The global Ethylene Market was valued at USD 86 billion in 2017 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2018 to 2026. Ethylene is a petrochemically derived monomer and has numerous applications, which are further applied to many end-use products such a fiber, plastics, and in the production of other organic chemicals. It is one of the lightest olefinic hydrocarbon with ethane and naphtha as major feedstocks.
Ethylene is a feedstock for manufacturing numerous other derivatives such as ethylene oxide, polyethylene, ethyl benzene, ethylene chloride, vinyl acetate, and few others. Ethylene is among the largest-volume petrochemical produced globally in tandem with a versatile derivative portfolio used in both durable and non-durable end-uses. Polyethylene is the largest derivative produces and has three direct applications including low-density polyethylene, (LDPE), liner low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
North America Ethylene Market Share by Application, 2017-2026
Note: Inside circle depicts data for 2017 & outside circle depicts data for 2026
The shale gas boom in the United States has substantially influenced the future development of many petrochemical derivatives, including ethylene. With the advent of shale technology in North America, a strong price decline for ethane was witnessed, which led to addition of new ethane crackers. Moreover, ethane cracking yields a higher amount of ethylene as compared to other feedstocks such as propane or naphtha. Technologies such as shale have contributed significantly to the rapid production of ethylene.
Polyethylene, the largest derivative of ethylene is primarily driving the market globally. The demand of polyethylene for consumables such as packaging materials, films, and articles for large industrial use and residential purpose is a vital market driver. Rapidly expanding downstream businesses of the petrochemical value chain, especially in the developing countries has led to increased consumption of ethylene for manufacturing of end-use products.
North America Ethylene Market by Feedstock, 2017 - 2026
Technical developments in terms of manufacturing processes and material science has played a crucial role in the growth of ethylene market. Technical developments such as linear quench exchanger and swirl flow tube (SFT) by TechnipFMC are used for the improved performance concerning capacity, selectivity, and run-length of the furnaces. Bio-based ethylene has also introduced a completely different growth prospect to the global ethylene market.
Polyethylene is the dominating application segment for the ethylene market globally. Polyethylene is used in the manufacturing of numerous consumer and industrial products. Ethylene oxide is likely to be the fastest-growing application segment n account of its end-uses in PET (polyethylene terephthalate), bottles, polyester films, and fibers. Other major derivatives of ethylene include ethylene dichloride, vinyl acetate, and ethyl benzene.
On the basis of feedstock, ethylene is segmented into ethane, naphtha, propane, butane, coal, and few other minor hydrocarbon products. Naphtha is the largest source of raw material in most parts of the world, with ethane as a significant source in other countries such as the United States. Based on the end-uses, ethylene is largely consumed by textile, construction, packaging, and plastics market.
Asia Pacific is the largest regional market for the ethylene demand globally. Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinents are the major Asian regions responsible for the rapid growth. This is due to the expansion of downstream businesses such as polyester fiber and manufacturing of PET products. China has the highest market share for ethylene dichloride due to high consumption of ethylene in PVC and vinyl chloride market.
North America, Western Europe, and the Middle East are also significant markets in tandem with the Asia Pacific region. The most lucrative countries in terms of growth include China, India, United States, the CIS and Baltic States, and the Middle East. Japan and Western Europe are the mature regional markets and are expected to consume less ethylene over next five years.
The global ethylene market is highly competitive with high degree of integration across the value chain by many market players. Some of the major market players for ethylene include ExxonMobil Corporation, Dow Dupont, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Royal Dutch Shell plc, Total S.A., LyondellBasell Industries, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation.