According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Petrochemicals Market by Product (Ethylene, Propylene, Butadiene, Benzene, Xylene, Toluene, Vinyls, Styrene and Methanol) -Global and China Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2012 – 2018," the global petrochemicals market was valued at $472.06 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach $791.05 billion by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2012 to 2018. In terms of volume, the global petrochemicals consumption was 436.86 million tons in 2011 and is expected to reach 627.51 million tons by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2012 to 2018.
Growing consumption from major end use industries including construction, packaging, transportation, textile, plastics, healthcare and so on coupled with favorable operating conditions mainly in the Middle East and Asia Pacific is expected to drive the global market for petrochemicals over the next five years. Government initiatives in India and China to set up petrochemical complexes in the region are also expected to fuel the market growth.
The rapid exploration and development of unconventional gases such as shale gas is also expected to provide feedstock advantage to petrochemical producers. However, volatile raw material prices and growing environmental concerns regarding the production and usage of various petrochemicals are expected to be a key challenge for market participants. Regulatory intervention has resulted in the industry shifting focus towards developing bio-based alternatives for petrochemicals.
Ethylene dominated the petrochemical market and accounted for over 28% of the total consumption in 2011. Growing demand for polyethylene, a major derivative of ethylene, mainly from packaging industry is expected to boost the global market for ethylene over the forecast period. However, widening supply- demand gap due to capacity addition in the Middle East and Asia Pacific is expected to put pressure on ethylene prices, globally. In terms of volume, methanol is expected to be fastest growing petrochemical at an estimated CAGR of 10.3% from 2012 to 2018. The growth of methanol is largely driven by its emerging application in gasoline blending and conversion of methanol to olefins (MTO).