Castor oil is a vegetable oil derived from the seeds of castor plants. Castor oil is one of the most versatile plant oils available and contains a high amount of ricinoleic acid (over 80%) and oleic acid. Castor oil is pale yellow in color and is majorly used in the production of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, coatings, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes and polishes, nylon, pharmaceuticals, and perfumes.
Based on the type, castor oil and its derivative market can be broadly categorized as Hydrogenated Castor Oil (HCO), 12-Hydroxy Stearic Acid (12 HAS), Methyl 12 HSA (Hydroxy Stearate Acid), COLM (Urethane Grade), Ethoxylated Castor Oil, Dehydrated castor oil, Castor wax, C-7 Derivatives of Castor Oil, C 11 Derivatives of Castor Oil, and C 18 Derivatives of Castor Oil. The C-7 derivatives of castor oil include Heptanoic Acid, Heptaldehyde, and Heptyl Alcohol (Heptanol). C-11 derivatives of castor oil include undecylenic acid and zinc undecylenate, whereas C-18 derivative of castor oil include Ricinoleic acid, Methyl ricinoleate, Sebacic acid, and 2-octanol. Sebacic acid and dehydrated castor oil are among the major revenue generators in the global castor oil market. Large-scale adoption of sebacic acid in plasticizers, lubricants, hydraulic fluids, cosmetics, and manufacturing of candles is catalyzing its growth in the global market. Castor wax is the fastest growing type of castor oil. Due to the growing acceptance of castor wax in applications such as cosmetics, lubrication, coatings and greases, its demand is witnessing a massive surge.
Based on the end-user application areas, the global castor oil market can be segmented into: lubricants, surface coatings, biodiesel, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, plastics and resins, and others. Cosmetics and pharmaceuticals followed by surface coatings, and plastics and resin industry are the largest consumers of castor oil whereas the surface coatings industry is the fastest growing end-user for the castor oil. Castor oil has a low significance in the biodiesel industry as the production cost of castor oil is higher as compared to other biofuels.
Asia Pacific is the largest consumer of castor oil and is expected to retain the higher growth rate during the next few years due to strong growth in surface coatings, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics industry. Increasing demand for renewable fuel sources is making the Asia Pacific castor oil market seem more lucrative. China and India have witnessed a major chunk of the production and consumption of castor oil in the Asia Pacific region. Easy availability of key raw material (castor oil seed) in abundance is leading to a surge in the production of castor oil in China and India. India is the largest producer and exporter of castor oil, accounting for over 60% share in 2013. The castor oil market in Europe is growing on the back of rising demand of bio based cosmetic production, whereas the demand for castor oil in North America is driven by the strong consumption of biodiesel.
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Some leading players operating in the global castor oil and its derivative market include Thai Castor Oil Industries Co. Ltd., ITOH Oil Chemicals Co. Ltd., Jayant Agro Organics, Hokoku Corporation, RPK Agrotech, Xingtai Lantian Fine Chemical Co. Ltd., Tongliao TongHua Castor Chemical Co. Ltd., Taj Agro Products, Kanak Castor Products Pvt. Ltd., Adani Wilmar, NK Proteins, Liaoyang Huaxing Chemical Co., Ltd., Enovel, Bom Brazil, and Gokul Overseas.
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