Fumaric acid is also known as trans-butenedioic acid. Traditionally, fumaric acid is manufactured by the oxidation of furfural with the help of chlorate in the presence of vanadium catalyst. Industrially, fumaric acid is manufactured from the catalytic isomerisation of maleic acid (hydrolysis product of maleic anhydride) in aqueous solution. Biologically, fumaric acid is found in lichen, iceland moss, and bolete mushrooms among others. Fumaric acid finds application in various end-user industries such as food and beverages, paper processing, printing inks, and polymer resins. Food & beverages sector is one of the largest consumers of fumaric acid and is likely to follow a similar trend during the forecast period. Fumaric acid is used in desserts, jellies & jam, beverages, confectionaries, and bakery products among others.
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The market for fumaric acid was driven by substantial demand from food & beverages, and buildings & construction industry. In food & beverages industry, food safety and preservation coupled with increasing popularity of processed foods was the major factor for driving the demand for fumaric acid. Fumaric acid is used in food & beverages as an acidulant, flavor enhancer, and pH adjustor among others. In plastics industry, fumaric acid is used in unsaturated polyester resin and alkyd resins. These resins are used in the buildings & construction industry. Rosin paper sizes, printing inks, and medical & healthcare are the other major end-users of fumaric acid.
Increasing demand from sports and health drinks is likely to provide a major opportunity for fumaric acid during the forecast period. In addition, nutritional bars (cereal and energy bars) provide another major opportunity for fumaric acid with the demand slated to grow in the next few years. However, environmental regulations associated with alkyd and unsaturated polyester resins in Europe and North America can have a major impact on the market and are likely to hinder growth of the fumaric acid market during the forecast period.
In terms of demand, Asia Pacific was the leading consumer of fumaric acid. China witnessed the largest demand for fumaric acid market due to the huge demand from food & beverages industry coupled with the growth of plastics industry. However, other countries such as India, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Taiwan are likely to exhibit further demand for fumaric acid in the near future due to huge demand from the food & beverages industry. Asia Pacific was followed by Europe. Growing demand from food & beverages, as well as buildings & construction is driving the fumaric acid market in Europe. There are widespread reconstruction and remodeling activities going on in Europe, thereby leading to huge demand for unsaturated polyester resin. Countries in Europe such as Germany, Italy, France, and the U.K. were the major consumers of fumaric acid in this region.
However, stringent environmental regulations associated with the resin industry in the European Union can act as a major restraint for the market in the next few years. North America witnessed the third highest demand for fumaric acid. The U.S. led the demand for fumaric acid in North America. Other countries such as Mexico and Canada are likely to exhibit a higher demand for fumaric acid due to increasing demand for tortillas and breads. In Latin America, demand for fumaric acid is estimated to rise due to the growth of polymer resins industry by 2024. However, increasing demand from the food & beverages industry in the Middle East region is anticipated to offer a greater opportunity for the fumaric acid market in the near future.
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The market for fuamric acid is concentrated, and is dominated by manufacturers with a global presence. Some key manufacturers in the fumaric acid market are Arkema SA, BASF SE, Bartek Ingredients Inc., Huntsman Corporation, and Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd. among others.