Natural Polymers to 2016

Published: November 2012
No. of Pages: 321

This study analyzes the US natural polymer industry. It presents historical demand data for the years 2001, 2006 and 2011, and forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by market (e.g., medical, food and beverages, oilfield, construction, cosmetics and toiletries, adhesives, packaging, paint and ink) and product (e.g., cellulose ethers, starch and fermentation products, exudate and vegetable gums, marine polymers, natural phenolics and polyphenols). The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles industry players.

US natural polymer demand to surpass $4 billion in 2016

US demand for natural polymers is forecast to expand at a strong pace to over $4 billion in 2016. Growth in market value will stem primarily from expanding volume demand, spurred by an improving economic outlook that will boost industrial activity. Of particular importance will be the rebound in nondurable goods output, as this will generate significant opportunities for natural polymers. However, growth will continue to be impacted by the climatic and political uncertainties associated with natural products, particularly those such as guar gum and gum arabic, which are derived from plants that are grown only in certain parts of the world.

Methyl cellulose to remain top cellulose ether segment

Cellulose ethers represent the single largest natural polymer type, with about one-third of the market. Methyl cellulose will continue to lead the category, although demand for hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC), microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) will also be significant. Methyl cellulose is widely used in construction materials such as grouts, mortar, plaster, and stucco, and will therefore benefit from a notable rebound in construction activity. The improving construction outlook will also fuel rapid growth for HEC, which is utilized primarily in water-based paint. Demand for MCC, which is employed in tablet filling and binding uses in the pharmaceutical market segment, will benefit from its advantages in terms of quality and performance, in addition to increased production of pharmaceuticals.

Exudate, vegetable gums to be fastest growing products

Exudate and vegetable gums are forecast to see the fastest gains of any product type through 2016, with guar gum responsible for the vast majority of growth. This will nevertheless represent a deceleration from the stellar gains achieved between 2001 and 2011, when demand for guar gum skyrocketed due to the rising use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the US oil and gas industry. Increased demand, combined with the limited availability of this material -- which is derived from a plant grown mainly in India and Pakistan -- has resulted in strong upward pricing pressure in recent years. This, in turn, has caused users, especially those in the more price-sensitive food and beverage industry, to seek out substitutes for guar gum. However, there are currently few alternatives available at a low cost, so demand for guar gum will continue to expand strongly going forward.

Food, beverage industry to remain largest market

The food and beverage industry will remain the leading outlet for natural polymers through 2016 and beyond. In this market, natural polymers are increasingly employed as emulsifiers and stabilizers. Cellulose ethers such as CMC and methyl cellulose are key products used in this market, as they are valued for their ability to add velvety texture and stability to products such as hot, thick liquids. Methyl cellulose -- along with other products such as xanthan, guar, and locust bean gums; carrageenan; and pectin -- are used in reduced fat foods to compensate for the loss of flavor and texture that often accompanies fat reduction. Xanthan gum is expected to offer healthy growth opportunities, benefiting from its use in microwaveable food, as well as its suitability as a substitute for wheat gluten in gluten-free foods, which are increasingly popular.

Company Profiles

Company Profiles for 40 competitors in the US industry such as Ashland, CP Kelco, and Dow Chemical

Additional Informations

This study covers the US market for natural polymers by type and market. Natural polymers are defined as polymeric products derived from plant and/or animal sources, including copolymers containing synthetic compounds such as cellulose ethers, starch and fermentation products, exudate and vegetable gums, protein-based polymers, marine polymers, and others. Excluded from this study are large volume commodities (e.g., latex, lignin), commodity-type nonwovens (e.g., rayon), inexpensive adhesives (e.g., starch and animal glue), and nutritive foodstuffs (e.g., wheat gluten and soy protein), as well as bio-based conventional polymers (e.g., bio-based polyethylene and bio-based polyethylene terephthalate).

Historical data for 2001, 2006, and 2011 and forecasts for 2016 and 2021 are provided in dollars and pounds unless otherwise indicated. The macroeconomic indicators used in this study were obtained from The Freedonia Group Consensus Forecasts dated August 2012. The term “demand” is defined as production plus imports minus exports, and is therefore synonymous with “sales” and “apparent consumption.” Throughout this study, demand is related to various indicators for comparative purposes and to facilitate further analysis. Tabular details may not add to totals due to independent rounding, and calculated ratios reflect unrounded numbers. Due to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ use of chain weighted price indices, inflation-adjusted Gross Domestic Product components (2005 dollars) do not add to the total. Dollar values cited for the industry are at the basic manufacturers’ level.

