Key Market Overview:
Sulfur chemicals market size was valued at USD 3.26 Billion in 2022, registering a CAGR of 5.0% during the forecast period (2023-2030), and the market is projected to be worth USD 5.06 Billion by 2030.
Sulfur is a non-metallic element found in nature that is tasteless, odorless, and the most reactive of all chemicals. This element is widely used in the production of various chemicals, such as sulfuric acid and sodium sulfide that are further employed in the production of fertilizers, detergents, pharmaceuticals, and others.
Moreover, sulfuric acid is one of the major chemicals derived from sulfur and is being used in the agricultural sector to manufacture phosphate fertilizers such as superphosphate of lime and ammonium sulfate Additionally, sulfuric acid is also used in the manufacturing of batteries, detergents, and other chemicals. Another commonly utilized sulfur-based chemical is sodium sulfide, which is deployed to produce dyes, leather, and paper. Other sulfur chemicals such as sodium bisulfite and sodium metabisulfite are utilized as preservatives in the food and beverage industry.
Sulfur Chemicals Report Coverage:
|Market Size in 2030 (USD Billion)
|Elemental Sulfur, Sulfuric Acid, Sodium Sulfide, Sodium Hydrosulfide, Sodium Bisulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, Carbon Disulfide, and Others
|Fertilizers, Chemical Processing, Metal Processing, Petroleum Refining, Drug Delivery, and others
|By End use industry
|Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, Oil and Gas, and Others
- Asia-Pacific [China, Southeast Asia, India, Japan, Korea, Western Asia]
- Europe [Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey]
- North America [United States, Canada, Mexico]
- Middle East & Africa [GCC, North Africa, South Africa]
- South America [Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Peru]
|Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Georgia Gulf Sulfur Corporation, Valero, Kimia Pars Co., Hydrite Chemical Co., DIC Group, TCI Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. (TOKYO CHEMICAL INDUSTRY), (Fisher Scientific) Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Kyung-In Synthetic Corporation, and Chemiewerk Bad Köstritz GmbH
The increasing demand for fertilizers from the agricultural sector is driving the growth of the sulfur chemicals market. Sulfur-based chemicals are extensively used in fertilizer production, which is crucial for the replenishment of soil to enhance crop quality and quantity. For instance, as per the report published by Statista, the demand for fertilizer is estimated to reach around 208 million metric tons by 2026. Additionally, in the mining industry, sulfur chemicals are used to extract and process, such as copper, zinc, and nickel. The increasing demand for high-grade minerals to achieve the energy transition is boosting the growth of the mining industry which, in turn, is contributing to the growth of the sulfur chemicals market.
Sulfur chemicals have been linked to various environmental concerns such as acid rain, air pollution, and global warming. Additionally, the release of sulfur compounds during industrial processes has harmful effects on both ecosystems and human health. Due to this, the emphasis on stringent regulations on sulfur emissions is expected to potentially limit the demand for sulfur chemicals. For instance, as per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, the legal airborne Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) is 5 ppm averaged over an 8-hour work shift. Therefore, the rising concerns regarding the harmful nature of these compounds are likely to hamper the growth of the sulfur chemicals market.
The increasing adoption of sulfur chemicals in nanotechnology and drug delivery systems is anticipated to create potential opportunities for market growth. For instance, the paper published in Journal of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry stated that various sulfur-containing compounds have biological activities including anticancer activity. Hence, the growing application of sulfur nanoparticles in areas such as anticancer and pharmaceuticals is expected to boost the sulfur chemicals market growth over the forecast period.
Sulfur Chemicals Market Segmentation:
Based on the derivative segment, the market is categorized into elemental sulfur, sulfuric acid, sodium sulfide, sodium hydrosulfide, sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, carbon disulfide, and others. In 2022, the sulfuric acid segment dominated the market in terms of revenue. Sulfuric acid is one of the most widely used industrial chemicals and has a broad range of applications in various industries such as agriculture, oil and gas, and paper industry. In the agriculture industry, sulfuric acid is used in the production of various fertilizers such as superphosphate and ammonium sulfate. Moreover, these chemicals are used to break down wood chips into pulp in the paper industry. For instance, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, in 2020, the total shipments of elemental sulfur along with byproduct sulfuric acid were valued at USD 320 million. Therefore, the above-mentioned factors contributed to the growth of the market.
