Increasing production of sodium-based organic compounds for various applications has been driving global caustic soda market over the past few years. Organic compounds form the largest application segment accounting for over 30% of the total caustic soda demand in 2013. Growing cellulose production for paper & pulp industries is also estimated to have a positive impact on the market growth over the next six years. Growing application scope of caustic soda in paints, glass & ceramics, fuel cell manufacturing and soaps & detergents is estimated to fuel market growth over the forecast period. Growth of niche applications such as aluminum refining from bauxite and chemical peeling of fruits & vegetables is also expected to bolster caustic acid market growth over the forecast period.
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Global caustic soda market is highly dynamic in nature and is heavily dependent on downstream product demand and pricing. Asia Pacific was the largest consumer of caustic soda on account of high demand from organic compound manufacturers located in China, India, Taiwan and Thailand. Market participants operating in the region are anticipating softening of market prices owing to seasonal dip in caustic soda demand especially in the South-East Asia.
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Major manufacturers such as Dow Chemical Company are constantly involved in improving product yield and process efficiency. Dow employs two electrolytic routes for manufacturing caustic soda which includes membrane and diaphragm cells. The membrane cell technology is relatively new and does not require additional salt removal techniques as in the diaphragm cell. Other players operating in global caustic soda market include AkzoNobel, Olin Chlor Alkali Products, Befar Group Co. Ltd., Formosa Plastics Corporation, Occidental Chemical Corporation and SABIC.
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