Elemental Sulphur Market By Source (Gas-Based, Oil-Based, Mining), Application (Agrochemicals, Chemical & Petroleum Refining, Rubber & Plastics, Mining & Metallurgy, Paper & Pulp) & Region – Forecast 2021 - 2031

Elemental Sulphur Market By Source, Application, & Region for 2021 – 2031 : Analysis and Review

Elemental Sulphur Market Snapshot

[224 Pages Report] The global elemental sulphur market grew year-over-year by 3.30% between 2020 and 2021, finds Future Market Insights (FMI) in a recent market analysis. Growing demand in various industries such as agrochemicals, petroleum refining, paper & pulp, and rubber applications is expected to continue driving the market through 2031.

As per FMI, sales of elemental sulphur represented 0.5% of the global oil refining market in 2020. The global demand is projected to accelerate at a 3% CAGR, with the elemental sulphur market size reaching US$ 6.27 Bn in 2021.

Expansion of the agriculture sector in countries such as India, China, and Brazil is also expected to fuel result in higher uptake elemental sulphur. In the forthcoming years, China, India, Japan, the U.S., and Germany are expected to emerge as key producers and exporters in the elemental sulphur market, opines FMI.



Estimated Elemental Sulphur Market Estimated Size in 2021

US$ 6.27 Bn

Elemental Sulphur Market Value-Based CAGR (2021-2031)


Elemental Sulphur Market Volume (2021-2031)

106 Million Tons

2020-2021 Elemental Sulphur Market Y-o-Y Growth


2016-2020 Elemental Sulphur Market Outlook in Comparison to 2021-2031 Growth Forecast

Sales in the elemental sulphur market grew at 2.30% CAGR between 2016 and 2020. Sales prospects were dampened to an extent due to suspension of production activities due to COVID-19-induced restrictions in 2020.

However, FMI projects recovery of the market in the forthcoming years, with demand for elemental sulphur growing at a 3% CAGR. Volume sales will reach 106 Million Tons between 2021 and 2031.

Sulphur is widely used in the vulcanization of black rubber, as a fungicide in the agricultural sector, and in black gunpowder. Elemental sulphur uses in the production of sulphuric acid, which is utilized in the chemical & petroleum refining industry, also is rising. Besides this, it is production of phosphoric acids to make phosphates for fertilizers.

Application across diverse sectors will therefore remain a chief driver of the elemental sulphur market. In addition to this, mercaptans, found in elemental sulphur, are added to natural gas supplies to easily detect gas leaks. This factor is further driving its applications in the oil & gas sector.

Sulphites obtained from elemental sulphur are used as preservatives in packaged food products. Ongoing expansion of the packaged food industry and increasing sales of ready-to-eat meals are therefore to result in higher demand for elemental sulphur powder. 

Will Increasing Applications of Fertilizers Drive Elemental Sulphur Market?

Increasing food production across the globe is spurring demand for effective fertilizers to improve crop yield and produce quality. Farmers in the agriculture sector are realizing the need for adequate nutrition for plants. As a result, sales of fertilizers are on the rise, which in turn is expected to propel the elemental sulphur market growth.

Sulphur is one of the 17 essential nutrients for plant growth. However, it is not mobile in the plant, which makes a continuous supply of sulphur crucial for crop maturity. A deficiency of sulphur in crops at any stage of growth can result in reduced yields.

With time, the content of organic sulphur present in soil declines to an extent, mostly due to increasing cultivation of high-sulphur consuming crops such as canola and alfalfa. Sulphur in fertilizers promotes the synthesis of oil, which is crucial for oilseeds. It efficiently activates enzymes that are required for biochemical reactions and photosynthesis while promoting protein production. Improved protein and oil production in plants results in better cereal quality for baking and milling and nutritive value of forages.

As awareness regarding importance of sulphur in fertilizers continues to grow, manufacturers are launching innovative sulphur-based fertilizers to capitalize on growing demand. For instance, Nutrien has launched Smart Nutrition MAP+MST fertilizer, which combines micronized sulphur with phosphates to provide plants with a consistent supply of nutrients all season long. Such developments are expected to create lucrative opportunities for elemental sulphur market players in the forthcoming years.

How is the Rubber and Plastics Industry Propelling Demand for Elemental Sulphur?

Sulphur vulcanization is an essential process in the rubber and plastics industry. Vulcanized rubber is used in the production of tires for vehicles, water hoses, electronic wires, conveyor belts, and shoe soles among others.

The automotive industry is one of the largest consumers of natural and synthetic rubber, where it is used for tires and other components such as wires and cables used in engines. Growing applications of vulcanized rubber in the electronics segment are also expected to push sales of elemental sulphur. Increasing sales of consumer electronics, wires, and cables will therefore continue spurring demand in the elemental sulphur market.

Apart from this, expansion of the automotive sector is also expected to emerge as a chief growth driver in the global elemental sulphur market. Increasing sales of different variants of tires and other plastic components used in vehicles such as headlights are expected to provide impetus to elemental sulphur sales over the forecast period.

Country-wise Analysis

Why is the U.S. Elemental Sulphur Market Exhibiting High Demand?

As per FMI, sales of elemental sulphur in the U.S. are expected to be driven by increasing applications of sulphur in metal production, such as copper, zinc, and nickel. According to FMI, the demand for elemental sulphur in the North America is projected to soar at a 2.60% CAGR through 2031.

Sulphuric acid finds applications in metal production and it is widely being adopted in copper production and various other mining applications. Majority of elemental sulphur produced in the U.S. is used to make sulphuric acid. Growing applications of sulphuric acid in the production of petroleum, chemicals, rubber, and fertilizers will continue driving sales in the U.S. elemental sulphur market over the forecast period.

How will the Germany Elemental Sulphur Market Fare?

