Superabsorbent Polymers Market – Complete Study of Current Trends and Growth Drivers For 2020


Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) are materials that possess the ability to absorb and retain large volumes of water and aqueous solutions. This makes them ideal for usage in water absorbing applications such as baby nappies, adult incontinence pads, absorbent medical dressings and controlled release drugs. Large volumes of aqueous solutions are readily absorbed and retained by superabsorbent polymers. These polymers are commonly available in granular, solid or powder and cross-linked forms. Superabsorbent polymers absorb up to 500 times of their own weight of pure water. Superabsorbent polymers are available in two forms: sodium polyacrylate and polyacrylamide copolymer. Significant volume of SAP is used in the manufacture of diapers and hygiene products, among others. Additionally, superabsorbent polymers (SAP) are used in paper packaging, medical and wastewater treatment, among others.

Superabsorbent polymers are used in the manufacture of diapers and hygiene products. These include feminine hygiene products and training pants. These polymers are used for various other applications in agriculture, paper packaging and wastewater treatment. This adds to demand for superabsorbent polymers in the market. However, volatility in prices of raw materials is anticipated to hamper growth of the superabsorbent polymers market . Key players are now focusing on research and development in order to enhance the performance of existing products and introduce new advanced products in the market.

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North America is the largest market for superabsorbent polymers and is expected to witness moderate growth during the forecast period. Asia Pacific includes China, India, Indonesia and Japan. This region is likely to be the fastest growing region, expanding at a CAGR of 5.4% between 2014 and 2020. Demand for superabsorbent polymers in Europe stood at 501.6 kilo tons in 2013. It is anticipated to witness moderate growth during the forecast period between 2014 and 2020 due to the mature market for baby diapers and feminine hygiene products in the region.

Sodium polyacrylate accounted for 63.7% of the global market share in 2013. It finds wide applications in baby diapers, adult incontinence products and sanitary napkins, among others. Polyacrylamide copolymer is the fastest growing product segment in the market, owing to its high absorbent quality and non-toxic nature. Both the product types are used in the manufacture of a wide range of products that are used in diaper, agriculture, medical and construction industries, among others. The others product segment includes materials such as ethylene-maleic anhydride copolymer, polyvinyl alcohol copolymers, cross-linked polyethylene oxide and starch grafted copolymer of polyacrylonitrile. Of these, starch grafted copolymer was the first product to be used as superabsorbent polymer.

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Among hygiene products, baby diapers and adult diapers are the major applications that create demand for superabsorbent polymers. The baby diapers segment is projected to be the largest and fastest growing application in the market. The market for adult incontinence products was the second largest market in 2013. Feminine hygiene products accounted for 9.0% share of the global superabsorbent market in 2013. In terms of volume, the others segment, including applications such as paper packaging, medical, agriculture and construction, stood at 79.1 kilo tons in 2013 and is anticipated to experience moderate growth between 2014 and 2020.

Major companies that produce superabsorbent polymers include BASF, Bayer AG, Nippon Shokubai Co. Ltd, Formosa Plastics Group, LG Chem and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation. These manufacturers produce superabsorbent polymers as well as diapers and hygiene products. Some companies such as Nippon Shokubai Co Ltd are backward integrated. These companies manufacture acrylic acid, a major raw material required in the manufacture of superabsorbent polymers.

Table of Content

Chapter 1 Preface

Chapter 2 Executive Summary

Chapter 3 Global Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP) Market: Industry Analysis

Chapter 4 Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP) Market – Product Segment Analysis

Chapter 5 Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP) Market – Application Segment Analysis

Chapter 6 Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP) Market – Regional Segment Analysis


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