Camphor is a crystalline and translucent terpene ketone with a pleasant odor. Camphor is predominantly produced from distillation of wood and bark of the camphor tree. Physical properties of camphor differ depending on the origin, species and growing conditions of the tree. Camphor is generally whitish or has light shades of different colors including gray and olive among others. Moreover, camphor can be synthetically produced by synthesis of turpentine oil derived from rosin, pine wood and kinlieth among others. Depending on the end user industry, camphor is supplied in the form of powder, oil or as tablets.
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Camphor is mainly used for medicinal purposes to treat congestion, cough, and skin infections among several others. Other applications of camphor include food storage andas an insecticide among others. A major portion of the global camphor production is employed for the manufacturing of camphor oil. Camphor oil is a stimulant to treat and enhance metabolism, digestion and excretion processes. Camphor oil is also used as an antiseptic, insecticide and germicide among others. Camphor has been approved by the FDA for several medicinal applications.However, high level of camphor can be toxic and hence causes several health hazards.
Major end user industries for camphor include pharmaceuticals, food, agriculture and chemical among several others. High growth in pharmaceutical industry is among the foremost drivers for camphor market growth and the trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. Camphor is used in the production of ointments with vapors for treating chest congestion and cough. Increasing demand for ointments used for treating chest congestion is a major factor driving demand for camphor. Small amount of camphor is safe for human consumption and has been approved by several regulatory bodies across the globe, therefore camphor has high acceptance for medicinal uses.
Very small amount of camphor or few drops of camphor oil are put with food grains during storage to protect it from germs and insects. Therefore, increasing population leading to high growth in food industry is also among major factors driving demand for camphor. Consuming large amount of camphor is hazardous to human health and can even lead to death. Therefore several precautions have to be taken for consuming camphor which has been a major restraint for the market. Increasing research and development activities to increase the application scope for camphor is anticipated to offer huge growth opportunity for camphor market.
Asia Pacific dominates the global consumption and production of camphor and the trend is anticipated to continue for a foreseeable future. Huge population and increasing disposable income in the emerging economies leading to growth in several end user industries including food; pharmaceutical is a major factor driving demand for camphor in Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific is also anticipated to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period. Demand for camphor in North America and Europe is anticipated to grow at a sluggish rate mainly owing to market saturation is several end user industries.
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Camphor market is highly fragmented and dominated by regional players mainly owing to low capital investment in the market. The industry is characterized by high degree of competition and major players compete on price differentiation. Therefore, camphor is a price sensitive market with less scope for product differentiation. Major players in the camphor market include Camphor and Allied Products ltd., Beijing Herbal Health Biotech LLC and Hunan Nutramax Inc. among others.