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Carboxylic acids based esters are sweet-smelling compounds that are formed when an alcohol reacts with a carboxylic acid. Recently, demand for carboxylic acids based esters has risen significantly due to their ability to replace hazardous air pollutants (HAP) in the formulation of paints, coatings, inks, cosmetics, and personal care products. Carboxylic acids based esters are largely used as solvents in paints & coatings owing to properties such as high solvency and medium evaporation rate.

Strong growth in the global building & construction industry is anticipated to boost demand for paints & coatings. Expansion of the manufacturing industry in growing economies such as China, India, Brazil, and other countries in ASEAN is expected to contribute significantly to growth of the carboxylic acids based esters market in the near future. Similarly, demand for printing inks is increasing across the globe, especially in packaging. As a result, several packaging manufacturers, especially food packagers, are observing various transformations in their end-products. Other packaging manufacturers from industries such as electronic goods, toys, consumer goods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics & personal care are witnessing shift in trends. Carboxylic acids based esters are widely employed as flavors or fragrances to improve the quality of food and beverages. A natural ester or a mixture of synthetic esters is used by food technologists to produce characteristic flavors and fragrances in food. Hence, global growth of flavors & fragrances application is likely to boost the carboxylic acids based esters market in the near future.

Volatility in raw material prices is expected to be a key factor hampering the carboxylic acids based esters market growth. Several raw materials such as acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, ethanol, butanol, and propanol are subject to price variation owing to their petrochemical source and wide fluctuations in short-term supply and demand. Furthermore, stringent regulations imposed by several regulatory bodies on oil & gas extraction has affected prices of crude oil, subsequently impacting prices of carboxylic acids and their esters. Bio-based carboxylic acids based esters are anticipated to provide immense opportunities in the market.

Consumer preferences for bio-based chemicals has driven several companies to choose bio-based and non-toxic routes to produce esters. As a result, several companies are shifting toward bio-based feedstock and vegetable oil as well as their esters for usage as solvents in various end-user industries.

Ethyl acetate is the largest product segment of the carboxylic acids based esters market and is widely used as a solvent in paints & coatings, printing inks, cosmetics & personal care, and pharmaceuticals applications. A few other esters such as geranyl propionate, propyl propanoate, ethyl butanoate, methyl butanoate, butyl isovalerate, and geranyl isovalerate are niche product segments of the carboxylic acids based esters market. These are chiefly used as flavors and fragrances. A mixture of ethyl acetate and butyl acetate is also employed as a solvent in application industries such as paints & coatings, printing inks, and pharmaceuticals.

Asia Pacific is the global leader in the carboxylic acids based esters market, constituting over 50% share in 2014. The region is expected to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. Carboxylic acids based esters are used in a wide range of applications with paints & coatings being the major one in this region. The region is also a global manufacturing hub; several companies have set up plants to manufacture printing inks, flavors, medicines, and paints & coatings. Europe is the second-largest market for carboxylic acids based esters. Rising demand for carboxylic acids based esters in paints & coatings application is anticipated to significantly propel the ethyl acetate and butyl acetate product segments in Europe.

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Rising demand for perfumes and fragrance products is expected to be key growth factor in North America. Latin America was the second-fastest consumer of carboxylic acids based esters in 2014. Rising demand for industrial and architectural paints & coatings has propelled demand for esters as solvents in this region. Furthermore, propensity of consumers toward flavors & fragrances is one of the major drivers of the carboxylic acids based esters market in Middle East & Africa.

The global carboxylic acids based esters market is fragmented. Key manufacturers include Celanese Corporation, INEOS, Jiangsu Sopo (Group) Co., Ltd., Shanghai Wujing Chemical Co., Ltd., Yip’s Chemical Holdings Limited (Jiangmen Handsome), and Jinyimeng Group Co., Ltd. Some other manufacturers are Jubilant Life Sciences Limited, Wuxi Baichuan Chemical, Showa Denko, and Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem).