In the year 2013, the global market for caustic soda had a net valuation of US$30.82 billion. Developing at a 3.7% CAGR between 2014 and 2020, the market is expected to rise to US$39.75 billion by 2020.
Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/18/2016 -- Caustic soda is strong chemical base used in the manufacture of pulp & paper, textiles, soaps & detergents, and alumina. Additionally, it is used for water treatment, food processing and petroleum & natural gas processing applications. Caustic soda is produced as 50% solution in water industrially; however, solid caustic soda is obtained by the evaporation of water. It is commonly used as flakes, pellets (prills) and cast blocks. Caustic soda is a general purpose industrial chemical used extensively by process industries. It is produced by the chloralkali process, wherein caustic soda and chlorine are manufactured. Generally, for every ton of chlorine, 1.1 ton of 100% caustic soda is generated.
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Caustic soda is produced by the electrolytic (chloroalkali) process, which is further classified into membrane, diaphragm, and mercury technologies. The mercury cell method produces chlorine-free caustic soda. It uses a higher amount of electricity compared to the other two processes; however, steam is not required to concentrate the caustic solution. Usage of several tons of mercury results in serious environmental problems. Euro Chlor, an association of chloralkali process plant operators in Europe, continues to implement a voluntary agreement on phasing out the mercury cell technology by 2020 due to the environmental hazards caused by the usage of mercury in the production of caustic soda. The membrane and diaphragm methods do not use mercury. Thus, these methods are becoming preferable for the production of caustic soda.
Demand for downstream products such as pulp & paper, alumina and soaps & detergents significantly influences the caustic soda market. Growth in the aluminum industry coupled with increasing demand for paper & paperboards is expected to boost demand for caustic soda in the next few years. However, energy intensive production process of caustic soda is anticipated to be a restraining factor for the caustic soda market. Nonetheless, upcoming opportunities in relatively untapped markets of Africa may open new growth avenues for the caustic soda market in the near future.
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Based on application, the global caustic soda market can be bifurcated into seven major segments: alumina, pulp & paper, soaps & detergents, organics, inorganics, water treatment, and other applications. Other applications include textiles, food processing and petroleum & natural gas processing. In terms of volume, organics was the largest application segment of the caustic soda market accounting for approximately 20% share in 2013. This was followed by the others segment and pulp & paper application segment. Alumina is anticipated to be the fastest growing application segment during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific dominated the global caustic soda market in 2013 and accounted for over 50% of the volume market. The region is estimated to continue its dominance over the next few years. China accounted for the major share of the caustic soda market in Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific is also likely to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period, led by expansion in several end-user industries and growth in GDP of the emerging economies of India and China. North America, the Middle East and Asia are the major exporters in the caustic soda market, while Australia and Latin America are the leading importers.
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Key players in the caustic soda market are The Dow Chemical Company, Olin Corporation, AkzoNobel N.V., Reliance Industries Limited, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Formosa Plastics Corporation, Shin-Etsu Chemicals Co. Ltd., Axiall Corporation, INEOS ChlorVinyls and Bayer MaterialScience AG. The market for caustic soda was fragmented in nature in 2013, with large number of manufacturers operating across various geographies.
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