Impact Analysis of Covid-19
The complete version of the Report will include the impact of the COVID-19, and anticipated change on the future outlook of the industry, by taking into the account the political, economic, social, and technological parameters.
Sulfuric Acid Market – Insights
The molecular formula for sulfuric acid is ‘H2SO4. It is categorized as a strong mineral acid with high corrosive abilities. Sulfuric acid is a viscous liquid that is soluble in water and its color varies from yellow to colorless, which depends upon its concentration. Sulfuric acid is used in the manufacture of commercially important chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, sulfate salts, synthetic detergents, dyes, pigments, explosives, and drugs.
Sulfuric acid is used in the production of phosphate fertilizers such as monoammonium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, calcium dihyrogen phosphate, and others. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global demand for phosphate fertilizers in 2017 was 43.2 million tons. The FAO estimated that this demand will increase to 45.8 million tons by 2020. Thus, rising demand for phosphate fertilizers is expected to drive growth of the global sulfuric acid market.
However, stringent government regulations on usage of sulfuric acid, owing to hazardous effects of the strong acidic mixture are expected to restrain growth of the global sulfuric acid market. For instance, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has categorized the acid as a carcinogen. These stringent regulations are expected to hinder growth of the market over the forecast period.
The global sulfuric acid market was pegged at 266.2 million tons in 2018 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 2.3% in terms of volume over the forecast period (2019 – 2027), and is expected to reach 324.1 million tons by 2027.
Figure 1. Global Sulfuric Acid Market Share (%), By Region, 2017
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2017-18
North America held a significant market share in the global sulfuric acid market in 2018. This is attributed to growing demand for sulfuric acid in the production of fertilizers, which is expected to drive growth of the sulfuric acid market in North America. For instance, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, phosphate fertilizer consumption in the U.S. in 2012 was 40 million tons, which increased to 42.5 million tons in 2016. Increasing consumption of phosphate fertilizers is leading to high demand for sulfuric acid in this region. Moreover, Central & South America is expected to witness a steady growth in the market share owing to rapid industrialization in the region.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth owing to growth of various end-use industries such as chemical, agriculture and textile industry in emerging economies such as China and India. Sulfuric acid is used in hydrometallurgical processes to leach ores and extract metals. Countries such as South Korea and Japan have a large number of metal smelters, which is expected to contribute towards the market growth in the near future.
Figure 2. Global Sulfuric Acid Market Share (%), By Raw Material Type, 2017
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2017-18
Among raw material type, elemental sulfur segment held highest market share of 59% in 2017 in the global sulfuric acid market, and this segment is expected to retain its dominant position over the forecast period. Sulfuric acid is produced by combustion of elemental sulfur. Thus, increasing demand for elemental sulfur for fertilizers is expected to drive growth of this segment in the global sulfuric acid market.
Among application, fertilizers segment held the highest market share in 2017 in the global sulfuric acid market. Sulfuric acid is used in the production of fertilizers such as ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfate. Sulfuric acid is used as an important compound in the production of phosphoric acid, which is further converted to phosphate fertilizers. Phosphate fertilizers are commonly used for increasing agricultural productivity.
Key players are adopting new strategies such as business expansions, in order to strengthen their position in the sulfuric acid market. For instance, in 2018, BASF SE started its operation at an electronic grade sulfuric acid plant in China to meet the growing demand from the semiconductors industry. In 2017, the Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. acquired Bayer's ‘Bayqik quasi-isothermal sulfuric acid converter technology’ to strengthen its position in the global sulfuric acid market.
Major players in the global sulfuric acid market include PVS Chemicals, BASF SE, Akzo Nobel N.V., DowDuPont Inc., Unigel Group, Boliden Group, Ineos Enterprises Limited, Trident Chemicals, Aurubis AG, Climax Molybdenum B.V., and Amal Ltd.