Super Absorbent Polymer Market

Super Absorbent Polymers (SAPs) are polymers that can absorb and hold large quantities of liquids in relation to their size. SAPs can hold from 50 to 500 times more water to their weight and size which is quite high as compared to cotton fluff and wood pulp that can hold up to 20 times more liquid to their weight. SAPs are usually related to water retention but these are used in a range of operations and products. Toys, diapers, hygiene products and agriculture sector are some of the prominent end-user industries of SAPs. However, SAPs are not biodegradable and they contribute to the overall landfill ratio, though replacing SAPs with wood pulp and cotton fluff would generate even more landfill. Nonetheless, nano research in this area is being conducted that may provide an alternative for the standard SAPs.

The superabsorbent polymer market analysis indicates that the market is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.3 percent and it is expected to sustain the growth rate till 2022. The key market drivers are APAC and MENA regions. These regions have a growing demand for baby diapers, which itself accounts for approximately 75 percent of the global SAP demand. As Japan, China and the Republic of Korea are major suppliers of SAP, the APAC region will remain a major exporter. Such a high export of SAP is also due to high birth rates in developing economies such as India, Brazil, and China. Earlier, low penetration of diapers in these markets is another reason for high current demands. In addition, eastern suppliers dominate the market in this aspect as they control the majority of supply and the flow of SAP demand and supply which is eastern to the western hemisphere.

How to Start an SAP Business:

Since the SAP market is growing at a steady pace and it is expected to continue the growth rate in the upcoming years, entrepreneurs can capitalize on the idea of starting a business in the industry. However, the industry they decide to cater to or if they wish to manufacture SAP is a matter of decision. Entrepreneurs can choose to opt for any of the business ideas depending on a number of factors such as their investment capital, expertise, profitability, and competition in their region.

  • Some features of SAP such as being non-toxic, non-sensitizing, non-mutagenic, and non-irritant make it a widely-used product in many industries and entrepreneurs can target such industries for supply. Entrepreneurs should study specific aspects of an SAP business such as competitive analysis and market research that includes supply-demand landscape, top global suppliers, supplier power, price drivers, and opportunities.

For instance, APAC is one of the highly consolidated markets in terms of supply as it contributed to the 61 percent of the total market share whereas Western Europe holds approximately 18 percent market share. On the other hand, North America, APAC, and LATAM have high supplier power whereas these regions posses medium maturity in terms of buyer power. Newmarket players have to wary of such dynamics as these affect the global scenario by in large.

  • On the other hand, micro information such as impactful cost components, which in this case are raw materials, should be kept in mind as these affect the overall cost of manufacturing and supply. Similarly, other factors such as volatility of feedback prices, negotiation power of suppliers, leverage, increasing the sense of personal hygiene, and increasing demand from agriculture and medical applications can play a big role in creating and eliminating different circumstances and opportunities. Entrepreneurs have to consider all these factors to truly determine their business strategy and implement it successfully.
  • By opting for the manufacturing of SAP, entrepreneurs have to study the manufacturing techniques and opt one as per the availability of resources and experts. The base materials for manufacturing SAP are acrylic acid and sodium hydroxide that is used for producing polyacrylic acid sodium salt. This is the most common type of SAP used in the vast majority of products across the globe. However, this is not the only method of manufacturing SAP as the other types of SAP include from polyacrylamide copolymer, ethylene maleic anhydride copolymer, polyvinyl alcohol copolymers, and a starch-grafted copolymer of polyacrylonitrile which is also one of the oldest forms of SAP production.
  • On the other hand, production methods include gel polymerization and solution polymerization. All the methods have their unique takeaways but that does not affect the end-product as the finished product is usually consistent in terms of quality, look and feel, and texture.

The current global SAP market is growing at a steady pace and it is presenting significant business opportunities for both the new and experienced players in the market. Emerging economies such as India, China, Brazil, and MENA are showing promising growth in the supply aspect as well. Such trends indicate a positive growth of the sector in the upcoming years.

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