The global propionic acid market size was estimated at USD 1.2 billion in 2020, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of over 6% in terms of revenue during the forecast period.
The market was negatively impacted by COVID-19 in 2020. The rising awareness related to health consciousness among the consumers has become the major factor hindering the demand for food preservatives. Additionally, as it is one of the major ingredients in food preservatives, propionic acid has also experienced a marginal decline in terms of demand, constraining the growth of the market. On the other hand, the cosmetic industry has also experienced a great crisis during the pandemic, and the revenue of the cosmetic industry fell about 20-30% in 2020. The widespread store closures have highly declined the sales of cosmetic creams, due to which the production of creams and other cosmetic products has experienced a high reduction. In addition, the shutdown of cosmetic production facilities due to social distancing policy has also become another reason in terms of production declining. These factors have impacted the demand for cosmetic ingredients, thus constraining the growth of propionic acid globally.
- Over the short term, one of the major factors driving the growth of the market studied is the increasing demand for grain preservatives and safe animal feed. The growing convenience food industry has also majorly contributed to the growth of the market.
- Propionic acid is also effective against molds or fungi and helps in the storage of grains for longer periods in high moisture places. The increasing feed demand and increase in awareness on grain preservation and safe animal feed are expected to significantly boost the demand for propionic acid during the forecast period.
- However, the detrimental effects of propionic acids on human health and environmental concerns regarding the use of pesticides are expected to hinder the market growth.
- Propionate esters as an alternative for solvents may provide opportunities for market growth in the future.
- Asia-Pacific is likely to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Growing Demand from the Agriculture Industry
- Propionic acid is used as a preservative in animal feed and grain in the agriculture industry. It is also used to sanitize the surface of places where silage and grain are stored.
- In addition to this, they are used as an anti-bacterial agent in water, which is used for drinking purposes by livestock. They are even sprayed into poultry litter to kill fungi and bacteria.
- Furthermore, according to the OECD-FAO Agriculture Outlook 2020-2029, the livestock sector's growth would increase feed consumption. Maize, wheat, and protein meals are projected to account for largely 75% of total feed demand, with imports accounting for nearly 90% of total feed demand. This trend is the outcome of policies that favor the development of food crops over feed crops.
- With the world population expected to grow by 2.3 billion people during 2009-2050, and the per capita income also following a rising trend, the demand for food is expected to increase at a rapid rate through the years, thereby driving the agricultural sector worldwide.
- According to the published data by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, feeding a world population of 9.1 billion people in 2050 would require raising food production by around 70%. In developing countries, food production is likely to get double by 2050.
- Such positive growth factors are expected to drive the agriculture sector worldwide, which in turn, is expected to augment the consumption of propionic acid in the agriculture sector through the forecast period.
- However, according to the FAO survey, in most developing countries, the governments anticipated a decrease of over 50% of fruits, cereals, vegetables, and dairy products in terms of production during the pandemic.
- On the other hand, even if the demand for animal feed has been relatively stable, the supply chain of animal feed is gravely hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Most of the European countries, which are rich with animal feed in terms of stock and production, have banned the export to neighboring and other outer countries. This factor is creating severe demand-supply problems, and due to such reason, the demand of propionic acid have also been affected.
Europe to Dominate the Market
- Germany is the major market for the food industry and the agriculture sector in the region. Supported by the ongoing investments in the food industry, the market for propionic acid is likely to grow at a positive rate.
- Additionally, Germany is the biggest market for cosmetics, accounting for EUR 14 billion according to Cosmetics Europe in 2019. The growing trend of creams with an innovative solution leads to the demand for propionic acid in Germany.
- The exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit) will not bring any changes in the policy or trade-in of genetically engineered plants or animals. The political and economic uncertainties are likely to affect the growth of the market in the country.
- Italy has around 4% of the workforce dedicated to the agriculture sector. The agriculture industry in the country contributes around 2% to its GDP. The production of chicken feed increased in recent years in the country.
- On the other hand, the quality of Italy's industrial, pharmaceutical system has been a magnet for production activities previously carried out elsewhere in the world. In the last decade, production has increased by over 55% in terms of value and volume.
- However, during the pandemic, the government strictly regulated non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as it increases the spread of COVID-19 infection. Due to this reason, the warning was very deleterious for those patients who need this drug for a longer duration. This factor has constrained the consumption of propionic acid in Italy's pharmaceutical industry.
- France is one of the largest consumers of pharmaceuticals worldwide. The country is recovering from some of its issues, including high unemployment, slow growth, etc. Hence, it is likely to witness growth in the propionic acid market over the forecast period.
- However, due to COVID-19, the European cosmetic industry was negatively impacted in terms of sales and production. Shop closures and shutdown of cosmetic production facilities have constrained the consumption of cream and other cosmetic products, reducing the demand for cosmetic ingredients, and thus hindering the growth of propionic acid.
The propionic acid market is highly consolidated in nature. Some major players of the market studied include BASF SE, Dow, DAICEL CORPORATION, Eastman Chemical Company, and Perstorp.
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