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2020

Super Absorbent Polymer Market

Super Absorbent Polymer Market Size, Share, Competitive Landscape and Trend Analysis Report by Type, Application and Production Method : Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020-2027

MC : Advanced Materials

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Author's: Amit Narune | Eswara Prasad
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Super Absorbent Polymer Market Outlook - 2027

The global super absorbent polymer market was valued at $7.6 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $10.8 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2020 to 2027. 

Report Key Highlighters:

  • The super absorbent polymer market study covers 20 countries. The research includes a segment analysis of each country in terms of both value ($million) and volume (tons) for the projected period 2020-2027.
  • The study integrated high-quality data, professional opinions and analysis, and critical independent perspectives. The research approach is intended to provide a balanced view of global markets and to assist stakeholders in making educated decisions in order to achieve their most ambitious growth objectives.
  • Over 3,700 product literature, annual reports, industry statements, and other comparable materials from major industry participants were reviewed to gain a better understanding of the market.
  • The super absorbent polymer market is highly fragmented, with several players including BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, Kao Corporation, LG Chem, Sanyo Chemical Industries, LTD, Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Co., LTD, Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd., Xitao Polymer Co., Ltd, Yixing Danson Technology, and Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical Co.,Ltd. Also tracked key strategies such as acquisitions, product launches, mergers, expansion etc. of the players operating in the super absorbent polymer market.

Superabsorbent polymer (SAP) is a material that has high liquid absorbing capacity. It is cross-linked structure polymer, which avoids dissolution. These types of polymers can absorb liquid up to 100 times of its own weight. Therefore, it is used in products, such as child diapers/nappies, incontinence items, and others, where high absorption characteristics are required.

Super-Absorbent-Polymer-Market-2020-2027

The factors contributing toward the growth of the super absorbent polymer market include growth in population in countries such as China, India, Africa, and others rise in popularity of diaper pants, and increase in consumer awareness toward infant’s hygiene. In addition, increase in usage of super absorbent polymers in agricultural application is also driving the market. Furthermore, high number of aged population in countries such as Japan, Italy, Finland, Greece, and others drives the penetration of adult diapers in these countries, which further boost the market growth. However, volatility in the prices of raw material and non-biodegradable characteristics of synthetic super absorbent polymer are some of the major factors expected to hinder the growth of the super absorbent polymer market.

Rising Super Absorbent Polymer Application in Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is a significant driver of the super absorbent polymer market. super absorbent polymer-based products are extensively used in medical and healthcare applications, including wound dressings, surgical pads, and disposable medical supplies. The increasing healthcare expenditure, advancements in medical treatments, and a growing aging population contribute to the demand for SAP in the healthcare sector. Super absorbent polymer finds application in the agriculture and horticulture sectors for water retention and irrigation purposes. It helps improve soil moisture levels, reduce irrigation frequency, and enhance crop yield. With the need to enhance agricultural productivity, conserve water resources, and address water scarcity issues, the demand for SAP in agriculture and horticulture is expected to increase.

Super absorbent polymer plays a crucial role in water conservation efforts. It helps in efficient water management by reducing water usage in various applications, including agriculture, gardening, and landscaping. The growing global awareness of water scarcity and the need for sustainable water management practices drive the demand for super absorbent polymer based solutions. Continuous advancements in super absorbent polymer technology and manufacturing processes drive market growth. Research and development efforts focus on enhancing the performance, absorbency, and sustainability of super absorbent polymer products. Innovations such as bio-based super absorbent polymer, biodegradable super absorbent polymer, and super absorbent polymer with enhanced properties open new avenues for the market and attract consumer interest.

Consumers' growing emphasis on personal hygiene, convenience, and sustainable products influences the demand for -based solutions. Increased awareness about the benefits of super absorbent polymer, such as enhanced absorption, odor control, and moisture management, drives consumer preferences towards products that incorporate super absorbent polymer.

Performance Limitations and Environmental Concerns

However, volatility in the prices of raw material and non-biodegradable characteristics of synthetic super absorbent polymer are some of the major factors expected to hinder the growth of the super absorbent polymer market. Although super absorbent polymer offers exceptional absorbency and moisture management properties, there are environmental concerns associated with its disposal and long-term impact. Traditional super absorbent polymer products are non-biodegradable and can contribute to waste management challenges. The environmental impact of super absorbent polymer disposal and the demand for more sustainable alternatives have prompted the need for biodegradable or eco-friendly super absorbent polymer solutions. The industry's response to these concerns will play a significant role in the market's future growth.

While SAP is highly efficient in absorbing and retaining liquid, it may have certain performance limitations depending on the application. For instance, under high-pressure or high-temperature conditions, the performance of super absorbent polymer can be affected, reducing its effectiveness. Manufacturers and researchers are continuously working to improve SAP performance and address these limitations, but they can still pose a restraint in certain demanding applications. The performance limitations and environmental concerns may hinder the growth of the super absorbent polymer market over the forecast period.

