The global iodine market size was estimated at 34,860 metric tons in 2021, and it is expected to reach 56440 metric tons by 2030, registering a CAGR of 6% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Iodine as a product is usually solid, with a purplish-black metallic luster, and is heavy material like metals. It is liquefied even at a comparatively low temperature and can quickly vaporize by sublimating solid iodine like dry ice. It has a distinctive smell. It is rare for material to easily take the form of vapor, liquid, and solid. It is widely used in producing various kinds of Iodine compounds and is used in many areas due to its strong reactivity.
Iodine is used in various applications such as X-Ray contrast media, pharmaceuticals, LCD polarizing films, Animal feed, Iodophors, Fluorochemicals, Biocides, Nylon, Human Nutrition, Povidone-Iodine, and more. Iodine is a nonmetallic element and cannot be produced utilizing chemical synthesis. From an industrial standpoint, it can only be extracted as iodine-containing resources. While natural resources other than iodine are scarce in Japan, Iodine production in Japan covers approximately 30% of the total Iodine production in the world. Iodine demand is projected to be driven by increasing demand in X-ray contrast media, rising iodine deficiency among humans, and various uses of iodine derivatives.
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Increasing Demand in X-ray Contrast Media to Augment Market Growth Prospect
As the iodine atom provides the needed radiation absorption qualities, it is a crucial component in X-ray contrast media used for in-vivo medical diagnostic procedures. Iodine is added to contrast media via electrophilic substitution of the aromatic part of this chemical structure. The iodination reagent iodine monochloride (ICl) is formed by reacting elemental iodine with chlorine. The production of iodinated contrast media necessitates the significant recovery and recirculation of spent iodine. As a result, it outperforms other contrast media.
The application of iodine in the production of X-ray contrast media is one of the primary drivers of the market studied. Since its high atomic number and density, iodine is appropriate for this use because its presence in the body increases the contrast between tissues, organs, and blood vessels with similar X-ray densities.
Growing Iodine Deficiency among People
Adequate iodine consumption is critical for healthy growth development in humans and animals. Iodine deficiency diseases (IDD) arise when the diet is deficient in iodine. However, iodine levels in foods must be adjusted. Iodine deficiency can also impair thyroid function. In addition to this, iodine deficiency can be a significant disorder in humans and even cause severe symptoms. These symptoms include swelling in the neck, pregnancy-related issues, weight gain, and other learning difficulties.
Moreover, the US FDA regulates the addition of iodine to infant formulas and iodine to foods such as bakery products, including bread. This has fueled the demand in the market for iodine as well as increased its consumption as a necessary mineral in various food items such as dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese), products from grains such as cereals and bread, Iodine salt (which is readily available in countries such as United States, India and many more), seaweed and other seafood, etc. Such factors are driving the consumption of iodine during the forecast period.
Toxicity of Iodine and Health-related Issues to Impede the Market Growth
Some of the clinical features of acute Iodine toxicity include gastrointestinal disturbance (vomiting and diarrhea), metabolic acidosis, seizure, stupor, delirium, and collapse. Sensitivity reactions, such as iodide mumps, iododerma, and iodide fever, may also occur following treatment with Iodine-containing drugs or radiographic contrast media.
In humans, deaths (usually within 48 hours) have occurred from iodine ingested in tinctures at doses ranging from 1,200 to 9,500 mg (17–120 mg/kg). Iodine-induced hypothyroidism in sensitive populations, including fetuses, newborn infants, and individuals who have thyroiditis, has the potential to produce neurological effects.
Reproductive and developmental toxicity: Chronic exposure to excess iodine has been shown to disrupt the reproductive function, secondary to thyroid gland dysfunction, including inducing changes in the menstrual cycle, such as menorrhagia (excessive uterine bleeding) and anovulation (no ovulation); spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and premature births have also been associated with hypothyroidism. Therefore, the elements described above are likely to impact the iodine market during the forecast period.
Rising Demand for the Usage of Biocides to Boost Market Opportunities
Iodine is a powerful biocidal agent for bacteria, fungus, yeasts, viruses, spores, and protozoan parasites. It is the only element in the periodic table that can eliminate germs without contaminating the environment. Iodine-rich compounds, in which iodine is firmly linked as a C–I or I–O moiety in molecules, have been found as one the most promising energetic biocidal chemicals. In the disintegration or explosion of Iodine-rich compounds, gaseous products containing substantial amounts of Iodine or Iodine-containing components as potent biocides are emitted.
Because of the detonation pressure, the Iodine species are distributed over a large area, significantly improving the system's efficacy and requiring considerably less effort than traditional biocidal methods. The commercially available tetraiodomethane and tetraiodoethene, which possess amazing iodine content, also have the disadvantages of volatility, light sensitivity, and chemically reactivity. Therefore, they are not suitable for use directly as biocidal agents.
Owing to the properties of iodine, there is a massive opportunity for strategies for synthesizing active iodine-rich compounds while maintaining the maximum iodine content with concomitant stability and routes for the synthesis of oxygen-containing iodine-rich compounds to improve the oxygen balance and achieve both high-energy and high-iodine content. Hence there is a scope for the design and syntheses of new iodine-rich compounds and a route for developing more efficient and safer iodine-rich anti-biological warfare agents of the future.
