Middle East is likely to be a promising region for the petrochemicals demand during forecast period. GCC’s investments in the petrochemicals industry done through the merger and acquisition deals as well as the joint ventures exceeded $140bn in 2019. The Saudi government, is pushing for a more significant presence in the downstream industries, especially petrochemicals, in accordance to the nation’s vision to reduce the crude oil dependency.
Integration of fuels refining with petrochemicals and polymer production is likely to be a key trend witnessed by global petrochemicals industry by 2027. Petrochemicals integration is expected to provide the refiners the access to fast-growing chemical markets, and a hedge against weakening demand growth for gasoline and diesel.
Petrochemical market is the backbone to some of the crucial industries which include automotive, healthcare, agriculture, textiles, and consumer durables. However, the end-users are likely to seek eco-friendly alternatives to the petrochemicals, in order to achieve several sustainable development goals in the near future.
Implementation of the IMO sulfur cap reduction on ship fuel, from 3.5% to 0.5%, and the forthcoming variations in demand trends in accordance to fuel quality and emission standards, are likely to have significant impact on the petrochemicals supply chain during forecast period.
Factors such as: electrification of passenger cars, and rise in acceptance of alternative drive-train technologies for commercial vehicles poses a risk to the demand for gasoline and diesel. This trend to have a growing impact on refined products and petrochemicals demand over the next few decades.
Key developments in global petrochemicals market
Saudi Aramco’s crude-oil-to-chemicals (CTC) project in Yanbu aims to produce 9 million tons/year of petrochemicals and base oils by 2025.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) along with a consortium of Indian oil companies, is working on a US$ 44 billion refinery and petrochemicals complex in India which is expected to start up in 2025.
In October 2019, SABIC signed a US$ 50 Mn deal with U.S.-based industrial service firm Baker Hughes, to develop local capacity, creating downstream business opportunities and industry diversification.
In July 2019, PrefChem - Saudi Aramco’s refinery and petrochemical joint venture with Malaysian state oil firm PETRONAS in Pengerang, announced the commencement of 300,000 bpd oil refinery and a petrochemicals complex with annual production capacity of 7.7 million tonnes.
Global petrochemicals market: key segments
Based on product, the global petrochemicals market is broadly segregated into: ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, xylene, toluene, vinyls, styrene and methanol.
Demand for propylene is likely to expand at a CAGR close to 5% from 2019 to 2027. Polypropylene production will account for the largest share of new propylene consumption, followed distantly by propylene oxide, cumene, and acrylonitrile.
Ethylene is one of the largest-volume petrochemicals worldwide. Polyethylene, and ethylene oxide were the two largest outlets for ethylene in 2018, and are anticipated to follow the similar trend throughout the forecast period.
Methanol is likely to mark substantial demand from diverse sectors including: construction, packaging, textiles, furniture, paints, and coatings. Formaldehyde synthesis is anticipated to remain methanol’s single largest outlet. Other significant outlets for methanol include: olefins production, dimethyl ether (DME) and methyl tert-butyl ether/methyl tert-amyl ether (MTBE/TAME)
Global petrochemicals market: competition landscape
The global petrochemicals market was highly fragmented in 2018 and the trend is projected to continue throughout the forecast period. The role of fostering partnerships across the entire value chain is likely to enhance the competitiveness of the global petrochemical market in the near future.
Major players operating in the global petrochemicals market include: BASF SE, Shell Chemical Company, DuPont, Total S.A., ExxonMobil, Sinopec Limited, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., Dow Inc., Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, and LyondellBasell Industries.
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