Behenyl alcohol, also known as docasanol, is a saturated fatty alcohol that is traditionally used as an emulsifier, emollient, and as a thickener in nutritional supplements and cosmetics. It is also used to thicken or neutralize formulations. In recent times, docasanol has been approved as an antiviral agent by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is effective in reducing cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. Docasanol with the purity level of approximately 70% is used widely. Docasanol with the purity level of more than 80% is seldom used. This product accounts for a minimal share of the total market for fatty alcohols.
Growing usage of behenyl alcohol in pharmaceuticals and organic cosmetics industries is the key factor fuelling the demand for the product at the global level. Europe is the major producer of rapeseed in the world. Most of the companies based in Europe arrange for raw materials at a price lower than their rivals from other regions such as North America and Asia Pacific. Further, Europe is home to more than 450 large- and small-scale manufacturers. Rising consumption of anti-aging products is expected to drive the behenyl alcohol market in Europe. Additionally, abundance of low-cost raw materials and labor and increased demand for organic cosmetics are expected to drive the demand for behenyl alcohol in Asia Pacific.
However, oversupply of fatty alcohol is a major factor hampering the growth of the behenyl alcohol market at present. Further, higher prices of behenyl alcohol as compared to other forms of long-chain fatty alcohols is another major hindrance to growth of this market. Side-effects of using behenyl alcohol include headache, difficulty in breathing, facial swelling, confusion, chest pain, and dizziness. Severe side effects include diarrhea, soreness, rash, burning, dryness, and swelling. These may refrain consumers from using products infused with behenyl alcohol. This can greatly hinder the overall growth of the market.
Increased market penetration by major manufacturers of behenyl alcohol in underdeveloped markets is anticipated to create growth opportunities for the market in the near future.
On the basis of applications, the global behenyl alcohol market has been segmented into emollients, emulsifiers, and thickeners. On the basis of end-uses, the market can be segmented into cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and nutritional supplements. Cosmetics find the maximum application of behenyl alcohol as compared to other end-user industries.
Geographically, Asia Pacific leads the market for behenyl alcohol, with Japan and India being the top exporters across the world. However, South Korea is one of the leading importers of behenyl alcohol in Asia Pacific. India is the major producer of behenyl alcohol and rapeseed. Several companies based in India export rapeseed to other regions such as North America and Europe and to certain key parts of Asia Pacific. Latin America is expected to witness steady growth owing to increasing size of the industry for organic cosmetics in key countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Further, Brazil is one of the major importers of behenyl alcohol. It imports from suppliers based in North America and Europe.
The global behenyl alcohol market is dominated by major players operating in the industry. Joint ventures and partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, product innovations and expansions are some of the key strategies adopted by players to ensure sustenance in the market. Kao Corporation, BASF S.E., VVF Chemicals Ltd., Sasol Ltd., Godrej Industries, and Nikko Chemicals are key players operating in the market for behenyl alcohol.