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Sodium acetate, also known as sodium ethanoate, can be synthesized by reacting acetic acid with sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide. Sodium acetate trihydrate is a granular, crystalline powder with acetic odor, while sodium acetate anhydrous is a granular, hygroscopic powder. Applications of sodium acetate trihydrate and sodium acetate anhydrous comprise leather & textiles, medical & pharmaceutical, food and others including water treatment, agriculture and plastics.

The increasing demand for both the trihydrate and anhydrous forms of sodium acetate in various end-user industries across the globe is driving market growth. Food, leather tanning and medical & pharmaceuticals are among the major applications of sodium acetate trihydrate and sodium acetate anhydrous. Availability of large number of substitutes, especially for food and pharmaceutical applications, is likely to hamper market growth. Novel applications of sodium acetate are expected to provide new opportunities for the market in the next few years.

Leather & textile was the largest end-user segment in the global sodium acetate trihydrate market in 2013, and accounted for over 35% of the total market share in terms of volume. The large leather processing capabilities of companies in Asia Pacific and Europe were responsible for the widespread usage of sodium acetate trihydrate in 2013 and the trend is expected to remain same during the forecast period. Medical & pharmaceuticals is expected to be the fastest growing end-use industry owing to increasing consumption of sodium acetate trihydrate in electrolytes, warming pads and as a diuretic agent. Sodium acetate trihydrate is used as a preservative and flavoring agent in the food industry. Growth of the ready-to-eat food industry, which relies significantly on the usage of food preservatives, has been the primary driver for growth of the sodium acetate trihydrate market.

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Leather & textile was the largest end-use industry of the sodium acetate anhydrous market, followed by medical & pharmaceuticals in terms of volume and revenue in 2013. The medical & pharmaceuticals end-use industry is expected to reach USD 14.59 million at the end of 2020. Sodium acetate anhydrous is used as an ingredient for diuretics, expectorants and systemic alkalizer. Additionally, it is used as a dry blend for renal dialysis. The growing medical & pharmaceuticals industry in Asia Pacific and North America is expected to augment the growth of the sodium acetate anhydrous market. Other end-uses of sodium acetate anhydrous include its usage in detergents, photography, electronics, galvanization, animal feeds, laboratories and chemical agents, among others. Over the past few years, the demand for sodium acetate anhydrous has increased due to growth of these industries.

Asia Pacific led the global market for sodium acetate trihydrate with 56.8% market share in terms of volume in 2013. Leather & textile was the largest end-use industry for this region since sodium acetate trihydrate is widely used in leather tanning as a washing salt, and in textile dyeing as a mordant. Europe emerged as the second largest consumer of sodium acetate trihydrate owing to high demand for sodium acetate trihydrate from Italy and Spain, as these are the largest tanning hubs in Europe. North America is the largest hub for pharmaceuticals; hence, medical and pharmaceuticals emerged the second-largest end-use industry in 2013. Rest of the World market is expected to grow at a moderate pace over the forecast period.

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The global sodium acetate and trihydrate industry is highly fragmented in nature; there is no clear leader in the market. Major industry participants in the market include Allan Chemical Corporation, CABB GmbH, Changshu Nanhu Chemical Co., Ltd., Fujian Fukang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Karn Chem Corporation.