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  • Published In : Apr 2024
  • Code : CMI1267
  • Pages :130
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Advanced Materials

Market Size and Trends

The global microcrystalline cellulose market is estimated to be valued at USD 1.38 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 2.24 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% from 2024 to 2031.

Microcrystalline Cellulose Market Key Factors

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The microcrystalline cellulose market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. This is attributed to factors such as rising demand from the pharmaceutical industry and increasing applications in food and beverage products. Additionally, the widespread use of microcrystalline cellulose as an excipient in tablets as well as its property to enhance processability is also driving its demand across various industries. Furthermore, shifting consumer preferences towards low fat and sugar food products is boosting the adoption of microcrystalline cellulose as a bulking and anti-caking agent.

Rise in use of microcrystalline cellulose as excipient in pharmaceutical industry

The growing pharmaceutical industry worldwide has led to a significant rise in the demand for microcrystalline cellulose. Microcrystalline cellulose is widely used as a key excipient or inactive ingredient in most solid oral dosage formulations such as tablets and capsules. It acts as a disintegrant, diluent, glidant, and binding agent in the manufacturing process of several drugs. The excellent flow and compression properties of MCC ensure the uniform filling of capsules and uniform densities in tablet manufacturing. Its inertness and compatibility with most drugs also makes it a favored excipient. With lifestyle diseases and chronic conditions on the rise, pharmaceutical R&D activities have increased substantially in recent years. Several new drug molecules are in the clinical trial and approval process. This has augmented the demand for supporting excipients from drug manufacturers. Moreover, the regulatory norms are also getting stricter regarding the quality and safety of excipients used in drugs. Microcrystalline cellulose complies with the stringent pharmacopeial standards and excipient quality guidelines prescribed by regulatory bodies like the U.S. FDA and EMA. This provides assurance to drug makers and boosts the preference for MCC over alternative excipients. The leading global players in MCC production are continuously enhancing their production capacities and technical capabilities to cater to the growing needs of the pharmaceutical industry, therefore growing pharmaceuticals industry is expected to drive the market growth. For instance, according to date by Invest India in 2022, The Indian pharmaceutical industry has grown at an average rate of 9.47% from 2018 to 2022, reaching USD 42.34 billion.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Microcrystalline Cellulose Market Concentration By Players

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Rising usage of microcrystalline cellulose in various food applications

Microcrystalline cellulose is used as a bulking agent, stabilizing agent, anti-caking agent and emulsifier in various food products. MCC helps improve texture, prevents crystallization of sugars, and maintains uniform appearance in canned foods, desserts, and dressings. It is also utilized as a fat substitute or flour extender in keto friendly and low calorie foods. The booming food processing industry and changing consumer preferences have fueled innovations in ready-to-eat and convenient food categories. Low carb, sugar free, vegan, and gluten free foods are in high demand nowadays. Microcrystalline cellulose caters well to the formulation requirements of such niche product segments. Its multi-functionality as a versatile ingredient enables replacement of various artificial additives in foods.

Microcrystalline Cellulose Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Challenges: Increasing raw material costs & strict environmental regulations

Strict environmental regulations around deforestation for sourcing wood pulp will further drive up production costs. Additionally, Substitute products such as carboxymethyl cellulose pose competition. Additionally, low barriers to entry at the production level and growing number of local manufacturers in Asia are intensifying competition.

Opportunities: Increasing demand for microcrystalline cellulose in various industries

The market sees opportunities from increasing demand for microcrystalline cellulose in various industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceutical and personal care. Its versatile functionality as an excipient, binder, diluent and disintegrant offers stable growth prospects. The rising health-conscious population is augmenting the demand for low-fat and low-calorie processed foods where microcrystalline cellulose finds extensive application as a fat replacement.

Microcrystalline Cellulose Market By Source Type

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Insights By Source Type:  In terms of source type, non-wood based contributes the highest share of the market owing to its sustainability and abundance

The non-wood based segment dominates the global microcrystalline cellulose market due to key advantages over wood-based sources and is expected to hold 67.1% of the market share in 2024. Non-wood materials like sugarcane bagasse and wheat straw are agricultural byproducts that do not require dedicated cultivation. Utilizing these waste resources enhances sustainability by preventing environmental pollution from agricultural residues. It also provides an efficient value-addition pathway for farmers.  Compared to wood pulps, non-wood sources tend to be more abundant and locally available in most regions. This ensures a stable supply chain and makes production less dependent on import/export dynamics. It also gives manufacturers an option to locally procure raw materials rather than relying on international wood markets. This independence makes costs more predictable and insulating the business from supply disruptions. The sheer volume of residues generated by agriculture far outweighs wood wastes in most parts of the world. For example, sugar mills produce huge amounts of bagasse as a byproduct every year. Similar quantities of rice and wheat straw are also left behind after harvests. This abundant availability of low-cost feedstock near production hubs favors investments in non-wood extraction capacities.  Environmental regulations in many jurisdictions also incentivize the use of agricultural wastes over depleting forest resources. Non-wood MCC production faces relatively lighter regulatory hurdles regarding sourcing. This regulatory advantage coupled with financial benefits from waste utilization fuels further capacity expansions of the non-wood segment.

Insights by End Use Industry: Pharmaceutical industry drives the global microcrystalline cellulose market owing to its unique functional properties

The pharmaceutical industry accounts for the highest consumption of microcrystalline cellulose globally and is expected to account for 34.7% of the market share in 2024. MCC finds wide applications in drug formulations due to its exceptional functional properties. Its chemically inert and physically stable nature allows direct compression into tablets without the need for binders or fillers.  MCC has excellent compressibility which gives tablets robust mechanical strength for packaging and shipping. It also acts as a diluent to adjust drug densities and prevents caking. The porous texture and water-absorbing capacity of MCC aids disintegration and rapid dissolution of tablets upon administration. These properties promote drug delivery optimization. Being hypoallergenic and bland in taste, MCC is suitable for use across various drug classes from antibiotics to analgesics. It does not interfere with drug efficacy while imparting desired texture and flow behavior to powders and granules. MCC thus facilitates efficient tablet production across all dosage forms from immediate to controlled release. The stringent quality standards of the pharmaceutical industry rely on microcrystalline cellulose as an excipient with consistent performance. Long-term stability, purity and batch-to-batch uniformity of commercially available MCC grades suit its role in ensuring drug quality and therapeutic outcome. This drives the leading demand from drug manufacturers globally.

Regional Insights

Microcrystalline Cellulose Market Regional Insights

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North America has established itself as the dominant region in the global microcrystalline cellulose market with 36.7% of the market share in 2024. This can be attributed to multiple factors like strong presence of pharmaceutical industry in the region, especially the U.S. Major pharmaceutical companies have their headquarters as well as manufacturing facilities located in North America. Microcrystalline cellulose finds widespread application as an excipient in the manufacturing of various drug formulations including tablets and capsules. As a result, North America accounts for the largest demand.  Another important factor is the well-established food industry in the region. Microcrystalline cellulose is commonly used as a functional food additive for its properties like bulking, anti-caking, and moisture retention. Leading packaged food manufacturers are headquartered in North America and have major production plants within the region. This ensures stable demand from the food industry. Moreover, North America has stringent quality and safety standards for food additives, hence domestic manufacturers import high-quality microcrystalline cellulose.

The fastest growing regional market is Asia Pacific. Rapid industrialization and growing per capita income have boosted the pharmaceutical, food, and other consumer goods sectors across Asia Pacific. Countries like China, India, and Japan have emerged as global manufacturing hubs for pharmaceuticals as well as top food producers. With increasing domestic consumption and export activities, requirement for functional additives like microcrystalline cellulose is surging in the region.  Another significant factor is the cost advantage that Asia Pacific offers. Raw material and labor costs are comparatively lower, allowing regional players to produce microcrystalline cellulose at competitive prices. This is attracting many end-use industries to either establish facilities or outsource production to Asia Pacific. Also, trade agreements have boosted exports from the region. On the other hand, local manufacturers are expanding their production capacities and capabilities to better serve the rising internal demand as well as global customers. This makes Asia Pacific the fastest emerging market for microcrystalline cellulose.

