This month’s country focus offers an in-depth analysis of the Japanese industrial gas market. The market, valued at $5.6bn in 2016, has struggled over the course of the last decade and took a downward turn in the last few years.

The gas business

Despite recent decline, the industrial gas market of Japan remained the third largest in the world in 2016 behind the US and China. This was largely due to revenue generated from the sale of gas to metallurgical and manufacturing clients. Furthermore, there is a large electronics sector in Japan, with many customers consuming helium and speciality gases for applications.

The Japanese industrial gas sector was dominated by three companies that controlled just under 70% of the market between them. The largest of these companies was Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC), followed by Air Water and Air Liquide. Iwatani were the largest domestic company with operations in the Japanese market, commanding a market share of just over 8%.

Market Share by Gas Company ($5.6bn)
  • Air Water
  • Air Liquide
  • Iwatani
  • TNSC
  • Others

There was significant onsite supply infrastructure for a variety of gases, including nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and syngas. In terms of capacity, the merchant market was mostly serviced via bulk liquid methods. However, due to the extra costs of transporting packaged gas, cylinders and cylinder bundles accounted for a larger share of merchant revenue.

Market Share by Supply Mode ($9.1bn)
  • OSP
  • Bulk
  • Packaged
  • Other
  • Captive

The future

In terms of future growth, there are some strong potential opportunities for onsite operators in Japan, providing they can convince the country’s chemical and refining industries to move away from captive supply to onsite supply instead.

Over the next four years, our forecast models predict an average growth rate in the region of 0.2% per annum. This should see the industry in Japan achieve revenues of between $5.6 and $5.7bn by 2021.

Japan industrial gas market report

For more in-depth analysis of the Japan industrial gas market, please contact, or call +44 1872 225031