Petrochemicals are derived from natural gas and crude oil and play an essential role in the chemicals industry. Petrochemicals find applications in almost all sectors; however, these are mainly used in construction, agriculture, packaging, automotive and electrical & electronics industries. Thus, the growth in all these end-use industries, specifically in Asia-Pacific, is projected to augment the petrochemicals market. Abundant availability of raw materials, particularly in the Middle East region, is also expected to boost the market growth. However, shifting preferences for bio-based chemicals and ecological issues occurring because if the usage of various petrochemicals may hamper the market growth. Moreover, the fluctuating prices of the raw materials are also likely to affect the overall growth.
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Ethylene was the dominant petrochemical product in 2013 and occupied over 27 % of the total petrochemicals market share. Global demands for ethylene are estimated to be driven by the growing demands for polyethylene in various key end-use industries, for instance, the packaging industry.
The propylene sector is anticipated to reach USD 175 billion by 2020. The demands for butadiene in APAC are likely to increase on account of the higher demand for butadiene in styrene-butadiene rubber and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). The methanol sector is expected to be the fastest-growing product sector over the next few years. The growth of this sector is directly related to the increasing use of methanol in methanol to olefins (MTO) and gasoline blending processes. The benzene sector in the APAC region is estimated to grow at a flat CAGR over the forecast period.
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Geographically, China came up as the topmost petrochemicals consumer in 2013 and held over 26 % of the overall demand. The region is further expected to maintain its dominance growing at a healthy CAGR during the estimated years. The demands in the Middle East & Africa are primarily driven by the increasing capacity additions in the region. The in North American and European petrochemicals markets are also expected to grow at a decent rate over the forecast period.
The major companies in this market are The Dow Chemical Company; BASF SE; Sinopec Ltd.; Shell Chemical Company; Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd.; LyondellBasell Industries; E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company; and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC.
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