Global Market

Definition of Guar Gum
Gum cyamopsis, guar flour; INS No. 412

Primarily the ground endosperm of the seeds from Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (L.) Taub. (Fam. Leguminosae) mainly consisting of high molecular weight (50,000-8,000,000) polysaccharides composed of galactomannans; the mannose:galactose ratio is about 2:1. The seeds are crushed to eliminate the germ, the endosperm is dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the ground endosperm (native guar gum). The gum may be washed with ethanol or isopropanol to control the microbiological load (washed guar gum). 
 

Global market demand

The global guar gum market is anticipated to be driven by growing use of guar gum for hydraulic fracturing and oil well drilling applications in oil and gas industry and increasing penetration of guar gum for pharmaceutical applications.

 

Global demand was estimated at 491,243 mt in 2017, which is expected to reach 687,579 mt by 2025, growing at 4.4% CAGR from 2018 to 2025

Inconsistent data

It proves difficult to find consistent import and export data of guar gum. In databases as COMTRADE, FAOSTAT, EUROSTAT the entirety of gum like substances is summarized in one item, or it is circumstantial data. I spent quite some time trying to make sense  of all these different sources.

Wherever I could find and interpret import and export data, it was completely inconsistent with other databases. I do not want to use data that has not been confirmed by at least one other source. I do not have the time or expertise to discern what data is valid. The data you do find below has been confirmed by at least one other source

For example. One report states that the current market has a value of around $550 million, with an expected growth to around $785 in 2026. A second report with comparable authority starts at $761 and expects the market to grow to $1,611 in 2025. The difference as you can see is gargantuan.

The list of databases I researched are included ion the page 'sources'. You can consult the wealth of data on your own.

(you will find the same disclaimer in the chapter 'internal market')

Applications

Industrial

Oil drilling, Fracking (US and Canada), Photography, Tobacco, Paper, Textile, Mining and explosives, Construction, Water treatment, Fire control, Paints and coatings, 

Food

Baked goods & baking mixes, Breakfast cereals, Cheeses, cream cheese, Dairy products and frozen products, Fats and oils, Jams and jellies, Milk products, Infant formula, Processed vegetable and vegetable juices, Soup and soup mixes, Sweet sauces, toppings and syrups, Savory sauces and dressings, RTE products (ready-to-eat), Meat products and sausages, Noodles, Animal feed and pet products

Pharmacy

Cosmetics, drugs (dietary fibers, laxatives, tablet

Specialized medical infant formula, tube-feeding

Novel agrichemical

Beside the well known applications in oil and food is Guar gum still regarded as a novel agrochemical. It is also finding its utility in managing human health disorders like bowel movements, cardiac ailments, diabetic colon cancer along with increasing application in drug manufacturing as well. All of these factors are predicted to boost the guar gum market in near future.

Production and export

India and Pakistan are the largest producers of guar gum accounting for nearly 95% of the total production. The product accounts for approximately one-third of the total agricultural exports of India. Hence, growing number of government initiatives to encourage the exports, in order to gain foreign currency, is expected to benefit the market.

However, the market faces challenges in terms of erratic production and supply owing to dependency of crops on sufficient rainfall. Uncertainty in raw material supply is one of the major reasons behind product price fluctuations, which may drive industries such as food processing and textile to look for other economically viable substitutes.

Import from market leader India

The US is the largest importer of guar gum from India, with an annual import of more than 244829 metric ton representing about 60% of the total guar gum exports from India.

 

China and Germany are the other major importers of guar gum from India, they import more than 32268 metric ton and 12085 metric ton, respectively, which accounts for 7.8% and 2.9% of the total guar gum export from India. Other major importers of guar gum are Italy, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Belgium, and Canada. Presently, India exports guar gum to more than 90 countries.

North America defines the market

More than 60% of the global guar demand is accounted for by North America. The United States alone accounts for more than 50% import of guar and guar seeds.  As the United States is the premium importer of gaur and guar seeds, the global guar price is dependent on the US demand.

 

India is the leading exporter of guar gum to North America. The guar imported from other countries is processed to form guar gum, which is considered to be of better quality, as compared to the regionally produced guar gum in the United States and Canada. 

The number of oil rigs drilling has increased from 566 in 2016 to 759 in 2017. With increasing oil production, the requirement of guar gum effectively increases. This is because guar gum is used as a thickening agent in the fracking process, a method to extract shale gas. It is one of the most sought after products that is not regionally produced at par with the export quality.

Allround European market

Europe is the second-largest market for guar, guar seeds, and guar gum products globally.  

 

Germany is the largest guar gum importer in the European region. The presence of a high number of processing industries is the primary reason for Germany to be one of the largest importers of guar gum. Food industries, including dairy products, condiments & seasoning requirements, ice cream manufacturing, mineral water, and soft drinks production, are is a high consumer of guar gum.

 

The growing usage of guar for animal feed manufacturing creates a huge scope for the demand in other European countries, like France, Italy, Denmark, and Spain.t

UK

European nations, like Italy and UK, have a high demand for guar powder in the food industry. The UK is the fourth-largest importer of guar gum and it has a significant demand for guar gum in oil drilling as well as the food industry. Oil drilling is the leading industry in the UK driving the demand for guar gum, whereas the food industry is the second-largest industry driving the market. However the insecurities and difficulties surrounding the Brexit makes the UK industry less attractive at the moment.

Numbers

Europe Revenue in 2017 for Guar gum was $201.2mn. With current average prices that equals about 191.000 MT.