Analysis: Green concerns to drive spec surfactant growth

16 August 2002 15:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (CNI)--Rising demand for naturally derived, environmentally benign surfactants will help increase US demand for specialty surfactants at an annual pace of 4.3% through 2006, the Freedonia Group said Friday.

That pace would be a slight improvement from the annual growth rate of 4.1% posted between 1996 and last year, according to the Cleveland, Ohio-based consultancy, which is forecasting a market worth $3.6bn (Euro3.63m) by 2006.

Among the different specialty surfactants, Freedonia expects cationics to continue with a dominant share of 49%. Examples include fatty amine oxides, ammonium quaternaries and imidazolines as products sought for a wide range of personal care products because of their mildness and biodegradability, Freedonia said in its recent report entitled "Specialty Surfactants."

The consultants said demand for specialty surfactants depends heavily on the personal care products industry so "trends in this volatile market have a significant effect on overall consumption."

Besides the demand for naturally derived and environmentally benign surfactants, Freedonia said US gains in specialty surfactants also will be driven by a need for increased mildness in personal care products and rapidly growing demand in both cleaning products and personal care products for surfactant-treated wipes.

The analysts noted that the increased demand for personal care wipes has countered a decline for body washes.

By: Gary Taylor
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