The global commercial seaweed market size is projected to reach USD 24.92 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.51% during the forecast period. In 2020, the market’s value stood at USD 14.11 billion and it is expected to touch USD 15.01 billion in 2021, highlights Fortune Business Insights™ in its report, titled “Commercial Seaweed Market, 2021-2028”.
Potential Benefits of Seaweeds for COVID-19 Patients May Favor Market Growth
Seaweeds and their derivatives are known for their exceptional nutritional properties that are capable of deterring attacks by pathogens such as viruses. For example, carrageenan, a polysaccharide from red seaweed, has already been investigated as a therapeutic agent for respiratory diseases. The capacity of carrageenan is now being tested against more potent viruses, mainly the SARS-Cov-2, which is responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2020, for instance, researchers from India’s Central Institute of Fisheries Technology found that sulfated polysaccharides from seaweeds are active against multiple viruses, including the coronavirus. The findings have also been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Another study in December 2020 by investigators from the University of Pittsburgh, USA, revealed that orally ingested seaweeds are likely to have direct antiviral effects on the coronavirus within the intestine. Such findings amid the current crisis will positively impact commercial seaweed cultivation around the world in the post-pandemic era. However, in spite of its many promises, supply chain disruptions and economic downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic led to the market registering a low growth of 5.85% in 2020.
Based on type, the market is trifurcated into red, brown, and green seaweeds. The red segment led the global market with a share of 45.71% and the China market with a share of 46.26% in 2020.
By form, the market is segmented into flakes, powder, and liquid. On the basis of end-uses, the market is divided into food & beverages, agricultural fertilizers, animal feed additives, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics & personal care. In terms of geography, the market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.
Growing Demand for Organic Fertilizers to Favor the Market
Bringing sustainability to agricultural practices has been the focal point of concern for policymakers, economists, and climate science experts for many years. This has led to increased research and exploration of various natural ingredients that can be used as inputs and boost agricultural productivity. Seaweeds, in this context, have emerged as a viable solution. For example, fertilizers made from seaweeds directly deliver organic matter into the soil and activate beneficial microorganisms.
Furthermore, the chelation process created by polysaccharides in seaweeds releases nutrients slowly, enhancing fertilizer efficiency. These properties have stoked commercial seaweed cultivation in many parts of the globe. For example, Namibia-based Kelp Blue operates huge underwater farms that produce seaweeds to be used as ingredients in industries including fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Moreover, the Namibian Government has also issued permit to the company to begin seaweed cultivation off its cast.
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