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US demand for sorbents is forecast to advance nearly 6 percent per annum (including price increases) to $3 billion in 2003.

US demand for sorbents is forecast to advance nearly 6 percent per annum (including price increases) to $3 billion in 2003. Growth will be driven by accelerating demand for sorbents in specific end uses, including selected applications in personal and medical hygiene, cat litter and environmental control. The personal and medical hygiene market will offer excellent opportunities for sorbents, especially superabsorbent polymers. Sorbent demand in adult incontinence products will be particularly strong, fueled by an aging US population and by the advent of thinner product configurations, which require increasing quantities of superabsorbents. The trend toward later toilet training has led to the rising popularity of youth training pants. These and other trends are presented in Sorbents, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Demand for another synthetic sorbent - meltblown polypropylene - will experience solid growth as well, especially in environmental cleanup operations. Demand for polypropylenes will continue to benefit from several performance characteristics, including their chemical inertness and resistant flash point, both of which make them especially well-suited to the cleanup of flammable, corrosive, reactive and/or toxic liquids. The environmental sorbent market as a whole is expected to benefit from product innovations as well as from continued federal, state and local regulatory incentives. Growth in environmental sorbents is vulnerable, however, to shifting political climates and advances in industrial safety, both of which could temper demand.

The cat litter market, while dominated by inexpensive clays, will be spurred by a growing number of cat owners and by an increase in the number of cats per household. Moreover, the trend toward high-margin scoopable litters will continue, as will the trend toward other products that provide apartment-dwelling cat owners with convenience (e.g., pre-packaged litter trays). Among the fastest growing sorbents will be cellulose-based products, although clay will remain the dominant cat litter sorbent.

Certain niche sorbent applications will experience above average growth as well. Insulation of fiberoptic cable, for example, is among the fastest growing markets for superabsorbent polymers, albeit from a small base. A number of other uses for sorbents - especially superabsorbents - have the potential for growth, including moisture retention in agriculture, generation of artificial snow and mortuary applications. Sorbents (published 7/99, 212 pages) is available for $3400 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 440.646.0484 or e-mail pr@freedoniagroup.com. Full text is also available online through commercial database companies and the www.freedoniagroup.com Web site.

Please attribute information from this news release to The Freedonia Group (Cleveland, OH) and include, if possible, the price of the report. We would also appreciate a copy of the article or publication in which we appear.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Subscription: $00.00 per year as of 1/94. Published irregularly. Contact Freedonia Group, 3570 Warrensville Cente
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Comment:US demand for sorbents is forecast to advance nearly 6 percent per annum (including price increases) to $3 billion in 2003.
Publication:Research Studies - Freedonia Group
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 1999
Words:461
Previous Article:Demand for insulated wire and cable in the US is projected to increase 5.5 percent per annum through the year 2002, approaching $20 billion.
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