Large volume of feedstock or raw materials available in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and rapid development of shale gas exploration in the North American region, primarily in the U.S. and Canada is expected to create a highly conducive environment for growth of the global petrochemicals market. The basic raw materials used in petrochemicals industry are natural gas, crude, and coal. Various products such as ethylene, propylene, benzene, methanol, among others, are obtained from the petrochemicals industry are used as raw materials by various end-use industries worldwide. China is one of the largest consumers of petrochemical products. Rampant growth of various end-use industries in turn fuels demand for petroleum products, especially in emerging economies such as India and China. As per data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) total liquid fuel consumption in Asia Pacific is expected to be pegged at 33.3 million barrels per day (bpd), with China accounting for 80% of the consumption in the region. Moreover, with rapid advancement in the shale gas technology, the U.S. and Canada are actively exploring their abundant shale gas reserves by using hydro fracturing technology. These factors in turn are projected to provide high growth traction to the global petrochemicals market.
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Global Petrochemicals Market challenges – Fluctuation of raw materials price and transformation towards green energy
Natural gas, coal and crude are the primary building blocks of petrochemicals industry. While currently the global crude oil production is at an all-time high, the market is subjected to high fluctuations in production and pricing. This volatility is a major challenge for players in the global petrochemicals market. The market is currently undergoing a trend of oversupply of feed stock due to large production volumes by the OPEC and Russia. This along with the economic crisis in 2009, has led to rapid decline in demand for crude oil in Europe and Japan. Further adding to the woes of the players in the industry is consumer inclination towards green energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy. This inhibits market growth to a major extent.
Key players in the market include BASF SE, Sinopec Limited, ExxonMobil, The Dow Chemical Company, Shell Chemical Company, SABIC, LyondellBasell Industries, Total S.A., Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and SNPC, INEOS, Reliance Industries.
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