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Research finds US solvents market to rebound from its recessionary lows

By Michelle Yeomans , 15-Nov-2012
Last updated on 15-Nov-2012 at 17:37 GMT2012-11-15T17:37:11Z

According to the latest report from market researcher Reportlinker, demand for solvents will continue to rise by more than one percent per year through to 2016, favourable news for companies in the personal care business.

The sector although said to have been heavily impacted by the recession in all markets, is now looking like it is to become the larges by 2021.

The cosmetics industry relies considerably on solvents for the likes of hairspray and hairstyling products, as well as in nail varnish formulations due to its ability to dissolve other substances, and help with an overall smooth application.

Reportlinker's research reveals that an increased demand for 'green' solvents, particularly in consumer oriented markets, will be responsible for driving advances while alcohols and glycols, both of which can be sourced at least partially from renewable resources, will achieve the most gain.

Rising demand

The report further highlights that a long term rise in consumer demand for environmentally friendly products is having a profound effect on the sector.

While improved public perception and government regulations are also said to be behind the shift, both at state and federal levels.

"Cosmetic and toiletry manufacturers are increasingly introducing new or reformulated products that can be marketed as green because they use chemicals and/or solvents derived from renewable (green) resources."

In fact, one US ingredient supplier in particular, Archer Daniels Midland is taking 'green' to a new level by establishing a facility that produces industrial grade, bio–based propylene glycol.

Propylene glycol is one of the most commonly used solvents in cosmetics like skin lotions, moisturisers and liquid foundations as well as toothpaste and mouthwash, and as aforementioned is one area of the solvents industry set to see the most gain.


While the findings appear to be positive for the solvents market, the market researcher warns that the potential for even stronger growth will be limited by industry efforts to reduce solvent consumption.

"Solvent demand in a number of manufacturing markets will be constrained by ongoing company efforts to implement integrated solvent recycling operations and introduce new and/or reformulated products containing less solvent."

This, Reportlinker explains will mean that total solvent demand will not surpass the levels achieved in 2006 until well after 2016 as a result.

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