Moreover, the sodium hydrosulfide segment is anticipated to register the fastest CAGR in the sulfur chemicals market over the forecast period. The increasing demand for sodium hydrosulfide to extract copper, molybdenum, and other metals from their ores is anticipated to boost the need for sulfur chemicals. In addition, sodium hydrosulfide is used in the water treatment industry as a dechlorinating agent and for removing heavy metals from wastewater. Hence, the rising need to reduce contaminants including heavy metals from water is anticipated to drive the growth of the market.
By the application segment, the market is divided into fertilizers, chemical processing, metal processing, petroleum refining, drug delivery, and others. The fertilizers segment accounted for the highest market share in the market in terms of revenue in 2022. Sulfur is a vital nutrient for plant growth, and sulfur-based fertilizers play a crucial role in maintaining soil health and improving crop quality and quantity. For instance, according to Economic Research Service, in 2021, the agriculture and food-related industries contributed USD 1,264 trillion to the U.S. GDP. Therefore, the rising need for fertilizers to meet the increasing demand for food and to improve crop yields is driving the growth of the market.
Moreover, the film segment is anticipated to witness significant growth over the forecast period in terms of value. Sulfur nanoparticles and other sulfur compounds are being developed for drug delivery applications due to their unique properties such as high surface area and high reactivity. The drugs are loaded in the vesicle of newly synthesized sulfur-made films by hydration method and are further characterized for vesicle size, drug entrapment efficiency, and zeta potential. The growing demand for novel drug delivery systems and the potential benefits of these systems using sulfur nanoparticles is projected to boost the film segment in the sulfur chemicals market.
By End-Use Industry
The end-use industry is divided into the building & construction industry, personal care industry, electronics industry, textile industry, paints & coatings industry, inks industry, pharmaceutical industry, and others. The chemical industry held the largest share of the sulfur chemicals market in terms of value in 2022. In the paper industry, these compounds are used as bleaching agents and dechlorination agents. Moreover, in the chemical industry, sulfonic acid is used as a chemical intermediate for the production of various detergents. For instance, as per the report published by Statista, in 2021, the global chemical industry amounted to about USD 4.7 trillion. Therefore, the growing chemicals industry due to the extensive use of sulfur-based chemicals in the production of other products such as paper, detergents, fertilizers, and others is anticipated to drive the market growth over the forecast period.
Moreover, the agriculture segment is expected to show a steady growth rate in terms of CAGR over the forecast period. Sulfur chemicals are used in various applications such as to improve crop yield, protect against pests and diseases and enhance soil quality. The rising agricultural industry owing to the increasing crop production and consumption is expected to boost the demand for sulfur chemicals as fertilizers in the market.
Based on the region, the sulfur chemicals market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific dominated the market with the highest market share in 2022. The increasing demand for fertilizers from growing economies such as India and China contributed to the growth of the market. For instance, in 2020 according to Word Fertilizer Magazine, the total consumption of fertilizers in India was evaluated at 61.4 million tons. Therefore, the above-mentioned factors boosted the growth of the region.
However, Europe is expected to register the fastest-growing CAGR in the sulfur chemicals market over the forecast period. High demand for sulfur chemicals from various end use industries is expected to surge the growth of the sulfur chemicals market. In addition, rising mining activities owing to the growing advancements in the industry by the introduction to industry 4.0. Therefore, the abovementioned factors contributed to the growth of the sulfur chemicals market.
Sulfur Chemicals Market Competitive Landscape:
The market for sulfur chemicals is highly competitive comprising numerous players operating in the industry. These players are focused on expanding their market presence through various strategies, such as mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, collaborations, and new product launches, in order to stay ahead of the competition and drive growth in the market. The following are the major key players operating in the market circumstances:
• Indian Oil Corporation Ltd
• Georgia Gulf Sulfur Corporation
• Kimia Pars Co.
• Hydrite Chemical Co.
• DIC Group
• TCI Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. (TOKYO CHEMICAL INDUSTRY)
• (Fisher Scientific) Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
• Kyung-In Synthetic Corporation
• Chemiewerk Bad Köstritz GmbH
• WeylChem International GmbH
• Eastman Chemical Company
• In August 2021, WeylChem acquired INEOS Sulphur Chemicals Spain from INEOS Enterprises. The company operates under the name WeylChem Bilbao S.L.U.
• In October 2019, Eastman Chemical Company launched a new product portfolio of 13 sulfur chemicals for use in food contact applications such as inks, adhesives, tapes and labels, internal cans, and other coatings.