Rising Demand for Sustainable Solutions and Expansion in Emerging Markets

However, the growing awareness and emphasis on sustainability presents a significant opportunity for the SAP market. There is an increasing demand for eco-friendly and biodegradable SAP alternatives that minimize environmental impact. Research and development efforts focusing on the development of bio-based SAP or SAP substitutes derived from renewable sources can tap into this opportunity and cater to the evolving market needs.

Emerging economies offer substantial growth potential for the SAP market. These regions are experiencing rapid urbanization, population growth, and an increase in disposable income. The demand for hygiene products, such as diapers, feminine hygiene products, and adult incontinence products, is growing in these markets. Manufacturers can target these regions by establishing production facilities, expanding distribution networks, and adapting products to suit local preferences and affordability.

The super absorbent polymer market is segmented on the basis of type, application, production method, and region. By type, the market is divided into synthetic and natural. On the basis of application, it is divided into personal care, healthcare, agriculture & horticulture, and others. On the basis of production method, the market is studied across suspension polymerization, solution polymerization, and gel polymerization. Region wise, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. The super absorbent polymer market share is analyzed across all important regions and segments. 

The super absorbent polymer market analysis covers in-depth information of the major industry participants. Some of the major players in the market include BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, Kao Corporation, LG Chem, Sanyo Chemical Industries, LTD, Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Co., LTD, Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd., Xitao Polymer Co., Ltd, Yixing Danson Technology, and Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical Co.,Ltd.

Other players in the value chain of the super absorbent polymer market include High Smart Commodity Co., LTD, Soco, Chinafloc, Songwon Industrial, Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd, Chemtex Speciality Limited, Chase Corp, and others.

The key players are adopting numerous strategies such as product launch, business expansion, acquisition, partnership, collaboration, and agreement to stay competitive in the super absorbent polymer market.
For instance, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has inked agreement with LG Chem to develop sustainable technology for superabsorbent polymers (SAP) used in diapers. The aim of the agreement is to create bio-based acrylic acid, a fundamental component essential in the production of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) used in various hygiene products such as diapers. This agreement with ADM has allowed LG Chem to further enhance product portfolio with eco-friendly products that can achieve sustainable growth.

Impact Of Covid-19 On The Super Absorbent Polymer Market

  • The super absorbent polymer (SAP) market experienced disruptions in its global supply chain due to lockdown measures, travel restrictions, and closure of manufacturing facilities. Super absorbent polymer is derived from petrochemicals, and disruptions in the availability of raw materials, logistical challenges, and reduced production capacities affected the overall supply chain.
  • The closure of several non-essential industries, such as hospitality, automotive, and construction, led to a decline in demand for products that incorporate super absorbent polymer, such as diapers, adult incontinence products, and construction materials. Additionally, changing consumer behavior and reduced purchasing power influenced the demand for these products.
  • The pandemic resulted in shifts in end-use applications for SAP. With the increased focus on healthcare and hygiene, there was a surge in demand for SAP-based products like medical and surgical products, including wound dressings, medical pads, and absorbent materials used in healthcare settings. On the other hand, applications such as agriculture, horticulture, and wastewater treatment faced challenges due to disruptions in these sectors.
  • The pandemic reinforced the importance of sustainable practices and products. Consumers and industries increasingly sought eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives. This has created an opportunity for the development of biodegradable SAP or SAP substitutes that are more environmentally friendly. The focus on sustainability is expected to drive future market growth and influence product development strategies.
  • It's important to note that the impact of COVID-19 on the SAP market can vary based on regional and sectoral dynamics. The market is expected to adapt and evolve as the situation progresses, with a renewed focus on hygiene, healthcare, and sustainability.

 

Super Absorbent Polymer Market
By Type
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Natural is projected as the most lucrative segment.

Super Absorbent Polymer Market, by Type

By type, the natural segment is expected to grow at the fastest growth rate during the forecast period. Feedstock used for manufacturing of natural super absorbent polymers materials are biocompatible, non-toxic & sustainable, and easily available, which makes them a growing trend and alternative to petroleum based super absorbent polymer.

Super Absorbent Polymer Market
By Application
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Healthcare is projected as the most lucrative segment.

Super Absorbent Polymer Market, by Application

By application, the healthcare segment is anticipated to grow at a fastest growth rate during the projection period. This is attributed to rise in the healthcare sector of developing countries such as India, China, Australia, Brazil, and Others. 

Super Absorbent Polymer Market
By Production Method
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Solution Polymerization is projected as the most lucrative segment.

Super Absorbent Polymer Market, by Production Method

By production method, the solution polymerization is expected to grow at a fastest growth rate during the forecast period. This is attributed to numerous factors such as high efficiency, lower capital cost, and others.

