Global Tin Chemical Market - Insights
Tin is a soft, silvery white metal widely used in tin-coated steel food containers, in metals used for bearings, in solders, and others. According to International Tin Association, tin chemicals represented for the second largest use of refined tin, accounting for around 17% of the global refined tin market in 2017. Tin chemicals are compounds that contain at least one bond between carbon and tin and are primarily used in industrial applications such as electroplating, chemical catalysts, reducing agents, glazes, surface treatment chemicals, electronic devices, and others. They can be segmented into numerous product types, namely sodium stannate, stannous chloride, stannic chloride, stannous oxalate, stannic sulphate, and others.
Among applications, PVC stabilizers segment is expected to witness significant market share in the market over the forecast period. This is owing to excellent properties of tin chemicals such as good color retention, high transparency, and early coloring. Moreover, according to European Stabilizer Producer Association (ESPA), tin stabilizers are also approved for use in food contact applications, potable water applications, and in rigid medical applications. Increasing use of PVC in the construction industry is one of the factor driving growth of the global tin chemicals market. For instance, according to Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), in 2015, construction activities accounted for around 60% of the global PVC market.
Moreover, key players in the PVC market such as Shin-Etsu, Westlake Chemical, and Formosa Plastics are focused on expanding their PVC plants to enhance their market share. For instance, Formosa Plastics is announced a 136,077 mt/year PVC capacity expansion at its already existing 470,000 mt/year PVC plant in Louisiana, U.S., by fourth quarter of 2021. Therefore, increasing PVC production is expected to lead to high demand for PVC stabilizers, which in turn is expected to propel demand for tin chemicals.
Increasing use of tin plating among various industries coupled with significant advancements in the chemical industry is expected to fuel demand for tin chemicals. Various product types of tin chemicals are used in chemical industries as intermediates and/or catalysts. For example, stannous chloride is used as a catalyst in the production of polylactic acid (PLA). Stannous oxalate is used as a catalyst in esterification reactions and stannic chloride is used in the production of various inorganic chemicals. Growing chemical industries in emerging economies is expected to fuel demand for tin chemicals. For instance, BASF— a key chemical producer — reported growth of 4.2% in chemical production (excluding pharmaceutical) during 2019-2021 in the emerging markets of Asia Pacific.
Development of alternatives to tin chemicals has significantly increased the threat of price-based substitutions. For instance, calcium-zinc products can be used as PVC stabilizers as they are cheaper than tin stabilizers. Iron sulphate is an alternative to stannous sulphate or stannous chloride in cement additives application. However, inferior properties of these alternatives have prevented them from penetrating deep into the market. Furthermore, increasing tin prices are considered as a challenge for growth of the tin chemicals market. Tin prices have been on the high since 2015. According to London Metal Exchange, tin prices have increased by 55% since June 2015, reaching US$ 21750 per ton in Feb 2019. Therefore, increasing prices and development of new alternatives to tin chemicals is expected to restrain growth of the tin chemicals market.
The global tin chemicals market was pegged at 61.7 Kilo Tons (KT) in 2018, and is expected to register a CAGR of 2.75% in terms of volume to reach 77.4 KT by 2027 over the forecast period (2019 – 2027).
Figure 1. Global Tin Chemicals Market Share, By Region, 2018
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2018-19
Asia Pacific is expected to hold dominant position in the global tin chemicals market. Tin chemicals are utilized in wide range of applications related to basic commodity market such as plastics, metal and glass plating, adhesives, and others in the region. Growth of tin chemicals market in Asia Pacific is attributed to increasing usage of PVC in the region. Decline in the use of lead stabilizers has benefited tin chemicals for its use in potable water pipes. International Tin Association Limited reported 8-10% growth per annum for PVC stabilizers in China till 2020, which is twice the global growth rate.
Moreover, increasing demand for tin chemicals from various end-use industries such as packaging, chemical, automotive, construction, and electronics is expected to drive the tin chemicals market growth during the forecast period. For instance, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF)—part of the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India— India construction industry is expected to emerge as the third largest construction industry worldwide, witnessing an annual average growth rate of 7.4% till 2025.
Figure 2. Global Tin Chemicals Market Share, By Application, 2018
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2018-19
Players operating in the global tin chemicals market are adopting various growth strategies such as mergers and acquisitions in order to enhance their market share. For instance, in 2018, BNT Chemicals — a subsidiary of TIB Chemicals — was acquired by the thermal material handling service provider IBU-tec.
Major players operating in the global tin chemicals market include, Mason Corporation, Ace Chemical Company, City Chemicals LLC, TIB Chemicals AG, Pfaltz & Bauer Inc., GFS Chemicals, Showa America, S V Plastochem Private Limited, Westman Chemicals Pvt, William Blythe, Haihang Industry Co.,Ltd, and Strem Chemicals.