Ethylene Market Overview
The major trend being witnessed in the global ethylene market is the increasing investments aimed at boosting the production capacity for the gas. Owing to the large-scale application of ethane gas in various industries, many companies engaged in its production are working toward expanding their production capacities. For instance, in August 2018, ExxonMobil and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, under a joint venture, announced their decision to construct the world’s largest ethylene production plant, estimated to be developed at a cost of $1.4 billion.
Ethylene is a colorless flammable gas with a musky odor. It is the simplest alkene and unsaturated hydrocarbon after acetylene. It is extensively used in agriculture as a plant hormone to ripen fruits. It is also used in the chemical industry to produce ethyl benzene, polyethylene, ethylene dichloride, and ethylene oxide. The ethylene market is expected to grow on account of the rising demand for the gas from end-use industries, such as consumer electronics, packaging, and food and beverage.
On the basis of application, the ethylene market is categorized into high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and petrochemical intermediates. HDPE, which is mainly used for the production of plastics, accounted for a significant share in the market during the historical period.
Based on region, the market is categorized into Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. Among all these regions, APAC held the largest share in the ethylene market during the historical period, mainly driven by the demand for ethylene-based derivatives from end-use industries, such as packaging, automotive, and construction. In the coming years, the region will continue leading the market globally, on account of the growth in the manufacturing industry in countries such as China, India, and Vietnam.
Ethylene Market Dynamics
The major factor driving the growth of the ethylene market is the reducing cost of production of the gas as a result of shale gas discovery. Since ethylene is a hydrocarbon-derived gas, reduction in the prices of shale gas leads to reduction in the cost of production of ethylene. Thus, the rapid rise in the production of shale gas in recent years has resulted in the increased production of ethane, which acts as a raw material for ethylene production. Due to this, the production of the gas is expected to grow at a significant pace in the near future as well. The declining cost of production of the gas as well as capacity expansion plans of market players will continue boosting the ethylene market growth during the forecast period.
The major factor restraining the growth of the ethylene market is the implementation of stringent government regulations pertaining to the production and use of ethylene. As ethylene is combustible and carcinogenic in nature, stringent regulations on its usage hamper its market growth. Moreover, several countries are implementing legislations for environment protection, which is likely to put pressure on the companies engaged in the production of the hydrocarbon-based gas. In addition, volatility in the feedstock cost is hindering the growth of the market to some extent.
With rapid urbanization and industrialization, the demand for ethylene-based packaging materials is growing exponentially in emerging economies. Besides, the growing demand for automobiles and electronic devices in APAC countries, such as China and India, is encouraging the growth of the ethylene market because ethene is used a raw material in automobiles and electronic devices. In the coming years, emerging countries are expected to witness rise in their middle-class population, which would further boost the demand for electronic items and automobiles in these countries. Thus, the increased demand for the gas from end-use industries will open new avenues for the growth of the players operating in the market.
Ethylene Market Competitive Landscape
Some of the major players operating in the global ethylene market are DowDupont Inc., BASF SE, ExxonMobil Corporation, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, Formosa Plastics Corporation, INEOS Group, Sasol Limited, Shell Chemical LP, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, LyondellBasell Industries N.V., National Petrochemical Company, and Westlake Chemical Corporation.
The study provides the historical as well the forecast market size data for various countries, including the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Japan, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.