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Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Application (Food & Beverages, Oilfield, Paper & Pulp, Detergents, Coatings, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: May 17, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102166



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The global Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) market size was USD 1.84 billion in 2023. The market is projected to grow from USD 1.91 billion in 2024 to USD 2.64 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 4.2% over the forecast period.

Carboxymethyl cellulose is a derivative synthesized from plant-derived cellulose, monochloroacetic acid, and caustic soda. It is also called cellulose gum. The global market is projected to growth significantly owing to the rising demand from food and pharmaceutical applications. Increasing demand for stabilizing agents in the food and beverages industry is boosting CMC’s demand. Moreover, increasing demand from other food applications like thickeners, suspension agents, and bulking agents will contribute positively to the market.

The COVID-19 pandemic had serious negative effects on the global economy. The food supply chain is considered one of the major sectors of the economy, and it has been observed that the pandemic has an impact on the whole process of the field to consumers. The food sector's production, distribution, and supply have been severely disrupted, which is now a considerable concern. Movement restriction of the employees, government norms, restricted food trade activities, changes in consumer demand, and the financial pressure due to temporary halt in production and supply activities affected the market. Despite the unparalleled demand during the pandemic and disruption of supply and distribution, food chain actors like farmers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers worked hard to limit the impact of the crisis.

The movement restriction and other government norms have certainly increased the demand for packaged and ready-to-cook food products. Concerns regarding food availability and safety during the pandemic's beginning resulted in enormous demand for food products, including primary foodstuff, convenience food, and secondary processed food. This factor resulted in a rise in demand for food stabilizers, thickening agents, and other ingredients used in food processing, further driving the market.

Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) Market Trends

Increasing Demand for Gluten-free Food products to Foster Market Development

Carboxymethyl cellulose is a sodium salt derived from cellulose. Attributed to its thickening and stabilizing properties, it is highly employed in gluten-free baking. Sodium-CMC is used to improve the rheological properties of gluten-free dough. It improves the water absorption, development time, and stability of dough stability. CMC provides dough with the viscosity and volume to form a good bread originally provided by gluten. Several people suffer from gluten intolerance or allergy, which can further cause celiac diseases. Increasing awareness regarding gluten intolerance and the adoption of gluten-free products and foods is a prime factor that could serve as an opportunity for the market.

Moreover, gluten-free choices are considered healthier food choices that can aid in weight loss. According to an article published by a food business magazine, 24% of the people from 22 countries stated that they avoided gluten in their diet, and 25% of the population are extremely cautious about gluten intolerance. This factor is expected to boost demand for gluten-free products, further driving the market.

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Carboxymethyl Cellulose Market Growth Factors

Increasing Demand for Food Additives to Propel Market Growth

Carboxymethyl cellulose is anticipated to experience significant growth attributed to the strong demand from the food sector. Increasing demand for food additives like thickening agents, stabilizers, and viscosity modifying agents is one of the major factors driving the market. For instance, CMC powder is used in ice cream production. The addition of CMCX eliminates the use of churners and salt ice mixes that are significantly used in making ice cream. Moreover, increasing demand for ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat products like premixes, bakery products, instant noodles, meat products, sauces, quick-frozen food, and other products is surging the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose.

Furthermore, CMC is a fat replacer and therefore is widely employed in making gluten-free and reduced-fat foods. Increasing awareness among consumers regarding the potential negative effects of gluten and fat consumption is driving the demand for gluten and fat-free food products. This factor is driving the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose.

Growing demand for Detergent Manufacturing to Drive Market Progress

Sodium derivative of carboxymethyl cellulose is highly employed in manufacturing detergents attributed to its exceptional anti-soil redepositing property. It also serves as a particle suspender, color retention agent, homogenizer, stabilizer, and skin and texture protector in detergents. The excellent thickening, emulsifying and dispersing effect absorbs the oil and dirt and prevents the oil from contacting the washed surfaces. The main part of CMC-Na in detergents is its emulsification and protection of colloid properties. The anions produced during the washing process simultaneously make the washed surface and the dirt particles negatively charged, which results in the phase separation of dirt particles in the water phase. It is repulsive to the solid phase of the surface of the washed substances. Therefore, it can prevent dirt from being deposited again. This helps maintain white fabrics and colored fabrics. Also, it stabilizes the bubble, protects hands, and efficiently prevents washes from being soiled after washing using synthetic detergent. The high demand for detergents and cleaning products due to their exceptional properties is likely to drive carboxymethyl cellulose market growth.