Super Absorbent Polymer Market
By Region
2027
Asia-pacific 
North America
Europe
LAMEA

Asia-Pacific holds a dominant position in 2019 and would continue to maintain the lead over the forecast period.

Super Absorbent Polymer Market, by Region

Region wise, Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region, owing to rise in healthcare sector, owing to increase in demand for diapers due to increasing population. It is expected that the demand for diapers may increase from Oceania, Central &Southern Asia, and others as population is expected to grow considerably in coming 10 years in the above-mentioned regions. This consequently surges the adoption of super absorbent polymers for diaper manufacturing for infants. This factor is expected to drive the super absorbent polymer market growth during the forecast period. 

Key Benefits For Stakeholders

  • The super absorbent polymer market is studied from 2019 to 2027
  • The report provides an in-depth analysis of the market along with the current and future super absorbent polymer market trends
  • This report highlights the key drivers, opportunities, and restraints of the market along with the impact analysis during the forecast period
  • Porter’s five forces analysis helps analyze the potential of buyers & suppliers and the competitive scenario of the industry for strategy building
  • A comprehensive analysis of the factors that drive and restrain the market growth is provided
  • The qualitative data in this report aims on market dynamics, market trends, and developments
  • The super absorbent polymer market size is provided in terms of volume and revenue

Impact Of Covid-19 On The Super Absorbent Polymer Market

  • The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected the demand as well as the manufacturing or supply regions 
  • Some of the major economies suffering the COVID-19 crises include U.S., India, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, and others
  • The COVID-19 crisis has affected the chemical industry supply chain to a major extent; thus, having a major impact on raw material procurement
  • The demand-supply gap, disruptions in raw material, price volatility, and many other factors are expected to hamper the growth of the chemical industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

Super Absorbent Polymer Market Report Highlights

Aspects Details
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By Type
  • Synthetic
    • Sodium Polyacrylate
    • Polyacrylamide Copolymer
    • Ethylene Maleic Anhydride Copolymer
    • Others
  • Natural
    • Polyvinyl Alcohol
    • Polysaccharides
    • Polyitaconic Acid
    • Polypeptide
    • Other
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By Application
  • Personal Care
    • Adult Incontinence Products
    • Sanitary Napkins
      • Test 4
        • Test 5
    • Baby Diapers
    • Nappy Pads
    • Urinary Bags
  • Healthcare
    • Wound Dressing
    • Medical Waste Solidification
    • Superabsorbent Mat
  • Agriculture & Horticulture
    • Seed Coating
    • Root Dipping
    • Soil Broadcasting
    • Flower Beds
    • Ornamental Gardens
  • Others
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By Production Method
  • Suspension Polymerization
  • Solution Polymerization
  • Gel Polymerization
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By Region
  • North America  (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
  • Europe  (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia-Pacific  (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Rest of Asia-Pacific)
  • LAMEA  (Brazil, UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Rest of LAMEA)
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Key Market Players

LG CHEM LTD., SANYO CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES, LTD., KAO CORPORATION, SUMITOMO SEIKA CHEMICALS CO., LTD., YIXING DANSON TECHNOLOGY, XITAO POLYMER CO., LTD., EVONIK INDUSTRIES AG, NIPPON SHOKUBAI CO., LTD., BASF SE, ZHEJIANG SATELLITE PETROCHEMICAL CO., LTD

Analyst Review

According to the perspectives of the CXOs of leading companies in the market, the sales of superabsorbent polymer was sluggish in 2019, owing to lower sales prices as a result of decreasing propylene and other raw material prices. Moreover, rise in demand for baby diapers and adult diapers in developing countries of Asia-Pacific is expected to fuel the demand for super absorbent polymer in the region during the coming years. This is attributed to rise in hygiene awareness in the region. However, factors such as volatility in raw materials and challenges in disposing synthetic super absorbent polymers based products are expected to hamper the market growth during the forecast period. In addition, matured markets for diapers are also expected to hinder the market growth.

 

Author Name(s) : Amit Narune | Eswara Prasad
Frequently Asked Questions?

The market size of global super absorbent polymer market is $7.6 billion in 2019.

BAS SE, Evonik Industries AG, Nippon Shokubai CO., LTD., LG Chem, Ltd., Sumitomo Seika Chemicals CO., LTD., are some of the top players in the super absorbent polymer market.

Bio-based or natural super absorbent polymer is the major area of development for super absorbent polymer market.

Healthcare and personal care industry to increase the demand for super absorbent polymer market.

Rise in environmental concerns and regulations are propelling adoption of bio based materials with increasing consumer preference towards environment-friendly products, are fueling the growth of natural super absorbent polymer.

On the basis of type, natural super absorbent polymer is the most influencing segment in the global super absorbent polymer report.

On the basis of production method, solution polymerization is the leading segment in super absorbent polymer market.

Healthcare and agriculture are some of the application expected to drive the adoption of super absorbent polymer.

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Super Absorbent Polymer Market

Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020-2027