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Published: July 2011
The monochloroacetic acid market will continue to be driven by the Chinese market. China currently accounts for more than half of global monochloroacetic acid consumption and a relatively high 6% average annual rate of growth is expected as strong downstream demand for monochloroacetic acid will continue. Monochloroacetic acid use for glycine production constitutes the largest market, with 62% of monochloroacetic acid demand. Glycine is used to produce glyphosate, an herbicide used worldwide. China is the largest global producer and exporter of glyphosate, and over 60% of its glyphosate capacity is glycine- and monochloroacetic acid–based. Monochloroacetic acid will also experience strong growth for use in carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), cyanoacetic acid, and other chemical intermediates. Downstream applications include personal care items, oil drilling, pharmaceuticals, surfactants, and pesticides.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of monochloroacetic acid:
The largest end use for monochloroacetic acid in China is production of glycine to manufacture glyphosate. Since China remains the primary producer and exporter of glyphosate, this market will continue to drive China's strong monochloroacetic acid growth.
Western European consumption of monochloroacetic acid accounts for about 21% of global use. Monochloroacetic acid consumption is expected to grow only 1–2% annually in this region. Nearly half of the monochloroacetic acid consumed in Western Europe is used for CMC production. Monochloroacetic acid use for CMC has declined in recent years as a result of CMC plant shutdowns, and only moderate growth is expected because of mature CMC applications.
In the United States, monochloroacetic acid consumption levels have dropped since 2007. The economic downturn in late 2008 and into 2009 affected the end-use industries where monochloroacetic acid is used. These include CMC and thioglycolic acid uses in the construction, oil, paper and other manufacturing industries. It is expected that there will be some growth in CMC uses such as food, pharmaceuticals, and personal care items, as well as some recovery in manufacturing sectors. Overall, 2% annual growth for monochloroacetic acid consumption is expected in the United States.
Recently, other countries and regions have been experiencing growth in monochloroacetic acid consumption. In India, domestic capacity, consumption, and exports have all increased. Monochloroacetic acid demand in 2,4-D, pharmaceuticals, and other agricultural chemicals production will lead to annual growth of 3–4%. Likewise, in Central and South America, Central and Eastern Europe, and Mexico, monochloroacetic acid consumption for applications such as 2,4-D and other herbicides will continue to drive growth, albeit from a smaller volume basis. The Middle East and Oceania are expected to have slightly less growth than these other regions.
In Japan, monochloroacetic acid consumption has declined in recent years and no growth is expected for the near future. Monochloroacetic acid use for CMC production has declined and only slight recovery is expected as Japanese CMC demand remains lower than previous years and CMC exports have dropped.
Only minor volumes of monochloroacetic acid are consumed in Other Asian countries and Canada.