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The caustic soda market size was estimated at over 85 million ton, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of less than 6% during the forecast period
The market was negatively impacted by COVID-19 in 2020. The coronavirus impact on chlorine derivatives demand has squeezed the supply of caustic soda, a by-product of chlorine production. This marks a reversal from the earlier scenario of a price cut that has been in place since 2019. However, to prevent COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been encouraging people to wash hands with soap and water when hands are visibly dirty or soiled with blood, other body fluids, or after using the toilet. Such prevention of citing handwashing amid the continued spread of COVID-19 is a key factor for the market growth rate. Some of the companies in Europe started manufacturing soaps to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines (WHO), which is washing hands for 20 seconds to prevent the virus. For instance, Verve, an agency based across Dublin, London, and Amsterdam, developed the first soap lasting for exactly 20 seconds, the exact time it takes to get hands fully clean.
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– Over the short term, one of the major factors driving the growth of the market is the rising demand for alumina in the transport sector. It is anticipated that 25% of the aluminum consumed in transportation may be used in road and rail commercial transport. Aluminum is used in the construction of passenger coaches for rail transport and manufacturing chassis. Additionally, in road transport, aluminum is used in the subframe designing of tankers and freight carriers.
– The increasing demand for paper and paperboards is also expected to increase the consumption of caustic soda to extract aluminum from its ores, thereby augmenting the growth of the market.
– Energy-intensive production processes and major environmental concerns are likely to hinder market growth.
– In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, various pulp and paper producing plants had been kept under shutdown to cope up with the situation. This has negatively impacted pulp and paper production worldwide. This, in turn, affected the consumption of caustic soda in 2020.
– Plant capacity expansions and joint ventures in emerging and developed markets are projected to act as an opportunity for the market in the future.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand from the Soap and Detergent Segment
– Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye, is an essential ingredient used in the manufacturing of soaps, cleaners, and detergents. Sodium hydroxide is widely used due to its ability to dissolve oils, grease, fats, and protein-based deposits.
– Caustic soda is used in the saponification process that converts vegetable oils into soap. It is used to manufacture anionic surfactants, a crucial component in most detergent and cleaning products.
– In modern detergents, sodium hydroxide is used to produce active agents or builders and household bleach products. Sodium hydroxide is also used in the production of sodium hypochlorite.
– Detergents are classified in terms of their ionic properties, namely, anionic, cationic, and non-ionic. The major applications of detergents are reflected in household cleaning and fuel additives.
– Detergents are primarily used in two main sectors, namely residential and commercial. The commercial sectors include the textile industry, hospitality industry, dry cleaning, and laundry services, whereas residential applications include its use in household cleaning. Liquid detergents offer ease of use and comfort and consume less wattage of electricity compared to powder detergent, which is driving the demand for caustic soda in liquid detergents.
China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Region
– In Asia-Pacific, China is the largest economy in terms of GDP. The growth in the country remains high, but it is gradually diminishing as the population ages, and the economy is rebalancing from investment to consumption, manufacturing to services, and external to internal demand. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections, the Chinese GDP growth declined to 1.9% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. It is expected to recover and reach 8.2% by the end of 2021.
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– China is both the largest producer and the largest consumer of caustic soda in the world.
– China is the largest pulp and paper producing nation in the world as a result of its large forest reserves (22.5% of its land area). The industry is modern and highly mechanized, and the labor is cheap. Forest cover is increasing in China, owing to government afforestation initiatives. While this is a positive sign, there are concerns regarding social and environmental issues. As the largest wood importer in the world, with complex and opaque supply chains, significant challenges are present.
The caustic soda market is partially fragmented in nature. Some of the key players in the market include Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd, Dow, SABIC, and Formosa Plastics Corporation.
1.1 Study Assumptions
1.2 Scope of the Study
2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
4 MARKET DYNAMICS
4.1.1 Rising Demand for Alumina in the Automotive Industry
4.1.2 Increasing Demand for Soap and Detergent
4.2.1 Energy-intensive Production Process
4.2.2 Unfavorable Conditions Arising Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak
4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers
4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services
4.4.5 Degree of Competition
4.5 Import and Export Trends
4.6 Price Trends
4.7 Major Plants and Upcoming Capacities
4.8 Caustic Soda Production Analysis
4.8.1 Production Process Analysis
4.8.2 Production Cost Analysis
5 MARKET SEGMENTATION
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