Global Market Outlook on Polyols

  • The global supply of polyols has increased at a CAGR of 2.6 percent over five years. Production in 2016/17 is around. 3.301 MMT 
  • Consecutive record production of corn (feedstock) in the US and China and demand from end-use segments, such as Vitamin C, toothpaste, and chewing gum industries, drive the market growth 
  • In case of individual polyols, global sorbitol production is set to rise at a CAGR of 4.7 percent by 2020/21, while xylitol and mannitol markets could rise at a CAGR of 7 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, during the same period 
  • Sorbitol is the most commonly used polyol, due to lower production cost, but the health benefits of xylitol and mannitol could ensure that the latter two offer competition to sorbitol in the coming years


Global Polyols - Supply Analysis

  • The global production has increased by 8.3 percent between 2013 and 2017, owing to demand from end-use industries and is projected to rise further by 5 percent in 2017/18 
  • The end-use industries, such as food and pharmaceutical sectors, and the abundant availability of cheap feedstock (corn) drive supply
  • The global polyol production has increased at a CAGR of 2 percent between 2013 and 2016, due to the rising demand from major end uses, particularly the food and pharmaceutical industries 
  • Sorbitol is the most widely used sugar alcohol, accounting for an estimated 59 percent () of the global production, due to its relatively lower cost, compared to other alternatives, such as xylitol and mannitol

Global Polyols - Demand Analysis

  • Vitamin C manufacture is the primary driver of polyol demand in China, which accounts for an estimated 46 percent of the  global polyol consumption  
  • In the West, particularly the US and EU, polyols find applications in the pharmaceutical sector, on the account of their  perceived health benefits

Global End Use Applications of Polyols

  • Demand for polyols is rising, due to health awareness and increased usage in the food and pharmaceutical industries
  • Sorbitol has the largest market share among polyols, with applications in Vitamin C production, diabetic, dietetic foods & beverages
  • Industrial application includes Vitamin C manufacture, using sorbitol
  • Xylitol is a healthier substitute for sorbitol but incurs higher cost. Research on cost-effective xylitol production methods is underway

Global Polyol Consumption

  • Global consumption share by region reflects sorbitol usage to a greater extent, due to its market size as compared to other polyols China, North America, and the EU are the major consuming regions
  • In China, Vitamin C manufacture is a major demand driver of polyol production