Carboxyl methyl cellulose (CMC) is also referred to as cellulose gum. Its properties include non-toxicity, high viscosity, chemical stability, and physiological inertness. CMC is odorless, tasteless, and hypoallergenic.
Global and Chinese carboxyl methyl cellulose (CMC) industry was valued at USD 1.15 billion in 2014. Its revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% from 2015 to 2020 (forecast period). This can be attributed to various applications across industries including detergents, paper processing, food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, etc.
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CMC acts as a thickener, binder, dispersant, and a stabilizer. Growth of the aforementioned end-use sectors is having a favorable effect on the CMC market. This is true for the global as well as the Chinese markets. However, availability of substitutes in many applications could inhibit demand for CMC. The chemical can be replaced by guar gum in most applications.
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Main raw materials used to make CMC are caustic soda, plant-derived cellulose, and monochloroacetic acid. Therefore variations in pricing and supply of these materials affect CMC production. An important determiner of future market growth is the regulatory environment governing CMC use. Norms established by the USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) will influence its demand in the food and beverage industry.
Main application segments in the global and Chinese carboxyl methyl cellulose (CMC) industry comprise paper, food & beverages, oil & gas, detergents, pharmaceuticals & cosmetics, and others. Food & beverages accounted for 31% of the total volumes in 2014. It was the leading application that year.
Rising disposable incomes in developing markets like India, Africa, Mexico, etc., is driving demand for ready-to-eat and low-calorie processed food. This is projected to favor segment growth in the forecast period. Pharmaceutical & cosmetics and oil & gas are also expected to be lucrative applications in the coming years.
Asia Pacific, including China, held about 39% of the market volumes in 2014. China, along with Japan, is the key manufacturer of CMC in Asia Pacific. Europe was the second-largest market for CMC in 2014. Finland, Italy, Turkey and Netherlands are the main producers in the European region. Prominent participants in the global and Chinese CMC market are Akzo Nobel N.V., The DOW Chemical Company, Daicel Corporation, Nippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd., and Ugur Seluloz Kimya A.S.
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