Market Report Scope

Microcrystalline Cellulose Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 1.38 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 7.2% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 2.24 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Source Type: Wood Based and Non-wood Based
  • By End Use Industry: Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverages, Cosmetics & Personal Care, and Others 
Companies covered:

Huzhou City Linghu Xinwang Chemical Co., Ltd., Rayonier Advanced Materials, DFE Pharma, Mingtai Chemical Co., Ltd, JRS Pharma, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Dupont, Avantor Inc., Sigachi Industries Pvt. Ltd, Foodchem International Corporation, Quadra Chemicals, Maple Biotech Pvt. Ltd., Anhui Sunhere Pharmaceutical Excipients Co., Ltd., Accent Microcell Pvt. Ltd., RanQ, Chemfield Cellulose, Roquette Frères, and Sigachi Industries Limited

Growth Drivers:
  • Rise in use of microcrystalline cellulose as excipient in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Rising usage of microcrystalline cellulose in various food applications
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Increasing raw material costs & strict environmental regulations
  • Availability of substitutes 

Key Developments

  • In September 2023, Nitika Pharmaceuticals Specialities inaugurated its microcrystalline cellulose manufacturing plant in Nagpur, India, the largest in the country
  • In January 2023, Asahi Kasei completed construction of its second plant for CeolusTM MCC in Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan. The plant is intended to meet growing demand and improve supply stability. Commercial production is scheduled to begin in April 2023.
  • In 2022, Azelis, a leading global innovation service provider in the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry, has been appointed as a distributor by DFE Pharma, a global leader in high-quality functional excipients for pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.
  • In July 2021, DFE Pharma introduced this silicified MCC product as a solution for complex oral solid medication formulations.

*Definition: The global microcrystalline cellulose market represents the market for microcrystalline cellulose, which is a purified, partially depolymerized cellulose made from wood pulp or cotton linters. It is commonly used as a diluent, binder, anti-caking agent, and filter aid. The microcrystalline cellulose market has applications in the pharmaceutical, food & beverages, and other industries.

Market Segmentation

  •  Source Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn & KT, 2019 - 2031)
    • Wood Based
    • Non-wood Based
  •  End Use Industry Insights (Revenue, USD Bn & KT, 2019 - 2031)
    • Pharmaceutical
    • Food & Beverages
    • Cosmetics & Personal Care
    • Others
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD Bn & KT, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • Huzhou City Linghu Xinwang Chemical Co., Ltd.
    • Rayonier Advanced Materials
    • DFE Pharma
    • Mingtai Chemical Co., Ltd
    • JRS Pharma
    • Asahi Kasei Corporation
    • Dupont
    • Avantor Inc.
    • Sigachi Industries Pvt. Ltd
    • Foodchem International Corporation
    • Quadra Chemicals
    • Maple Biotech Pvt. Ltd.
    • Anhui Sunhere Pharmaceutical Excipients Co., Ltd.
    • Accent Microcell Pvt. Ltd.
    • RanQ
    • Chemfield Cellulose
    • Roquette Frères
    • Sigachi Industries Limited

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the global microcrystalline cellulose market is projected to be 7.2% from 2024 to 2031.

Rise in use of microcrystalline cellulose as excipient in pharmaceutical industry and rising usage of microcrystalline cellulose in various food applications are the major factor driving the growth of the global microcrystalline cellulose market.

Increasing raw material costs & strict environmental regulations and availability of substitutes are the major factors hampering the growth of the global microcrystalline cellulose market.

In terms of source type, non-wood based is estimated to dominate the market revenue share in 2024.

Huzhou City Linghu Xinwang Chemical Co., Ltd., Rayonier Advanced Materials, DFE Pharma, Mingtai Chemical Co., Ltd, JRS Pharma, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Dupont, Avantor Inc., Sigachi Industries Pvt. Ltd, Foodchem International Corporation, Quadra Chemicals, Maple Biotech Pvt. Ltd., Anhui Sunhere Pharmaceutical Excipients Co., Ltd., Accent Microcell Pvt. Ltd., RanQ, Chemfield Cellulose, Roquette Frères, and Sigachi Industries Limited are the major players.

North America is expected to lead the global microcrystalline cellulose market.

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