The alpha olefins market is segmented into 1-Butene, 1-Hexene, 1-Octene, 1-Decene, 1-Dodecene, and others. ‘Others’ include 1-Tetradecene, 1-Hexadecene, 1-Octadecene, and C20–C30 linear alpha olefins (LAOs). Some of the applications of C20 – C30 LAOs are alkyl aromatics, petroleum additives, surfactants, and oil field chemicals. 1-Hexene has been the largest category, attributed to its increasing use in the production of plastic resin for further use in various industries including food and beverage.
The alpha olefins market is categorized into polyolefin comonomers, surfactants and intermediates, synthetic lubricants, petroleum additives, plasticizers, oilfield chemicals, and others. Other minor applications can be seen in the production of synthetic acids, property-enhancement of waxes, and producing paper-sizing chemicals. Polyolefin comonomers have been holding the largest share in the global market, with an estimated revenue contribution of more than 55.0% in 2017. This is attributed to the increasing use of polyolefin comonomers in various industries around the world, including plastics, automotive, and construction, which is escalating its demand in the global market.
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Globally, North America has been accounting for the highest revenue in the alpha olefins market, with an estimated contribution of more than 50.0% in 2017. This is attributed to the high consumption of plastic in the region along with increasing production capacity of the compound, which is majorly driving the market growth, as the compound is the major raw material in the production of polyethylene, which is the most widely accepted plastic resin.
The major trend witnessed in the global alpha olefins market in recent years is the growing demand of heavier olefins in North America and the Middle East.
North America is one of the largest producers as well as consumers of the compound. In the region, a number of ethylene cracker plants with integrated specialty grades polythene production facilities have become online, in recent years. 1-Octene based LLDPE offers greater resistance to external stress, lower density, and greater stiffness as compared to LLDPE. These properties make 1-Octene based LLDPE the first choice for lightweight but durable packaging materials for consumer goods and equipment manufacturing. Owing to such benefits, the preference for heavier LAO is emerging in the U.S. and other North American countries, driving the alpha olefins market growth.
Additionally, in the Middle East, the preference for heavier LAO based LLDPE in the automotive and consumer goods industries is growing, owing to the many benefits of the compound, as stated above.
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Rising demand for polyolefin comonomers and growing application of the compound in the production of specialty chemicals are identified as the major factors driving the growth of the alpha olefins market.
This compound is used as a raw material in the production of different specialty chemicals such as surfactants, oilfield chemicals, lubricants, plasticizers, plastomers, and others. For example, ethylene alpha-olefin copolymers are known as plastomers and are produced from the polymerization process. Plastomers exhibit hybrid properties of elastomers and plastics, and due to such properties, these materials are used in polymer modifications and packaging applications.
Some of the major players operating in the global alpha olefins market are Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, INEOS Group Holding S.A., Evonik Industries AG, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, ExxonMobil Corporation, Qatar Chemical Company Ltd., PJSC Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Sasol Limited, and Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd.
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