Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Market

Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Market Analysis by Barrier Films and Performance Enhancers for Use in Pulp & Paper, Packaging, Food, Paints & Coatings, and Personal Care Products from 2023 to 2033

Analysis of Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Market Covering 30+ Countries Including Analysis of US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Nordics, GCC countries, Japan, Korea and many more

Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Market Outlook (2023 to 2033)

Expanding at an astronomical 14% CAGR from 2023 to 2033, the global microfibrillated cellulose fiber market is forecasted to reach US$ 835 million by 2033, up from US$ 225 million in 2023.

Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is produced by stripping away the outer layer of fibers from cellulose by the process of mechanical shearing. These fibers are eco-friendly and renewable in nature, which are the primary characteristics that promote their sales in different sectors.

Growing use of MFC as a sustainable substitute for plastic is forecasted to be a common trend that is empowering market development on a global scale. The imposition of stringent mandates to eliminate the use of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and single-use plastic bans are also projected to boost demand for cellulose microcrystalline fibers and cellulose nanocrystalline fibers going forward.

  • In 2023, New Zealand became the first country to ban thin plastic bags in supermarkets, which was an extension of its previously implemented plastic ban. The country like many others in the world is moving towards its goal of a plastic-free society.

Surging popularity of sustainable packaging in food, cosmetics, and pharma sectors, and the lightweight, high-strength physical characteristics of MFC fiber are likely to aid growth, with relatively strong demand from the paints and coatings sector.

Microfibrillated cellulose has also gained increased attention in research for forestry industrial applications. MFC has special characteristics and can find use aside from conventional chemical cellulose pulp sources. Production of MFC from thermomechanical pulp (TMP) is fairly new and is projected to generate key growth opportunities.

Contrastingly, lack of adequate knowledge or expertise in terms of the structure, characteristics, and components associated with MFC is a challenge for market expansion. Pricing is also anticipated to remain an issue in terms of production, and concerns over cost-effectiveness arising from raw material supply chains, complexity of production, and issues with long-term storage are problems that microfibrillated cellulose fiber vendors will have to deal with over the next ten years and beyond.

Report Attributes Details
Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Market Size (2023E) US$ 225 Million
Projected Market Value (2033F) US$ 835 Million
Global Market Growth Rate (2023 to 2033) 14% CAGR
Packaging End-use Industry Market Share (2033) >40%
China Market Growth Rate (2023 to 2033) 19% CAGR
Key Companies Profiled
  • Borregaard
  • Daicel FineChem Ltd.
  • Weidmann Fiber Technology
  • FiberLean Technologies Ltd.
  • Zelfo Technologies GmbH
  • Stora Enso Oyj
  • Fibria (Suzano Brazil)
  • Cellu Comp Ltd.
  • Norske Skog

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Which Prospect is Setting the Tone for High MFC Demand?

“Growing Focus on Sustainability Creating New Market Opportunities”

With the threat of climate change and environmental degradation looming over the world, sustainability initiatives have driven up demand for MFC. The primary benefit of using microfibrillated cellulose fiber is that it can bolster strength and reduce the weight of fiber materials sustainably, by generating end products with reduced material volumes, without compromising on performance.

  • For instance, as per a Weidmann report, incorporation of 1% of MFC can account for up to 20% of product performance improvements. The report also states oxygen transmission rates of 4 to 10 mL/m2day, and a moisture transfer rate as low as 0.4 g/m2day for MFC-based films.

MFC fibers allow a material with higher strength and rigidity in comparison to glass or carbon fiber while being lighter simultaneously. Microfibrillated cellulose fiber also provides superior moisture and oxygen barrier properties. MFC can be used in the form of nanocomposites, film, and paper coatings.

Finally, MFC can be extracted from plant waste, thus reducing costs. In addition, manufacturing MFC has gone through numerous changes, with advances in optimization efforts in recent years. New mechanical processes, sources, and material treatments are gaining interest for operations on an industrial scale.

Learn more about trends such as local supply, pricing trends, product standards, safety regulations, and new developments in this microfibrillated cellulose fiber market research analysis by skilled analysts at Fact.MR, a market research and competitive intelligence provider.

Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Market Size, Share, Trends, Growth, Demand and Sales Forecast Report by Fact.MR

Country-wise Insights

The world is an oyster for microfibrillated cellulose fiber companies at the moment as everyone is focusing on sustainability to save the environment. Investing in China, the United States, and Nordic countries would be the best bet for new as well as established microfibrillated cellulose fiber brands.

Where Should Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Suppliers Invest in Europe?

“Nordic Countries to Emerge as Moneymaking Markets”

  • In Europe, Nordic countries are leading the demand for microfibrillated cellulose fiber and are estimated to account for nearly half of the region’s share by the end of the study period.
  • Norway leads the charge in Europe when it comes to microfibrillated cellulose fiber shipments, which are estimated to account for a little less than half of the share of the market of all the Nordic countries combined.
  • Returnable packaging systems have been a part of Norway’s businesses since the early 1900s. However, refillable glass and PET packaging was stopped in 2014.

New processes are supported through systems of reverse vending machines, allowing consumers to recycle packaging while gaining nominal monetary returns from the effort. Also, lower taxes for higher recycling in the country will generate opportunities for players to leverage in the long term.

Most European countries are actively launching new sustainability initiatives to reach their net zero carbon goals, which in turn is creating an opportune scenario for all types of sustainable product providers such as microfibrillated cellulose fiber vendors.

