Specialty chemicals, also called effect chemicals, are particular type of chemicals that offer various types of effects, on which several industries may depend upon. Specialty adhesive, solvents, specialty coatings, specialty industrial gases, additives, and catalysts are some of the commonly used specialty chemicals in different industries. In which, specialty coating is the most popular specialty chemical and is widely consumed around the world. It accounts for around 50% of market share globally. Specialty chemicals produced in smaller quantities with customized needs of application unlike commodity chemicals. Moreover, they are sold on the basis of their performance characteristics, which is why they are expensive. Specialty chemicals are in many industries including textile, petroleum, agrochemicals, food additives, plastic additives, water treatment, mining chemicals, electronic chemicals, cleaning chemicals, and paper.

Market Outlook

Global specialty chemicals market size was valued at US$ 582.35 billion in 2017, and expected to witness significant growth, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.12% during the forecast period (2019-2027). This is owing to increasing demand for specialty chemicals from various industries. Increasing demand for electronic chemicals, specialty polymers, and mining chemicals is expected to boost growth of the market during the forecast period. Furthermore, specialty chemicals such as construction chemicals, specialty cleaners, and specialty polymers holds a significant share in the market. Niche segments such as neutraceuticals and cosmetics are expected to witness significant growth in the near future and thereby, it is expected to support the market growth. Furthermore, agrochemicals holds the largest market share, accounting for around 14.1% in 2017. This is owing to increasing demand for growing adoption of new techniques and increasing demand for crop protection. Moreover, global specialty chemicals market is expected witness growth, owing increasing demand for oilfield and lubricant chemicals.

However, environmental regulations, stringent laws regarding carbon footprints from authorities are expected to hinder the demand for specialty chemicals and subsequently restrain the market growth.

Market Regional Analysis

North America and Europe holds the largest market share in global specialty chemicals market. This is owing to high presence of key players in regions. Furthermore, Asia Pacific is expected to witness fastest growth in the market during the forecast period. Increasing demand for specialty chemicals from emerging economies is expected to propel the market growth in the near future. Moreover, increasing demand for commercial, residential, and public buildings, owing to increasing population and urbanization is expected to impel the market growth.

Market Players

Major players operating the global specialty chemicals market are Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, LOTTE Fine Chemical, Thebe Unico, Huntsman Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, and Evonik Industries AG

Key Developments

  • In January 2020, PMC group completed the acquisition of Lanxess’s Organotin specialty business. The Organotin specialty business includes organotin catalysts, specialties and intermediate products. Organotin is mainly used as a specialty chemical stabilizer in manufacturing polyvinyl chloride polymer. Other uses of Organotin include but are not limited to antifungal agent, biocide, agricultural fungicide, etc.
  • In December 2019, BASF inaugurated a new antioxidants plant in Shanghai, China. The expansion included a synthesis plant to manufacture “Irgafos” 168 as well as “Irganox” 1076 with annual production capacity of 42 kilo tons. The expansion is aimed to meet the growing demand from the domestic customers.
  • In July 2019, BASF announced its plans to start a second production line for tert-butylamine (tBA) plant in Nanjiang, China. Tert-butylamine is a specialty chemical used for manufacturing rubber and tyres. The new plant is set to come on-stream by 2022 and will cater to the growing demand from Asian countries.
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