urbanization rate in developing countries will fuel the consumption of specialty chemicals.