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Oleochemicals Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Fatty Acids, Fatty Alcohols, Methyl Esters, and Glycerin), By Application (Food & Beverages, Chemical, Animal Feed, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI106250



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The global oleochemicals market size was USD 31.42 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 33.65 billion in 2021 to USD 52.04 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.4% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with product/service witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 1.38% in 2020 than the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The sudden decline in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

The global market is likely to exhibit immense growth due to the increasing demand from the food & chemical sector. Oleochemicals are chemicals derived from natural oils and fats. Natural oils & fats are obtained from living feedstock, including plants, animals, and oilseeds. These are widely employed in the food and chemical industry.

COVID-19 Pandemic: Dwindling Revenue and Increasing Challenges

The COVID-19 has significantly shattered the established beliefs and shaken up every sector's demand and supply chains. The impact of the viral infection has triggered various government norms and regulations and prompted them in action. These rules included a lockdown, halt in manufacturing activities, social distancing, and transportation restrictions. Chemical sector activities, including production of various basic chemicals, feedstock chemicals, and others, were halted temporarily. China, the leading producer and consumer of chemicals was highly affected by the virus outbreak in Wuhan.  According to the data released in 2020 by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the output of the industrial enterprises of China dropped by 14% in the first two months of 2020. The chemical sector was among the highest affected sectors, with a decline in output by 21% and profit by 66%. Additionally, increasing restrictions and problems regarding the logistics service, limited staff & labor resources, and shortage of personal protective equipment significantly impacted the manufacturing process.

However, continuing production of certain significant feedstock chemicals for pharmaceutical applications was a positive step undertaken during the pandemic.


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Usage of Biofuels Is the Current Trend in this Market

Various organizations and departments of government have closely observed the fuel industry. Fossils fuels account for the major share in the consumption of fuel. According to the research carried out by Our World in Data, 135807 terawatts-hours of energy were consumed in 2019, which was sourced from fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil. The challenges put forth by global pollution and depletion of fossil fuels have led the world to serious environmental challenges, including global warming, ozone layer depletion, and pollution. The development and adoption of biofuels like biodiesel are likely to act as an emerging trend. For instance, in biodiesel production in 2018, the U.S. biodiesel industry produced 2.6 billion gallons of biodiesel. Biodiesel is synthesized from oil and fats obtained from the natural feedstock. Natural oil and fats undergo transesterification to produce biodiesel. Adoption of such bio-based fuels is anticipated to act as a growth opportunity.


Rising Demand from End-use Sectors to Escalate Market Growth

Oleochemicals are projected to experience substantial growth by the end of the forecast period.  These chemicals are highly employed by various sectors, including food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, personal care, cosmetics, polymer and plastics, and others. These green chemicals are used in hair care as well as skincare products. Attributed to the high demand for hypoallergenic and chemical-free ingredients from the cosmetics and personal care industry, the market is expected to grow strongly. Additionally, their use in the food industry is another factor driving growth. Oleochemicals are used in FDA-approved food packaging and also as thickening and flow agents. For instance, Calcium Stearate is used as a food emulsifier as well as a flow agent in manufacturing candies.

The high demand for bio-based and sustainable chemicals owing to the growing concern regarding the detrimental effects of chemicals on humans and the environment is one of the factors driving the market.

Lower Cost and Sustainability of Raw Materials of Oleochemicals to Boost the Market

Oleochemicals are derived from vegetable and animal feedstock. Waste vegetable oil is a renewable, sustainable, low cost and low toxicity source of raw material for production. They are an excellent substitute for petroleum-based chemicals. These chemicals obtained from trans-esterification, epoxidation, and sulfonation of waste vegetable oils are used to manufacture surface-active agents (Biosurfactants) with extensive petroleum applications. Moreover, sustainable raw materials have significant benefits over petroleum feedstock. For instance, palm oil is a significant raw material attributed to its low cost, high efficiency, and productivity. Palms are perennial plants that require a lower number of fertilizers, pesticides, and energy. This is expected to drive global market growth.


VOC Production during pre-treatment of Glycerin May Hamper the Market

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) may be released during the pre-treatment of low-quality glyceric solutions and the vacuum generator equipment. This is expected to hinder the market growth. VOCs can also cause odor emission due to the decomposition of low molecular weight molecules.


By Type Analysis

Fatty Acids Segment To Hold Major Share Attributed To High Demand From End-Use Sectors

The market is fragmented into fatty acids, fatty alcohols, methyl ester, and glycerin in terms of type. The fatty acids segment constituted the major share in the market. Growing demand for bio-based fatty acids from end-use sectors, including personal care, cosmetics, chemicals, food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, and others is anticipated to drive the segment’s growth. Fatty alcohols and methyl esters are expected to exhibit substantial growth attributed to the growing adoption of oleochemicals. The glycerin segment is anticipated to show a high growth rate due to increasing product demand from the personal care and cosmetic sector.

