Analysis of Global Petrochemical Industry 2016 – Product and Regional Outlook
Petrochemicals are a large group of chemicals obtained from petroleum and natural gas. These are used by numerous industries like manufacturing, textiles, consumer goods, construction, packaging, plastics, healthcare, and automotive among many others. The global petrochemicals market is primarily driven by this vast end user industry demand. Another major boost to the petrochemicals market is the abundant shale gas discoveries in the U.S. and Canadian region. Shale gas acts as a sustainable (at least a century) feedstock for petrochemicals production. Petrochemicals were conventionally derived from coal, natural gas and other hydrocarbon sources. Moreover the regional supremacy of Middle East in crude oil production is anticipated to continue.
Petrochemical Industry - Product Outlook
The petrochemicals market is dominated by ethylene. Ethylene is used as a chemical feedstock for industries like packaging, detergents, coatings, adhesives, transportation, electrical/electronic, textile and construction. Some common polymers of ethylene which are widely used are polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS). The Middle East and China are scaling up ethylene production by expanding/ adding the plant capacity. This is expected to affect the ethylene prices and its production. In the next 5 years Methanol market is expected to grow at a fast rate. This is based on the emerging use of methanol in gasoline blending and its conversion to Olefins (MTO).
Petrochemical Industry - Regional Overview
The Middle East is the largest production hub for petrochemicals. The recent lifting of oil sanctions from Iran has also boosted the petrochemicals market of this region. The feedstock abundance, infrastructural support, low production cost and availability of labour have been the major reasons for the growth of this industry in this region.
China and India with their Government support are bringing a rapid growth in the consumption of petrochemicals and petrochemical based products. The abundance of shale gas reserves (which act as an alternative feedstock) are revamping the North American chemical industry.
Petrochemical Industry - Key Players
Some of the key players of this industry which occupy a major global share are 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 , E. I. Du Pont.
Eyeing the growth prospects in this industry the companies are expanding their capacities. Recently Royal Dutch Shell Group, announced the construction of a new ethylene cracker and ethylene derivatives units at the petrochemical complex located at Huizhou, China. It plans to double its existing capacity. Another stalwart market player Dow Chemical’s
, partially owned company – MEGlobal plans to build a petrochemical plant at Freeport which will supply monoethylene glycol.
The price volatility of crude oil and natural gas and an increasing demand of bio-based chemicals are anticipated to have an adverse effect on the growth of petrochemicals market. Another area of concern is the environmental impact connected to the petrochemicals production and its product usage.
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