Ceresana Analyses the Global Market for Solvents

21-Aug-2014 - Germany

No matter if paints or adhesives, pharmaceutical drugs or cosmetics: solvents are immensely important in the manufacturing of many industrial goods. Ceresana publishes the most comprehensive report on the global market for solvents. According to this study, already published in its third edition, solvents valuing about US$25 billion were sold in 2013. Market analysts expect revenues to rise by another 4% p.a. until 2021.

Disputed But Common

The largest consumers of solvents are manufacturers of paints and varnishes, followed at a considerable distance by producers of printing inks. Demand on the part of the pharma industry ranked third, followed by utilization in cosmetics and adhesives. Other important applications are chemical manufacturing processes, cooling circuits, dry-cleaning and deicers. In the segment paints and varnishes, however, a trend towards water-borne products and other more environmentally friendly alternatives becomes apparent. Especially in Europe and North America the market share of solvent-borne paints and varnishes is falling, as these are regarded as hazardous to environment and health. 

Demand Varies Depending on Region

Asia-Pacific already accounts for about 45% of total global demand for solvents in the sector paints and varnishes. Asian countries also are the largest sales markets for solvents used for printing inks and adhesives. In the production of cosmetics, on the other hand, North America and Western Europe process the largest amount of solvents; in the sector pharmaceuticals North America is the prime sales market.

Recovery in North America

In 2013, Asia-Pacific was the worldwide largest sales market for solvents, accounting for 41% of total demand, followed by North America and Western Europe. The largest growth markets are China, India and Brazil, but an upturn can also be seen on the North American market after sales volume in this region fell somewhat in recent years. Ceresana expects stagnation for Western Europe, since industrial sectors processing solvents will grow only marginally.

Alcohols Most Popular Solvents

In 2013, the most commonly used solvents were alcohols, mainly ethanol, n-butanol, isopropanol and methanol. About 6.5 million tonnes of these products were consumed worldwide. Aromatics, ketones, esters and ethers also account for notable market shares. Ethanol, toluene and acetone are among the most popular solvents. With an expected increase of 3.4% per year, the group of ethers will be the fastest growing market.

Other news from the department business & finance

Most read news

More news from our other portals

Is artificial intelligence revolutionising chemistry?