The global iodine market is divided by source, form, application, and region.
By source, the global iodine market is divided into underground brines, caliche ore, recycling, and seaweeds. The caliche ore segment accounted for the largest share, holding more than 51% of the iodine market in 2021. It is estimated at 17985 metric tons in 2021, and it is expected to reach 28870 metric tons by 2030, registering a CAGR of 5%. However, the recycling segment is expected to register the highest CAGR of 6% during the forecast period.
The caliche ore in northern Chile contains the world's largest known deposits of nitrates and iodine. Companies are witnessing the expansion of lithium, nitrate, and iodine production across Chile. For instance, in Dec 2020, SQM announced major expansion plans for lithium, nitrate, and iodine production. It is part of an ambitious USD 1.9 billion investment plan for 2021-2024 to expand its lithium, iodine, and nitrate operations. In this project, about USD 440 million will be invested in the caliche ore mining operations and plant in Chile for nitrates and iodine production. Annual nitrate production capacity increases to about 250,000 tonnes and iodine to 3,000 tonnes. Such expansion is increasing the demand for the market. Such projects are increasing the demand for iodine through caliche ore. It can drive the need for the iodine market over the forecast period.
By form, the global iodine market is divided into inorganic salts and complexes, organic compounds, elementals, and isotopes. The organic compounds segment accounted for the largest share, holding around 49% of the iodine market in 2020. is estimated at 17065 tons in 2021, and it is expected to reach 27160 metric tons by 2030, registering a CAGR of 5%. However, the elementals and isotopes segment is expected to register the highest CAGR of 6% during the forecast period.
The consumption of iodized salt is an integral approach to controlling and eliminating iodine deficiency disorders across the globe. Gas chromatography was used to identify organic iodine compounds (GC). The process of the organic compound includes seawater. A 50–100 ml volume is injected into the purging unit and degassed. Subsequently, the degassed chemicals are transferred using helium into a liquid nitrogen-cooled cold trap. After degassing, the trapped compounds are delivered to the separation column by withdrawing liquid nitrogen and heating the web.
The organic iodine compound is separated using a capillary column in GC and heating the trap at different temperatures, ranging from 40 to 240°C. Furthermore, the consumption of edible iodized salt is a crucial strategy to control and eliminate iodine deficiency disorders worldwide. However, identifying organic iodine compounds in salt is vital for estimating the validity and safety of edible iodized salt products.
By application, the global iodine market is divided into animal feed, medical, biocides, optical polarizing films, fluorochemicals, nylon, and other applications. The medical segment holds the largest share, is estimated at 16240 metric tons in 2021, and is expected to reach 27435 metric tons by 2030, registering a CAGR of 6%.
Medical technology advancements have increased the demand for iodine in this application. Iodine-containing radiographic contrast medium improves the visibility of vascular structures and organs during radiographic operations. Furthermore, iodine is used in medicines to make disinfectants, bactericides, and analgesics, among other things (for example, iodine tincture), which is employed in the manufacturing of sodium iodide, potassium iodide, and iodine solution. With the healthcare industry's growth, the pharmaceutical industry has witnessed a positive influence on the demand for medicines. Thus, healthcare industry growth directly influences the market and production in the pharmaceutical industry.
By region, the global iodine market is divided into Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle East & Africa.
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Europe and Asia-Pacific are the most important markets. Europe accounted for the largest share, holding more than 35% of the global iodine market, and is estimated at 12,300 metric tons in 2021. It is expected to reach 18750 metric tons by 2030, registering a CAGR of 5%. Germany has Europe's largest economy and the fourth-largest in the world. In Germany, companies such as Deutsche Tiernahrung Cremer GmbH & Co. KG, Worlée, and Kiwa, among others, are some of the manufacturers of animal feeds. As the number of manufacturers of animal feeds is increasing in the country, the demand for iodine is expected to increase over the forecast period.
The Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing and is estimated at 11,370 metric tons in 2021, and it is expected to reach 20555 metric tons by 2030, registering a CAGR of 7% during the period. In Asia-Pacific, China is the largest economy in terms of GDP. China's livestock industry expanded rapidly in recent years as diets shifted toward more animal proteins. At present, China is the world's largest producer of livestock products and the largest animal feed manufacturer. Advances in medical technology have raised the demand for iodine in this application. During radiographic procedures, iodine-containing radiographic contrast media improves the visibility of vascular systems and organs. Furthermore, iodine is used in medicine to manufacture disinfectants, bactericides, and analgesics, among other things (for example, iodine tincture), as well as sodium iodide and potassium iodide, and iodine solution.
Furthermore, rising rates of unhealthy lifestyles, increased demand for economic healthcare provision as healthcare prices go up, technology improvements, and government programs such as e-health, paired with subsidies and tax breaks, are boosting the country's health sector. The growing applications of biocides in water treatment and food and beverage are estimated to drive the market for iodine during the forecast period. Therefore, the demand in the market studied is expected to grow in the Asia-Pacific region from these sectors in the coming years.