Thionyl Chloride Market

2020 Analysis and Review of Thionyl Chloride Market by Application - Agrochemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Dyes & Pigments, Organic Synthesis, Batteries, and Others for 2020-2030


  • The global thionyl chloride market would surpass the half-a-billion mark in 2024.
  • Rising usage of pesticides and top-line growth of the pharmaceutical industry are primarily shaping the market value pool.
  • Technical grade thionyl chloride stays in-demand; pharmaceutical grade to see rise in consumption.
  • Pharmaceutical industry would be the key end user of thionyl chloride; manufacturers to unpack value-capture potential in the agrochemical industry.
  • Europe currently leads the pack in thionyl chloride market; East Asia to emerge as fastest-growing thionyl chloride market.


Increase in Preference for Thionyl Chloride over Other Reagents to Boost Sales

Thionyl chloride, along with its various benefits, is a substitute for other reagents such as phosphorous pentachloride. It is a versatile reagent, and by-products of thionyl chloride are in the gaseous state that tend to ease the purification process of products, promoting their use as reagents. Moreover, it easily decomposes into hydrogen chloride and sulfur dioxide.

It is primarily used as a chlorinating agent to prepare carboxylic acid chlorides from carboxylic acid. It is also used in the conversion of alcohols to alkyl chlorides, chlorination of acid anhydride, chlorine displacement of organic sulfonic acid/carboxylic acid, and other reactions. Increasing preference for thionyl chloride over other reagents is expected to propel the growth of the thionyl chloride market over the forecast period.

Rise in Demand for Pesticides, Globally

The global population was pegged at 7.7 billion in 2019, with an increase of 1.1% during 2017-2018. High population growth has fuelled food consumption, globally, which has surged the demand for agricultural products. This has contributed towards an increase in the use of agriculture chemicals to enhance crop production and developments in the agriculture sector.

Thus, the use of agrochemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides, has become a necessity to meet the growing demand for food. With growth in the demand for agricultural products, it is imperative to ensure high output with available resources, and this is accelerating the use of various pesticides to improve crop yield and production, which, in turn, is expected to drive the growth of the thionyl chloride market.

Exponential Growth in Pharmaceutical Industry to Propel Market Growth

Thionyl chloride is used in the production of distinct pharmaceutical products such as isocarbophos, indomethacin, vitamin A, sumicidin, propargite, tetramisole hydrochloride, and others. Moreover, chlorination has various benefits in the pharmaceutical industry, such as backward integration into reagents, sustainable production processes, efficient chlorination in batches and continuous processes, and environment-friendly recycling of side-streams.

The global pharmaceutical industry was pegged at US$ 1.2 trillion in 2018, and is expected to reach US$ 1.6 trillion by 2025. Digital revolution and availability of newer and improved technologies are anticipated to propel the growth of the pharmaceutical industry over the forecast period, and thereby increase the demand for thionyl chloride in the foreseeable future.

East Asia to Outpace Europe by 2022

In terms of value, the thionyl chloride market in Europe led the global market in 2019. The thionyl chloride market in China is projected to offer the most lucrative opportunities for revenue generation over the forecast period.

The market in East Asia is also expected to record the highest growth rate over the forecast period, owing to the high demand for thionyl chloride from pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries in the region.

On the flip side, the thionyl chloride market in East Asia is likely to witness notable dip in demand due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. China, which is the origin of the pandemic, houses a majority of thionyl chloride producers.

As the government in the country has imposed travel restrictions and bans on import-export activities, various end-use industries are experiencing manufacturing halts. This has resulted in reduced demand, and, in turn, is affecting the supply chain of the East Asia thionyl chloride market.


  • Collaboration is one of the key strategies followed by leading thionyl chloride manufacturers in the market.
  • Lanxess AG, Transpek Industries Ltd., CABB Group, Sigma Aldrich Co. LLC, Shandong Kaisheng New Materials Co. Ltd., Angene International Limited, Jiangxi Selon Industrial Co. Ltd., ChemTik, and Aurora Fine Chemicals LLC are the largest and most experienced players in the global thionyl chloride market.
  • High market concentration ratio in China suggests that there is intense ongoing competition in the thionyl chloride market. Thus, market competitors are deploying cost-effective solutions in order to maintain or enhance their market shares.


  • Base Yea r-2019
  • Historical Period - 2015-2019
  • Forecast Period - 2020-2030
  • Market Value in 2019 - US$ 442.2 Mn
  • Segments Covered - Grade, Application, Production Process, and Region
  • Regions Covered - North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East & Africa
  • Key Companies - Lanxess AG, Transpek Industries Ltd., CABB Group, Sigma Aldrich Co. LLC, Shandong Kaisheng New Materials Co. Ltd., Angene International Limited, Jiangxi Selon Industrial Co. Ltd., ChemTik, and Aurora Fine Chemicals LLC.
  • Growth Drivers
    • Flourishing pharmaceutical industry.
    • Surging adoption of pesticides, worldwide
    • Higher preference of thionyl chloride over other reagents

Stakeholders Stay Glued to Technical Grade Thionyl Chloride

Technical grade would be a key value creator in the thionyl chloride market. Around 7 out of 10 market players are investing in technical grade thionyl chloride. This research work further underlines that, the technical grade segment would register half-a-billion dollar revenue toward the end of the projection timeframe.

On the other hand, unprecedented growth of the pharmaceutical industry is influencing manufacturers to channelize their capital investments toward pharmaceutical grade thionyl chloride. Although the pharmaceutical grade is gathering momentum, manufacturers continue to reap substantial returns from the technical grade.

East Asia to Outperform Europe in 2022

At present, manufacturers are allocating a significant portion of their resources to Europe, followed by East Asia. Together, both these regions hold around half of the overall thionyl chloride market value. However, this study reveals that, the trend is likely to be reversed in the near term. East Asia is the production hub of the global chemical industry. In addition, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries in the region are showing positive signs. These factors are oiling the growth engine of the thionyl chloride market in East Asia.

Accelerating Consumption of Pesticides to Offer Further Growth Spurt

The agriculture sector is under pressure to boost its productivity in order to satiate the ever-growing global population. This demanding situation is influencing agronomists to increase the utilization of agrochemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides in a bid to improve crop yield, and, in turn, sustain the supply-demand gap.

Thionyl chloride is an integral component in manufacturing pesticides, as a solvent. Worldwide food consumption is poised to outperform in the decades ahead, and, as such, market players must focus on grabbing this value-creation opportunity to maintain their competitiveness in the global landscape.

How Growth will Unfold

Thionyl chloride is finding immense utilization in manufacturing pharmaceuticals - sumicidin, vitamin A, and tetramisole hydrochloride. The application category captures a leading share in the market, and would maintain its positive trend at a healthy pace over the coming years.

Given an upsurge in the usage of pesticides and fertilizers to boost agricultural productivity, players in the thionyl chloride market are also investing in the agrochemical industry, wherein, thionyl chloride is used as a solvent. Collectively, the adoption of thionyl chloride in both these end uses would account for 50% revenue share.



  • Technical Grade
  • Pharmaceutical  Grade


  • Agrochemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Dyes & Pigments
  • Organic Synthesis
  • Batteries
  • Others

Production Process

  • Sulfur Trioxide Route
  • Sulfur Dioxide Route
  • Other Routes


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

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Thionyl Chloride Market