Petrochemicals Industry 2020, Global Market Size, Technology Review, Cost Analysis and Demand Overview

Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from crude oil and natural gas. Petrochemicals play an important role in the chemicals industry. Various chemicals are derived from petrochemicals. Petrochemicals significantly impact the economic growth and development of the manufacturing industry. Hence, the importance of value addition in the petrochemicals market is higher than in any other industrial sector. Petrochemicals are used in almost all the sectors; however, these are primarily used in construction, agriculture, packaging, automotive and electrical & electronics industries. Therefore, growth in these end-use industries, especially in Asia Pacific, is anticipated to boost the petrochemicals market during the forecast period. Abundant availability of raw materials, especially in the Middle East, is further augmenting market growth. However, shift towards bio-based chemicals coupled with environmental issues arising due to the usage of various petrochemicals is expected to hamper market growth during the forecast period. Furthermore, volatility in prices of raw materials is projected to negatively affect market growth. Shale gas evolution in North America is likely to change the dynamics of the global petrochemicals industry by 2020.

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Ethylene is considered the building block for producing various intermediary chemicals and their derivatives. Ethylene was the leading petrochemical product, accounting for over 25% share of the global petrochemicals market in 2013. Global demand for ethylene is anticipated to be led by rising demand for polyethylene in major end-use industries such as packaging. Ethylene was followed by propylene and methanol, respectively, in terms of volume in 2013. In terms of revenue, the propylene market is estimated to reach US$ 172.05 Bn by 2020. Demand for butadiene in Rest of Asia Pacific is anticipated to increase due to higher demand for butadiene in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and styrene-butadiene rubber. Methanol is projected to be the fastest growing product segment between 2014 and 2020. Growth of methanol is directly related to its increasing usage in gasoline blending and methanol to olefins (MTO) processes. Consumption of benzene was the highest in the Rest of Asia Pacific in 2013. However, the market for benzene in the region is likely to grow at a flat rate in terms of volume from 2014 to 2020.

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China emerged as the leading consumer of petrochemicals in 2013 and accounted for over 25% of the global demand in the same year. Initiatives taken by the government of China to boost the petrochemicals market coupled with growth in end-use industries in the region is expected to significantly drive the market during the forecast period. Apart from being the largest market, China is anticipated to be the fastest growing market for petrochemicals, expanding at a high CAGR between 2014 and 2020. Rest of Asia Pacific was the second-largest consumer of petrochemicals across the globe in 2013. Increasing demand for downstream products, especially in India, is projected to boost market growth in the region. Demand for petrochemicals in the Middle East and Africa is primarily led by rapid capacity additions in the region. The market for petrochemicals in North America and Europe is estimated to grow at moderate rate during the forecast period.

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The global market for petrochemicals is highly fragmented in nature. It is dominated by top multinational corporations operating across the petrochemicals value chain. These multinationals constantly strive to acquire small manufacturers to expand their market share and widen the product portfolios. Most manufacturers are shifting production units to Asia Pacific due to abundant availability of raw materials and cheap labor vis-à-vis developed countries. Major players in the market include BASF SE, ExxonMobil, The Dow Chemical Company, Shell Chemical Company, SABIC, Sinopec Limited, LyondellBasell Industries, Total S.A., Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.

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