Water Soluble Polymer Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The market is segmented by Type (Polyacrylamide, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Guar Gum, Gelatin, Xanthan Gum, Polyacrylic Acid, Polyethylene Glycol, and Other Types), End-user Industry (Water Treatment, Food and Beverage, Personal Care and Hygiene, Oil and Gas, Pulp and Paper, Pharmaceutical, and Other End-user Industries), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America and Middle-East and Africa). The report offers market size and forecast for Water Soluble Polymer in revenue (USD Million) for all the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Water Soluble Polymer Market - Market Summary
Study Period: 2016 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: 5.14 %

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Market Overview

The water soluble polymer market is expected to reach USD 39,477.91 million by 2026, register a CAGR of over 5.14% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The factors driving the growth of the market studied are the growing shale gas industry in North America and the water treatment industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • On the flip side, other than the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the various end-user industries’ growth and supply chain disruptions, stringent government regulations on polymer usage will hinder the growth of the market studied.
  • Asia-Pacific region dominated the global market and is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
  • Increasing demand for bio-based acrylamide and the growing application in the pharmaceutical industry are likely to provide numerous opportunities for the manufacturers in the future.

Scope of the Report

Water-soluble polymers are materials that possess the ability to be soluble in water. There are two types of water-soluble polymers, namely, natural water-soluble polymers and synthetic water-soluble polymers. Guar gum, gelatin, xanthan gum, and pectin are some of the naturally occurring water-soluble polymers. The water soluble polymer market is segmented by type, end-user industry, and geography. By type, the market is segmented into Polyacrylamide, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Guar Gum, Gelatin, Xanthan Gum, Polyacrylic Acid, Polyethylene Glycol, and Other Types. On the basis of end-user industry, the market is segmented into Water Treatment, Food and Beverage, Personal Care and Hygiene, Oil and Gas, Pulp and Paper, Pharmaceutical, and Other End-user Industries. The report also covers the market sizes and forecasts for the Water Soluble Polymer market in 15 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of revenue (USD million).

Polyvinyl Alcohol
Guar Gum
Xanthan Gum
Polyacrylic Acid
Polyethylene Glycol
Other Types (Cellulose Ethers, Pectin, and Starch)
End-user Industry
Water Treatment
Food and Beverage
Personal Care and Hygiene
Oil and Gas
Pulp and Paper
Other End-user Industries
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Growing Demand from the Water Treatment Industry

Water treatment is a process where impurities, such as undesirable chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids, and gases, are removed from contaminated water. The goal of this process is to produce water fit for a specific purpose. Water treatment serves a wide range of purposes, which includes meeting requirements for agricultural, medical, household, pharmacological, chemical, and industrial applications. Flocculants are substances that promote the clumping of destabilized particles, which are obtained after being treated with coagulants. The coagulants neutralize the charge on colloidal particles responsible for keeping them apart. These agents promote flocculation by causing colloids and other suspended particles, to aggregate and drop out of the liquid. Water-soluble polymer flocculants are important constituents of solid-liquid separation units, for the treatment of process‐affected effluents. They are long-chain water-soluble polymers used to separate non‐settling fine solids from aqueous suspensions.

Water-soluble polymers are used in mineral processing, industrial and municipal wastewater treatment, oil sands tailings dewatering, paper making, and biotechnology. These flocculants focused on advances in synthesis, characterization, and performance assessment in solid-liquid separation in mineral processing, oil sands tailings, and wastewater treatment. Asia-Pacific accounted for a major share of the water and wastewater treatment market, due to the high demand from countries, like China, India, and Japan. The water and wastewater sector in the region is one of the largest, globally. Chinese government began to concentrate more on the reorganization of the pollutant treatment measures, including water and industrial wastewater treatments, aerobic treatment, and anaerobic treatment. The government is also introducing water pollution prevention policies to promote the water treatment activities in the country. In India, various companies, such as Suez, Abengoa, and SPML Infra, are investing in water treatment projects. The investment opportunities in the water industry are expected to increase to USD 130 billion by 2030.

Environmental protection and human health are considered extremely important in Germany. This importance led to efficient water and wastewater treatment methods, and nearly 100% of the wastewater in Germany is treated to meet the highest standards set by the European Union. Additionally, owing to the need of safe and clean water resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the early 2020, the water treatment sector witnessed a solid rise in 2020. Moreover, the trend is likely to continue in the coming few years, thus, driving the demand for water soluble polymers during the forecast period

Water Soluble Polymer Market - Segmentation Trends

China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Market

China is the world's largest economy in terms of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity), However, it is the second-largest economy when calculated in terms of nominal GDP. The country’s growth has been slowing in the past few years, and it was estimated to have recorded a 6% GDP growth in 2019, which is the slowest rate in the country's economic history since 1990. This growth rate is moderating due to the maturing of the Chinese economy, combined with tensions over US-China trade disputes. The GDP growth rate of China further declined to 1.9% in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although china is the first country affected by the COVID-19 and its related lockdown it is also the first country to come out of the lockdowns and start its long journey toward normalcy. However, as a major chunk of the Chinese economy is linked to foreign exports, where demand is still low, it may negatively affect the Chinese industry in the near future.

