Paraffin is a colorless, soft solid substance derived from petroleum that consists of various hydrocarbons. It is manufactured by the process of refining crude oil to gasoline. Paraffin is available in three forms which include scale, semi-refined and fully refined. The applications of paraffin include packaging, candles, cosmetics, building materials, inks, PVC, polishes, rubber and tires.
Growing demand for building materials is expected to drive the paraffin market. Building and construction industry is growing at a faster rate owing to increasing construction activities in developing countries. Changing lifestyle and rise in disposable income of consumers present in developing economies are expected to fuel paraffin consumption in cosmetic applications. However, crude oil price volatility and development of bio-based products are expected to hinder the market growth. Applications in food and rubber industry are expected to open new opportunities for the growth of the market in the near future.
North America was the largest market for paraffin followed by Europe, owing to high demand from building & construction and cosmetics. North America was the largest importer of paraffin due to unavailability of raw material in this region. Demand in Europe is expected to be submissive owing to environment regulations as candles made from paraffin releases toxic substances and soot in the air. Asia Pacific region is expected to grow at higher growth rate owing to demand from building and cosmetics industry. Increasing population in developing countries is expected to contribute highest for demand in building and cosmetics industry. China is the largest producer paraffin due to availability of Group I based oils in this region however, quality issues are hampering the market growth.
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Some of the key players in this market include BASF SE, Blended Waxes Inc., CITGO Petroleum Corp., Marcus Oil & Chemical, PetroFerm Inc., Clariant AG, Chemtura Corp., ExxonMobil Corp., Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Company, Lubrizol Corp., Micro Powsers Inc, Koster Keunen Hooland BV and Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc. among others.