Published: 2023 April 19

Cellulose Ethers Market Size, Competitive Landscape and Market Forecast - 2030

SKU : CH763
180 pages
Report Summary
Table of Content
List of Tables & Figures

Cellulose Ethers Market is segmented By Product Type (Carboxymethyl Cellulose, Methyl Cellulose & Derivatives, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Others), By Application-based Analysis (Food and Beverage, Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, Construction, Cosmetics, and Personal Care, Others), and By Region (North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa) – Share, Size, Outlook, and Opportunity Analysis,  2023-2030

Cellulose Ethers Market Overview

The global cellulose ethers market reached USD  million in 2022 and is expected to record significant growth by reaching up to USD million by 2030, growing at a High CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period (2023-2030).

Cellulose ethers are polymers created from wood fiber or fine short cotton fiber as the primary raw material after chemical mixing and the reaction of etherifying marketers, such as chlorinated ethylene, chlorinated propylene and oxidized ethylene. They are cellulose-based polymers that have gone through the etherification process. There are many applications for cellulose ethers, including thickening, binding, water retention, personal care products, building materials, textiles and chemical compounds for oil fields. When selecting the exact product to be used, performance, availability and ease of changing formulations are considered.

Cellulose Ethers Market Scope and Summary



Market CAGR


Segments Covered

By Product, By Application, and By Region

Report Insights Covered

Competitive Landscape Analysis, Company Profile Analysis, Market Size, Share, Growth, Demand, Recent Developments, Mergers and acquisitions, New Product Launches, Growth Strategies, Revenue Analysis, and Other vital insights.

Fastest Growing Region

Asia Pacific

Largest Market Share 

North America


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Cellulose Ethers Market Dynamics and Trends

The surging demand for cellulose ethers in the food and beverage industry is expected to boost the market for cellulose ethers in the forecast period. However, volatility in raw material prices could be a major market restraint.

The surging demand for cellulose ethers in the food and beverage industry

Cellulose ethers are a gelling agent in mixing food, thickeners in pie fillings and seasonings and suspending agents in fruit juice and dairy products. In the food and beverage industry, cellulose ether is used as an extender of the adhesive agent in the process of jam, sugar, fruit syrup and pungent sauce. It is also used in various dessert preparations as it makes the tissue homogeneous and fine, making its appearance beautiful.

Various regulatory bodies are encouraging the use of cellulose ethers as food additives. For instance, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hydroxy ethyl cellulose and carboxymethyl cellulose are allowed as food additives in the U.S., the European Union and many other countries. The European Union emphasizes that L-HPC and hydroxy ethyl cellulose can be licensed thickeners and gelling agents. Methylcellulose, Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, HPC, HEMC and carboxymethyl cellulose have passed the FAO / WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives identification.

U.S. Food Chemicals Codex listed the standards of carboxymethyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and ethyl cellulose as food additives. China has also established quality standards for food-grade carboxymethyl cellulose. Food-grade carboxymethyl cellulose as an ideal food additive has also passed the permission of the Jews. Along with supporting government regulations, the growing food and beverage industry is expected to drive the global cellulose ethers market.

Volatility in raw material prices

Various raw materials such as cotton, recycled paper, wood cellulose and sugarcane are used to make cellulose ether biopolymers in powder form. The first raw material used for making cellulose ethers is cotton linter. However, factors such as extreme weather conditions and different elements have contributed to the low manufacturing of cotton linter. The cost of cotton linter has elevated and, in the long run, affected cellulose ether manufacturers’ margins.

Other raw materials used in manufacturing cellulose ethers include wood pulp and purified plant-derived cellulose.

Due to downstream demand and spot availability, fluctuations in the prices of these raw materials are expected to act as a challenge for cellulose ester manufacturers. The cellulose ethers market is also affected by high transport costs driven by rising fuel prices and higher manufacturing costs resulting from increasing energy costs. The respective fact also poses a risk to the cellulose ether manufacturers and is expected to bring down profit margins

COVID-19 Impact Analysis on Cellulose Ethers Market

A large market existed for cellulose ether before COVID-19 because of its distinct characteristics, which cannot be replaced by any other, more affordable option. Furthermore, it was anticipated that the availability of manufacturing-related raw materials and the low production cost would drive the cellulose ether market.

The COVID-19 outbreak has reduced cellulose ether output in several manufacturing plants and major nations like China, India, U.S., UK and Germany have seen a decline in construction activity. It has fallen due to supply chain interruptions, a lack of raw materials, a decline in product demand and lockdowns in important nations. The building industry has a significant impact on the cellulose ethers market. The most widely documented effect of COVID-19 is a severe labor shortage. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the construction sector in China relies on rural migrant workers, with 54 million rural migrant workers employed in the industry. After the lockdown, migrant employees who had returned to their hometowns could not return to work.

In a poll by the China Construction Industry Association completed by 804 businesses on April 15, 2020, 90.55% of respondents stated progress had been hampered and 66.04% indicated a labor shortage. Since February 2020, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), a quasi-governmental agency, has granted thousands of "force majeure certificates" to PRC enterprises to protect them and aid them in dealing with problems with foreign partners. These certifications attest that the lockdowns took place in a specific province of the PRC and back up a party's claim of being unable to perform a contract. Because of its growing demand in construction as thickeners, binders and water-retention agents, cellulose ethers demand will be similar to before the COVID-19 epidemic in 2019.

