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Published: February 2011
Pyridine and beta-picoline accounted for nearly 80% of world consumption of pyridines in 2010. Agricultural chemicals—mainly the nonselective contact herbicide paraquat—account for most consumption of pyridine; however, there is also some demand for piperidine and 2-chloropyridine in some regions (albeit from a small base). beta-Picoline, which is used to produce niacinamide/niacin (vitamin B3), is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of nearly 2%, as a result of demand for niacinamide/niacin in developing regions such as Asia for use in animal feed (mainly poultry and dairy cattle). 2-Methyl-5-ethylpyridine (MEP) is used nearly entirely to produce niacin. The largest market for alpha-picoline is 2-vinylpyridine (2-VP); most 2-VP is used as a component of styrene-butadiene-2-vinylpyridine terpolymer latexes (SBV latexes), which are used as tire cord adhesives and in other adhesives for bonding textiles to elastomers.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of pyridines:
Niacinamide/niacin and agricultural chemicals (mainly paraquat and chlorpyrifos) accounted for over 71% of world consumption of pyridines. Use for the niacinamide/niacin market will exhibit strong annual growth of 4%, while use for the agricultural market segment is forecast to grow less, at about 2% per year. Growth in Asia will be larger than in most other regions.
Consumption of pyridine for paraquat declined substantially in the United States in late 2006, as a result of the termination of paraquat production at Bayport, Texas by Syngenta Crop Protection. Additionally, a ban on paraquat use in the European Union has dampened the prospects for future consumption of pyridine in Europe; future consumption of pyridine for paraquat in Europe will depend largely on export demand. China will account for most growth in pyridine demand for paraquat and other agricultural chemicals such as chlorpyrifos, which is derived from beta-picoline.
Global pyridine production and consumption growth will continue to be driven by Asia—in particular China and India. In China, pyridine growth will be supported by increased niacinamide production and to a lesser extent, agricultural chemical demand. New niacinamide capacity and niacinamide plant expansions are expected to come onstream in the next few years. Likewise, in India, new niacinamide capacity is expected to be completed in the next year or so. Improving living standards and increased production of both animal feeds (primarily for poultry and dairy cattle) and agricultural crops are the main factors behind growth for niacinamide/niacin and paraquat, respectively.
Other Asian countries (Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand) will have moderate growth of about 2% annually. Japan is forecast to show no growth in the next five years. Similarly, no market growth is expected for Canada or Central and South America. Central and Eastern Europe will experience growth, but from a very small base.