Asia PEG: Biggest Market Still Ignorance for the Premium Grades
The market of polyethylene glycols in Asia is highly fragmented with major participation and intense competition among large-sized regional companies. Asia is a net exporter of PEG’s with imports forming ~10% of the overall production. Asian PEG’s have maintained an international market leadership specifically in the developing economies including Turkey, Middle East and African countries, serving both global and regional customers.
Asian market is usually entitled as a huge market for PEGs accounting for more than 50% of the global demand, moreover, the growing end-user industry in Asia further opens up new horizons for the growth of this product. Developing economies, gain in per capita income, and rise in quality of life further mark the avenues of growth in pharmaceutical, personal care, automotive, construction and industrial applications integrated with the technology advancements in these industries
There has been commendable growth of the technical grades of PEGs. The rising demand scenario of water-based paints & coatings, have also increased the demand of polyethylene glycol as it has low VOCs. PEG functionality as a surfactant offer multiple attributes including wear resistance, non-toxicity and solubility, also augment its growth in chemical intermediates, textiles, agriculture, ceramics, wood treatment, household products and others.
Asian PEG market seems to overlook one of the indispensable and critical sector of growth driven by the pharmaceutical market. Asian PEG offer seemingly low competition against the global pharma PEG producers such as Dow Chemicals, BASF, Croda and Clariant. Dow Chemical remains the global leader for its Carbowax Sentry PEG range for the pharmaceutical applications as excipients, dispersing agents, solvents, laxative agents, etc., used in parenteral, topical, ophthalmic, oral and rectal preparations. Carbowax Sentry are supposed to offer stable nature, good lubrication and plasticizing properties including the high molecular with PEG’s being used for tablet coating applications.
However, the fact cannot be neglected that the global end product manufacturers operating in different industries including personal care and pharmaceutical, such as L’Oreal, P&G, Unilever, Maybelline, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche, Merck, Sanofi xetc. prefer to procure surfactants from global suppliers over local surfactants. This is mainly due to less credibility of the Asian surfactants in terms of quality, therefore, Asian manufacturers have a long way to go in competition with global pharma grades manufacturers. This is mainly because of the fact that the pharma grades PEG has to comply with the pharmacopoeia of the region or the global or universal pharmacopoeia such as US pharmacopoeia, European pharmacopoeia etc.
It’s a high time that Asian players realize the potential growth opportunities of the pharmaceutical sector as Asia is developing as both the consumer as well as the exporter of the pharma and high end personal care products. Thus, regional producers need to focus on developing pharma grade PEGs and GMP certified facilities where pharma grades PEG can be produced. Also, both the large and small size producers have to figure out a marketing strategy their pharma grades against the global player like Dow.