Nonwovens Industry
Welcome to Nonwovens Industry
FacebookRSSTwitterLinkedIn
Print

Far East Report



Published October 7, 2009
Related Searches: Top Companies superabsorbent polymer SAP

Superabsorbent Polymer Market Sees Worldwide Growth

rn

rn

a look at recent production figures from global SAP makers

rn

rn

By Kin Ohmura

rn

Osaka Chemical Marketing

rn

rn

Table 1 shows the production capacity of the major producers of superabsorbent polymer (SAP) in the world. Although the total production capacity of the six global companies on this list was 1.2 million tons per year in 2004 and 1.3 million tons per year in 2005, these figures had increased dramatically to 1.58 million tons per year by the end of February 2008.

rn

rn

Since purchasing the SAP business of Dow Chemical, Evonik Industries has become the world’s top superabsorbent producer with a capacity of 440,000 tons per year. The second largest SAP maker, Nippon Shokubai has enhanced its annual capacity to 410,000 tons through the recent addition of90,000 tons per year in Japan and 30,000 tons per year in Europe. While BASF was the leading producer in 2005, its position was surpassed by Evonik Industries and Nippon Shokubai and the company now holds a ranking of third place. However, BASF is expected to install more equipment in the U.S. and Belgium in 2008. For their part, San-Dia Polymers, Sumitomo Seika Chemicals and Kolon have upgraded their facilities to increase production capacity. Additionally, Sumitomo Seika Chemicals purchased the SAP business of Arkema, whose SAP business was integrated with the business of Sumitomo Seika Chemicals in April 2008. This boosts the annual production capacity of Sumitomo Seika Chemicals to 155,000 tons, through the addition of 15,000 tons per year of Arkema’s SAP equipment in France by April 2008.

rn

rn

Competition Among SAP Manufacturers

rn

According to Table 1, regional production capacities worldwide are as follows: 490,000 tons per year in the U.S.; 390,000 tons per year in Europe and 700,000 tons per year in Asia. As for marketshares, the U.S. represents 31%, Europe holds 25% and Asia represents 44%. Production capacity in Asia has increased dramatically to the current 700,000 tons per year from 497,000 tons per year in 2005 and Asia’s marketshare grew from 38% to 44% during this period.

rn

rn

The collective capacity of the six major companies shown in Table 1 is 1.58 million tons per year. Japanese SAP suppliers make up 730,000 tons annually, accounting for 46% of total worldwide production, a figure that has grown significantly from 40% in 2005. From a global viewpoint, the three Japanese companies compete with Evonik Industries and BASF and competition among the five top companies is intense. The three leading companies—Evonik Industries, Nippon Shokubai and BASF—are currently fighting for the top spot and increases to the production capacities of these three companies are expected to heighten the level of competition even more in the future.