Gelymar is a global company involved in the extraction of Kapa II and Lambda Carrageenan. Carrageenans belong to the family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. The company caters to the pharmaceutical, food, and personal care industries. It operates through its four manufacturing sites located in Chile and Indonesia, along with its two product technology centers. They also have a strong worldwide distribution network in more than 50 countries. On 21st May 2019, the company completed its investment in two plants, Puerto Montt and Tierra del Fuego, to double its production capacity in southern Chile. This investment will help the company to expand itself in North America and Europe. This is due to the rising awareness about the advantages of seaweed consumption in North American and European countries, which is driving the market for commercial seaweeds. The commercial seaweeds market is dominated by the application of seaweeds in the food products such as cakes, cheese, protein drinks, ice cream, sausages, bread, and jellies; this is due to the high-nutritive values offered them.
MarketsandMarkets™ View Point:
The investment is expected to double Gelymar’s production capacity to about 10,000 metric tons and would enhance its global reach. It will also strengthen its position in South America, as this country has low labor cost, easy availability of high-quality raw materials, and geographical advantage for export business with North America.
The demand for Chilean seaweed varieties is rising due to its easy availability; additionally, they are considered more reliable than Asian seaweeds such as E. cottonii, which is currently suffering from price fluctuation as well as scarcity.
This investment will help the company to increase its export of various products made from Chilean seaweed to the North American region at considerate cost by reducing the transport expenses. It will accelerate the market share of South America, which is quite less compared to other regions, as most of the companies are based in Asian countries. Furthermore, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision taken in 2018 to continue its support for carrageenan in US organic foods will also benefit the company’s export business. - said Ms. Arijita Pani, (Senior Research Associate - Food and Beverage Market Research at MarketsandMarkets™).
Impact of Investment
This investment will help the company to increase its profit margin as well as help fulfill the rising demand for commercial seaweeds in Europe and North America. The growth in these regions is expected to foresee higher growth with the rising usage of seaweeds in nutritious food products in North America and increasing adoption of seaweeds in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries in Europe. Currently, Gelymar, along with other companies such as DowDuPont (US), Roullier Group (France), Cargill (US), CP Kelco (US) and Acadian Seaplants (Canada), holds about 45% market share. However, this investment would uplift the company’s position in the commercial seaweed market as one of the top three carrageenan producers, globally.
The figure below shows the market opportunity available in the commercial seaweeds market. The Asia Pacific commercial seaweeds market is estimated to account for the largest market share in 2018. It is attributed to the expansion of the seaweed industry in Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Philippines, owing to factors such as raw material availability, favorable climatic conditions for the production of seaweeds, and availability of cheap labor. - said Mr. Amarnath Rajendran, (Associate Manager - Food, Beverage, Animal Nutrition and Agriculture at MarketsandMarkets™).
FIGURE 1 COMMERCIAL SEAWEEDS MARKET FORECAST TO 2023
e - Estimated; p - Projected
Source: MarketsandMarkets™ Analysis
Some of the major competitors in the commercial seaweed market are Cargill (US), DowDuPont (US), Roullier Group (France), COMPO EXPERT (Germany), Biostadt India (India), CP Kelco (US), Acadian Seaplants (Canada), Gelymar (Chile), CEAMSA (Spain), and Algaia (France).
Gelymar’s investment would reduce the competitor’s market share, especially in the South America and North American regions. Two years ago, ever since the announcement of the investment was made, many companies invested in increasing their production capacity as part of their counter strategy to secure their market shares. For instance, in June 2018, Algaia (France) opened a new production unit of liquid seaweed-based extracts for application in the agriculture sector as bio-stimulants. In July 2018, BRANDT (US) opened a new production plant for specialty formulations in Visalia, Canada. This would increase the production capacity of specialty formulations in which seaweed is used as an ingredient.
The investment of Gelymar depicts the rising market of commercial seaweeds and its direct influence on market growth. Considering the growing demand for seaweeds in the US, this expansion is likely to impact imports from Asian countries. The competitor dynamics also shows interest among other companies for expansion, either organically or inorganically. Carrageenan is the major seaweed extract imported by the US and is largely used as a food additive.
There have been recent concerns over the availability of seaweeds, due to temperature changes, which, in turn, causes ‘ice-ice’ disease in the APAC region. It is expected to have a significant impact on the supply of raw materials. Thus, alternate cultivation locations in other South American countries such as Chile, Brazil, and Argentina will help to fulfill the rising demand in the near future. Also, as part of the government initiatives, the Chilean government is promoting the cultivation and repopulation of natural seaweed beds to support local seaweed collectors. This initiation by the Chilean government as well as the US government, are highly appreciated by leading players such as DowDuPont (US), which is fueling the market growth further.