Global Petrochemicals Market - Industry trends, Outlook, Challenges and Key Market Players

Petrochemicals are compounds derived from hydrocarbons, generally crude and natural gas. It can also be obtained from various renewable materials such as sugarcane and corn, among others. Furthermore it is divided into three classes as per chemicals structures namely, olefins, aromatics, and synthesis gas hydrocarbon. Ethylene and propylene are olefin hydrocarbons, while benzene, toluene and xylene are aromatic hydrocarbons. FCC (fluid catalytic cracking), steam cracking and catalytic reforming are the various process employed in refineries and chemicals plants to obtain the desired product. Petroleum products are an integral part of our daily life and find major demand across various end-use industries. Moreover petrochemicals products find application in various everyday use products such as cloth, houses, automobiles, tooth brush, furniture, irrigation, household items, synthetic detergent, packaging, electronics, electrical, performance products, medical equipment, among others.

Global Petrochemicals Market Taxonomy

On the basis of product type, the global market is classified into:

  • Ethylene
    • Polyethylene
    • Ethyl benzene
    • Ethylene oxide
    • Others
  • Propylene
    • Propylene oxide
    • Polypropylene
    • Isopropanol
    • Others
  • Butadiene
    • Styrene
    • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
    • Butadiene
    • Others
  • Benzene
    • Cyclohexane
    • Nitrobenzene
    • Ethyl benzene
    • Others
  • Xylene
  • Toluene
    • Solvents
    • Benzene
    • Xylenes
    • Others
  • Vinyl
  • Styrene
    • Polystyrene
    • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
    • Unsaturated polyester resins
    • Others
  • Methanol
  • Gasoline
  • Acetic acid
  • Formaldehyde
  • Others

On the basis of manufacturing processes, the global market is classified into,

  • Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC)
  • Steam cracking
  • Catalytic reforming

On the basis of geographic region, the global market is classified into:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • France
    • Spain
    • Russia
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • ASEAN
    • Australia
    • South Korea
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East
    • GCC Countries
    • Israel
    • Rest of Middle East
  • Africa
    • Northern Africa
    • Central Africa
    • South Africa

Global Petrochemicals Market Outlook – Oversupply of Crude and Subsequent Decline in Prices Creates Favorably Environment for Market Growth

Large volume of feedstock or raw materials available in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and rapid development of shale gas exploration in the North American region, primarily in the U.S. and Canada is expected to create a highly conducive environment for growth of the global petrochemicals market. The basic raw materials used in petrochemicals industry are natural gas, crude, and coal. Various products such as ethylene, propylene, benzene, methanol, among others, are obtained from the petrochemicals industry are used as raw materials by various end-use industries worldwide. China is one of the largest consumers of petrochemical products. Rampant growth of various end-use industries in turn fuels demand for petroleum products, especially in emerging economies such as India and China. As per data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) total liquid fuel consumption in Asia Pacific is expected to be pegged at 33.3 million barrels per day (bpd), with China accounting for 80% of the consumption in the region. Moreover, with rapid advancement in the shale gas technology,  the U.S. and Canada are actively exploring their abundant shale gas reserves by using hydro fracturing technology. These factors in turn are projected to provide high growth traction to the global petrochemicals market.

Global Petrochemicals Market challenges – Fluctuation of raw materials price and transformation towards green energy

Natural gas, coal and crude are the primary building blocks of petrochemicals industry. While currently the global crude oil production is at an all-time high, the market is subjected to high fluctuations in production and pricing. This volatility is a major challenge for players in the global petrochemicals market. The market is currently undergoing a trend of oversupply of feed stock due to large production volumes by the OPEC and Russia. This along with the economic crisis in 2009, has led to rapid decline in demand for crude oil in Europe and Japan. Further adding to the woes of the players in the industry is consumer inclination towards green energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy. This inhibits market growth to a major extent.

Key players in the market include BASF SE, Sinopec Limited, ExxonMobil, The Dow Chemical Company, Shell Chemical Company, SABIC, LyondellBasell Industries, Total S.A., Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and SNPC, INEOS, Reliance Industries.

Research Methodology

Coherent Market Insights followsa comprehensive research methodology focused on providing the most precise market analysis. The company leverages a data triangulation model which helps company to gauge the market dynamics and provide accurate estimates. Key components of the research methodologies followed for all our market reports include:

  • Primary Research (Trade Surveys and Experts Interviews)
  • Desk Research
  • Proprietor Data Analytics Model

In addition to this, Coherent Market Insights has access to a wide range of the regional and global reputed paid data bases, which helps the company to figure out the regional and global market trends and dynamics. The company analyses the industry from the 360 Degree Perspective i.e. from the Supply Side and Demand Side which enables us to provide granular details of the entire ecosystem for each study. Finally, a Top-Down approach and Bottom-Up approach is followed to arrive at ultimate research findings.


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Coherent Market Insights desk research is based on a principle set of research techniques:

  • National level desk research: It Includes research analysis of regional players, regional regulatory bodies, regional trade associations, and regional organization.
  • Multinational level desk research: The research team keeps a track of multinational players, global regulatory bodies, global trade associations, and global organization.

Coherent Market Insights has a large amount of in-house repository of industry database. This is leveraged as a burner for initiating a new research study. Key secondary sources include:

  • Governmental bodies, National and international social welfare institutions, and organizations creating economic policies among others.
  • Trade association, National and international media and trade press.
  • Company Annual reports, SEC filings, Corporate Presentations, press release, news, and specification sheet of manufacturers, system integrators, brick and mortar - distributors and retailers, and third party online commerce players.
  • Scientific journals, and other technical magazines and whitepapers.
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Preliminary Data Mining

The raw data is obtained through the secondary findings, in house repositories, and trade surveys. It is then filtered to ensure that the relevant information including industry dynamics, trends, and outlook is retained for further research process.

Data Standardization:

Holistic approach is used to ensure that the granular and uncommon parameters are taken into consideration to ensure accurate results. The information from the paid databases are further combined to the raw data in order to standardize it.

Coherent Statistical model

We arrive at our final research findings through simulation models. Coherent Data Analytics Model is a statistical tool that helps company to forecast market estimates. Few of the parameters considered as a part of the statistical model include:

  • Micro-economic indicators
  • Macro-economic indicators
  • Environmental indicators
  • Socio-political indicators
  • Technology indicators

Data Processing

Once the findings are derived from the statistical model, large volume of data is process to confirm accurate research results. Data analytics and processing tools are adopted to process large chunk of collected informative data. In case, a client customizes the study during the process, the research finding till then are benchmarked, and the process for new research requirement is initiated again.

Data Validation

This is the most crucial stage of the research process. Primary Interviews are conducted to validate the data and analysis. This helps in achieving the following purposes:

  • It provides first-hand information on the market dynamics, outlook, and growth parameters.
  • Industry experts validates the estimates which helps the company to cement the on-going research study.
  • Primary research includes online surveys, face-to face interviews, and telephonic interviews.

The primary research is conducted with the ecosystem players including, but not limited to:

  • Raw Material Suppliers
  • Manufacturers
  • System Integrators
  • Distributors
  • End-users

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