Guar gum is a natural polymer extracted from the guar seed. Its most important property is its ability to attain high viscosity in low concentrations. Also, its colloidal nature and emulsifying property make it ideal for use as a thickening agent. In addition, being a natural non-toxic polymer it can added to foods and beverages without concerns about health of consumers.
Major drivers are the high dependency and versatility of guar gum. This is due to lack of technically viable and feasible alternate products in industries such as oil & gas, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. The major challenges are the instability of oil price, oversupply and gradual emergence of superior alternatives. Also, as the key source being agriculture, the weather plays an important role in production.
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A wide variety of grade guar gum powder are used in food industries. They are used as stabilizers, thickeners and emulsifiers. They are also suitable for use in painting, printing, fire control, dyeing, and textiles. As a stabilizer, thickener and suspending agent guar gum can also be used in various other industrial applications and preparations.
The largest end users in the guar gum market are food & beverages and oil & gas industry.It is used as a stabilizer in ice-creams, instant puddings, cheeses and whipped cream substitutes and as a meat binder. Moreover it is also used as an additive to fracking fluid to increase its viscosity. This helps in keeping fractures open for longer period of time increasing drainage and production of oil.
Guar Gum Market Outlook
Asia Pacific is a small market for guar gum consumption but is a major raw material source for guar seed. 80% of the world’s guar is produced by India in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana. It is India’s largest agricultural export (based on volume). China is thought to have the world’s largest technically recoverable shale reserves. Exploitation of these reserves is sure to boost guar gum market. Currently, guar gum is used in food, textile, pharmaceutical industries in the Asia-Pacific Region
North America and Europe are the largest market for guar gum powder due to its use in the food industry as additive and oil industry as fracturing agent. Hence, an increase in drilling activities in US shale plays, the demand for guar gum has increased and driven market growth. Also, increasing use in the food industry is also high as the demand for gluten-free foods increases.
Middle East has witnessed a thriving food and beverage industry due to high disposable incomes in the region. This has directly translated into guar gum market growth. Africa is a small player in this market and is not expected to grow much comparatively in the forecast period.
Latin America is also showing a significant growth in the guar gum market. The productivity of processed foods such as cheese, sausages, soups and animal feed preparations increases on addition of guar gum. With countries in this region having large livestock populations, animal food preparation industry is fueling growth of the guar gum market.
Propel SSP, manufactured by Fairmount Santrol Company, based in U.S., is an alternative to guar gum proppant. It is a cheaper and technically superior alternative. Though currently in research and trial stage, Propel SSP market is expected to grow due to the successful trials in Marcellus and Utica shale. This will negatively affect the guar gum industry in the future. Some major players in the Guar Gum Market are Penford Corp., TIC Gums, Inc., Lucid Group, Vikas WSP Limited and Ashland Inc.
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