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Report on the Utilization of Waxes in the Construction and Manufacturing Industries announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue. US Waxes Market

US wax demand to reach $2.5 billion in 2013

Demand for waxes in the US is forecast to reach $2.5 billion in 2013, aided by recovery in the manufacturing and construction sectors of the economy. Market value growth will decelerate sharply due to an expected moderation in petroleum wax prices after significant spikes in the 2003-2008 period, but some growth in average prices will be supported by a shift in product mix from lower cost petroleum waxes to more expensive synthetic and natural products. Volume growth will be driven by increased sales to a variety of markets, notably building boards, coatings, adhesives, plastics and rubber. Petroleum- based waxes will continue to account for the vast majority of demand but will see little, if any, growth. Synthetic waxes will provide the best opportunities, based on increasingly competitive pricing and improved production processes that provide for growth in new applications. Natural waxes will continue to be important niche products for the most part, although soy waxes are becoming increasingly significant in higher volume wax markets.

Synthetic waxes provide best growth opportunities

Petroleum waxes dominate the US wax market, with over half of market value and nearly 70 percent of product volume. However, significant changes are occurring in this market, due primarily to changes in the petroleum refining sector (which is reducing supply) and competition from alternative materials, either other waxes or non-wax products such as plastics. Over the past decade, petroleum waxes suffered severe losses in nearly all applications but especially in key markets such as paper and packaging and candles. This occurred due to a variety of factors. Prices for petroleum waxes spiked significantly, making alternative products more competitive. In addition, environmental reasons are driving the elimination of wax use altogether in some markets (paper packaging) or the substitution of natural products in others (candles, fire logs, cosmetics). Synthetic waxes provide the best opportunities in the wax industry. One of the major advantages of synthetic waxes is that they can be manufactured in a broad spectrum of grades with properties tailored to specific applications. For example, they can be designed to have low, medium or high melt viscosity, making them ideal viscosity modifiers for plastics, adhesives, elastomers and other wax blends. Synthetic waxes are also valued for their relatively high melt point, good heat resistance and fast set time. They are often used in premium products, sometimes serving as substitutes for higher priced natural waxes, or they may be blended with petroleum waxes for value added applications.


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