Ethanolamines are an organic alcohol derivative, essentially produced through the chemical reaction between ammonia and ethylene oxide. On a commercial level, three types of ethanolamines are produced – mono-, di-, and tri-ethanolamine. Each of these ethanolamines is chemically engineered to possess different values of ethylene oxide molecules that take part in the reaction, to produce a chemical that offers a specific mixture of the chemical properties of alcohols and amines. This makes ethanolamines extremely useful across a diverse applications platform, including cement, gas treatment, herbicides, chemical intermediates, and surfactants.
The global ethanolamines market is extremely fragmented in nature, with local producers taking up a large portion of the market value. This creates a very high intensity of competition and favors buyers due to the highly competitive pricing ethanolamines are supplied at. Product differentiation is very low and therefore players in the global ethanolamine market have to maintain market shares by earning long-term contracts and diversifying their buyer portfolio.
The global ethanolamines market is expected to be valued above US$4 bn by the end of 2024, and stood at US$2.8 bn in 2015. It is expanding at a CAGR of 4.1% within a forecast period from 2016 to 2024.
High Demand for Surfactants Predicted in the Coming Future
Among the various applications of ethanolamines mentioned above, it found a leading usage in the production of surfactants in 2015. Surf active agents are added to detergents and multiple personal care products. In the case of detergents, they add to the cleansing strength and are therefore used in heavy-duty laundry applications and industrial cleaners. At the same time, milder ethanolamines can be used in personal care products such as foam-based personal care products and cosmetics. The personal care products industry is currently in a state of high growth due to massive surges in demand from all parts of the world, especially emerging economies. This has given rise to a high demand for ethanolamines in these regions. The use of ethanolamines in herbicides is expected to grow at a leading rate over the coming years, due to an increasing demand for glyphosates.
Asia Pacific to Remain Dominant in Demand for Ethanolamines
Back in 2015, North America and Asia Pacific held high volumes of ethanolamines production and consumption from the world. At the time, their collective share in ethanolamines volume was close to 70%. Both regions are expected to show a further increase in demand for ethanolamines, especially in herbicides and surfactant applications. Over time, the demand for ethanolamines from Asia Pacific is expected to surpass all other key regions, owing to a high population density, an ongoing industrial evolution, and rising spending power of the middle class.
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In terms of countries, a leading volume of ethanolamines has so far been consumed by China, which is one of the key factors for the increasing ethanolamines demand visible in Asia Pacific. China, as well as India, are accelerating their economic development and demand for various chemicals and materials. China, especially, is showing a substantial increase in its demand for herbicides.
The key players in the global ethanolamines market include INEOS Group Ltd., The Dow Chemical Company, Sintez OKA LLC, LyondellBasell Industries N.V., SABIC, BASF-YPC Company Limited, Jiaxing Jinyan Chemical Co. Ltd., Huntsman Corporation, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, Thai Ethanolamines Co. Ltd., and Akzo Nobel N.V.