Dallas, Texas -- US demand to rise 3.2% annually through 2017
Demand for water treatment chemicals in the US is forecast to rise 3.2 percent per year to $6.6 billion (15.2 billion pounds) in 2017. Gains will reflect not only healthy demand growth in the oil, gas, and mining markets, and a rebound in manufacturing water treatment chemical demand, but also the increased use of scale control and other water treatment chemical products that can protect companies’ investments in water treatment equipment. A shift in product mix favoring more efficient and less hazardous chemicals that have higher prices will also promote growth in dollar terms. In addition, chemical demand will be aided by efforts to recycle water, as water treated for reuse generally needs greater conditioning than fresh supply water.
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Scale, foam control agents to be fastest growing types
Increasing investment in water treatment equipment going forward will be generally supportive of greater water treatment chemical consumption as companies seek to avoid fouling, scale, foam, and corrosion to maximize equipment life and operating efficiency. Scale control agents are expected to show the fastest growth through 2017, followed by foam control agents. In addition to the boost from increased use of water treatment equipment, demand for these products will be supported by a shift to more expensive chemicals and increased water recycling activities. Biocide demand growth, however, will be restrained by the rising use of disinfection equipment.
Mature product segments to see more modest growth
The larger, more mature categories of water treatment chemicals are expected to show more modest growth, with gains driven by trends in equipment use, water use and recycling, and changes in product mix. The use of higher-value coagulants and flocculants will be supported bygreater use of membrane separation systems, and by an increased emphasis on reducing sludge volumes. Corrosion inhibitor market value is expected to recover from the price declines of the 2007-2012 period; going forward, demand for these products will be aided by increased oil and gas production, and by gains in manufacturing output. Demand for pH control agents will be supported by water recycling efforts; however, the declining use of alum as a coagulant and the dependence on inexpensive commodity chemicals for pH adjustment will slow growth for these products. US EPA rules are expected to reduce biocide use in the municipal market, particularly as disinfection equipment can lower chemical use. The increased presence of disinfection equipment in other markets will also serve to restrain demand for biocides.
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Mining, energy markets to offer best growth prospects
The mining and energy markets are projected to show the fastest growth through 2017. In the mining market, an expected increase in mine output and a continued emphasis on wastewater remediation will support gains in water treatment chemical demand. In the energy markets, the primary driver will be the rise in oil and gas production from hydraulic fracturing activities, which require large volumes of water. Industry efforts to reuse water, as well as tighter restrictions on treated wastewater in some states, will also further growth. The manufacturing markets are expected to recover from the 2007-2012 period, when manufacturing activities were hampered by the struggling economy.
Profiles 31 US industry players such as Ashland Chemical, Buckman, Chemtura, Danaher, Ecolab (Nalco), General Electric and Lonza (Arch Chemicals)
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