Food, medicines, personal care, chemicals, textiles, construction, paper and adhesives use cellulose ethers as stabilizers, viscosity agents and thickeners. The government of various countries has lifted all business limitations. Along with the production of needed goods and services, the supply chain has resumed its normal pace.

Over the forecast period, Asia-Pacific is expected to grow rapidly. Over the upcoming years, the cellulose ethers market in the region is likely to be driven by rising construction spending in China and India and rising demand for personal care, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The Asia-Pacific market will likely gain from increased cellulose ether production in China and capacity expansions by current regional producers.

Cellulose Ethers Market Segment Analysis 

The global cellulose ethers market is classified based on product, application and region.

Growing construction industry and increasing applications of cellulose ethers in the construction sector

Cellulose ethers are extensively used in the construction industry owing to their nontoxic character and water-retention ability in cement mortars. The most used cellulose ethers in the construction industry are methyl cellulose (MC), HPMC, MHEC and CMHEC. Cellulose ethers serve as thickeners, binders, film formers, and water-retention agents for construction goods. They serve as emulsifiers, protective colloids, lubricants, surfactants, and suspension aids.

The ability of a render or plaster to keep its constitutive water is typically improved by the use of polymers derived from cellulose ether (CE) and hydroxypropyl guar (HPG) in construction materials. Cellulose derivatives such as MC, CMC, HEC and HPMC can be used in emulsion and latex paints. Their main function is thickening to make the paint achieve the desired storage and viscosity for construction without severe delamination during storage or dripping and sagging phenomena during use. 

Moreover, improving living standards requires that modern buildings have good insulation properties. The government has also put forward the corresponding requirements for energy-saving buildings. The aforementioned fact promotes the subject of wall insulation to be on the agenda. The addition of water-soluble cellulose ethers in the mortar can increase the binding force between the mortar and the polystyrene board and improve the workability and water-holding capacity of the mortar and make it not easy to crack. The application of cellulose ether in dry mix mortar for self-leveling floors has mainly used its excellent water-holding properties.

The growth is attributed to the growing construction industry and increasing applications of cellulose ethers in the construction sector. Asia-Pacific is expected to witness significant growth in the construction industry due to increasing investments in infrastructure development and affordable labor. Key companies offering cellulose ethers for construction applications include The Dow Chemical Company, DOOLCELL, Nouryon and Sidley Chem. 

Cellulose Ethers Market Geographical Share

The growing food and beverage industry in North America, particularly in U.S.

The food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries are significant contributors to the cellulose ethers market in this region, especially in U.S. The food and beverage industries are an essential part of U.S. economy. Between agriculture, manufacturing, retail and food service, the sector makes up roughly 5% of the country’s GDP and 10% of employment. Its sales total US$1.4 trillion.

According to a report by the US Committee for Economic Development, the food and beverage industry comprises close to 27,000 organizations and employs almost 1.5 million people. While growth is relatively low, the market has been more stable than other US manufacturing industries, as demand for food remains steady. Cellulose ethers are widely used in the food and beverage industry as it has a high viscosity and strong shape-preserving capacity, making them a preferred choice for the food and beverage industry. Hence, the growing food and beverage industry is expected to drive the usage of cellulose ethers in U.S.

Cellulose Ethers Companies and Competitive Landscape

The global cellulose ethers market is huge and is becoming increasingly competitive due to the presence of major players such as Ashland Global Holdings Inc., LOTTE Fine Chemical Co, Ltd., Nouryon, Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Co., Ltd., The Dow Chemical Company, Shandong Head Co Ltd, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., CP Kelco, Fenchem Biotek Ltd. and Sidley Chemical Co., Ltd. The market is fragmented and market players employ market tactics such as mergers, acquisitions, product launches, contributions and collaborations to gain a competitive advantage and recognition.

Ashland Global Holdings Inc.

Overview: Ashland Global Holdings Inc. is a global specialty chemicals company serving customers in various consumer and industrial markets, including adhesives, architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical. Ashland has 21 R&D labs, 41 manufacturing facilities and 32 offices worldwide. Specialty Ingredients is a major producer and supplier of cellulose ethers and companion products for the construction industry.

Product Portfolio: 

  • Aqualon ethylcellulose (EC): Aqualon ethylcellulose (EC) is a versatile cellulose ether distinguished. Aqualon EC is a non-swellable, insoluble component in matrix or coating systems. Aqualon ethylcellulose is used in products as diverse as pharmaceuticals and printing ink.

Key Development:

  • Ashland started ramping up production of Benecel cellulose ethers at their facility in Doel, Belgium, on January 14, 2022. When finished in 2023, capacity will have more than doubled to meet the rising demand for goods used in specialized applications such as pharmaceuticals, nutrition and performance.

The global cellulose ethers market report would provide approximately 53 tables, 52 figures and almost 223 pages.

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What is the Growth Rate of the Cellulose Ethers Market?
Grow at a high CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period (2023-2030) 
What Companies Are Included in the Cellulose Ethers Market?
Ashland Specialty Chemicals, Dow Chemical Organization, SE Tylose, AkzoNobel Performance Chemicals, Lotte Chemical, China RuiTai World Holdings Co., Ltd., and others are Companies in the worldwide cellulose ethers market.
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