Lactic acid market rocketing

The market is growing at a rate of around 18% annually

The market for lactic acid is growing at about 18% per year, according to Grand View Research, driven by its use in cosmetics, where it features in products designed for skin lightening, anti-acne, anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing applications, as well as forming the basis of biodegradable packaging. The global lactic acid market was 714.2 kilotons in 2013, said Grand View, which it expects to reach 1,960.1 kilotons by 2020 – a CAGR of 15.5%. The market was valued at US$1,285bn in 2013 and is expected to reach $4.312bn by 2020 – a CAGR of 18.3%.

Lactic acid has been gaining importance over the past few years due to its use in developing polylactic acid (PLA), the firm said. Because PLA is derived from renewable sources and is both biodegradable and compostable, it can help reduce problems such as solid waste disposal. Rising crude oil prices are also expected to drive global PLA demand over the forecast period, as manufacturers turn to green plastics.

Overall, packaging is expected to remain the key use for PLA; it accounted for 59.6% of the market in 2013. PLA plastic bottles are durable and disposable and Grand View said it expects demand to remain strong through to 2020. 

Patricia Mansfield-Devine, Rennes