Esterquats market is forecast to reach $3.5 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 9.5% during 2021-2026. Esterquats are categorized as cationic surfactants and are mostly used as conditioning agents in fabric care and personal care products. The rising focus of developed regions towards the enhancement of the effectiveness of laundry operations is leading to an upsurge in the demand for fabric softeners and detergent powders, thereby stimulating demand and supply of esterquats. Furthermore, the rapid growth of the textile and personal care sector has increased the demand for fabric care and cleaning products; thereby, fueling the market growth. However, due to rising oil prices, the rising cost of raw materials for the preparation of esterquats is expected to hinder the growth of the esterquats market during the forecast period.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has affected the existing operation of the textile sector by placing restrictions on the social gathering, labor migration, and affecting all stakeholders (from farmers to traders/exporters) in the textile sector’s value chain. The industry has faced various problems during production such as transportation problems, non-availability of skilled workers, working capital and cash flow, reduced export/import orders, and more. Thus, with the decrease in the textile industry functioning, the demand for fabric softeners has significantly decreased, contributing to a major revenue loss in 2020 for the esterquats market during the outbreak.
Esterquats Market Segment Analysis – By Form
The liquid segment held a significant share in the esterquats market in 2020, up to 74%. The liquid esterquats have their major applications as fabric softeners, conditioning agents, and in personal care products such as hair care products whereas; the dry esterquats are majorly used in dyeing and other industrial applications. The segment share for liquid esterquats is dominant, as it is extensively utilized for manufacturing fabric softeners. And the demand for fabric softener is considerably increasing in various regions to enhance the life span of fabrics. Thus, the rising popularity of fabric conditioners is the key factor anticipated to boost the demand for liquid esterquats during the forecast period.
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Esterquats Market Segment Analysis – By Process
The fatty acid route and methyl ester route both segment held a significant share in the esterquats market in 2020. Esteramines can be generated in the presence of an acid catalyst by esterification of palm stearin fatty acid and triethanolamine. They are then quaternized with dimethyl sulphate to produce esterquats, and water is produced as a by-product. In the presence of a fundamental catalyst, the production of esterquats via the methyl ester route involves transesterification of palm-based methyl ester and triethanolamine. Methanol is produced as a by-product.
Esterquats Market Segment Analysis – By Type
The triethanol amine (TEA) segment held a significant share in the esterquats market in 2020. The triethanol amine (TEA)-based esterquat has been the primary ingredient in fabric softeners and is becoming the molecule of choice for various industries. As its bonds are readily hydrolyzed, the TEA esterquat surfactants are highly biocompatible and biodegradable. An additional benefit of TEA esterquats, in addition to biodegradability, is their suitability for different types of fabrics. They also exhibit excellent softening properties (conditioning agents) and have a simple preparation procedure, which is the major factor driving the triethanol amine (TEA) esterquats demand during the forecast period. Although it has an outstanding environmental profile, compared to historical molecules such as dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride and ditallow imidazoline quat, TEA esterquat has been plagued by mediocre performance, which may hinder its demand in the upcoming years.
Esterquats Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The fabric softener segment held the largest share in the esterquats market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 11.6%. Due to their superior properties, which improve textile quality, esterquats are highly used in the manufacture of fabric softeners. The fabric softeners previously developed were based on fatty acids that would soften the cloth but make it less absorbent. These softeners were non-biodegradable, which resulted in increased demand for ingredients for biodegradable and environmentally friendly fabric softeners. The use of esterquats in softener formulations helped to obtain additional benefits of excellent stability, good performance of softening, free of solvent, no odor, and also helps to achieve a good ironing effect. Environmental exposure to esterquat-containing textile chemicals is also lower. Factors such as changing consumer lifestyle and increasing buying power are increasing the demand for fabric softeners, which is aiding in boosting the esterquats market growth in the forecast period.
Esterquats Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The textile segment held the largest share in the esterquats market in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% over 2021-2026, owing to the increasing usage of fabric softeners and conditioning agents in the textile industry. In the manufacture of garments, fabric softeners are important in several ways, as they can compensate for fiber damage caused by other finishing processes. Often the fabric softeners are used in conjunction with dimensional stability processes (width stabilization, weft and warp straightening) as they can alter the surface characteristics of a garment. As the fatty surface layer tends to attract the dye molecules after hot treatments, the use of softeners can decrease the resistance to rubbing of synthetic fibers dyed with dispersed dyes. Thus, there is an increasing demand for fabric softeners from the textiles industry.
