Petrochemicals Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Petrochemicals Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Benzene, Xylene, Ethylene, Propylene, Styrene), By Region (CSA, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, MEA), And Segment Forecasts, 2019 - 2025

  • Published Date: Mar, 2019
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2018
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-560-1
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2017
  • Number of Pages: 133

Industry Insights

The global petrochemicals market size was valued at USD 539.3 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 8.5% over the forecast period. The market is driven by increasing product application in major end-use industries such as construction, automobile, and chemical intermediate manufacturing. Ethylene dominates the market in terms of value and volume, owing to its demand as a feedstock in the aforementioned end-use industries.

Petrochemicals are chemical compounds derived from feedstocks such as crude oil, natural gas and gasoline. Petroleum is the basic raw material to produce olefins such as ethylene, propylene, and aromatics, including benzene, xylene, and toluene. These chemicals are utilized across all sectors including construction, automotive, agriculture, electrical and electronics and significantly impact the growth and development of these industries.

North America petrochemicals market

Rising popularity of bio-based products along with stringent regulatory environment on account of environmental concerns is anticipated to hamper market growth significantly. Major companies are focusing on the development of sustainable petrochemicals plants, which has led to shutting down of older, smaller, and less efficient plants. Recently, developed manufacturing processes have led to the replacement of feedstocks, modifications in the ratio of coproducts produced, and the cost. This has resulted in demand/supply imbalance, especially for smaller downstream petrochemical derivatives.

Demand for petrochemicals and their derivatives across application scopes such as tires, pharmaceuticals, high-tech materials, and paints among others across U.S. is led by unprecedented success in shale development. U.S. is a major exporter of petrochemical products to regions, including Europe as well as countries, such as China and India. There has been a significant resurgence in investment as well as the capacity expansion of petrochemicals since 2014. The significant growth of the industry is driven by the shale revolution, which led to a decrease in feedstock prices. U.S. reflected a significant increase in consumption of ethane outnumbering other petroleum and liquid products, such as jet fuel and gasoline.

Crude oil, naphtha, and natural gas are the major feedstock in petrochemical production. Development and exploration of shale gas have conveniently substituted these raw materials and also reduced the reliance on them. Major capacity additions by companies such as LyondellBasell, along with heavy investment flow in the country, is expected to boost the market growth significantly over the forecast period. In 2017, U.S. recorded establishment of multiple petrochemical plants across the country, such as the initiation of an ethane cracker plant in Texas byChevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP and the ethane steam cracker plant by ExxonMobil.

On the contrary, the Japanese government is looking for reducing the refinery capacity in order to increase the sector’s efficiency, which will have a direct impact on naphtha availability, possibly increasing the feedstock prices and deflation in cracker margins. Decline in crude oil prices have helped reduce oil-refining costs and the weaker yen has made locally sourced naphtha more attractive, thereby curbing imports and boosting exports.

Fluctuations in the global crude oil prices have always been the focus on economic and financial news. Higher crude oil prices provide a positive outlook for the oil exporting countries, whereas countries depending on petroleum imports have to bear the additional import duty prices. Decline in crude oil prices in Japan has helped reduce oil-refining costs and the weaker yen has made locally sourced naphtha more attractive, thereby curbing imports and boosting exports.

Product Insights

Polyethylene emerged as the leading application segment in the petrochemicals market, which is produced by the polymerization of ethylene in the presence of catalysts. Rising demand for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in blow molding and injection molding applications, such as containers, drums, household goods, and caps, is anticipated to significantly drive polyethylene consumption. Ethylene oxide and ethylbenzene are also major products manufactured from ethylene. These have prominent use in manufacturing of agrochemicals, industrial chemicals, and sterilizers for the medical industry.

Global propylene market

Increasing demand for propylene derivatives across the globe, coupled with adoption of lighter steam cracker, is expected to fuel market growth. Propylene is widely used for copolymerization of polypropylene and synthesis of other propylene derivatives, such as propylene oxide, isopropanol, cumene, and acrylic acid. Polypropylene is anticipated to emerge as the leading derivative over the forecast period. Major propylene applications include fiber, films, plastics, and foams. Increasing demand for injection molded PP from the electrical and electronics industry is further expected to boost its consumption.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific is anticipated to drive two-thirds of global petrochemical demand owing to robust economic growth and increasing domestic consumption. China is the largest consumer of petrochemical products owing to presence of large production facilities and favorable export-oriented government policies. Recent trends in the petrochemical sector are propelling adoption of cost-effective and non-oil feedstocks, including natural gas liquids (NGLs) and other associated gases. There is a tight demand and supply scenario across Asia owing to significant factors, such as price fluctuation of naphtha and crude oil, and uncertainty in downstream and upstream investments. Growth of the manufacturing sector in countries, such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and UAE, has further fueled demand for base chemicals and polymers.

The market in Europe is expected to witness more outages at cracker and polymer plantsover the coming years. The market is expected to be characterized by weak demand for butadiene and oversupply in the methanol market. Recovery of the overall manufacturing sector, coupled with capacity additions in oil and gas production in the region, is anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period. Presence of major industry participants such as BASF, INEOS, and Shell Chemicals in Europe is anticipated to benefit market expansion. Western Europe is expected to witness steady growth owing to market saturation.

Petrochemicals Market Share Insights

The industry participants are majorly focusing on the development of new technologies to manufacture bio-based petrochemicals. Major factors influencing the competition include pricing structure, feedstock supply, and manufacturing technologies. Large petrochemical producers such as INEOS and SABIC have integrated their operations producing both primary petrochemicals and their derivatives. Companies are also engaged in capacity expansions to take advantage of future opportunities. Major players are investing in setting up manufacturing units in developing economies of Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Some of the key industry participants are Qatar Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, and ExxonMobil, along with PetroChina and Saudi Aramco. Other manufacturers include SABIC; Kumho LyondellBasell Industries Inc.; and INEOS Group.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2017

Forecast period

2019 - 2025

Market representation

Volume in Million Tons, Revenue in USD Billion & CAGR from 2018 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa

Report coverage      

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Country Scope

U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, China, India, Japan, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia

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Segments Covered in the Report:

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global petrochemicals market report on the basis of product and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • Ethylene

    • Propylene

    • Butadiene

    • Benzene

    • Xylene

    • Toluene

    • Vinyls

    • Styrene

    • Methanol

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Italy

      • U.K.

      • Germany

      • Spain

      • Netherlands

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

Key questions answered by the report
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