Adverse Reaction on Exposure May Hamper the Market

Carboxymethyl cellulose can have a severe effect on health. Effects of inflammation, metabolic syndromes related to microbiota, and colitis are considered potential effects of CMC. It can also alter bacteria, cause gut inflammation and is also determined to be the triggering factor for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This factor is expected to limit the market growth.

Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) Market Segmentation Analysis

By Application Analysis

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Food & Beverages Market Segment to Lead the Market Owing to Increasing Population

On the basis of application, the market is fragmented into food & beverages, oilfield, paper & pulp, detergents, coatings, and others. The food & beverages segment accounted for the largest carboxymethyl cellulose market share in 2023. The product adoption in food & beverage applications is associated with the rising demand for stabilizing agents from the manufacturers of packaged food products and beverages. The demand for packaged food products, instant noodles, ready-to-cook, and gluten-free products is expected to grow globally. This will increase product consumption in food & beverage applications.

Besides, the rising demand for detergents due to sodium carboxymethyl cellulose's exceptional properties shall foster market growth. Furthermore, the adoption of CMC in oil drilling activities as a thickening agent for water retention in drilling mud is another segment experiencing growth.


Asia Pacific Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 0.80 billion in 2023. Increasing demand for convenience food products, secondary and tertiary processed food products attributed to the population in countries such as China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and others is expected to drive the regional growth. Moreover, a large manufacturing base for crude oil is another factor driving regional growth.

North America is one of the largest oil drilling regions. The presence of a large manufacturing base for oil drilling fluids attributed to huge oil reserves is expected to boost the demand for carboxymethyl cellulose, an important thickening additive used on oilfield chemicals. Furthermore, increasing awareness among consumers regarding the health benefits of gluten-free products is fostering the demand for food-grade CMC.

Europe is expected to show considerable growth due to CMC's increasing demand from the paper & pulp sector. For instance, according to the Confederation of European Paper Industries, Europe will produce 85.1 million tonnes of paper in 2023. Additionally, the presence of manufacturers such as Nouryon and Lamberti S.P.A is expected to drive the market growth.

An increase in disposable income results in the rise in expenditure on gluten-free and fat-free products, which are relatively higher in cost. Increasing demand for such products from developing countries like Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and others is likely to drive the market.

Increasing demand for detergents and oil drilling fluid from the large crude oil extraction sector in the Middle East is expected to drive the market. Increasing oil drilling activities in response to the increasing demand for crude oil and petroleum products worldwide is anticipated to drive the regional demand.

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List of Key Companies in Carboxymethyl Cellulose Market

Market Leaders to Engage in Various Strategies to Widen their Market Presence

Leading players such as DKS Co, Ltd., Nouryon, The Dow Chemical Company, Nippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd, Ashland Inc. hold a significant share in the market.

In order to enhance their market presence, these market players acquire various strategies and make alliance with different companies.



  • February 2023 - Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. announced the setting up of a manufacturing and sales subsidiary in Hungary for the CMC carboxymethyl cellulose product SUNROSE MAC, which is one of the materials used for manufacturing lithium-ion battery (LiB) anodes in EV, to link its swiftly growing supply chain system in Europe.

  • June 2020 – Nouryon Completed the acquisition of CMC business with J.M Huber Corporation, further accelerating sustainable growth in the regional market.

  • March 2019 – Nippon paper, a global manufacturer for cellulose and paper products, declared the construction of a new manufacturing facility to manufacture carboxymethyl cellulose, a functional cellulose product, at the Gotsu Mill.


The global carboxymethyl cellulose market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, products, and raw materials. Also, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years.

This report includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and analyzes the industry's latest market dynamics and opportunities.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 4.2% from 2024 to 2032


Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Kiloton)


By Application

  • Food & Beverages

  • Oilfield

  • Paper & Pulp

  • Detergent

  • Coatings

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • ASEAN (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • GCC (By Application)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 1.84 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 2.64 billion by 2032.

In 2023, the Asia Pacific market size stood at USD 0.80 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 4.2%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2024-2032).

The food & beverages segment is the leading application in the market.

Increasing demand from the food & beverages sector to propel market growth.

DKS Co, Ltd., Nouryon, The Dow Chemical Company, Nippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd, and Ashland Inc. are major players in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2023.

Increasing demand for gluten-free products is expected to drive the adoption of CMC products.

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