What is the development trend of China’s cellulose ether industry from 2021 to 2027?

Cellulose ether is known as “industrial monosodium glutamate”. It has the advantages of wide application, small unit usage, good modification effect, and environmental friendliness. It can significantly improve and optimize product performance in the field of its addition, which is conducive to improving resource utilization. Efficiency and product added value are widely used in many fields such as building materials, medicine, food, textiles, daily chemicals, oil exploration, mining, papermaking, polymerization and aerospace, and are indispensable environmental protection additives in various fields of the national economy. With the recovery of my country’s economy, the demand for cellulose ether in the downstream industries such as construction industry, food manufacturing industry and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is gradually released. The industry has developed rapidly and the profit level has increased significantly.

Industry development trend:

(1) The market development trend of building material grade cellulose ether: Thanks to the improvement of my country’s urbanization level, the building material industry has developed rapidly, the level of construction mechanization has been continuously improved, and consumers have higher and higher environmental protection requirements for building materials, which has driven the demand for non-ionic cellulose ether in the field of building materials. The Outline of the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development proposes to speed up the renovation of urban shanty towns and dilapidated houses, and strengthen urban infrastructure construction. Including: the basic completion of urban shantytowns and dilapidated house renovation tasks. Accelerate the transformation of concentrated shantytowns and urban villages, and orderly promote the comprehensive improvement of old residential quarters, the renovation of dilapidated and non-complete housing, and the shantytown transformation policy covers key towns across the country. Accelerate the transformation and construction of urban water supply facilities; strengthen the transformation and construction of underground infrastructure such as municipal pipe networks.

In addition, on February 14, 2020, the twelfth meeting of the Central Committee for Comprehensively Deepening Reform pointed out that “new infrastructure” is the direction of my country’s infrastructure construction in the future. The meeting proposed that “infrastructure is an important support for economic and social development. Guided by synergy and integration, coordinate the development of stock and incremental, traditional and new infrastructure, and create an intensive, efficient, economical, smart, green, safe and reliable modern infrastructure system.” The implementation of “new infrastructure” is conducive to the advancement of my country’s urbanization in the direction of intelligence and technology, and is conducive to increasing the domestic demand for building material grade cellulose ether.

(2) The market development trend of pharmaceutical grade cellulose ethers: cellulose ethers are widely used in film coating, adhesives, film preparations, ointments, dispersants, vegetable capsules, sustained and controlled release preparations and other fields of medicines. As a skeleton material, cellulose ether has the functions of prolonging the drug effect time and promoting drug dispersion and dissolution; as a capsule and coating, it can avoid degradation and cross-linking and curing reactions, and is an important raw material for the production of pharmaceutical excipients. The application technology of pharmaceutical grade cellulose ether is mature in developed countries.

①Pharmaceutical-grade HPMC is the main raw material for the production of HPMC vegetable capsules, and the market demand has great potential. Pharmaceutical grade HPMC is one of the main raw materials for the production of HPMC vegetable capsules, accounting for more than 90% of the raw materials for the production of HPMC vegetable capsules. The HPMC vegetable capsules produced have the advantages of safety and hygiene, wide applicability, no risk of cross-linking reactions, and high stability. Compared with animal gelatin capsules, plant capsules do not need to add preservatives in the production process, and are almost not brittle under low humidity conditions, and have stable capsule shell properties in high humidity environments. Due to the above-mentioned advantages, plant capsules are welcomed by developed countries in Europe and the United States and Islamic countries.

Large-scale production of HPMC vegetable capsules has certain technical difficulties, and developed countries have mastered the relevant technologies for producing vegetable capsules. There are few enterprises engaged in the production of HPMC plant capsules in my country, and the start is relatively late, and the output of HPMC plant capsules is relatively small. At present, my country’s access policy for HPMC plant capsules is not yet clear. The consumption of HPMC plant capsules in the domestic market is very small, accounting for a very low proportion of the total consumption of hollow capsules. It is difficult to completely replace animal gelatin capsules in the short term.

In April 2012 and March 2014, the media successively exposed the incident that some domestic pharmaceutical capsule factories used gelatin produced from leather waste as raw material to produce capsules with excessive heavy metal content such as chromium, which aroused consumers’ trust in medicinal and edible gelatin crisis. After the incident, the state investigated and dealt with a number of enterprises that illegally produced and used unqualified capsules, and the public’s awareness of food and drug safety has further improved, which is conducive to the standardized operation and industrial upgrading of the domestic gelatin industry. It is expected that plant capsules will become one of the important directions for the upgrading of the hollow capsule industry in the future, and will be the main growth point for the demand for pharmaceutical grade HPMC in the domestic market in the future.

②Pharmaceutical grade cellulose ether is the key raw material for the production of pharmaceutical sustained and controlled release preparations. Pharmaceutical grade cellulose ether is one of the key raw materials for the production of sustained and controlled release preparations, which are widely used in drug production in developed countries. Sustained-release preparations can realize the effect of slow release of drug effect, and controlled-release preparations can realize the effect of controlling the release time and dose of drug effect. The sustained and controlled release preparation can keep the blood drug concentration of the user stable, eliminate the toxic and side effects caused by the peak and valley phenomenon of the blood drug concentration caused by the absorption characteristics of ordinary preparations, prolong the drug action time, reduce the number of times and dosage of the drug, and improve the efficacy of the drug. Increase the added value of medicines by a large margin. For a long time, the core production technology of HPMC (CR grade) for controlled-release preparations has been in the hands of a few internationally renowned companies, and the price is expensive, which has restricted the promotion and application of products and the upgrading of my country’s pharmaceutical industry. The development of cellulose ethers for slow and controlled release is conducive to accelerating the upgrading of my country’s pharmaceutical industry and is of great significance to protecting people’s lives and health.

At the same time, according to the “Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog (2019 Version)”, “the development and production of new drug dosage forms, new excipients, children’s drugs, and drugs in short supply” are listed as encouraged. Therefore, pharmaceutical grade cellulose ether and HPMC plant capsules are used as pharmaceutical preparations and new excipients, which are in line with the national industry development direction, and the market demand trend is expected to continue to rise in the future.

(3) Market development trend of food-grade cellulose ether: Food-grade cellulose ether is a recognized safe food additive, which can be used as a food thickener, stabilizer and moisturizer to thicken, retain water, and improve taste. The country has been widely used, mainly for baked goods, collagen casings, non-dairy cream, fruit juices, sauces, meat and other protein products, fried foods, etc. China, the United States, the European Union and many other countries allow HPMC and ionic cellulose ether CMC to be used as food additives.

The proportion of food-grade cellulose ether used in food production in my country is relatively low. The main reason is that domestic consumers started late to understand the function of cellulose ether as a food additive, and it is still in the application and promotion stage in the domestic market. In addition, the price of food-grade cellulose ether is relatively high. There are fewer areas of use in production. With the improvement of people’s awareness of healthy food, the consumption of cellulose ether in the domestic food industry is expected to further increase.

Post time: Apr-10-2023