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Elemental sulfur market will witness considerable traction over 2022-2028 owing to increasing utility in end-use industries, including agrochemical, petroleum refining industries, and rubber. The surging intake of ready-to-eat food and beverages has led to the higher demand for sulfur derivatives as preservatives in the packaged food industry.
Rapid industrialization, rising number of investments by leading players, and higher adoption in the generation of phosphate-based fertilizers are the other latest trends fueling the market share.
Elemental sulfur is a central as well as an ecologically important intermediate within the sulfur cycle, which can be utilized by a wide diversity of microorganisms to gain energy from its reduction, oxidation, or disproportionation. The presence of strict government regulations and higher costs related to the mining of sulfur may pose a challenge to market expansion to some extent.
Industry share of gas-based elemental sulfur is expected to witness significant momentum on account of their affordability. The growing emphasis on critical role of elemental sulfur solubility on sour gas reservoir development will also contribute to the industry expansion. The rising number of research activities is another impact rendering factor for product consumption. The increasing count of natural gas reservoirs for extracting sulfur will also aid in the market development.
The elemental sulfur market revenue from agrochemical segment, based on applications, will expand through 2028 due to the growing government focus on increasing the agriculture yield. It is largely adopted as an active ingredient in pesticide products to cater to uses in field & root crops, trees fruits, berries, nuts, ornamentals vegetables, and turf. The rising usage of waste elementary sulfur on the chemical composition of seeds, mustard & plants, as well as the yield of seeds, straw, and oil will add positive impetus to the overall industry growth.
Regionally, Asia Pacific is likely to capture a significant share of the elemental sulfur market on account of rising adoption across the agricultural and rubber & petroleum refining sector. Considering the higher application scope in production of fertilizers, China is expected to witness increased product consumption. The growing number of mining activities, mainly in the emerging economies will also influence the market development.
The market remuneration in North America will grow with higher penetration in the production of inorganic fertilizers. The robust presence of favorable government policies and the increasing advancements in the mining industry across the U.S. will also enhance the product demand.
Suncor Energy, PotashCorp, Oxbow Corporation, Montana Sulphur & Chemical, Flint Hills Resources (Koch Industries), Jordan Sulphur, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Motiva Enterprises, OAO Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, Pemex (Secretariat of Energy), Valero Energy Corporation, Sinopec (China Petrochemical Corporation), and ConocoPhillips Company are some of the renowned elemental sulfur companies across the globe.
These industry players are constantly emphasizing capacity expansions, innovations, and new product launches along with engaging in strategic agreements, like acquisitions and partnerships as well as long-term contracts for augmenting their business share.
For instance, in June 2021, Northern Nutrients, a Canadian company announced its plans of starting the construction of a new sulfur production plant by deploying Royal Dutch Shell’s Thiogro technology, which converts micronized elemental sulfur into urea granules.
Alongside disrupting the global economy, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic brought the influx of varying levels of nationwide lockdowns and social distancing policies. The demand for elemental sulfur also significantly declined due to the obstructed manufacturing activities considering the lack of labor and resources across the rubbers & plastics, mining & metallurgy, petroleum refining, and paper & pulp industries. However, the gradual easing of business restrictions will now infuse a positive effect on the market development.