According to a new report by Transparency Market Research, the global petrochemical market is estimated to reach a total value of just over $791 billion by 2018, up from $472.06 billion in 2011.

The report states that between 2012 and 2018, the petrochemical market is likely to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 6.7% to $791.05 billion. Meanwhile, a sharp increase is predicted in terms of volume too, with global consumption expected to stand at 627.51 million tons by 2018, up on 436.86 million tons two years ago, marking a compound annual growth rate of 5.4%.

The biggest driver of this growth is increased consumption of petrochemical products by a range of industries, such as construction, plastics, packaging, healthcare and textiles. When combined with favorable operating conditions in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, the surge in demand is predicted to fuel the market worldwide, the report notes.

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In terms of materials, ethylene dominated the market in 2011, accounting for 28% of the total consumption. Over the next five years ethylene is likely to remain the most popular material, mostly due to increased demand for its derivative polyethylene. The fastest growing segment will be methanol, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.3% through 2018.

In 2011, the largest consumer of petrochemicals was China, using a quarter of the global production. It is set to keep its leading position, as the report also expects the country to be the fastest growing petrochemical market over the next five years.