The chromatography market saw healthy growth in 2017, reaching $8.8 billion in sales. A slight resurgence in market performance was the result of a rebound in demand from chemical and energy markets, which benefited GC products. Meanwhile, a strong pharmaceuticals industry boosted sales growth for other technologies, including HPLC and SFC. The continuation of strong demand in China and the unexpected stabilization of the economy in Europe also helped keep the market strong. On the other hand, these sales boosts were offset by a weaker performance in North America, due in part to public spending uncertainties as well as weaker industrial spending in regions affected by hurricanes.
Total sales for chromatography are dominated by aftermarket products, especially consumables such as columns and solvents. In fact, revenues from aftermarket and service tend to drive market growth more so than the instruments themselves. All combined, the total chromatography market is expected to grow 4.1% in 2018.
Sales for most chromatography technologies are expected to increase low to mid-single-digits. Comprising half of the market is analytical HPLC, the growth of which was largely driven by UHPLC products in the past year, especially for pharmaceutical labs. The increased adoption of UHPLC is expected to continue benefiting market performance in the upcoming year. Meanwhile, sales growth for GC is likely to remain moderate, buoyed by pent-up demand from the oil and gas industry.
Increasing investments and grants for early and more accurate clinical diagnostics are set to benefit clinical HPLC, which explains its projected high growth rate. In other applied markets, namely food and environmental testing, sales from China and India will continue to increase demand. In the US, the recent legalization by states of recreational marijuana widens the market for testing cannabinoids content, benefiting HPLC, GC and Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC). Additionally, drug testing applications are set to boost the growth of Super Fluid Chromatography (SFC).