By Application Analysis

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Food & Beverages Sector Continue to Dominate the Market

On the basis of application, the market is categorized into food & beverages, chemicals, animal feed, and others. The food & beverages in the application segment generated the highest revenue in the year 2020 and are expected to continue their dominance. Increasing adoption of bio-based thickeners, stabilizers, and other food additives in the food sector is predicted to drive the segment growth. The chemical sector is expected to grow with the highest CAGR owing to the high demand for green alternatives for petroleum-derived chemicals.


Asia Pacific Oleochemicals Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific recorded a market size of USD 15.08 billion in 2020. Asia Pacific region held the largest oleochemicals market share in the market in 2020 due to raw materials’ high production. Increasing adoption of green alternatives coupled with the easy availability of raw materials is expected to boost the regional market. For instance, Indonesia and Malaysia are the largest palm oil producers, which are considered the major feedstock materials for oleochemical production. According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), Malaysia accounted for 25.8% of the total world’s palm oil production.

North America is a significantly growing region. Increasing awareness in consumers regarding the damaging effects of chemical additives in personal care and cosmetic products is primarily driving the market. For instance, various cosmetic, skincare, and hair care manufacturing companies have banned the use of methylene chloride, bithionol in their products. The introduction of veganism has boosted the adoption of plant-based ingredients in personal care products.

Europe is projected to experience substantial growth due to the rising demand for biofuels. A rise in awareness in consumers regarding the sustainability of biodiesel and depletion of fossil fuels is driving the demand. Moreover, the presence of an ample number of manufacturers for cosmetics and personal care is expected to foster growth.

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Latin America is expected to show significant growth attributed to the improving economic and social conditions. Countries like Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala are prime producers of palm oil. This is likely to drive the regional market. Middle East & Africa is estimated to showcase considerable growth owing to the ample number of surfactant and soap manufacturing companies.


Leading Companies Adopt Strategies and Amplify their Presence in the Market

The global market is concentrated in nature, with some global players acquiring a significant market share. BASF, Evonik, Emery Oleochemicals, Twin River Technologies, Cargill Inc., and Croda Industrial Chemicals are some of the market's key players.

The major players function principally on the basis of product application and price characteristics. Several key players engage in a number of strategic alliances to endorse their brand, enhance their market share, increase their sales, and give a competitive edge to their rivals.


  • Cargill Inc. (Minnesota, U.S.)

  • Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (Perak, Malaysia)

  • BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany)

  • Oleon N.V. (Ranst, Belgium)

  • IOI Group Berhad (Putrajaya, Malaysia)

  • Wilmar International (Singapore)

  • Kao Chemicals (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Twin Rivers Technologies (Massachusetts, U.S.)

  • Croda Industrial Chemicals (Snaith, U.K.)

  • Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany)

  • Emery Oleochemicals (Selangor, Malaysia)

  • Godrej Industries (Vikharoli, India)

  • Other Key Players


  • September 2020 – Emery Oleochemicals announced the launch of its fatty acid ester product line under the brand name Emery E. these fatty esters offer good color stability, biodegradability, and low odor.

  • May 2019- The new plant construction of PT Apical Kao Chemicals, a joint venture of Kao Corporation and Apical Group Ltd., a producer of fatty acids, was completed. This joint venture increased production capacity and promoted a stable supply. 


An Infographic Representation of Oleochemicals Market

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The market 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 oleochemicals market trends and highlights vital industry outlook with 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.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


Type, Application and By Region

By Type

  • Fatty Acids

  • Fatty Alcohols

  • Methyl Esters

  • Glycerin

By Application

  • Food & Beverages

  • Chemicals

  • Animal Feed

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Type, By Application)

      • U.S. (By Application)

      • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Type, By Application)

      • Germany (By Application)

      • U.K. (By Application)

      • France (By Application)

      • Italy (By Application)

      • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By Application)

      • China (By Application)

      • Japan (By Application)

      • India (By Application)

      • ASEAN (By Application)

      • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Type, By Application)

      • Brazil (By Application)

      • Mexico (By Application)

      • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

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

      • 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 31.42 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 52.04 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the Asia Pacific market size stood at USD 15.08 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 6.4%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The food & beverages segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

The growing demand from various end-use sectors is expected to drive the market.

Cargill, Inc., Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, Croda Industrial Chemicals, Emery Oleochemicals, BASF, and Wilmar International are major players in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2020.

The adoption of biofuels such as biodiesel is expected to drive the market.

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