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The African Acrylic Acid Market Is Forecast to Grow at a CAGR of 1.5% Per Year in 2018-2023

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According to a recently published report about the African acrylic acid market, it was equal to 66 thousand tons in 2013. The largest country market within the region was South Africa, which in 2013 accounted for a share of 97% of the total in volume terms. Until 2023, the African market is forecast to reach 80 thousand tons, thus growing at a CAGR of about 1.5% per annum in the period 2018-2023. This is a slight slowdown, compared to the growth at a CAGR of around 3.2% per year, registered in 2013-2017.

The analytical research projects that the African production of acrylic acid is likely to stabilize at around 70 thousand tons in the medium term with no major changes. Similar dynamics of the overall installed production capacities and their annual average utilization rates are also expected. In addition, the market is forecast to remain relatively balanced in terms of supply and demand, also showing moderately upwards dynamics in the medium term.

Acrylic acid is highly dependent on the development of end-use markets such as paints, varnishes, and surface coatings, textiles, adhesives, and plastics, and others. The commodity acrylates are majorly used in the paints and coatings industry in waterborne coatings. Currently, as the governments are restricting the use of VOCs, solvent-based coatings are being replaced by water borne coatings. This has been driving the demand of the chemicals in the industry. A trend in the industry is the rising demand for superabsorbent polymers. Accounting for about 33% of the global acrylic acid supply in 2016, they have experienced very strong growth primarily in the personal disposable hygiene products such as baby diapers, adult protective underwear, and sanitary napkins. In terms of demand, any potential growth in the market was expected in line with GDP moves of a few percentage points since demand for these products, and from the construction industry, is closely linked with GDP. Moreover, the demand for coatings is cyclical. It starts declining in the fourth quarter of the year and would continue its decline until it flattens in January and then picks up again in February in advance of the spring coatings season in the region.

Merger and acquisition activity has been robust in the chemical industry during the past few years. Although, the consolidation trend has been stable even in uncertain times, the number of global chemical merger and acquisition deals is decreasing. Particularly on the acrylic acid market, there has been interest in corporate restructurings. In the end of 2018, the worldwide manufacturer of specialty chemicals and advanced materials Arkema announced its intention to acquire the Jurong’s share in their acrylic acid joint venture in China. As a result, Arkema is likely to further strengthen its position on the acrylic acid market.

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