Super-absorbent polymer (SAP), a granular material with exceptional ability to absorb aqueous solutions, is widely used in hygiene products such as diapers and feminine hygiene products. In addition, SAP finds use in agriculture, entertainment, personal care, and construction industries. Aging global population and expanding population of infants across the world are major demand generators for SAP in hygiene products. Technology advances are also facilitating use of super-absorbent polymers in an expanding range of end-use applications. Specifically, biodegradable super-absorbent polymers are expected to have a profound impact on future demand prospects. Price fluctuations and availability of raw materials, as well as changing healthcare regulations represent challenges to market growth.
As per strategyr.com, the United States represents the largest market for super-absorbent polymers worldwide. In developed countries, expanding elderly population is a major growth driver. Growth in these markets is higher, owing to higher levels of awareness over hygiene and greater willingness to spend on related products. Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America are forecast to emerge as rapidly growing markets in the coming years. The Middle East is poised to grow at the fastest compounded annual rate of 10.2% over the analysis period. Population growth, changing demographic structure, and rising income levels are all driving demand for SAP-based products, specifically diapers and feminine hygiene products in the region. Baby disposable diapers constitute the largest end-use segment in the global SAP market. Rising demand for disposable baby diapers in a convenience-driven world is a major contributor to the high demand for SAP. In the coming years, demand for super-absorbent polymers in baby diapers segment will be driven by expanding baby population in emerging nations, rising affluence and purchasing power of people, and the shift towards bio-based SAP. In particular, economic powerhouses such as China and India will register strong growth in demand for SAP-based baby diapers. Adult incontinence products represents another major end-use of super-absorbent polymers. With rising life expectancies particularly in developed economies, demand for adult incontinence products is witnessing strong gains. In particular, Japan is registering strong demand for SAP from adult diapers market, due to the country's aging population.
Major players covered in the report include BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, Formosa Plastics Corporation LG Chem Ltd., Nippon Shokubai Co. Ltd., Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd., Songwon Industrial Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Company Limited, and Yixing Danson Technology, among others.