With Kureha PGA LLC holding a market share of nearly 84%, the global market for polyglycolic acid demonstrated a highly concentrated and monopolistic competitive landscape in 2014, reports Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a recent study. Over the next few years, no significant change is expected in the current arrangement, owing to which the competition in the market is anticipated to remain low.
Kureha Corp., the only commercial-scale producer of polyglycolic acid utilized in non-medical applications, is likely to remain the key shareholder of this market between 2015 and 2023. However, other players, such as Teleflex Inc., EI Du Pont De Nemours & Co., and Huizhou Foryou Medical Devices Co. Ltd. may gain considerable momentum in medical and biomedical applications, states TMR.
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Polyglycolic Acid Experiences High Demand due to Rising Application of Absorbable Sutures
“The demand for polyglycolic acid has received a strong push from the growing application of absorbable sutures over the last few years,” says an analyst at TMR. Before its widespread application in packaging and shale gas extraction, polyglycolic acid was mainly utilized in the production of absorbable sutures. As these sutures dissolve in the body as the wound heals, they do not need reopening of the body parts for their removal. This factor has increased the application of these sutures in the treatment of internal wounds, leading to a significant surge in demand for polyglycolic acid.
High Cost of Polyglycolic Acid Could Limit its Application in Near Future
On the flip side, the high cost of polyglycolic acid is likely to limit its application considerably over the years to come. Traditionally, it was utilized in small portions for the production of absorbable sutures; however, shale gas extraction, packaging, and other application such as agriculture, filters, and civil engineering resins. Being a costly material, it is facing severe difficulty in its large-scale commercialization, which is creating a hindrance in its utilization across various application areas.
Apart from this, the dearth of awareness among people regarding the usage of polyglycolic acid is also expected to hamper its demand in the near future. However, the increasing preference for plastic packaging for beverages is expected to present growth opportunities for polyglycolic acid producers across the world.
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North America to Remain Key Contributor in Revenue Generated by Polyglycolic Acid Globally
According to TMR, the opportunity in the polyglycolic acid market, worldwide, was worth US$181.7 mn in 2014 with a production volume of 1,690.0 tons. Expanding at a CAGR of 10.10% between 2015 and 2023, it is likely to reach US$424.5 mn by the end of the forecast period.
North America led the demand for polyglycolic acid in 2014 with a share of nearly 72%. The region is expected to continue to lead throughout the forecast period with revenue reaching US$213.4 mn by 2023. Shale gas extraction is anticipated to remain the key application area of polyglycolic over the forthcoming years.