Growing demand from end-use industries around the world is expected to drive growth in the global petrochemical market over the next seven years.
A new report from Grand View Research puts the market value at $514.5 billion in 2014 and estimates that it will reach $758.3 billion by 2022, benefiting from growth of key end-use industries such as construction and transportation, particularly in BRIC nations, as well as a favorable regulatory framework, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
On the supply side, abundant raw material availability in the Middle East is expected to have a positive impact on growth of the petrochemical market. The shale gas boom in North America and rapidly expanding exploration & production activities in China are also likely to drive the global market.
Products manufactured by petrochemical firms, including ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, xylene, styrene and methanol, are widely used as chemical building blocks in a range of industries including rubber, plastics, electronics and packaging.
In 2014 ethylene was the leading product segment, valued at over $140 billion and accounting for 28.4 percent of total market volume in 2014. Grand View Research expects rising polyethylene demand, particularly from the packaging industry, to drive this segment over the forecast period.
Methanol is forecast to emerge as the fastest growing product segment, growing at an annual rate of 8.1 percent from 2015 to 2022. This is because methanol is widely used in the manufacture of biodiesel, and demand for biodiesel is anticipated to increase over the next seven years.
Challenges faced by petrochemical firms in the coming years are expected to include volatile crude oil and naphtha prices due to political instability in OPEC countries and the supply/demand gap.