Global maleic anhydride market size was estimated at 1,869.9 kilo tons in 2013. Surging demand as a platform chemical for manufacturing a wide host of chemicals including unsaturated polyester resins (UPR), copolymers and 1,4-butanediol (BDO) is expected to remain a major factor driving industry growth over the forecast period.
Increasing penetration for manufacturing additives for lubricants and fuel oils is anticipated to drive maleic anhydride industry growth in next six years. n-Butane and benzene are the major raw materials utilized for manufacturing the intermediate using fixed bed, fluidized bed, transport bed and recovery from phthalic anhydride technologies.
Global maleic anhydride prices have been relatively stable over the last five years. Current spot prices across all the regions are estimated to continue the downtrend on account of slump in crude oil prices along with softening of alternate feedstock (butane and benzene) prices. This trend is estimated to continue over the next few months till crude oil prices recover.
A significant surge in construction spending and improving infrastructure particularly in emerging BRICS economies is expected to augment UPR and copolymer demand in near future which is expected to drive demand. Substitution of the intermediate by various bio-based feedstock for manufacturing BDO and copolymers is a major threat to market growth over the forecast period.
U.S. maleic anhydride market volume by application, 2012-2020, (USD Million)
In terms of application, UPR (unsaturated polyester resin) was the largest segment and accounted for over 45% of the total volume in 2013. The growth of major end-use industries such as building & construction and automotive particularly in emerging economies of Asia Pacific and Latin America is expected to drive the product demand in unsaturated polyester resin over the forecast period. UPR was followed by 1,4 BDO, which accounted for over 15% of total demand in 2013.
1,4-butanediol is expected to witness the fastest growth over the next six years owing to surging demand from tetrahydrofuran (THF) and polyurethane producers. BDO has been successfully investigated to produce 1,3 butadiene and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK). Eyeing these huge potential markets, companies have been focusing on increasing BDO production which is expected to have a positive impact on MAN demand over the forecast period.
Growing environmental concerns regarding toxic emissions have prompted regulatory agencies across the globe to mandate various regulatory norms such as cleaner diesel fuel program in the U.S. Such mandates have further prompted oil marketers to blend specialty fuel additives in transportation fuel. Increasing requirement for specialty additives is estimated to augment maleic anhydride demand over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific maleic anhydride market emerged as the leading regional industry and accounted for over 55% of total demand in 2013. Increasing construction spending coupled with the growth of automotive industry particularly in emerging economies such as China, India, and Indonesia is expected to drive the industry growth in this region over the forecast period. Asia Pacific is anticipated to project the fastest growth over the forecast period owing to rapid commercialization of lubricant additives and improving infrastructure primarily in South East regions of Indonesia, Thailand.
Europe accounted for over 15% of global consumption in 2013. Growing UPR demand in construction utilities coupled with technology innovation in lubricant additives industry is estimated to fuel product demand in the region. The European region is estimated to witness stagnant growth rates owing to the sluggish construction industry and stringent regulatory scenario for synthetic polymers.
North America and the Middle East & Africa are estimated to witness average demand growth owing to sluggish development in the downstream industries within the regions. Latin America, on the other hand, is estimated to witness significant growth on account of shifting manufacturing bases of various U.S. and European companies in Brazil and Argentina. This is further supported by increasing consumer disposable income and abundant raw material availability in the region.
The global industry is highly fragmented with top 5 companies including Huntsman, Yabang Jiangsu, Polynt, Qiaoyou Shanxi and Tianjin Bohai, accounted for just over 30% of the total industry revenue in 2014. Huntsman was the single largest manufacturer and accounted for over 9% of the total maleic anhydride market share in 2014.
Yabang Jiangsu is the largest manufacturer in Asia Pacific and accounted for over 7% of the global market volume in 2014. The company has constantly been involved in product development and technological advancements to improve maleic anhydride product yield. Other companies operating in the industry include Royal DSM N.V, Ashland Chemical Co, Polynt SpA, Nippon Shokubai Co Ltd, Lanxess AG and Flint Hills Resources.
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