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.
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Global Petrochemicals Market Taxonomy
On the basis of product type, the global market is classified into:
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
Unsaturated polyester resins
On the basis of manufacturing processes, the global market is classified into,
Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC)
On the basis of geographic region, the global market is classified into:
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia Pacific
Rest of Latin America
Rest of Middle East
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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.
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