Leading suppliers of elemental sulphur are channelizing efforts towards entering into partnerships with end-users, such as fertilizer manufacturers, for better addressing the demand and specific requirements. Sales of elemental sulphur globally are estimated to reach nearly 66,000 ‘000 tonnes in 2017, according to a recent research by Future Market Insights (FMI). In terms of volume, FMI’s report projects the global elemental sulphur market to register 3% CAGR through 2027. Global sales of elemental sulphur are anticipated to surpass 90,000 ‘000 tonnes by 2027-end.
Key Takeaways from Regional Forecast by FMI’s Report on the Global Elemental Sulphur Market
Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) will continue to remain dominant in the global elemental sulphur market on the back of factors such as growing agriculture industry, rising demand from rubber industry, increasing demand for petroleum refining, and growing consumption of sulphuric acid in mining operations.
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Demand for elemental sulphur in APEJ is highly dependent on imports. Availability of low-cost elemental sulphur from major manufacturers in Middle East & Africa (MEA) will further boost import of elemental sulphur in APEJ, which in turn will curb growth of the elemental sulphur market in APEJ. In addition, imbalance in supply and demand ratio is affecting APEJ’s steel industry, owing to excessive production and oversupply from China. This will further impede growth of the market in APEJ.
North America will remain the second most lucrative market for elemental sulphur, followed closely by MEA. Sales of elemental sulphur in these two regions will collectively account for 31,278 ‘000 tonnes by 2027-end. However, elemental sulphur market in MEA is projected to register a comparatively higher CAGR than North America.
Regular utilisation of inorganic chemical fertilisers and pesticides has resulted into degradation of soil quality in North America. Elemental sulphur is widely used in production of inorganic fertilisers. However, to meet demand for sustainable agriculture, demand for organic fertilisers is on a surge, thereby affecting demand for inorganic fertilisers. This is further anticipated to keep growth of North America’s elemental sulphur market in check.
MEA is expected to hold huge potential for growth of the elemental sulphur market. Elemental sulphur is widely utilised in production of H3PO4, which in turn is used for fertiliser manufacturing. According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Africa’s H3PO4 production capacity is expected to exhibit up to 6% CAGR through 2020. These factors will further contribute to growth of the market in Africa.
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Gas-based Elemental Sulphur to Remain Sought-After in the Market
Gas-based elemental sulphur will remain sough-after in the market, with sales pegged to surpass 50,000 ‘000 tonnes by 2027-end. In addition, sales of oil-based elemental sulphur will completely closely with those of gas-based elemental sulphur, to reach nearly 47,000 ‘000 tonnes by 2027-end. Demand for mine-based elemental sulphur will remain sluggish in the market during the forecast period.
Although agrochemicals are expected to be the most attractive application of elemental sulphur, chemicals & petroleum refining is estimated to exhibit highest CAGR through 2027, in terms of volume. In addition, sales of elemental sulphur in rubbers & plastics, and paper & pulp are estimated to exhibit parallel expansion at 3% CAGR. However, sales of elemental sulphur in rubbers & plastics application will remain comparatively higher than those in paper & pulp.
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Key market players identified in FMI’s report include The Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Exxon Mobile Corporation, Tengizchevroil, Valero Energy Corporation, Sinopec Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc., Pemex, OAO Gazprom, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Motiva Enterprises LLC, ConocoPhillips Company, Oxbow Corporation, PotashCorp, Suncor Energy Inc., Flint Hills Resources, Montana Sulphur & Chemical Co., Jordan Sulphur, National Est. for Agricultural & Industrial Sulphur.