A world first: Ceresana Analyzes the Global Market for Xylene

Xylenes are aromatic, colorless liquids needed, e.g., for PET plastics, PVC plasticizers, fuels and solvents. In the now available analysis of the global market for xylene, the market research institute Ceresana provides data concerning individual xylene isomers: for the first time, markets for para-, ortho- and metaxylene split by important countries and regions are analyzed separately in a single study. Additional analyses cover corresponding application areas.

Considerable Increase in Asia-Pacific

Ceresana expects global demand for xylenes to increase considerably in the future: Aggregated consumption of p-, o- and m-xylene will rise by about 4.5% p.a. until 2021. Decisive motor is the development of Asia-Pacific that accounts for more than three quarters of worldwide xylene demand already. This region will see the by far highest increase of absolute market volume until 2021.

Paraxylene Most Important Xylene

Paraxylene is the most important product on the market for xylenes. Market value totaled US$51 billion in 2013. Paraxylene is mainly processed into terephthalic acid (TPA), which in turn is largely utilized to manufacture PET. The largest sales market is the segment polyester fibers, in Asia-Pacific in particular, which saw a strong upturn in recent years. Second largest application are plastic PET containers, especially plastic bottles.

Immense Growth Potential in India

India offers considerable growth potential for the TPA industry. The dynamic growth of the PET industry caused import demand for TPA to rise significantly: India imported 0.9 million tonnes in 2013. In the future, the gap between demand and domestic production is to be narrowed by new TPA facilities. Indian demand for paraxylene will profit from this development. Ceresana expects India to become the second largest consumer of paraxylene by 2018, after China and surpassing South Korea.

Falling Importance of DMT

Even though DMT is, in general, as suitable for PET production as is TPA, the use of TPA is more cost efficient due to technical reasons. This fact is mirrored by global demand for paraxylene in the production of DMT, which fell by more than half between 2005 and 2013. Several DMT plants were closed, so that global production capacity fell considerably. But given its specific characteristics, DMT will remain important in certain applications such as films and engineering plastics.

Markets for Orthoxylene and Metaxylene

About 94% of worldwide demand for orthoxylene originate in the production of phthalic anhydride (PAN). The most important applications of PAN are the production of PVC plasticizers and unsaturated polyester resins. Existing environmental and health concerns regarding phthalate-based plasticizers are limiting the growth potential of PAN. Global production of metaxylene is limited to few manufacturers and accounts for an only small share of global xylenes production. The most important application is the processing into isophthalic acid (IPA), which is used in the manufacturing of PET bottles. IPA is also added to unsaturated polyester resins in order to improve their technical properties.

Fuels and Solvents

The majority of global xylene output originates in refineries. Catalytic reforming yields so-called reformate, which is rich in the aromatic compounds benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX). The raw xylene obtained contains the isomers ortho-, meta- and paraxylene as well as ethylbenzene. This mixture can be used to increase the octane rating of fuels and as a solvent for paints, degreasing agents, adhesives, sealants, and care products. Yet the highest demand is recorded for the individual isomers that can be separated from this xylene mixture.

The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 is a description and analysis of the global market for xylenes. Development of demand, revenues, and production are explained in detail. This report also offers an extensive insight into the development in individual countries and regions, with data up to 2021.
Chapter 2 examines the 24 largest countries of the market in more detail and provides information on demand, revenues, production, import, and export of xylene as well as production capacities. Demand for xylene is split in detail by the applications terephthalic acid (TPA), dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), phthalic anhydride (PAN), isophthalic acid (IPA) and other applications. Additionally, demand and revenues will be split by the individual isomers para-, ortho- and metaxylene.
Chapter 3 comprehensively analyzes all applications of xylene, for example the use in terephthalic acid. This study contains data on demand development, split by Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East/ Africa as well as consumption figures for individual countries in these regions.
Chapter 4 provides data on demand and revenues for the isomers para-, ortho- and metaxylene. Demand is clearly arranged for individual countries and all world regions.
Chapter 5 is a useful directory of producers, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, profile summary, product-specific information as well as existing and future capacities at individual production sites.
Extensive profiles of 64 manufacturers are given, including Abu Dhabi National Chemicals, BP, CNPC, Exxon Mobil, Formosa Plastics, GS Caltex, Hyundai Cosmo, JX Holdings, NPC, Reliance Industries, Sinopec and S-Oil.

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