Natural Polymers to 2016

Table Of Contents




General 4
Macroeconomic Outlook 5
Demographic Trends 8
Consumer Income & Spending 12
Manufacturing Outlook 15
Competitive Materials 19
Pricing 20
Environmental & Regulatory Considerations 22
Food & Beverages 23
Cosmetic & Toiletry Chemicals 25
Pharmaceuticals 26
Other 27
International Activity 29
Foreign Trade 30

General 32
Food & Beverages 34
Food & Beverage Industry Overview 35
Natural Polymer Demand 37
Confections & Baked Goods 41
Dairy & Desserts 43
Other 46
Medical 48
Pharmaceuticals Overview 49
Natural Polymer Demand 51
Pharmaceuticals 53
Wound Care Products 55
Orthopedic Injections 57
Oilfield 58
Petroleum & Natural Gas Industry Overview 59
Natural Polymer Demand 62
Applications 64
Polymers 67
Cosmetics & Toiletries 70
Cosmetic & Toiletry Industry Overview 71
Natural Polymer Demand 73
Paint & Inks 79
Paint & Ink Industry Overview 79
Natural Polymer Demand 81
Construction 84
Building Construction Overview 84
Natural Polymer Demand 87
Adhesives 89
Adhesive Industry Overview 90
Natural Polymer Demand 91
Packaging 94
Packaging Industry Overview 94
Natural Polymer Demand 96
Film 98
Loose-Fill 100
Thermoformed Products 103
Foodservice & Other 105
Textiles 108
Textile Industry Overview 108
Natural Polymer Demand 110
Other Markets 112

General 115
Cellulose Ethers 117
Methyl Cellulose 120
Markets 122
Producers 125
Microcrystalline Cellulose 126
Markets 127
Producers 128
Carboxymethyl Cellulose 129
Markets 131
Producers 133
Hydroxyethyl Cellulose 134
Markets 135
Producers 137
Other Cellulose Ethers 138
Starch & Fermentation Polymers 141
Xanthan Gum 143
Markets 145
Producers 149
Starch Derivatives 150
Markets 152
Producers 154
Polylactic Acid 156
Markets 158
Producers 161
Hyaluronic Acid 163
Markets 164
Producers 166
Other Starch & Fermentation Polymers 167
Exudate & Vegetable Gums 171
Guar Gum 172
Markets 175
Producers 177
Gum Arabic 179
Markets 181
Producers 183
Other Exudate & Vegetable Gums 184
Protein-Based Polymers 187
Collagen 188
Markets 190
Producers 192
Other Protein-Based Polymers 192
Marine Polymers 195
Alginates 196
Markets 198
Producers 200
Carrageenan 201
Markets 203
Producers 206
Other Marine Polymers 207
Other 210
Pectin 212
Natural Phenolics 213
All Other 215

General 217
Market Share 218
Acquisitions & Divestitures 224
Marketing Strategies 228
Channels of Distribution 229
Research & Development 230
Competitive Strategies 232
Cooperative Agreements 233
Company Profiles 236
Akzo Nobel NV 237
Allergan Incorporated 241
AmberWorks, see Cargill
American Excelsior Company 242
Archer-Daniels-Midland Company 244
Arizona Chemical Company LLC 246
Ashland Incorporated 247
Borregaard ASA 255
Cargill Incorporated 256
Cereplast Incorporated 263
Cognis, see BASF
Corn Products International, see Ingredion
CP Kelco US, see Huber (JM)
Croda International plc 266
CSM NV 268
Danisco A/S, see DuPont (EI) de Nemours
Dow Chemical Company 270
DuPont (EI) de Nemours 274
Economy Polymers & Chemicals 277
FMC Corporation 278
Frutarom Industries, see ICC Industries
Genzyme, see Sanofi
Huber (JM) Corporation 282
ICC Industries Incorporated 287
Importers Service Corporation 288
Ingredion Incorporated 289
JRS Pharma, see Rettenmaier (J.) & Söhne
Jungbunzlauer AG 291
Manildra Group 292
Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation 293
Metabolix Incorporated 295
MGP Ingredients Incorporated 297
National Starch, see Ingredion
NatureWorks, see Cargill
NovaMatrix, see FMC
Novamont SpA 300
Orkla ASA 301
Penn Carbose Incorporated 302
Purac biochem, see CSM
Rettenmaier (J.) & Söhne GmbH & Company KG 303
Rhodia, see Solvay
Sanofi 305
SE Tylose, see Shin-Etsu Chemical
Seagarden ASA 307
Shin-Etsu Chemical Company Limited 308
Solvay SA 310
Storopack Hans Reichenecker GmbH 313
Tanac SA 314
TIC Gums Incorporated 315
Vertellus Specialties Incorporated 317
Wacker Chemie AG 319
Other Companies Mentioned in the Study 321