Water treatment is one of the largest application industries for water-soluble polymers in China. China’s water treatment industry has been consistently growing due to the government’s focus on the availability of fresh water and water pollution( wastewater treatment). As of 2018, there are around 1,944 municipal wastewater treatment plants across China’s city/urban regions and around 1,599 municipal wastewater treatment plants across China’s rural counties, accounting for daily processing capacities of 140 and 29 million cubic meters, respectively. Moreover, under the 13th Five-year plan, the country has spent more than RMB 559 billion on its water treatment industry, which is about 0.75 percent of the country’s total GDP. This has increased the demand for the water-soluble polymers in the country.

Pharmaceuticals is another major end-user industry for the water-soluble polymers in the country. In the recent past, Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturers have largely concentrated on the production of basic chemicals, intermediates, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Hence, in a short period of time, China has become the leading global supplier of APIs in terms of volume. Recently, Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturers have become focused on the development and production of finished pharmaceutical products, primarily to serve the local market. However, the pharmaceutical industry is poised for high growth during the forecast period, with the government push with policy reforms in line with Made in China 2025 industrial plan.

China has one of the largest pulp and paper industry in the world. China is one of the top three producers of paper in the world. However, owing to environmental concerns, the country has announced to ban all wastepaper imports in 2020 and is estimated to have eliminated more than 45 million metric ton of backward paper capacity during the last seven years. The new investment into the pulp and paper industry in the country is also slowing due to strict regulatory controls and low availability of raw materials. This is expected to negatively impact the demand growth for the water-soluble polymers in the country during the forecast period. The aforementioned factors are likely to affect the demand for water soluble polymers in China during the forecast period.

Water Soluble Polymer Market - Regional Trends

Competitive Landscape

The global water-soluble polymer market is fragmented in nature, with the presence of many players accounting for a less share in the market. Some of the major players of the market studied include SNF Group, Ashland, DuPont, CP Kelco US Inc., and Arkema Group, among others.

Recent Developments

  • In November 2020, DuPont expanded its agreement with Chempoint Inc., a subsidiary of Univar Solutions Inc., for sales and distribution of DuPont's cellulosic and poly (ethylene oxide) offerings in industrial applications throughout Mexico. This agreement may help in meeting customer demands for ETHOCEL ethylcellulose polymers, METHOCEL cellulose ethers, POLYOX water-soluble polymers, and WALOCEL CRT products.
  • In January 2020, Nouryon acquired the carboxymethyl cellulose business of J.M. Huber Corporation to expand its production flexibility in water-soluble polymer products, in order to help the home and personal care, mining, food, pharmaceuticals, and paper and packaging end-user industries.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Growing Shale Gas Industry in North America

      2. 4.1.2 Growing Water Treatment Industry in Asia-Pacific

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Negative Economic Impact of COVID-19

    3. 4.3 Industry Value-Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition


    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Polyacrylamide

      2. 5.1.2 Polyvinyl Alcohol

      3. 5.1.3 Guar Gum

      4. 5.1.4 Gelatin

      5. 5.1.5 Xanthan Gum

      6. 5.1.6 Polyacrylic Acid

      7. 5.1.7 Polyethylene Glycol

      8. 5.1.8 Other Types (Cellulose Ethers, Pectin, and Starch)

    2. 5.2 End-user Industry

      1. 5.2.1 Water Treatment

      2. 5.2.2 Food and Beverage

      3. 5.2.3 Personal Care and Hygiene

      4. 5.2.4 Oil and Gas

      5. 5.2.5 Pulp and Paper

      6. 5.2.6 Pharmaceutical

      7. 5.2.7 Other End-user Industries

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.3.2 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      3. 5.3.3 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Rest of Europe

      4. 5.3.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Ranking Analysis

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Ashland

      2. 6.4.2 Arkema

      3. 6.4.3 BASF SE

      4. 6.4.4 CP Kelco US Inc.

      5. 6.4.5 DuPont

      6. 6.4.6 Gantrade Corporation

      7. 6.4.7 Kemira

      8. 6.4.8 Kuraray Co. Ltd

      9. 6.4.9 Merck KGaA

      10. 6.4.10 Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

      11. 6.4.11 Nouryon

      12. 6.4.12 Polysciences Inc.

      13. 6.4.13 SNF Group

      14. 6.4.14 Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Company

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Increasing Demand for Bio-based Acrylamide

    2. 7.2 Growing Application in the Pharmaceutical Industry

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Water Soluble Polymer Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Water Soluble Polymer Market is growing at a CAGR of 5.14% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2020.

SNF Group, DuPont, Ashland, CP Kelco US Inc., Arkema Group are the major companies operating in Water Soluble Polymer Market.

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