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The EU Acetone Market to Grow Steadily Despite Tightening Environmental Regulation


The EU Acetone Market to Grow Steadily Despite Tightening Environmental Regulation

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Acetone – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends, and Insights.’ Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Despite the current turbulence in the major consuming industries across Europe, the demand for acetone is forecast to grow steadily over the next 5 years. It remains one of the safest solvents that could be obtained from renewable sources of raw materials, even in the face of stricter environmental requirements.

Key Trends and Insights

In the first half of 2020, the pandemic caused a drop in acetone imports in the EU due to decreased output in the paint, coating, plastic, and cosmetics industries.

All major acetone consumers started to pick up steam since the covid restrictions have been lifted. According to IndexBox estimates, acetone consumption in the EU is expected to reach 489K tonnes by the end of 2030.

Amid limited supply and falling imports from July to October 2020, the average import prices for acetone in the EU almost doubled compared to those of April-June 2020.

Acetone is one of the least toxic solvents used in industries. In line with the EU Green Deal and its sustainability and circular economy principles, the bioacetone industry’s development is a promising avenue, as that product is obtained from renewable raw materials. Bioacetone is produced by anaerobic biomass fermentation, such as corn or soybean feedstock, instead of traditional chemical processes from petroleum feedstocks.

Italy, the UK, and Germany to Remain the Most Consuming Countries in the EU

The countries with the highest volumes of acetone consumption are Italy (115K tonnes), the UK (107K tonnes), and Germany (81K tonnes), with a combined 49% share of total consumption.

From 2012 to 2019, the most notable growth rate in terms of acetone consumption amongst the leading consuming countries was attained by the UK, while acetone consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest acetone markets in the European Union were Italy ($85M), the UK ($79M), and Germany ($61M), with a combined 49% share of the total market.

The highest levels of acetone per capita consumption were registered in the Netherlands (4.67 kg per person), followed by Italy (1.93 kg per person), the UK (1.59 kg per person), and France (1.17 kg per person). In comparison, the world average per capita consumption of acetone was estimated at 1.20 kg per person.

In the Netherlands, acetone per capita consumption expanded at an average annual rate of +1.7% over the period from 2012-2019. In other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Italy (+3.3% per year) and the UK (+5.8% per year).

Belgium is the Largest Importer in the EU

In 2019, EU acetone imports decreased by -4.1% to 959K tonnes, falling for the second consecutive year after two years of growth. Total imports indicated buoyant growth from 2012 to 2019: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +5.4% over the last seven years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2019 figures, imports decreased by -13.1% against 2017 indices. The most prominent growth rate was recorded in 2016, with an increase of 26% against the previous year. The volume of imports peaked at 1.1M tonnes in 2017; however, from 2018 to 2019, imports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, acetone imports dropped dramatically to $664M (IndexBox estimates) in 2019. Overall, imports, however, continue to indicate a mild curtailment. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017, with an increase of 54% y-o-y. As a result, imports attained a peak of $865M. From 2018 to 2019, the growth imports failed to regain the momentum.

In 2019, Belgium (358K tonnes) represented the major importer of acetone, making up 37% of total imports. Germany (155K tonnes) took a 16% share (based on tonnes) of total imports, which put it in second place, followed by the Netherlands (13%), the UK (12%), Italy (7.6%) and France (4.8%).

Imports into Belgium increased at an average annual rate of +11.5% from 2012 to 2019. At the same time, Italy (+18.0%), France (+10.8%), and the UK (+6.5%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Italy emerged as the fastest-growing importer imported in the European Union, with a CAGR of +18.0% from 2012-2019. The Netherlands experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, Germany (-1.2%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. Belgium (+12 p.p.) and Italy (+4.1 p.p.) significantly strengthened their position in terms of the total imports, while the Netherlands and Germany saw their share reduced by -7% and -9.1% from 2012 to 2019, respectively. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, Belgium ($258M) constitutes the largest market for imported acetone in the European Union, comprising 39% of total imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Germany ($108M), with a 16% share of total imports. It was followed by the Netherlands, with a 13% share.

From 2012 to 2019, the average annual growth rate in terms of value in Belgium totaled +5.2%. In other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Germany (-7.0% per year) and the Netherlands (-7.5% per year).

Source: IndexBox AI Platform