Salicylic acid, a beta hydroxyl acid, is naturally found in the bark of willow trees. Its traces may also be found in flowers, fruits, and some plant roots. It is commercially produced from phenol through chemical processes. Salicylic acid is used maximally in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals like aspirin and skin creams to treat psoriasis, acne, etc. It lowers the risks of dementia and stroke.
Owing to its anti-oxidation properties, salicylic acid is a key raw material in the manufacture of hair & skin cosmetic products. Other applications are as food preservatives and across different industries. Industrial applications cover salicylic acid derivatives (choline salicylate, magnesium salicylate, & methyl salicylate).
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The salicylic acid market generated 70, 730 tons in 2013. Its volumes would grow to over 1, 23, 800 tons by 2020. Market revenues could exceed USD 425 million by 2020. They will be driven by awareness regarding healthy hair & skin. High demand for aspirin should prove favorable for the market.
Salicylic acid’s side effects hinder its demand. Its excessive amounts may lead to skin blisters & peels and irritated stomach. Therefore, authorities like National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) have established safe level standards. Permissible levels of this acid for cosmetics range from 0.5% to 2%.
The salicylic acid market is categorized as per applications and regions. Application segments are food & preservatives, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and others (derivatives, industrial). Pharmaceuticals, with over 39% of the total demand, dominated the market in 2013. Food & preservatives followed it, with a demand of 25, 010 tons. Cosmetics would expand at the fastest rate (CAGR of 6.7%) during 2014 to 2020.
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Regional segments of the salicylic acid market encompass Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). Europe was the leading consumer due to its robust pharmaceuticals and cosmetics applications. The fastest growth (CAGR of about 7.7%) should occur in Asia Pacific in the next six years. China dominated Asia Pacific in 2013.
Very few producers & suppliers of the worldwide salicylic acid market exist. Novacyl was the largest producer in 2013, accounting for 32 kilo tons. China is home to small manufacturers of industrial grade salicylic acid. However, it is unorganized and has leading companies such as Shandong Xinhua Longxin Chemical Co. Ltd. and Hebei Jingye Group.
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