- Stearates are esters or salts of natural fatty acids such as palmitic acid and stearic acid. Stearates are used in various industries, as they exhibit properties such as good lubrication, foam inhibition, gelling capacity and water repellence. Furthermore, stearates act as acid scavengers and release agents. Over the past few years, demand for stearates has been rising in industries such as pharmaceutical and personal care.
- Sodium and calcium stearate have been the majorly consumed stearates over the past few years. The market for stearates is primarily driven by increasing demand for additives in the plastic & rubber processing industry.
- Stearates are used in the plastic & rubber processing industry as these offer excellent lubricating, gelling, stabilizing, and anti-caking properties. They also reduce the extruder pressure required during the compounding of polyolefins and PVC. Furthermore, rise in demand for stearates in the building & construction industry is considered as the key driving factor for market growth. Stearates are added to cement and mortar as they enhance water repellent properties
What are Key Growth Drivers of Global Stearates Market?
- Plastic and rubber are two of the most widely used materials in day-to-day life. Processing & compounding is one of the essential methods to convert these materials into desirable sizes and shapes. Plastic materials such as Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polyethylene (PE), and Polypropylene (PP) are processed into granules, fluids, sheets, and formed shapes or parts. Plastic and rubber materials contain a variety of additives that alter their properties and have influence on processability. Stearates are considered as one of the key additives required for the processing of plastics and rubber.
- Stearates are used widely in the plastic and rubber processing industry as they offer excellent lubricating, gelling, stabilizing, and anti-caking properties. They also reduce the extruder pressure required during the compounding of polyolefins and PVC. Moreover, stearates act as a partitioning and densifying agent in the plastic processing industry. Metallic stearates are used as acid scavengers for plastic applications. They increase the throughput and facilitate the production of smoother and low friction surfaces..
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What are Key Challenges for Global Stearates Market?
- Stearic acid is one of the major raw materials required for the production of stearates. Stearic acid is generally present in vegetable and animal oils and fats; however, it is abundant in animal fats as compared to vegetable oils. Vegetable oil and fat includes palm oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and soy oil. Rising prices of fats and oils are driving the price hikes in stearates.
- There have been wide fluctuations in the prices of vegetable and animal fats and oil in the recent past. Prices have been volatile and are anticipated to follow similar trends during the forecast period. Manufacturers are concerned about the profitability and viability of their business due to these variations in prices. Increase in raw material prices is directly affecting the prices of products. Various manufacturers have increased the prices of stearates in the recent past to recover profits. This puts added pressure on customers.
Lucrative Opportunities for Players in Global Stearates Market
- Stearates are gaining higher importance in the food industry due to the approval from the US FDA as ‘GRAS” and Food Chemical Codex. Demand for stearates such as magnesium and calcium stearates is rising in confectioneries such as candies and dragees.
- Demand for stearates is increasing in the feed industry owing to the rise in animal feed consumption.
- Sodium and calcium stearates enhance the gelling properties, flowability, and emulsification of animal feed materials. Furthermore, pharmaceutical is another end-user industry wherein the usage of stearates as an excipient has increased in the recent past.
- Stearates are used as lubricant and flowability agents during the formulation of tablets and dietary supplements.
- Magnesium and calcium stearates are primarily used in the pharmaceutical industry. Demand for stearate is anticipated to rise in the next few years, led by an increase in demand for pharmaceuticals.
Asia Pacific to Dominate Global Stearates Market
- Asia Pacific dominated the demand for stearates in 2018, due to growing plastic, construction and paint industries. Countries such as China, Japan and India are expected to follow similar trend over the next few years. Demand for stearates in the region is anticipated to rise at a faster rate during the forecast period.
- China has been dominating the demand for stearates in Asia Pacific over the past decade. The country is considered a major manufacturing hub for plastic & rubber processing. Furthermore, rise in demand for paints & coatings is expected to drive stearates in China.