Germany is expected to emerge as one of the leading producers and exporters of elemental sulphur over the assessment period, finds FMI. Sales of elemental sulphur in Europe are projected to grow at 2.30% CAGR through 2031.

Rising adoption of elemental sulphur in the paper & pulp and the mining industries in Germany is expected to push sales over the forecast period. Germany is home to one of the most lucrative mining sectors in the European Union. Minerals mined in Germany comprise hard coal, lignite, natural gas, and crude oil.

Applications of elemental sulphur in natural gas reservoirs to detect leakage are expected to spur demand in Germany. Apart from this, favorable research and funding programs in the mining sector are expected to augment growth of the Germany elemental sulphur market over the assessment period.

Why is the China Elemental Sulphur Market Considered a Lucrative Pocket?

Over the forecast period, China is expected to account for a dominant share in the East Asia elemental sulphur market, opines FMI. Increasing application in fertilizers, besides the ongoing expansion of the agriculture sector is expected to boost sales of elemental sulphur in China.

Southern provinces in China such as Jiangsu, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, and Guangxi Provinces are reporting sulphur deficit in soil. This is resulting in poor yield and crop quality, thereby affecting the marketability of essential crops.

As a result, farmers are increasingly adopting phosphate-based fertilizers to keep the product quality consistent. This is expected to have a direct impact on sales of elemental sulphur over the assessment period. Rising sales of fertilizers in the agrochemicals industry will continue driving growth of the elemental sulphur market in China.

Category-wise Insights

Which is the Preferred Source of Elemental Sulphur?

Based on source, demand for gas-based elemental sulphur is expected to gain traction over the assessment period. Natural gas reservoirs with high sulphur content are emerging as preferred sources in the global elemental sulphur market.

Sulphur dioxide is present in volcanic gases and warm water springs and is industrially prepared by burning out the air or oxygen in sulphur, or such compounds of sulphur in iron and copper pyrite. Large quantities of sulphur dioxide are obtained through the combustion of sulphur-containing fuels.

This method of extracting elemental sulphur is widely being adopted by manufacturers. This is expected to propel sales of gas-based elemental sulphur over the assessment period.

Which is the Leading Application of Elemental Sulphur?

In terms of application, sales of elemental sulphur are anticipated to continue rising in the agrochemicals segment. Increasing adoption in agrochemicals, especially in phosphate fertilizers is expected to drive sales of elemental sulphur.

Elemental sulphur present in fertilizers offers a myriad of benefits. it enhances the formulations of chlorophyll that improves photosynthesis in plants. It contains amino acids (cysteine, cystine and methionine) which are the building blocks of protein. An amalgamation of these nutrients potentially crop yields and improves product quality, which in turn is pushing sales of elemental sulphur in the agrochemicals segment. 

Competition Landscape

Leading players operating in the elemental sulphur market are focusing mergers, acquisitions, and collaborations to strengthen their global footprint. Players are also investing in collaborations and acquisitions to expand their production capacities to cater to the growing demand for elemental sulphur from various industries.

Scope of Report



Forecast Period


Historical Data Available for


Market Analysis

MT for Volume and US$ Mn for Value

Key Regions Covered

North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Oceania, and MEA

Key Countries Covered

United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Nordic, Russia, Poland, China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, GCC countries, North Africa, South Africa, others.

Key Market Segments Covered

Source, Applications, and Regions

Key Companies Profiled

  • The Saudi Arabian Oil Company
  • Marathon Petroleum Corporation
  • Exxon Mobile Corporation
  • Tengizchevroil
  • Valero Energy Corporation
  • Sinopec Corp.
  • Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
  • Pemex
  • OAO Gazprom
  • Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
  • Motiva Enterprises LLC
  • ConocoPhillips Company
  • Oxbow Corporation
  • PotashCorp
  • Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Flint Hills Resources
  • Montana Sulphur & Chemical Co.
  • Jordan Sulphur 
  • National Est. for Agricultural & Industrial Sulphur


Available upon Request

FAQs the Study Answers

  • What is the current elemental sulphur market size?

    The elemental sulphur market is expected to reach a valuation of US$ 6.27 Bn in 2021.

  • At what rate did the elemental sulphur market grow between 2016 and 2020?

    The elemental sulphur market experienced moderate growth, exhibiting a 2.30 % CAGR between 2016 and 2020.

  • What are the key trends driving elemental sulphur sales?

    Increasing applications of elemental sulphur in fertilizers and agrochemicals, along with utilization of elemental sulphur in water treatment and mining applications are expected to drive sales of elemental suplhur over the forecast period.

  • Who are the top elemental sulphur manufacturers?

    Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc., The Saudi Arabian Oil Company, OAO Gazoprom, and Valero Energy Consumption are the leading players operating in the global elemental sulphur market.

  • What is the North America elemental sulphur market demand outlook?

    North America elemental sulphur market is projected to grow at a 2.60% CAGR during the forecast period.

  • Which companies hold dominant Elemental sulphur market share?

    Top 5 players operating in the global elemental sulphur market are expected to account for 23% of the total market share in 2021.

  • What will be the elemental sulphur market share in Europe?

    The elemental sulphur market in Europe is anticipated to expand at a 2.30% CAGR between 2021 and 2031.

  • What is the Japan and South Korea elemental sulphur market outlook?

    In 2021, Japan and South Korea are anticipated to hold 3.30% of the global elemental sulphur market share collectively.

Elemental Sulphur Market by Category

By Application:

  • Agrochemicals
  • Chemical & Petroleum Refining
  • Rubber & Plastics
  • Mining & Metallurgy
  • Paper & Pulp

By Source:

  • Gas-Based
  • Oil-Based
  • Mining


  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia
  • Oceania
  • Middle East & Africa

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