Peat is a mixture of more or less decomposed plant materials that accumulate in a water-saturated and oxygen-deprived environment. Its structure varies from plant remains to fine amorphic and colloidal mass. The higher the humidity in the climate, the sooner the plant material disintegrates. The rate of plant material accumulation is greater in places where the temperature is high enough for plant growth but too low for the robust microbial growth that actively breakdowns the plant material. Peat is one of the vital sources for fuel with its major applications in the agriculture and horticulture sector. Its rich organic properties offer excellent aeration and moisture as well as high water holding capacity when used with soil.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), in 2016, conterminous U.S. free-on-board plant value of marketable peat production was valued at USD 12.4 million. Bio-fuel, with its high adoption rate, is expected to boost the peat market during the forecast period, 2019–2026. Sterility, absorbency, acidic nature, and compaction preventions properties are some of the benefits offered by peat. On the basis of these benefits, peat can be used in numerous sectors.
Taking into consideration the ever-increasing population rate, the global peat market is driven by the growing demand for electricity. The rising demand and high consumption of peat by end-use verticals such as water treatment, the alcoholic beverage industry, and horticulture are expected to drive market growth during the forecast period, 2019 to 2026. Furthermore, peat has gained traction as a renewable energy source, where the extraction rate has surpassed its steady growth rate in industrialized regions.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other organizations affiliated with the United Nations have classified peat as a noteworthy fuel source, and the material has been attracting significant importance in the fuel industry. As a result, the global market for peat is expected to witness remarkable growth during the forecast period.
The global peat market was valued at USD 365.9 million in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 1090.05 million by 2026, with an anticipated CAGR of 14.62% during the forecast period, 2019–2026.
The global peat market is segmented by type, application, and region.
On the basis of type, the peat market is segmented into hemic, fabric, and sapric. The hemic type segment is expected to hold a major market share during the forecast period. Hemic is a partially decomposed organic material and usually mimics mature compost characteristics. It often has fiber content ranging from 17% to 40% and owing to its extensive usage in agriculture and horticulture, the segment is expected to contribute the largest share in the global peat market.
Based on application, the peat market is segmented into fuel & energy, agriculture, medicines, and others. The agriculture segment is expected to witness significant growth in the market during the forecast period. This is attributed to the growing consumption of peat as it retains moisture in the soil and provides protection from water when the product is dry.
Geographically, the global peat market is segmented into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America and the Middle East & Africa.
The peat market in North America is expected to grow at a rapid pace, owing to the increasing demand from heavy industries. Preference towards the consumption of peat as a substitute fuel in several end-use applications and agriculture, freshwater aquarium, water filtration, and others is a key growth driver in North America.
The European market has witnessed prominent growth in the global peat market, owing to the high consumption of peat over the last few years. Peat is primarily used in this region for agricultural applications to produce fiber crops and others. Rising disposable income from the agriculture sector, particularly from the U.K., Germany, and Italy, is estimated to contribute to market growth during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market over the assessment period. The primary factor attributing to market growth in the region is the surging demand for electricity, assisted by rapidly-establishing urbanization and ever-increasing population.
It is projected that the growing demand for peat in water filtration systems, alongside agricultural activities such as the cultivation of fruits and crops, is anticipated to drive the market growth in Latin America. The Middle East and Africa, due to the economic downturn and low demand as a consequence of lack of awareness, are pegged to witness sluggish growth.
Some of the key players in peat market are Bord na Mona (Republic of Ireland), Global Peat Ltd. (Latvia), Cocogreen (Sri Lanka), Oulun Energia (Finland), Klassmann Dielmann (China), Jiffy Products International B.V. (Netherlands), Global Coirs (India), Vapo Oy (Finland), Stender AG (Germany), Neova Ab. (Sweden).