KONSTANZ, Germany - Biocides are used to prevent damages caused by microbes or other organisms. They protect industrial products and consumer goods as well as animals and human beings. In contrast to the closely related crop protection products that are utilized in the agricultural sector only, biocides may be used in a wide array of application areas. Among these are disinfectants, water treatment, wood preservation, paper, coatings and plastics.

Although biocides are usually added in comparatively low quantities to the final product, market research institute Ceresana forecasts global revenues of almost $7.3 billion in 2019. The prices of biocides vary considerably depending on the type of product, thus constituting a crucial factor in revenues generated in the various fields of application. Coatings, disinfectants and smaller niche applications utilize biocides that are substantially more expensive than products applied in other markets such as water treatment. In quantitative terms, as far as consumption of biocides is concerned, the dominating area on the market for biocides is industrial and public water treatment.

Large regional and application-related differences are the reasons why this report also analyzes how the market situation for various types of biocides is developing. For example, the highest revenues in 2011 were generated with biocides based on halogen compounds, followed by metallic and organosulfur compounds. Demand for halogen biocides is mainly influenced by the water treatment sector. In this application area, companies are facing strong competition by other chemical products and alternative measures such as UV-radiation or ultrafiltration.

With a roughly 42 percent share of global consumption, North America is the major sales market for biocides, followed by Western Europe and Asia-Pacific. Shares in demand of the individual world regions will continue to shift over the next eight years. In the past, developing countries in Asia-Pacific have been able to profit from the dynamic development of additional markets for biocides. “Due to the rapid growth in industrial output, demand for biocides in the sectors water treatment, paints, varnishes, paper and plastics increases. At the same time, improved standards of living and stricter hygiene regulations have caused utilization in consumer-related sectors such as disinfectants to rise,” said Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana.

The analysts of Ceresana expect countries in Asia-Pacific, with the exception of Japan, to increase their shares of the global market for biocides. Until 2019, this region is likely to see its share of worldwide biocide consumption expand to over 24 percent. This development will occur mainly at the expense of Western Europe and North America, where markets are already saturated. Growth generated in those regions will be due less to an increase in consumption volume within individual sectors than to alternations between the different product types. In this regard, legal requirements as well as health concerns and trends in environmental consciousness are of vital importance.

For additional information about the new report, visit www.ceresana.com/en/market-studies/additives/biocides.