News> Press Release > Strengthening Regulations in Mature Markets and Robust Indian Economic Growth will Strongly Influence the Specialty Biocides Industry

Strengthening Regulations in Mature Markets and Robust Indian Economic Growth will Strongly Influence the Specialty Biocides Industry


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Specialty Biocides

PARSIPPANY, NJ – April 12, 2017 - Changing industry regulations and continuous development across end-use applications are the key factors affecting the USD 4.5 billion market for specialty biocides in China, Europe, India, and the United States, according to Kline’s just-published chapters of its Specialty Biocides: Regional Market Analysis study.



The United States remains the largest global market for specialty biocides with USD 2.9 billion in revenues, notably due to an unmatched market for wood preservation. Miscellaneous biocides, including creosote, which is primarily used in wood preservation, are holding the leading positions in terms of volume and value. However, the use of some biocidal products falls under new regulations introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has classified copper chrome arsenate (CCA) as a restricted use product to be used only by certified pesticide applicators in industrial applications. The regulations will adversely affect wood treatment with CCA for all residential uses. It is expected that in five years no wood treater or manufacturer will use CCA to treat wood in residential sectors. Due to the risks associated with occupational exposure, the wood preservation industry is gradually moving away from arsenic-containing preservatives towards new alternative wood preservatives, such as copper naphthenate, which are safer and environment friendly according to the EPA’s risk assessment.

In Europe, the biocides market has become increasingly shaped by regulatory pressures from Biocidal Product Regulations (BPR). All the suppliers operating in the EU zone are now required to register their products with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The entire process might take up to 10 years and can cost millions of euros. This stimulated an intense industry consolidation. Ashland sold its biocidal business to Troy Corp, and Dow Chemical’s has acquired Rohm and Haas. Other suppliers decided to exit the EU market completely, including BWA Water Treatment. Even the product registered under ECHA as a biocidal substance face with tight regulations, due to the allowed levels of certain actives. The introduction of concentration level of MIT at 1,500 ppm resulted in a considerable drop in the product consumption since 2016. The ongoing regulations create uncertain expectations in suppliers regarding the market’s future. Thus, suppliers tend to focus on the actives which are less likely to be restricted, such as IPBC among the fungicides and glutaraldehyde in oil and gas uses, or cut down the products, such as triazines, as they are more likely to fall under new restrictions.

In China, the consumption of specialty biocides is still influenced by large use of commodities (and notably sodium hypochlorite), which had hindered the growth of specialties’ consumption in some applications, such as aquaculture. With China being the largest freshwater fish producer globally, this application is an important one in the country. The macroeconomics of some industries, such as paper, which is another large consumer of biocides in the country, have played their role in a rather stagnant consumption of biocides in the concerned applications.

India shows a double-digit growth rate due to the rapid extension of strategic applications, such as paints and coatings, leather, antifoulant marine coatings, and metalworking fluids, and approaches USD 93 million in revenues. Industrial preservation applications are leading the market demand by volume and value. Paints and coatings is the most consuming sub-application in volume terms, primarily due to the rapidly growing construction sector. In terms of volume, nitrogen-based biocides is the leading category due to significant use of quaternary ammonium compounds across most end-use applications. Consumption of specialty biocides in hygiene applications will benefit from the increasing awareness among consumers about the importance of sanitizers and disinfectants.

The competitive landscape is fragmented with multinational companies being the leading suppliers of specialty biocides in volume and value terms. Lonza is the largest supplier of specialty biocides to Europe and the United States in value terms. In India, Meltzer Chemicals is the leading supplier by value, followed by Clariant and Troy Corporation. In China, a similar situation to India can be found with multinational suppliers competing with local suppliers. Hebei Jihang, American Chemet, and Hanadn Ruibang are the largest suppliers in volume terms.

The European, Chinese, and U.S. markets are projected to show a low, but stable growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2021. In the United States, MCA and dissolved copper azole are expected to be the fastest growing biocidal actives, as they will take over the share from the phased-out products, such as CCA. The growth in Europe is affected by a slow recovery from financial crisis in several important market sectors, notably related to the construction sector, such as paints and coatings or plastics and resins. Halogenated and phenolics biocides are expected to be the fastest growing product in the region. India is projected to show double-digit growth through 2021, with nitrogen-based, organosulfur, and halogenated biocides being the most rapidly growing categories. In China, the market will be negatively affected by the slow growth of a few key consuming applications, namely water treatment (and paper applications in particular) and aquaculture, a large application in the country. In the meantime, industrial preservation applications and other hygiene applications are expected to enjoy solid growth figures by 2021.

Discover new business opportunities in the specialty biocides market with Kline’s upcoming webinar Specialty Biocides: Regional Markets Analysis. This presentation will focus on market size by region, consumption of the main products used in each application, regulatory issues, and market forecasts through 2021. Register >

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