World Water and Wastewater Treatment Chemicals Revenues ($ Millions)
Activated Carbon 541
Corrosion Inhibitors 4,546
Inorganic Flocculants 2,681
Ion Exchange 641
Odor Control 685
Organic Flocculants 3,514
Oxidizers & Biocides 2,024
pH Adjusters 1,110
Scale Inhibitors 2,822
Corrosion inhibitors will maintain its lead as the largest revenue generator among the product categories. Organic flocculants will rank second with revenues of $3.5 billion.
The industries least impacted by the recession are the largest markets for water treatment chemicals.
Pulp & Paper 5
Other Industries 6
Oil & Gas 7
Municipal wastewater plants around the world will be the largest purchasers. The power industry will account for slightly more sales than the municipal drinking water segment. Refineries will capture fourth place in 2009.
Chemicals makers in general fared well in 2008 despite increasing raw materials costs. Decreased volume and increased costs were offset by increased prices. In the first half of the year, the suppliers were trying to increase prices fast enough to keep up with increased costs. In the second half, they were able to benefit from these increases.
The water treatment chemicals business has been surprisingly fluid in that large players have been acquired or divested by even larger companies. The most recent acquisition in progress is that of Ciba by BASF. Nalco has been thriving as a divestiture. Betz is now under the GE umbrella and subject to the indirect consequences of the GE Capital problems. There are thousands of chemical companies with regional and product niches. The industry will remain fragmented.