Global bitumen market 2017–2027
Bitumen is also referred to as asphalt compound that is obtained through distillation of crude oil that removes the lighter crude oil components such as diesel and gasoline, the heavier bitumen is left behind. Bitumen is consist of complex hydrocarbons and other compounds such as sulfur, calcium, iron, and oxygen. It is widely used as building materials and find application across construction and other industries. This material is mostly used in the road paving application as most of the roads are made up of bitumen or a mixture of bitumen and aggregates, this includes concrete.
The global bitumen market is estimated to account for approximately US$ 121 Billion in terms of revenue volume by the end of 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period (2019-2027)
Rising demand for bitumen as an additive across solvents and black paints application as it helps to enhance the efficiency of the paints and coatings by providing improved viscosity to waterproofing agents. Rising usage of chemically prepared bitumen as an additive across the various industrial application is projected to fuel the market growth of the bitumen. Moreover, bitumen also have better adhesion property when combining with organic amides and amines, which is fueling its demand across various industries, thereby augmenting market growth of bitumen.
Rising demand for bitumen as adhesives across various applications such as glass and ceramic industry where strong adhesion is required is driving the market growth of bitumen. Bitumen as adhesives is also used across the construction industry owing to its highly viscous nature and less setting time. Therefore, the rising use of bitumen as adhesive across waterproofing, pipelines, flooring, and water tanks is expected to propel the market growth of the bitumen.
Asia-Pacific region dominated the global bitumen market in 2018, accounting for 31% market share in terms of revenue, followed by North America and Europe, respectively. The bitumen market is anticipated to grow substantially in Asia-Pacific region during the forecast period (2019-2027), owing to the surge in population and urbanization in emerging economies.
Figure 1. Global Bitumen Market, Revenue Share (%), By Region, 2018
Production of bitumen from oil sands requires 2-4 barrels of fresh water in order to extract 1 barrel of bitumen or synthetic crude oil which is projected to curb the market growth of bitumen. Moreover, bitumen with impurities used in road pavement can cause soil pollution and bitumen pavement has low tensile strength as compared to concrete pavement. This factor is expected to restrict the market growth.
Increasing adoption of the alternate of the bitumen such as concrete roads and pavements due to their high tensile strength and other advantage is expected to negatively impact the market growth of bitumen. For instance, according to the Coherent Market Insights, in September 2013, the Indian government decided to abandon bitumen in road construction projects, especially for national highways to increase the life of roads and in turn decided to opt for cement in road construction.
Rising usage of bitumen in printing inks to provide dark and long-lasting inks is projected to fuel the market growth over the forecast period. Bitumen is mixed with the printing inks to attain dark and black colored oil which is mainly found in cheap black printing ink. Hence, rising application of bitumen in printing inks is expected to foster the market growth of the bitumen over the forecast timeframe.
Increasing application of bitumen in anti-corrosive paints such as waterproofing of boats & ships and terraces is expected to offer lucrative growth opportunities over the forecast period. Moreover, bitumen paints are also used in protective coatings, wood, steel, concrete, timber, and others. Hence, rising demand for anti-corrosive paints from end-use industries such as furniture, marine, aviation, and construction is expected to fuel the market growth of bitumen.
Figure 2. Global Bitumen – Market Opportunity Analysis
On the basis of product type, in 2018, paving grade accounted the largest market share of 57% in terms of revenue, followed by oxidized grade and bitumen emulsion. The demand for paving grade bitumen is expected to rise in forthcoming years due to increase in its usage for making pathways, railway beds as well as in road maintenance.
Figure 3. Global Bitumen Market, Revenue Share (%), By Product Type, in 2018
The increasing trend of launch of innovation in bitumen product by major players is expected to augment the market growth of the bitumen. For instance, in March 2019, Shell has introduced a new bitumen product that can help reduce the impact of asphalt production and paving on local air quality. Shell Bitumen FreshAir has been shown to help reduce emissions of specific gases and particulates from asphalt mixtures during production and paving by an average of 40% when compared to conventional bitumen.
Rising investment for the production of bitumen by major players in order to meet the rising demand is expected to hinder the market growth of the bitumen over the forecast period. For instance, in September 2018, Gulf Petrochem Group has committed to invest close to US$ 508 million for setting up a bitumen refinery in Gujarat for A Sharjah-based oil Production Company. Hence, rising such investment by major players is expected to propel the market growth.
Figure 4. Global bitumen market–Value Chain Analysis
Players active in the market are Exxon Mobil Corporation, Total S.A., Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc., Marathon Oil Corporation, Calumet Specialty Product Partners Ltd L.P, Chevron Texaco Corporation, and Nynas AB
Few Recent Developments
- In June 2015, ExxonMobil Corporation increased production capacity of bitumen from 110,000 barrels per day to 220,000 barrels per day at its Kearl Oil Sands Project, Canada
- In February 2016, Total S.A. started oil production at the Laggan-Tormore in the west of Shetland. The new production facility is expected to produce 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Royal Dutch Shell plc.
- In July 2015, Royal Dutch Shell plc. received the Global Road Achievement Award by International Road Federation for its bitumen odor-neutralizing product, Bitufresh
- In November 2015, the company invested US$ 8 Million in its bitumen refineries in Rheinland (Germany) and Pernis (Netherlands) to increase bitumen production in the region