  • The European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink, and Artist’s Colors Industry has indicated that Europe’s green building space has quadrupled, surpassing 700 million sq. mts. in 2017.

The European Union’s construction production regulations on sustainable constructions are estimated to have a positive impact on environmental product declarations, which bodes well for MFC fiber adoption going forward. Subsequently, the demand for CNF fiber and nanocellulose fiber is also projected to rise in the European region over the coming years.

Which Asian Country is the Most Bankable Market?

“China to Bring in More Revenue Than Any Other Asian Country”

China is currently the leading microfibrillated cellulose fiber market in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan.

  • Sales of microfibrillated cellulose fiber in China are forecasted to rise at a stellar 19% CAGR from 2023 to 2033.

The Chinese government has issued standards to promote sustainable packaging materials in its million-dollar logistics industry, as it looks to reduce waste in a country where millions of packages are delivered to consumers every day.

  • The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the People’s Republic of China issued a ban on the usage of non-degradable plastic bags, single-use plastics, and packaging plastics in January 2020.

As the leading producer of pigments in the world, China is a key influencer in the global paints and coatings industry. In short, China is home to almost all industries where microfibrillated cellulose fiber could emerge as a popular product in some form or the other in the future thereby making the country an unmissable space for any microfibrillated cellulose fiber manufacturer and supplier looking to make a mark in the global landscape.

What Makes the United States an Opportune Market?

“High Focus on Incorporating Sustainable Practices”

As per this Fact.MR report, North America is the second only to the leading regional market for MFC fiber.

  • More than 90% of microfibrillated cellulose fiber sales revenue of the North American regional market is estimated to come from the United States by 2033-end.

Just like all other countries in the world, the United States is also focusing on eliminating plastics and other toxic products from the packaging sector, which is projected to uplift demand for natural cellulose fiber products. Growing consumer awareness regarding sustainability is also estimated to bolster the use of sustainable cellulose fibers in different industry verticals in the country.

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2018, around 32 million tons of corrugated boxes were recycled from close to 34 million tons of overall recycling volumes. The recycling rate for corrugated boxes was 96.5 percent.
  • As per the 2020 American Coatings Association (ACA) Sustainability Report, 11 states in the country enacted laws to establish detailed sustainable paint and coating adoption programs under their jurisdictions.

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Category-wise Insights

Microfibrillated cellulose fiber barrier films are projected to be the most sought-after in the packaging sector, which is where companies should focus if they want to make it big in this industry.

Which Application Will Lead Market Growth in the Future?

“Use of MFC as Performance Enhancer to Be Popular”

Microfibrillated cellulose is extensively used for two major areas of application, including barrier films and as a performance enhancer, in roles such as strengthening agents, rheology modifiers, and thickening agents. Demand for MFC as a performance enhancer accounts for a prominent share of the global market at present.

Scope of application in food, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products is a key driver behind demand. However, barrier film applications are reflecting a faster rate of growth on the back of sustainability initiatives in the packaging sector.

Where Will Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Demand Flourish?

“Packaging Sector to Lead Revenue Generation through 2033”

MFC fiber finds use in a wide range of end-use industries, including paper production, personal care, packaging, paints & coatings, and food. Packaging accounts for the majority of plastic waste in the world and as climate change threat becomes prominent, packaging with bio-based materials is gaining prominence. The growing popularity of cellulose-based fiber packaging is also estimated to benefit MFC fiber demand in the packaging sector going forward.

  • The packaging industry is extrapolated to hold the lead when it comes to global microfibrillated cellulose fiber sales, which is set to be around 40% by the end of 2033.
  • In May 2023, the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), announced the launch of a new service to evaluate the recyclability of fiber-based packaging goods and materials. The new assessment and certification called Papercycle features an online tool for users to evaluate their products.

Microfibrillated cellulose is a natural performance enhancer for bio-based packaging material formulations, enabling superior durability, while also meeting international food safety standards, making it essential for the paper and packaging industry.

Know thy Competitors

Competitive landscape highlights only certain players
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Key Segments of Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Industry Research

  • By End-use Industry :

    • Pulp & Paper
    • Packaging
      • Dairy
      • Others
    • Food
    • Paints & Coatings
    • Personal Care
    • Others
  • By Application :

    • Barrier Films
    • Performance Enhancers
      • Rheology Modifiers
      • Thickening Agents
      • Strengthening Agents
  • By Region :

    • North America
    • Latin America
    • Europe
    • APAC
    • MEA

- FAQs -

What is the size of the microfibrillated cellulose fiber market?

The global microfibrillated cellulose fiber market stands at a value of US$ 225 million in 2023.

How big will the microfibrillated cellulose fiber market be by 2033?

By 2033-end, microfibrillated cellulose fiber demand is forecasted to reach a revenue of US$ 835 million.

At what CAGR will the market expand in the future?

Microfibrillated cellulose fiber sales are projected to increase at an impressive 14% CAGR over the next ten years.

What is microfibrillated cellulose fiber used for?

MFC fibers are generally used to give better barrier properties and smoother surfaces to paper by adding them in the paper-making process.

Who are the leading microfibrillated cellulose fiber suppliers?

Stora Enso Oyj, Fibria (Suzano Brazil), SAPPI, Cellu Comp Ltd., and Norske Skog are leading MFC manufacturers.

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Microfibrillated Cellulose Fiber Market

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