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The global superabsorbent polymers market size was valued at USD 10.29 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 11.03 billion in 2023 to USD 18.16 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.4% during the forecast period.
Superabsorbent Polymers (SAPs) are polymeric networks made of different monomeric units including sodium polyacrylate, polyacrylamide, and other monomers. SAP absorbs up to 300 to 500 times of aqueous fluids compared to their weight. They are mainly used in fluid absorption applications such as personal hygiene, medical, and agriculture. Rising demand for personal hygiene products, including baby diapers, adult incontinence, and feminine hygiene products is expected to drive the market growth.
Stable Demand During COVID-19 Pandemic Balanced the Market Growth
During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for personal care and hygiene products was stable; in some cases, it witnessed an increasing trend. Superabsorbent polymers are widely used in personal hygiene and medical applications under essential product lists. Many countries exempted essential and medical products from lockdown and restrictions; this increased the demand for superabsorbent polymers during the pandemic. There was a decrease in the prices of raw materials in 2020, especially in the early pandemic phase. However, from 2022 with all industries operating at their full capacity, raw material prices have shown an increasing trend, which is anticipated to increase SAP costs.
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Rising Awareness for Using Personal Hygiene Products to Surge Market Growth
Increasing health consciousness in developing countries has significantly increased demand for personal hygiene products, including disposable diapers, and feminine sanitary napkins. The majority of the superabsorbent polymers market share goes to personal hygiene applications. Governments in developing countries have raised public awareness about personal hygiene by organizing health education programs and supporting private organizations working in the health sector. This has increased the demand for personal hygiene products, especially baby diapers and feminine sanitary napkins.
Increased Pediatric and Geriatric Population is Anticipated to Drive the Market
Since SAP has excellent liquid absorption properties, it is extensively used in manufacturing baby diapers, feminine sanitary products, adult incontinence products, and other similar products. Further, among all these products, a larger share of SAP goes into the manufacturing of baby diapers owing to a significant increase in the pediatric population. The recent past has witnessed rapid growth in the population, especially in developing countries, including China and India. According to a report by the World Bank Group, the population of 0 to 14 age group is anticipated to reach 2.08 billion by the end of 2050. Such an increase in the population is expected to result in higher demand for personal hygiene products driving the superabsorbent polymers market growth.
Further, there is a significant increase in the geriatric population in the major economies, including the U.S., China, Japan, the U.K., Germany, and South Korea. Developing countries, including India, Brazil, and South Africa are also expected to witness a significant increase in the geriatric population in the coming decades. The rising geriatric population globally is anticipated to drive the demand for adult incontinence products, resulting in increased consumption of superabsorbent polymers.
Matured Market of Baby Diapers in Developed Countries and Fluctuating Raw Material Prices to Limit Market Growth
The market for baby diapers and feminine sanitary napkins in developed countries is mature due to their good penetration. Developed economies, including the U.S. and Japan, are witnessing very slow growth of baby diapers owing to the declining population growth due to the low fertility rate. The declining population of the growth of these countries is anticipated to negatively impact the demand for diapers hampering the market's growth.
Acrylic acid is the major raw material used to manufacture SAP. It is manufactured from crude oil. Different factors, including the Russia-Ukraine crisis and environmental regulations, are causing significant fluctuations in crude oil prices, resulting in volatility in raw material prices. The uncertainty in raw material prices is anticipated to impact the market negatively.
Sodium Polyacrylate to Generate Higher Revenue Due to Rising Demand for Personal Hygiene Application
On the basis of type, the market is segmented into sodium polyacrylate, polyacrylamide, and others. The sodium polyacrylate segment held a significant market share due to higher demand for personal hygiene and medical applications. Sodium polyacrylate products have superior absorption properties and also protect against skin irritation.
The polyacrylamide segment is anticipated to witness considerable growth in the near future. Polyacrylamide products have free swell absorption capacity, polymer permeability, and wicking capability. These properties of the polyacrylamide type are anticipated to witness significant demand from medical and agriculture applications. Other superabsorbent polymers include polyacrylonitrile, polysaccharide, and cross-linked copolymers of maleic anhydride are mainly used in medical, agricultural, and other applications.
