Carboxymethyl Cellulose Market – Global Industry Report, 2030

High Demand from Multiple Industries Owing to Favorable Functional Properties to Aid Carboxymethyl Cellulose Market Growth

Carboxymethyl cellulose, also known as cellulose gum finds applications in a host of industries, including food & beverages, paints & adhesives, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics. Carboxymethyl cellulose is primarily used as a thickening, binding, emulsifying, sizing, and stabilizing agent in various applications due to which, the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose has witnessed consistent growth over the past few years. The demand for carboxymethyl cellulose is projected to experience consistent growth, owing to favorable functional properties of carboxymethyl cellulose, including optimum acid resistance, desired water resistance, high viscosity, and salt resistance.

Research and development activities continue to open up new avenues and opportunities for players involved in the current carboxymethyl cellulose market. The adoption of carboxymethyl cellulose across the different industrial sectors is expected to be the major factor that is likely to drive the growth of the carboxymethyl cellulose market during the forecast period. Over the past few years, due to exponential rise in the global demand for carboxymethyl cellulose, manufacturers are largely focusing on increasing their production capacity to cater to this demand and also expand their presence across different regions of the world. At the back of these factors, the global carboxymethyl cellulose market is expected to attain a market value of ~US$ 2 Bn by the end of 2030.

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Soaring Demand from Multiple End-use Industries to Propel Carboxymethyl Cellulose Market Growth

Carboxymethyl cellulose is also referred to as the “MSG of the industry” and has a myriad of applications in different industrial sectors. The food industry is projected to provide abundant opportunities to the players involved in the current market landscape, as the demand continues to scale-up due to the various benefits of carboxymethyl cellulose. Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose continues to garner significant popularity across the food industry, as it plays an imperative role in minimizing production costs, extending the shelf life of food products, and enhance the overall taste of food products. In the past decade, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose is increasingly being used in the production of ice cream, owing to several benefits such as improved taste, providing optimum volume to the ice cream, minimizing production costs, and mitigate the utilization of large volumes of raw materials. While ice cream production remains one of the most prominent end-use applications of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose for flour and drink production is also moving in an upward trajectory.

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As the food sector continues to provide an array of lucrative opportunities to the participants of the carboxymethyl cellulose market, the pulp & paper industry is another prominent end-use industry that is anticipated to boost the growth prospects of the global carboxymethyl cellulose market during the assessment period. Carboxymethyl cellulose is extensively used for wet-end addition to enhancing the strength and overall process of paper formation. As carboxymethyl cellulose can be mixed into hot as well as cold water and one of the most ideal water retention agents, carboxymethyl cellulose continues to attract the attention of companies operating in the paper & pulp industry. The pharmaceutical sector is another industrial sector that is likely to provide fertile grounds for growth of the carboxymethyl cellulose market. Over the past couple of decades, pharmacists are increasingly swaying toward compounding medicines to offer safe and effective medical treatments, particularly in patients suffering from dermatological diseases. Several skincare companies are using carboxymethyl cellulose to produce new skincare products with improved quality to attract more consumers. In addition, as skincare companies continue to focus on improving the overall quality of their products, the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose is expected to experience steady growth in the upcoming years.

Demand Likely to Decline in 2023 amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Market Players to Focus on Product Diversification

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to hinder the growth of the global carboxymethyl cellulose market particularly in the first two quarters of 2023, as government authorities across the world continue to enforce restrictions on trade and transportation. These restrictions have created several bottlenecks across the entire supply chain due to which, the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose is projected to witness a steady decline during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, market players should explore potential opportunities across the pharmaceutical sector, as drug production and manufacturing are likely to remain stable during the ongoing health crisis. Product diversification is anticipated to remain key for long-term growth due to consistent demand from an array of end-use industries.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The global carboxymethyl cellulose market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.5% during the forecast period. The market growth can be primarily attributed to the widening applications of carboxymethyl cellulose across a host of industries, including food & beverages, pharmaceutical, paper & pulp, and cosmetics. Research and development activities will play -a crucial role in unlocking new avenues in the upcoming years. Market players should ideally focus on expanding their production capacity to fulfill the mushrooming demand from different industries and at the same time, expand their presence across domestic and international markets.

