). According to the All IndiaStarch Manufacturers Association, the industry was down by 40-50% in May 2020, owing to the subdued market demand, triggered by the COVID-19 lockdown. The bulk corn starch user segments of textile and paper were down, and unless they operated at near optimum capacity, the corn starch space would continue to be in lower trajectory.
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However, although pharmaceuticals accounts for a minor share of corn starch supplies, manufacturers are looking to offset losses through growth in downstream pharmaceuticals.
Starch is a carbohydrate extracted from agricultural raw materials, which finds applications in literally thousands of everyday food and non-food products. Industrial starches are derived from various sources, including corn, potato, wheat, and other sources. With the global economy gradually improving and resulting in an increased intake of processed and convenience foods, the market for industrial starch, which finds substantial usage in these food applications, is finding increased demand, thereby, driving the overall market.
Demands of modified starches is increasing in parallel to the rapid development of the food industry. Modified starches offer a tremendous number of functional benefits to a variety of foods, such as bakeries, snacks, beverages, as well as nutritional foods.
Moreover, manufacturers are readily inculcating the clean label trend in their products, so as to gain market share. For example, Tate & Lyle expanded the portfolio of CLARIA® Functional Clean-Label Starches with the introduction of two new instant starch products: CLARIA® Instant 340 and 360.
Key Market Trends
Expanding Applications of Starch in the Bioplastic Industry
The demand for renewable biopolymers is growing where these are considered as alternatives to synthetic polymers. Starch is one of the abundant polymers in nature. Native and modified starches are used in a wide variety of food and non-food applications. It has been extensively studied because it is abundant, cheap, biodegradable, and edible. Starch-based plastics are complex blends of starch with compostable polyesters. Major bioplastics players, BASF and Novamont, have both launched highly sustainable solutions for fresh-food packaging in two major compostable cling film breakthroughs. BASF SE offers certified compostable ecovio material, while Novamont provides MATER-BI material replacing the hard-to-recycle conventional plastics, like polyethylene (PE) while increasing product shelf-life, thus, tackling both plastic pollution and food waste simultaneously.
North America Holds a Major Share
The North American market is extensively driven by increasing sales of industrial starches in the United States. Globally, the United States was the largest producer of corn with a production of 366.6 million metric ton in 2018-2019, which is utilized in various application areas, including the production of starch. In January 2020, Tate & Lyle introduced a range of non-GMO ingredients, including starches made from dent corn of the country for its application in jelly confections and processed cheese for the enhancement of their texture. In 2019, an upsurge of 63% in the wheat production was witnessed in United States, compared to the previous year. Additionally, the country also imports wheat for its domestic consumption, thus, catering to the Mexican wheat starch market and further catering to the North American market.
The industrial starch market is highly fragmented, with many local and international players competing for the market share. Some of the major players in the market are Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill, Incorporated, Tate & Lyle PLC, The Tereos Group, and others. New product launches and innovations are a major strategy adopted by companies to strengthen their business. The strategy of forming new agreements and partnerships with local players has helped the companies increase their footprint in foreign countries and release new products according to the consumers’ changing preferences, and leverage on the expertise of these small regional companies.
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