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Personal Hygiene Segment to Hold Dominant Market Share Owing to Rising Health Awareness
On the basis of application, the market is segmented into personal hygiene, medical, agriculture, and others. The personal hygiene segment is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period due to higher demand for SAP. The rising population and increasing health awareness is driving the demand for personal hygiene products including baby diapers, feminine sanitary napkins, adult incontinence products, and other similar products, resulting in increased demand for SAP.
Medical applications of superabsorbent polymers include manufacturing the medical textile and different types of gel products, including nano-gels. They are also used in drug delivery systems. The agriculture segment is also anticipated to witness considerable growth during the forecast period. The agriculture sector has witnessed a significant increase in the applications of advanced materials to enhance productivity to meet the higher demand due to the rapid increase in domestic and export demand for various agricultural products. The ability of the superabsorbent polymers to enhance water use efficiency is the key factor driving the growth of the agriculture segment.
Other applications of SAP include cement modifiers in the construction industry, flood sacks, ice packs, wire and cable water blocking, industrial aqueous waste disposal, and artificial snow.
Asia Pacific Superabsorbent Polymers Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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In 2022, Asia Pacific held the largest market share and is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The region is expected to retain its position during the forecast period owing to its increasing population. Rapid industrialization in the region has resulted in a significant rise in consumer expenditure. The greater success of the programs run by the governments for childcare and women’s health is anticipated to play a key role in the market growth in the region's major economies, including China and India.
The market in North America is anticipated to grow relatively slower during the forecast period owing to the declining population growth rate. The region has good penetration of personal hygiene products in its population, resulting in stabilized market growth. However, the rising elderly population in the region is anticipated to drive market growth for adult incontinence products in the near future.
Europe held a significant share of the global market. Greater awareness about personal hygiene coupled with higher consumer expenditure is the key factor driving the growth of the market in the region. Europe is witnessing significant growth in the elderly population. The region has reported an increase in the cases of adult incontinence which is anticipated to be the key factor driving the SAP demand for manufacturing adult incontinence products.
The recent past has witnessed a considerable rise in the population in Latin America, mainly among the elderly population in major economies including Brazil and Mexico. The availability of raw materials at relatively lower costs has also pushed the growth of industrialization in the region, increasing consumer expenditure. All these factors are anticipated to significantly impact the market growth during the forecast period.
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The Middle East and Africa region is anticipated to hold a considerable share of the market by the end of 2030. Global organizations, including WHO and World Bank Group, run child care and health awareness programs in the region and provide monetary support for health programs. Increasing child care and health awareness among the public will drive the market during the forecast period. Some Middle Eastern countries are witnessing a rise in demand for the superabsorbent polymers for agricultural applications owing to water scarcity in the region.
Prominent Players Are Investing to Increase Innovation Capabilities to Manufacture Relatively Sustainable Products
Key players in the market, including Sumitomo Seika Chemicals, Nippon Shokubai, BASF, LG Chem, and Evonik are investing in research and development to manufacture products from bio-based raw materials with low environmental impact. Players in the market are also making combined efforts to use recycled raw materials in manufacturing the product. Major players in the market announced the price hike following the increased prices of raw materials.
An Infographic Representation of Superabsorbent polymers Market
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The research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on the market share, growth rate, size, and regional analysis by different segments. The report also offers an elaborative analysis of the drivers, restraints, opportunities, and competitive landscape. Key insights such as PEST analysis, and the regulatory scenario are also covered as part of the scope of the study.
CAGR of 7.4% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Kiloton)
By Type, Application, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was USD 10.29 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 18.16 billion by 2030.
Growing at a CAGR of 7.4%, the market will exhibit considerable growth over the forecast period.
The personal hygiene segment is expected to remain the leading application in the market during the forecast period.
The increased demand for personal hygiene products is anticipated to drive the market.
Asia Pacific currently holds the highest share of this market.
The rising awareness about the use of personal hygiene products to serve as a key market trend.
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