Global Market Outlook on Super Absorbent Polymers

The global SAP demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.3 percent Y-o-Y until 2022, mainly driven by APAC and MENA regions 
The growing demand for disposable baby diapers is a key driver, which occupies about 75 percent of the global SAP demand 
APAC will continue to be the net exporter of SAP, as buyers will rely on the supply of SAP from Japan, China, and Rep. of Korea until further capacity addition in Belgium during 2018

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Demand Market Outlook

 The global SAP demand is expected to reach 3.2 MMT by 2022, mainly driven by the APAC region, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8 percent Y-o-Y until 2022. SAP demand will continue to be driven by the demand from disposable baby diapers, owing to the low penetration rate of diapers in the growing economies, such as China and India
SAP demand will continue to be driven by the demand from disposable baby diapers, owing to the low penetration rate of diapers in China, while adult incontinence will be the demand driver in Japan, owing to low birth rates and increasing aging population

Global Market Size: SAP

  • The global SAP market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5 percent Y-o-Y to reach $8.6 billion by 2022, mainly driven by the demand from personal hygiene industry. Increasing birth rates in emerging countries, like China and India, and growing old age population will continue to drive the demand in the future
  • APAC and North America are the key regions for SAP sales globally
    –China is the largest market for SAP sales in the APAC region
    –The US is the largest producer and consumer of SAP
    –Both China and the US alone account for about 45 percent of the SAP sales globally 
  • Personal care (baby diaper, adult incontinence, and feminine hygiene products) will be the major demand driver, as it accounts for over 85 percent of the market Other downstream applications, like agriculture and medicine, in the recent years, have been growing at a faster rate and are expected to witness a sales growth of about 6–7 percent Y-o-Y until 2022

 Global Capacity–Demand Analysis

Global demand for SAP is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.6 percent Y-o-Y until 2022, mainly driven by the demand from disposable baby diapers, which constitutes over 70 percent of the global demand

Market Outlook 
Sufficient Capacity until 2022 

  • The current global installed capacity will be enough to meet the global demand until 2019, provided the suppliers operate over 95 percent and there are no major force majeure/plant shutdowns 
  • Capacity additions are expected in 2018–2020 in India and China, owing to the improving demand for super absorbent products

Increasing Per Capita Disposable Income 

  • Increasing awareness on disposable baby diapers, increase in disposable income, and purchasing power of consumers in the growing economies, like Brazil, China, and India, will be the key growth drivers of disposable baby diapers

SAP Supply Scenario and Capacity Expansions in the Future 

  • SAP suppliers are expected to operate their plants over 90 percent to meet the demand levels of the CPG industry in the future 
  • SAP capacity addition by Nippon Shokubai during 2018 will play a key role to meet the global demand of the hygiene industry in the future

Global Demand by Application

SAP Downstream Demand Outlook

  • SAP demand will be mainly driven by the demand from disposable baby diapers from emerging nations, like China and India, as they are expected to witness a steady growth rate of about 15–20 percent in the future 

  • Birth rate in India is around 26–27 millions/year, but the penetration rate of disposable baby diapers is as low as 2–3 percent, owing to the increasing awareness and a rapid shift from cloth nappies to baby diapers
  • SAP demand from water treatment, agriculture, and medical applications are expected to grow at about 6 percent Y-o-Y until 2018 
  • Increasing demand from these segments are not expected to affect the CPG industry, as:
    –Most of the buyers procure from spot market or engage with small-volume SAP producers
    –They account for only 5 percent of the global SAP demand