The global isophthalic acid market size is expected to witness potential gains in the future, and register a significant CAGR of 4% over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).

Market Overview

Isophthalic acid is an organic compound in which benzene is substituted by carboxy groups at position 1 and 3. It has a slight unpleasant odor and is colorless and solid. This aromatic dicarboxylic non-toxic acid is used as precursor (in the form of acylchloride) to commercially important polymers. Properties such as excellent hardness and high glass transition temperature of isophthalic acid offer improved chemical, stain, humidity, and corrosion resistance. These figures promote its use in coatings for industrial maintenance, automotive, aerospace, general metal and coil coating applications. Isophthalic acid is also used primarily as a component of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) copolymer,

Market Dynamics

Increasing production of PET bottle resins and unsaturated polyester resins is a major factor boosting growth of the global isophthalic acid market over the forecast period. Isophthalic acid is used as an intermediate primarily for unsaturated polyester resins and alkyd and polyester coating resins. Significant consumption of packaged food and beverages is also expected to boost growth of the market. Addition of isophthalic acid in unsaturated polyester resins improves thermal resistance and mechanical performance, as well as resistance to chemicals and water.

However, presence of alternatives such as polybasic acids or anhydrides including phthalic anhydride, terephthalic acid, adipic acid, and trimellitic anhydride and secondary diol such as diethylene glycol and cyclohexanedimethanol (CHDM) is expected to hinder growth of the market.

Market Outlook

The global isophthalic acid market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period, owing to increasing use of PET bottle resin in Asia Pacific and Middle East. The production of PET bottle resins and unsaturated polyester resins in China is rapidly increasing. However, China is not self-sufficient in the supply of isophthalic acid and majorly depends on imports to fulfil domestic demand. Increasing application of adhesives and aramid fiber is also expected to boost the market growth in Asia Pacific.

Increasing PET bottle resin manufacture is expected to boost market share of Latin America and Middle East over the forecast period. Moreover, growing construction activity in the Middle East is leading to high demand for surface coating and unsaturated polyester resins, thereby boosting growth of the market.

Key Players

Key players operating in the global isophthalic acid market include, Alfa Aesar, Eastman Chemical Company, Sigma Aldrich Corporation, and The Chemical Company

Key Development

Several key players in the market are focused on developing organic or inorganic growth strategies such as plant capacity expansion, mergers and acquisition in order to enhance their global presence. For instance,

  • In April 2018, Indorama Ventures acquired the purified isophthalic acid (PIA), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) facilities of Cepsa Química in Spain, the chemical subsidiary of energy company Cepsa. The acquired assets produce 220,000 MT per year of PIA.
  • The company started commercial production of purified isophthalic acid (PIA) plant located at Alabama, U.S. in December 2018.
  • In September 2018, Ineos, the chemical company, signed an agreement to acquire Flint Hills Resources’ intermediates business that produces trimellitic anhydride, purified isophthalic acid and maleic anhydride in Joliet.
  • In February 2018, Lotte Chemical Corp., the chemical manufacturing company based in Korea, invest US$ 47.1 million to add production facilities for high value-added purified isophthalic acid (PIA).
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