Wax market is growing at a considerable rate and is expected to grow in coming years due to the introduction of gas-to-liquid waxes. With the rise in end users of waxes, such as packaging market and cosmetics market, the wax market is growing with a significant rate. While, closure of group I base oil refineries is a major factor declining the wax market growth to some extent. China is the largest exporter and producer of paraffin wax whereas Europe and North America are highest importer and demand originator of wax. The wax market had become unstable in the terms of prices in last few years mainly due to price volatility in crude oil.
Wax is an organic compound that is flexible at ambient temperature and after melting above 45 degree Celsius, it turns into a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents and are resistive to air and water. Waxes are used for impregnating paper, make wax paper and coating paper, so as to make it resistant to staining and to moderate its surface properties. Shortfall in the supply of wax is expected to slow down the wax market growth to some extent. In middle ages, sealing wax was usually used to close essential documents and wax tablets were used as writing surfaces. There are different types of wax such as montenegro, ragusan, byzantine, and bulgarian, ordinary waxes from Poland, Spain and Riga, unrefined waxes and colored waxes.
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Colorful pigments are now added to wax and it is used as a medium in encaustic painting and manufacturing colored pencils and crayons. Carbon that is used for making duplicate documents is coated with carbon black suspended in wax, usually called montan wax, but it is now outdated technique used by photocopiers and computer printers. Also, lipstick and mascara used by consumers are combination of various waxes and fats colored with pigments. In other cosmetics, both beeswax and lanolin are used and ski wax is used in snowboarding and skiing. Furthermore, the sports of such as skateboarding surfing also use wax to enhance the performance. Some waxes can be used safely in food and are used to smother wooden cutting boards that come into contact with food while preparing it.
On the basis of product type, the wax market can be categorized as petroleum and mineral wax, synthetic wax, and natural gas. Petroleum and mineral wax includes paraffin wax, semi-crystalline wax, microcrystalline wax and petroleum jelly. Based on refining process, major grades of paraffin wax can be produced as scale, fully refined and semi refined. Fully refined waxes are used in applications such as wax coatings for paper, candle making and foil substrates used in packaging industry.
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Synthetic wax includes polymer wax, gas-to-liquids (GTL) wax and montan wax. Natural wax includes animal wax, bayberry wax, jojoba oil, soy wax, rice bran wax, tallow tree wax, beeswax, rice bran wax, shellac wax, candelilla wax, vegetable wax and Japan wax. On the basis of end users of wax, the wax market can be categorized as cosmetics, wood & fire-logs, crayons, candles, polishes, adhesive, laminates, insulation, inks, packaging and rubber.
Some of the major competitors of the wax market are Lukoil oil Company, The International Group, Inc, China National Petroleum Corporation, Petro-Canada Lubricants Inc., Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., Royal Dutch Shell plc, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Sinopec Limited, Total S.A., Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) and Sasol Wax International AG.
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