Stearic acid is also called octadecanoic acid, which is basically one of the most common long-chain fatty acids. Stearic acid has extensive applications in many fields, for instance, cosmetic industry, rubber industry, food industry, pharmaceutical industry and biomedical science industry. Although, stearic is generally derived from palm oil, it is also derived from others sources such as corn, which is a waxy solid that is almost insoluble in water. Since, stearic acid occurs in many animal and vegetable fats and oils. However, animal fat is richer than vegetable fat by 15%. One of the most popular uses of stearic acid is in the production of candles to harden the wax and strengthen the candle. Stearic acid is also commonly used in the production of soap. It give shampoos a pearly color and also helps to make harden soaps. Furthermore, preventing oxidization is another key use of stearic acid. It is also used to coat metal powders such as iron and aluminum, used in fireworks that allow them to be stored for longer period of time. It is also used in some metal polishes to prevent the oxidation, to produce magnesium stearate and rust that can occur on metal parts of tools.
On the basis of application stearic acid market is segmented into personal care industry, food industry, pharmaceutical & biomedical science industry and industrial uses (use in rubber, textile and metal). Personal care segment holds highest market share owing to its strong surfactant and cleansing properties accounting around one third of the market share in terms of value.
Geographically stearic acid market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific excluding Japan, Japan and Middle East & Africa. The regions such as Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America are predicted to emerge as the fastest growing markets for stearic acid since personal care and other industrial growth is very high.
The steady growth in the industries such as construction, automotive, cleaners and personal care it is expected to drive the demand for stearic acid in the production worldwide. Personal care segment is the major growth driver sine it is the fastest growing segment where stearic acid plays an important role. Moreover, the overall fatty acid market is growing which is another growing factor for stearic acid market. The only restraining factor for stearic acid is having low water solubility, which can result in a residual film on bathtubs and skin. Hence, it is usually used as additives rather than as a primary ingredients. However, the dynamic use of stearic acid has a very good growth prospect. Metal cleaning and candle manufacturing are also expected to grow in the near future. Moreover geographically, China, India and ASEAN countries hold good opportunity.
Some of the key players operating in the stearic acid market are P&G Chemicals, the Chemical Company, BASF SE, AkzoNobel N.V., Kao Corporation, VVF LLC and Godrej Industries. In addition, there are small players involved in the manufacturing of stearic acid spread across various geographies.
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