The increasing usage of specialty chemicals in diversified applications, such as automobiles, electrical components, agricultural products, and cosmetic products, is majorly responsible for driving their market. In addition, over 40% of the specialty pulp & paper chemicals are consumed in the packaging industry, while the rest is consumed in the labeling and printing industry. With the packaging industry expected to witness growth in the near future, the demand for these chemicals is expected to propel the specialty chemicals market to $980,423.7 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period (2020–2030).
Like many other sectors, the specialty chemicals industry is witnessing the negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Manufacturing operations in many downstream or end-use industries, such as packaging, automotive, pharmaceuticals, defense, aerospace, electronics, and textiles, which are directly dependent on specialty chemicals, have been suspended. This has caused a significant fall in the demand for specialty chemicals.
On the basis of type, the specialty chemicals market is classified into agrochemicals, construction chemicals, specialty coatings, surfactants, food additives, polymer additives, electronic chemicals, cleaning chemicals, plastic additives, paper & textile chemicals, adhesives & sealants, lubricant & oilfield chemicals, and others. Among these, lubricant & oilfield chemicals are expected to be the fastest-growing classification in the coming years. The high demand for these chemicals can be attributed to the massive growth in shale gas production and consumption globally. Additionally, the resumption of automotive and construction activities after the pandemic will further drive the demand for lubricant & oilfield chemicals.
Geographically, the specialty chemicals market in Asia-Pacific (APAC) is expected to witness lucrative growth as a consequence of the heavy usage of these chemicals in heavy construction and automotive applications to extend machinery life, reduce operating costs, and increase the equipment’s productivity by reducing the wear and tear of the engine components during extended heavy-duty operations. Besides, APAC is an agricultural hub, accounting for around 30% of the cultivated land, globally. Moreover, the region accounts for around 60% of the world’s population, thus resulting in the heavy utilization of agrochemical products, which, in turn, drives the market in this region.
Players in the specialty chemicals market are expanding their manufacturing facilities to enhance their market presence. For instance, in February 2018, Evonik Industries AG (Evonik) opened another production line for specialty polyamide 12 powder (PA 12) offered under its VESTOSINT brand, in Marl Chemical Park, Germany. The new facility primarily produces high-performance powder for the 3D printing market.
Similarly, in September 2017, BASF SE announced plans to build a new plant for specialty amines at its existing wholly owned site at the Nanjing Chemical Industry Park in China. The new multi-product plant can manufacture 21,000 metric tons of amines a year, thereby further extending BASF SE’s amines portfolio. The plant mainly produces 1,2-propylenediamine (1,2-PDA), n-octylamine (n-OA), and polyetheramine (PEA).
Some of the major players operating in the global specialty chemicals market are BASF SE, Dow Inc., China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, and Evonik Industries AG.