Carboxymethyl Cellulose Market: Overview

  • Carboxymethyl cellulose is produced by the reaction of alkali cellulose with monochloroacetic acid (MCA) in the presence of a catalyst. Refined cotton and wood pulp are commonly used raw materials for the formulation of high-purity carboxymethyl cellulose.
  • Carboxymethyl cellulose is largely used as a thickening agent, suspending agent, and stabilizer in various applications including food processing, mining, oil drilling fluids, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, detergents, paper, and textiles. Furthermore, carboxymethyl cellulose is extensively employed in several non-food products, such as lubricants, toothpastes, laxatives, diet pills, water-based paints, detergents, and paper, due to its high viscosity, non-toxicity, and non-allergenic nature.
  • Based on grade, the global carboxymethyl cellulose market has been divided into technical, industrial, and high purity. The high purity segment held major share of the global carboxymethyl cellulose market in 2019. The segment is expected to expand at a faster pace than other grades in the near future. This can be ascribed to the application of high purity grade carboxymethyl cellulose in a wide range of applications such as food & beverages, toothpastes, pharmaceutical & cosmetics, and batteries. Furthermore, high purity grade carboxymethyl cellulose is primarily used to produce high-quality products. On the other hand, industrial grade carboxymethyl cellulose is mainly employed in the production of adhesives, coatings, paper, pulp, textiles, and ceramics.
  • In terms of volume, the food & beverages application segment accounted for prominent share of the global carboxymethyl cellulose market in 2019. High share of the segment can be ascribed to high viscosity, thickening and emulsifying properties, excellent hydrophilicity, and water holding capability of carboxymethyl cellulose. Carboxymethyl cellulose is an ideal stabilizer for various types of toothpastes such as gels or pumps. It provides uniformity and stability to a toothpaste, making it easy to be pumped or squeezed. Furthermore, carboxymethyl cellulose offers a consistent and smooth string.

Key Growth Drivers of Carboxymethyl Cellulose Market

  • Characteristics of carboxymethyl cellulose such as excellent thickening ability, rheology modification, water retention, filtration reduction, binding, dispersing, floating, crystallization inhibition, and ion exchange make it an ideal material for usage in the formulation of ceramics, coatings, detergents, drilling fluids, food & beverages, paper, and textiles. Carboxymethyl cellulose is also used as an emulsion stabilizer in injections, adhesion and film-forming agent in tablets, and numerous pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications. Furthermore, carboxymethyl cellulose is significantly employed in the manufacture of skincare creams, skin whitening creams, and various other cosmetics, owing to its excellent thickening, bonding, and dispersing ability. This is anticipated to drive the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose in the production of various pharmaceutical and cosmetic products in the near future.
  • Growth in awareness about healthy food among consumers and increase in demand for food and beverages across the globe are factors driving the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose in the food & beverages industry. Ability of carboxymethyl cellulose to act as an excellent emulsifier, stabilizer, and thickener in the formulation of a wide range of food products, such as drinks, ice creams, meat products, bread, wine, jelly, candies, and cookies, is estimated to augment the food & beverages segment in the near future.

Asia Pacific to Dominate Carboxymethyl Cellulose Market

  • The carboxymethyl cellulose market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a faster pace than that in other regions during the forecast period. Growth of food & beverages and pharmaceutical & cosmetics sectors in Asia Pacific is a key driver of the market in the region. Increase in population and rise in disposable income of consumers in Asia Pacific are some of the factors boosting the food & beverages industry in the region. Rise in demand for low-fat foods and gluten-free frozen desserts is likely to boost the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose in the region.
  • Increase in demand for naturally healthy food and beverages, transparent production methods, and rise in label scrutiny are factors influencing the choice of consumers in Europe. Furthermore, growth in demand for gluten-free products is propelling the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose in Europe.

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Leading Players in Carboxymethyl Cellulose Market

  • Major players operating in the global carboxymethyl cellulose market include
    • Nouryon Chemicals Holding B.V.
    • DuPont de Nemours, Inc.
    • CP Kelco,
    • Ashland Inc.
    • Jining Fortune Biotech Co.,Ltd.
    • Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.
    • Daicel Corporation
    • Dai-Ichi Kogyo Seiyaku Co.,Ltd,
    • Quimica Amtex S.A De C.V.
  • These players are extensively engaged in new product launches and merger & acquisition activities in order to gain higher share of the market.
  • On January 30, 2023, Nouryon Chemicals Holding B.V. announced it had signed an agreement to acquire the carboxymethyl cellulose business of J.M. Huber Corporation. The acquisition is likely to expand the company’s product line of carboxymethyl cellulose. Furthermore, the company launched a new product line of carboxymethyl cellulose under the brand name AkuPure for lithium-ion battery market on February 27, 2023.

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