US demand for natural polymers will grow 7.1 percent annually through 2012. Best opportunities are anticipated in packaging uses based on the increased availability and cost competitiveness of novel polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA). Cellulose ether will remain the largest segment while starch and fermentation products jump at double-digit rates. This study analyzes the $2.9 billion US natural polymer industry. It presents historical demand data for the years 1997, 2002 and 2007, and forecasts for 2012 and 2017 by market (e.g., medical, food and beverages, oilfield, construction, cosmetics and toiletries, adhesives, packaging, paint and ink) and product (e.g., cellulose ethers, starch and fermentation products, exudate and vegetable gums, marine polymers, natural phenolics and polyphenols). The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 43 industry players, including Hercules, Dow Chemical and CP Kelco.
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