The global ethylene market size was valued at USD 91.7 billion in 2018 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2019 to 2026. Ethylene is a petrochemical-derived monomer and finds use in countless end-use products including fibers, plastics and is a very useful addition in manufacturing organic chemicals. Ethylene is the lightest olefin hydrocarbon to hit the market with naphtha and ethane as major sources.
The growth drivers for market are the globally expanding food industry. Ethylene copolymers are witnessing a rise in market size because of growing use of aseptic packaging in beverage industries. Half of the oxide produced globally is used up in manufacturing ethylene glycol which is an important raw material in manufacture of PET resins and polyester fibers. Vinyl acetate growth will amplify on account of growth in renewable and sustainable energy. The growth accrues because of presence of vinyl acetate in photovoltaic applications and solar cell installations
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The product is feedstock for manufacturing several other derivatives such as Ethylene oxide, polyethylene, ethyl benzene, ethylene chloride, vinyl acetate and few others. It is produced on large scale and is reckoned to be the largest volume manufactured on cue with a versatile derivative portfolio which is used in both durable and non-durable end-uses.
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Polyethylene is the major derivative and has three direct applications including low-density, linear low-density (LDPE) and high density (HDPE). The extensive use of three different forms in manufacture of packaging application products is anticipated to drive market in forecast period.
The major growth factor working in favor of market is reduction in price of the gas on account of shale gas discovery. The shale gas reverberation that took U.S.A by storm had the prices of ethane on a downward spiral. Hence new ethane crackers were introduced. Ethane cracking produces more output as compared to other feedstocks such as naphtha and propane. Technologies such as shale fracturing have given rise to more quantities.
Polyethylene, largest derivative is driving market globally. The demand of the product for consumables such as packaging materials, films and articles for large industrial use and residential purposes is a strong market driver. It is the prevalent application segment for market globally. It is used expansively in major sector such as consumer goods and industrial products. Oxides are richly used in end-user segments such as PET bottles, polyester films and fibers. Hence growth of ethylene oxide is predictably fast. Other major derivatives include ethylene dichloride, vinyl acetate and ethyl benzene.
Increasing consumption for manufacturing of end-use products has led to the expansion of the petrochemical value chain. Technical developments in manufacturing process and material science have played a vital role in growth of market. Technical prowess such as linear quench exchanger and swirl flow tube are used intermittently. Bio-based has changed the scenario and introduced a prospective growth pattern for global market. The product is aiming at mass production through the process of catalytic oxydehydrogenation that will bolster growth in forthcoming years. In 2018, Exxon Mobil and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SBIC) in a joint venture-initiated construction of world’s largest ethylene production plant, estimated at $1.4 billion.
On the basis of feedstock classification looks into ethane, naphtha, propane, butane, coal and other few hydrocarbon products. Naphtha followed by ethane is the largest source of raw material in most parts of the world. Consequently, ethane is the significant raw material source in U.S. Based on end uses; ethylene is largely consumed by textile, construction, packaging and plastics market.
The ethylene market aims towards high growth with three major industries namely packaging, construction and automotive end-user segments that are expected to drive market in forecast period. In terms of end-users, packaging rose well above the rest of the industries with 30% share attributed to it in 2018. Agrochemicals is also expected to be one of the fastest growing segments during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific markets are leaders in ethylene market globally and are expected to portray rampant pace of growth. Southeast Asia and India are contributing to market growth for ethylene responsibly. This occurs due to expansion of downstream business such as polyester fiber and making of PET products. China leads the market with highest share in ethylene dichloride because of high consumption of ethylene in PVC and vinyl chloride market.
North America, Western Europe and the Middle East are significantly profuse markets as with Asia Pacific. The most thriving countries by market growth include China, India, United States, the CIS and Baltic States and the Middle East. Japan and Western Europe are regional markets and forecasted to consume less ethylene over the next five years.
The leading players in market include Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), The Dow Chemical Company, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell plc., china Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Corporation), Chevron Philips Chemical Company LLC., Total S.A., Lyondell Basell Industries, National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) and INEOS Group AG.