Rising middle class drives Brazil surfactants growth – consultant

29 August 2012 22:52  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Brazil’s surfactants market is set to grow by 44.9% from 2011 to 2018, mainly because of the spending power of a burgeoning middle class, an analyst for consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan said on Wednesday.

“In 2004, the middle class in Brazil represented 34% of the population. By 2011 this had jumped to 55%,” said Lisse Olivera. “This shift is driving surfactant consumption levels.”

According to the analyst, the surfactants market has shown steady growth in the past and is now in a mature stage.

The end-user sector, in particular personal care and household products, is expected to continue driving growth through the forecast period, she said.

“We estimate that the personal care and household product sectors will witness a compound annual growth rate of 6%, with revenues reaching $7.41bn [€5.93bn] by 2018,” Olivera said.

However, the analyst emphasised that surfactant producers have to adopt strategies to counteract increasing costs.

“Increasing raw material and production costs and higher salaries in the industrial sector could affect projected growth rates,” Olivera said.

In addition, anionic surfactant growth could be hindered by environmental concerns, typically the biodegradability of some anionic types.

“Another challenge for producers is to develop environmentally-friendly products at an affordable price,” Olivera said.

The analyst said that around 20 surfactant companies currently operate in Brazil.

The top five companies, accounting for 78.8% of the market, are Oxiteno, Stepan, Deten, Clariant and BASF, she said.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Simon West

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