Esterquats Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Europe region held the largest share in the esterquats market in 2020 up to 34%, owing to the increasing expanding textile and apparel industry in the region. The esterquats based fabric softeners offer consumer-friendly characteristics, which is likely to augment the utilization of the product in the region. Furthermore, the demand is also driven by government regulations related to the use of eco-friendly fabric softeners for end-use applications in the region. According to the UK Fashion & Textile Association (ukft), the UK consumer spent over £74 billion on clothing, clothing accessories, household textiles, and carpets in 2018. Garment sales, grew to over £53 billion in 2018, up from £36bn in 2008. And, the expanding apparel industry is subsequently increasing the demand for fabric softeners in the European regions, which is anticipated to drive the esterquats market in the European region during the forecast period.
Esterquats Market Drivers
Proliferating Demand for Surfactants and Burgeoning Home Care Market
Advanced products incorporating automation are being presented to consumers around the world. Laundry operations are one such area where consumers have shifted from traditional hand washing techniques to automatic washing machines for a long time. As a result, the demand for laundry products like detergents and fabric softeners has peaked. Esterquats are the main raw material (surfactant) used in softeners for fabrics. Increasing demand for fabric softeners worldwide is expected to drive revenues in the coming years on the global market for esterquats. In several key applications, such as institutional and industrial cleaning products, home care products, and personal care products, there has been a steady increase in demand for surfactants. This growth in the market for surfactants will directly positively affect the market for esterquats.
Expanding Pharmaceutical Industry
The esterquats market growth is spurred by the rapid expansion of the pharmaceutical industry mainly due to increasing disposable income, and growing population across the region. The Brazilian, Chinese, and Indian markets grew by 11.4 percent, 7.3 percent, and 11.2 percent respectively over the period 2014-2018 compared to average market growth of 5.0 percent for the top 5 European Union markets and 7.8 percent for the US market, according to the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). With the rapid expansion of the pharmaceutical industry, it is anticipated that the demand for esterquats will also substantially increase as it is extensively used in drug delivery, and as control releasing agent in the pharmaceutical industry. Thus, the expanding pharmaceutical industry acts as a driver for the esterquats market during the forecast period.
Esterquats Market Challenges
Fluctuating Raw Material Prices
The raw materials mono-triethanolamine, di-triethanolamine, and fatty acids obtained from tallow or vegetables are required for the TEA esterquats. And crude oil is the main feedstock for the production of ethanolamine. The crude oil prices have experienced severe volatility in the past few years for instance, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the crude oil price has decreased from $98.95/bbl in 2014 to $52.39/bbl in 2015 and increased from $43.73/bbl in 2016 to $71.31/bbl in 2018 and then decreased to $64.21/bbl in 2019. Therefore, the fluctuating crude oil prices, nay affect the prices of raw materials used in the esterquats production, which is anticipated to be a major restraining factor for the market growth during the forecast period.
Esterquats Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the esterquats market. Major players in the esterquats market are Stepan Company, Kao Chemicals Europe, Evonik Industries, AkzoNobel, Chemelco International B.V., ABITEC Corporation, BASF SE, Lubrizol, Italmatch Chemicals, and Clariant Chemicals.
In January 2019, in Spain and Portugal, Kao Chemicals has appointed Univar as its distributor. The appointment marks an expanded agreement with Univar and aided Univar in increasing its home and industrial cleaning offerings, as well as the beauty and personal care markets.
Europe dominates the esterquats market, owing to the increasing demand for fabric softeners, and cleaning products in the region. Increasing per capita income coupled with the increasing population is the key factor driving the demand for fabric softeners, and cleaning products in the region.
Esterquats are cationic surfactants, which have high biodegradable properties and are eco-friendly. The growing demand for bio-based chemicals and surfactants especially in developed regions of the globe is expected to create lucrative opportunities for the esterquats market.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the countries have gone under lockdown, due to which the operations of various industries such as textiles are disruptively stopped, which is hampering the esterquats market growth.
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