Important Feedstock for the Chemical Industry

Ceresana analyzes the global market for benzene.

Konstanz, Germany, August 15, 2014 --( Benzene is needed for the production of important industrial chemicals; it is, for example, a feedstock for polystyrene and nylon fibers. The market research institute Ceresana expects global demand for this basic raw material to increase. Until 2021, market volume will rise by more than 7 million tonnes; revenues generated with benzene are projected to amount to more than US$69 billion that year. Currently, the Middle East/ Africa and Asia-Pacific are substantially increasing production capacities for benzene and its downstream products.

More Benzene from the Middle East and Africa

Benzene producers in the Middle East and Africa are likely to significantly increase their share of worldwide benzene production. Ceresana expects them to increase their world market share by 4 percentage points until 2021. As demand in these regions is increasing less dynamically than production, a large part of Middle Eastern/ African benzene output is directed to the world market. This is putting pressure on producers in Western Europe and North America. Production of benzene in established industrialized countries is projected to stagnate.

Growth Motor China

Asia-Pacific is dominating the market for benzene and will continue to account for almost half of global demand. China became the worldwide largest consumer of benzene, followed by the USA, in 2013. Even though growth rates will not be in the double-digit range in the foreseeable future, China will remain the growth motor for global benzene consumption. Growth impulses originate in the packaging and electronics industries as well as the automotive sector.

Falling Output in North America

Benzene is a colorless, pleasant-smelling liquid that is mainly obtained as by-product in steam crackers or catalytic refining or is manufactured directly from toluene. Due to the shale gas boom, steam crackers in North America, the USA in particular, are increasingly using ethane rather than naphtha as feedstock. Consequently, yields of benzene in these crackers are falling. Thereby fracking contributes to the reduction of benzene production in North America.

Main Application Ethylbenzene

Benzene is carcinogenic and therefore hardly used as solvent anymore. Yet it is still needed as a precursor for the chemical synthesis of many compounds, mainly ethylbenzene, cumene, cyclohexane, nitrobenzene, and alkylbenzene. The most important consumers of benzene are manufacturers of ethylbenzene, who process more than half of total global consumption. Ethylbenzene is primarily used to produce styrene, which is in turn mainly processed into polystyrene and EPS. Ceresana expects producers of ethylbenzene to continue to expand their share of all demand for benzene until 2021.

Manifold Application Possibilities

The production of cumene is the second largest sales market for benzene, followed by cyclohexane. These two intermediates account for one fifth and one tenth of worldwide benzene consumption respectively. Cumene is mainly used to manufacture phenol and acetone, and is therefore also a precursor for bisphenol A, phenolic resins, caprolactam, and methyl methacrylate. Cyclohexane is primarily utilized in the production of nylon fibers, which are processed into textiles and engineering plastics. Other applications for benzene are nitrobenzene used to manufacture aniline and alkylbenzene that is utilized as detergent.

The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 is a description and analysis of the global market for benzene. Development of demand, revenues, and production are explained in detail. Additionally, data on existing and future production capacities is provided. This report also offers an extensive insight into the development in individual countries and regions. Chapter 2 examines the 26 largest countries of the market in more detail and provides information on demand, revenues, production, and trade of benzene as well as capacities. Demand for benzene is analyzed in detail split by the applications ethylbenzene, cumene, cyclohexane, nitrobenzene, alkylbenzene and other applications. Chapter 3 provides a detailed analysis of applications of benzene, e.g. its use in the manufacturing of ethylbenzene and all other applications. 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 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 85 manufacturers are provided, including CNPC, Sinopec, NPC, JX Holdings, Formosa Plastics, Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical, LyondellBasell, Flint Hills, Lotte Chemical, Shell, GS Caltex, and PTT Global.

About Ceresana:
Ceresana is a leading international market research and consultancy company for the industrial sector and operates branch offices in Constance, Vienna and Hong Kong. For more than 10 years, it has been supplying several thousand customers from 55 countries with up-to-date market intelligence. Extensive market knowledge creates new prospects for strategic and operational decisions. Ceresana's clients profit from practical consulting services, tailor-made single-client studies and more than 60 independent multi-client market studies. The Ceresana business analysts are specialists in markets chemicals, plastics, additives, commodities, industrial components, packaging, and construction materials.
Martin Ebner
+49 7531 94293 0
Technologiezentrum, Blarerstr. 56, 78462 Konstanz, Germany