List Of Tables

Summary Table 3
1 Macroeconomic Indicators 8
2 Population & Households 12
3 Personal Consumption Expenditures 15
4 Manufacturers’ Shipments 18
5 Selected Natural Polymer Prices 22
6 Natural Polymer Foreign Trade 31
1 Natural Polymer Demand by Market 33
2 Food & Beverage Shipments 37
3 Food & Beverage Demand for Natural Polymers by Application & Product 40
4 Confection & Baked Goods Demand for Natural Polymers 43
5 Dairy & Dessert Demand for Natural Polymers 46
6 Other Food & Beverage Demand for Natural Polymers 48
7 Pharmaceutical Supply & Demand 50
8 Medical Demand for Natural Polymers by Application & Product 52
9 Oil & Gas Production 62
10 Oilfield Demand for Natural Polymers by Product 64
11 Cosmetic & Toiletry Supply & Demand 73
12 Cosmetic & Toiletry Demand for Natural Polymers 78
13 Paint & Printing Ink Indicators 81
14 Paint & Ink Demand for Natural Polymers 83
15 Building Construction Expenditures 86
16 Construction Demand for Natural Polymers 89
17 Adhesive Shipments 91
18 Adhesive Demand for Natural Polymers 93
19 Packaging Supply & Demand 96
20 Packaging Demand for Natural Polymers by Application & Product 98
21 Film Demand for Natural Polymers 100
22 Loose-Fill Packaging Demand for Natural Polymers 103
23 Thermoformed Product Demand for Natural Polymers 105
24 Foodservice & Other Applications for Natural Polymers 108
25 Textile Mill Product Shipments 109
26 Textile Demand for Natural Polymers 112
27 Other Markets for Natural Polymers 114
1 Natural Polymer Demand by Type 116
2 Cellulose Ether Demand 119
3 Methyl Cellulose Demand 121
4 Microcrystalline Cellulose Demand 127
5 Carboxymethyl Cellulose Demand 130
6 Hydroxyethyl Cellulose Demand 135
7 Other Cellulose Ether Demand 141
8 Starch & Fermentation Polymer Demand 142
9 Xanthan Gum Demand 145
10 Starch Derivative Demand 152
11 Polylactic Acid Demand 158
12 Hyaluronic Acid Demand 164
13 Other Starch & Fermentation Polymer Demand 170
14 Exudate & Vegetable Gum Demand 172
15 Guar Gum Demand 174
16 Gum Arabic Demand 181
17 Other Exudate & Vegetable Gum Demand 187
18 Protein-Based Polymer Demand 188
19 Collagen Demand 189
20 Other Protein-Based Polymer Demand 195
21 Marine Polymer Demand 196
22 Alginate Demand 198
23 Carrageenan Demand 203
24 Other Marine Polymer Demand 210
25 Other Natural Polymer Demand 211
1 US Natural Polymer Sales by Company, 2011 218
2 Selected Acquisitions & Divestitures 227
3 Selected Cooperative Agreements 235

List Of Charts

1 Natural Polymer Demand by Market, 2011 34
2 Food & Beverage Demand for Natural Polymers
by Product, 2011 41
3 Medical Demand for Natural Polymers by Product, 2011 53
4 Cosmetic & Toiletry Demand for Natural Polymers
by Product, 2011 79
1 Natural Polymer Demand by Type, 2011 117
2 Cellulose Ether Demand by Type, 2011 120
3 Methyl Cellulose Demand by Market, 2011 122
4 Carboxymethyl Cellulose Demand by Market, 2011 131
5 Starch & Fermentation Polymer Demand by Type, 2011 143
1 US Natural Polymer Market Share, 2011 219

Published By: Freedonia Group
Product Code: Freedonia Group164

Did you find what you are/were looking for ? If not, read below and browse through other relevant pages for similar market research reports OR get in touch with us through the form/contact info in your right navigation panel and we´┐Żll share relevant market report titles for you to explore.

Related Reports:


  • 500,000 market research reports and growing.
  • Top Fortune 500 Organizations trust us for research data.
  • 24/7 support on call as well as emails.
  • Your Details are safe with us.
  • Free support for your research requirements.
  • Report Delivery: Email
  • Delivery Time:
    • Upto 24 hrs - working days
    • Upto 48 hrs max - weekends and public holidays

Research Support / Custom Research

If this business study does not have the data and information analysis you need, contact us with your research requirements. We explore available market research reports to map your needs and share report titles with you. Alternatively, we can also offer custom research that suits your budget and timelines. Share your information requirements here.
Connect With Us
Email: Call : + 1 888 391 5441

Subscription Option

Using our subscription option, you get access to market research reports and industry data of Chemicals market as per your needs. Get the best of Chemicals research reports by utilizing your research budgets in an optimum way.

More about our Subscription option
Email Alerts

Get Email alerts about market research reports from industries and publishers of your interest: