However, this trend is changing as developed countries are gradually replacing solvent usage with eco-friendly water-based processes. Therefore, there is likely to be a shift in demand from environmentally unfriendly hydrocarbon solvents to water-based processes, along with a decreased demand for oxygenated solvents.
Oxygenated solvents such as glycol ethers are utilised in water-based processes and therefore, have a positive outlook. South Africa and other developing nations will take longer to adopt water-based processes because of the delayed uptake of new technologies in various end-user application markets leading to production redundancies.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com), South African Market for Chemical Solvents, finds that the market earned revenues of $2.81 billion in 2008 and estimates this to reach $3.55 billion in 2015. The end-user industries covered in this study are chemical solvents, paints and coatings, glues and adhesives, inks, cleaning products and personal care products.
If you are interested in more information about this study, then send an email to Patrick Cairns, Corporate Communications, at patrick.cairns[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.
"Oxygenated solvents, such as glycol ethers, are set to become the solvents of choice, replacing hydrocarbons in the South African chemical solvents end-user markets," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Tatenda Zingoni. "Although developing nations lag behind in adopting water-based processes, the uptake of water-based processes is anticipated to be the next big technological shift from solvent usage."
The paints and coatings industry is the key end user of the South African chemical solvents market. Paints and coatings manufacturers mainly supply to the industrial, automotive and construction sectors, and the global focus on environmental concerns is compelling them to gradually replace solvents with water-based processes. Environmental consciousness is permeating into the markets, containing products that use solvents, representing changing lifestyles and preferences.
However, the South African market for chemical solvents is faced with the huge cost of switching their production processes to water-based processes. The paints and coatings industry is gradually moving towards the total replacement of chemical-based solvent production, with water-based processes already accounting for up to 70 per cent of decorative paint manufacture.
"The possible redundancy of production processes using chemical solvents restrains the uptake of water-based processes", explains Zingoni. "Many end-user application markets of chemical solvents are unable to readily align their production processes with the new water-based technologies, emanating from certain entrenched chemical processes that cannot readily be adapted to become compatible with the new technology."
Chemical solvent manufacturers need to gradually re-configure their production processes. Capital outlays aligned with adopting the new technology should be initiated to avoid spending large amounts at one go.
Manufacturers of hydrophilic solvents need to ensure that they maintain sufficient capacity to cater to the requirement for solvents in water-based processes. In general, chemical solvent manufacturers in South Africa have better growth potential in sub-Saharan African countries as the South African market does not have the capacity to absorb the sector's production.
"Suppliers need to align their production technologies to those prevailing in developed countries to succeed in switching from chemical solvents to water-based processes," concludes Zingoni. "There should be a focus on expanding into emerging sub-Saharan African countries to ensure sustained growth."
South African Market for Chemical Solvents is part of the Chemicals & Materials Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: South African Market for Agriculture Chemicals, Sub-Saharan African Biofuels Market, Strategic Opportunities for the Biofuel Industry in Key Sub-Saharan African Countries, and Key Sub-Saharan Crop Protection Chemical Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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South African Market for Chemical Solvents / M465