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Concentrated Nitric Acid Market

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Concentrated nitric acid market report segments the global market by product type (Strong Nitric Acid and Fuming Nitric Acid), by application.
Concentrated Nitric Acid Market - Global
Industry Insights, Trends, 2018 – 2026
Nitric acid (HNO​3​), which is also known as spirit of niter or aqua fortis, is a mineral acid
which is corrosive in nature. It is a strong oxidizing agent with acrid and pungent odor.
Nitric acid is mainly used to add nitrogen into other compounds and is naturally made by
reacting rain water with nitrogen oxides present in air. It is highly toxic and hence must
be handled carefully by wearing gloves, masks, and protective glasses. Nitric acid
produces flammable hydrogen gas when it comes in contact with metals.
Drivers and Restraints
Rising demand for concentrated nitric acid from several end-use industries such as
automotive and agrochemicals among others is fueling growth of concentrated nitric
acid market. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), around
70% of nitric acid is used for the production of ammonium nitrate (NH​4​NO​3)​, which finds
wide application in fertilizers. Furthermore, rising demand for nylon 6-6, as a
replacement for metals in the automotive industry is fueling growth of concentrated nitric
acid market.
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However, stringent government regulations and environmental concerns are major
restraining factors hindering growth of concentrated nitric acid market. According to the
United States Government Publishing office (GPO), under title 49 CFR 173.158, nitric
acid (more than 40% of concentration) cannot be packed with any other material and
should not contain impurities such as hydrochloric (HCl) or sulfuric acid (H​2​SO​4​) acid
while transported by highway or by rail.
Market Trends
On the basis of end-use industries, the agrochemicals sector is expected to dominate
the concentrated nitric acid market over the forecast period. Rising global population
has led to an increasing demand for food grains. Therefore, the demand for
agrochemicals has increased significantly in order to increase the yield of farming,
which in turn will increase demand for concentrated nitric acid. According to the India
Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the agrochemical sector in India is expected to grow at
7.5% annually with a growing domestic demand of 6.5% per annum, to reach US$ 6.3
billion by 2020.
Market Outlook
Europe dominated the global concentrated nitric acid market in 2016. Europe has the
highest consumption for concentrated nitric acid, owing to its requirement in fertilizer
industries for the synthesis of ammonium nitrate and calcium ammonium nitrate.
According to Coherent Market Insights, the annual production of nitric acid was valued
at 55 million tons. Furthermore, around 96% of the nitric acid is used for the production
of calcium ammonium nitrate and ammonium nitrate, and a relatively small amount is
used for the production of explosives. However, some of the European economies such
as Germany and Ireland banned ammonium nitrate, mandating that it should be
combined with calcium carbonate, which is restraining growth of the concentrated nitric
acid market at present.
Asia pacific is the fastest growing market region for concentrated nitric acid with China
being the frontrunner for this market. The demand for concentrated HNO​3 is rising due
to its increasing applications in fertilizers, textiles, vehicles, and explosives among
others. Furthermore, the burgeoning growth of automotive industry in Asia Pacific has
led to a robust demand for concentrated nitric acid. According to the India Brand Equity
Foundation (IBEF), automobiles in India was valued at US$ 74 billion in 2015 and is
estimated to reach up to US$ 260 billion to US$ 300 billion by 2026.
North America is expected to show a steady growth in concentrated nitric acid market
over the forecast period. Increasing demand for Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil
(ANFO), which acts as oxidizing agent and fuel absorbent in manufacturing of civil
explosives is another major driver for high demand for concentrated nitric acid in the
region. According to the United States Geographical Survey, in North America, mixtures
of ANFO are used in around 80% of the explosives.
Key Trends
Several companies are focused towards adopting various organic and inorganic growth
strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, and
product or technological innovations to retain position in the concentrated nitric acid
market. For instance, in January 2016, KBR Inc. acquired Plinke GmbH, Weatherly Inc,
and Chematur Ecoplanning Oy to provide fertilizer complex solutions that will help in
improving nitric acid plant performance and expanding their presence outside North
America. Furthermore, Weatherly Inc., a subsidiary of KBR Inc. launched dual pressure
nitric acid technology in September 2016, which allowed large scale production of nitric
acid.
Market players
Some of the leading players operating in the global concentrated nitric acid market
include Nutrien Ltd., BASF S.E., CF Industries Holdings, Inc., Bayer A.G., LSB
Industries Inc., Shandong Fengyuan Chemical Stock Co.,Ltd., DowDuPont Inc., Ube
Industries, and Yara International.
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