Global methanol market is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period owing to its widespread applications in various end use industries such as plastics, automotive, paints & adhesives, construction and pharmaceutical. Methanol is the basic building block for production of various chemical derivatives. Global market for methanol is segmented into three derivatives of methanol, formaldehyde, acetic acid and dimethyl ether. Out of the three, formaldehyde is the largest application segment owing to its diverse applications in numerous industries such as paints, plastics, explosives and plywood. It is also used as a fuel owing to its exceptional blending properties and high octane rating. Gasoline blended with methanol provides enhanced engine performance and better fuel efficiency. Due to these reasons, demand for methanol is expected to propel over the next six years.
Growing demand for chemical intermediates and growth in automotive sector across the globe are expected to be key drivers for methanol market. With depleting crude oil reserves, demand for alternative transportation fuel has triggered the market for methanol as a blended fuel over the past few years. This is expected to further augment growth of methanol over the forecast period. In addition, increasing use of methanol in paints & adhesives is also expected to fuel market growth. However, high processing cost of conversion of methane into liquid coupled with lack of technology to meet existing demand may hamper market growth.
Asia Pacific was the largest market for methanol in terms of volume in 2013 owing to rapid growth in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry.. China led the global methanol market and is anticipated to emerge as a global leader over the forecast period. U.S is also expected to witness a surge in methanol market over projected period due to abundance of natural gas reserves in North America However, European markets are expected to witness sluggish growth rate owing to lack of raw material availability and shift of manufacturing units to Asia Pacific region due to low labor costs and lack of environmental regulations.
Some of the major players dominating this market include Eastman Chemical Company, Celanese Corporation, BASF SE, Atlantic Methanol Production Company, Methanex Chile Ltd, DuPont Fuel Cell, Antig Technology Co. Ltd and China XLX Fertilizer Ltd.
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