With the growing requirement for food products, on account of the mushrooming population, farmers are increasingly employing the use of modern agricultural practices such as the use of insecticides, fungicides, pesticides, and fertilizers in order to augment the crop productivity.
Moreover, the rapid advancements being made in the agriculture sector, which is the dominant sector in several African countries, are also positively impacting the usage of specialty chemicals in farming processes. These chemicals are used during various stages in order to prevent crop damage because of environmental factors, pests, and weed growth and improve the fertility of the soil.
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Besides the aforementioned factor, the rapid economic progress of several Middle Eastern and African nations is also contributing toward the soaring sales of specialty chemicals in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. These chemicals are being increasingly used in the electronics, construction, and agriculture sectors, which is, in turn, generating lucrative growth opportunities for the players operating in the MEA specialty chemicals market.
Agrochemicals, specialty coatings, construction chemicals, food additives, surfactants, electronic chemicals, polymer additives, plastic additives, cleaning chemicals, adhesives and sealants, paper and textile chemicals, water treatment chemicals, rubber processing chemicals, advanced ceramic materials, mining chemicals, and lubricant and oilfield chemicals are the most widely used types of specialty chemicals across the MEA region.
Out of these, the demand for lubricant and oilfield chemicals was found to be the highest in the region in 2017. This is credited to the high production of crude oil in the region. In the MEA region, the sales of specialty chemicals were observed to be the highest in Saudi Arabia in 2017. This was because of the fact that the country has vast reserves of oil and occupies the number one position in global oil exports and therefore, witnesses the large-scale use of specialty chemicals in oil fields.
Additionally, the expansion of end user industries such as adhesives and sealants, construction, and plastics is also boosting the demand for these chemicals in the country. These factors are also encouraging the players operating in the MEA specialty chemicals market to launch mergers and acquisitions for providing new offerings to end user industries. For example, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation announced in 2017 that it was looking for $3-6 billion business acquisition opportunities in specialty chemicals, fertilizers, and petrochemicals.
Hence, it can be safely said that the sales of specialty chemicals will surge sharply in the MEA region in the coming years, primarily because of their growing usage in various industries such as plastics, construction, oil & gas, and agriculture in the region.
SOURCE: P&S Intelligence