Global alpha olefin market size is expected to reach 5.16 million tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2014 to 2020.
Polyethylene is expected to witness a surge in demand on account of its easy processability, versatility, recyclability, and low cost. Increase in polyethylene demand for plastic production is expected to drive alpha olefin market growth. These olefins are primarily used as feedstock for manufacturing LLDPE and HDPE. Strong packaged food products demand, particularly in Asia Pacific, is expected to drive LLDPE market.
Global polyethylene demand was 81,914.88 kilo tons in 2013 and is expected to exceed 106,742.46 kilo tons by 2020, at a growth rate of 4.0%. Polyethylene market growth is expected to be fuelled by world economic growth. Increasing population coupled with polyethylene’s application versatility is further expected to drive the polyethylene market over the forecast period.
Growing protective films usage in agriculture to reduce soil erosion and increase protection against UV rays is also anticipated to fuel demand. Growing poly-alpha-olefin demand for synthetic lubricants in order to reduce engine wear & tear is expected to drive market growth.
Increasing oilfield exploration & drilling activities is anticipated to drive demand. It is being developed as synthetic based oil drilling fluid which is likely to help address environmental concerns associated with diesel based oil based mud.
Volatile prices of key raw materials such as ethylene are likely to affect the profitability of industry participants. Increasing government regulations regarding polyethylene usage coupled with release of green house gases (GNG) is likely to challenge industry. Investments in research to develop bio-based alpha olefin are likely to reduce dependability on petrochemical based raw materials and curb GNG.
1-hexene was the dominant product segment in alpha olefins market and was valued at over USD 1.8 billion in 2013. 1-hexene is also likely to witness highest gains over the forecast period owing to its increasing use as a co monomer for manufacturing LLDPE and HDPE polymers.
1-octene accounted for more than 21% of the total demand in 2013 and is anticipated to witness moderate growth rates of CAGR over 4.1% up to 2020. Growth of application segments such as plasticizers, cosmetics and adhesives is likely to drive 1-octene demand.
Polyethylene application witnessed the highest alpha olefin consumption over the past few years and witnessed a revenue generation of over USD 4.3 billion in 2013. This application is expected to witness significant growth rates over the next six years. Increasing demand from automotive, packaging and consumer goods industry owing to increasing population is expected to drive market growth.
Detergent alcohol applications were the second largest and accounted for more than 10% of the total volume in 2013. This application is anticipated to witness moderate gains at CAGR over 3.2% up to 2020. Growth of detergent and personal care industry is expected to drive alpha olefin demand for detergent alcohol.
North America alpha olefin market was the leading region with an estimated revenue generation of over USD 3.3 billion in 2013. Growth of oilfield drilling activities in U.S. coupled with capacity expansion of key industry participants in the region is expected to drive the regional growth. Increasing oil exploration along Gulf of Mexico is anticipated to further drive regional demand.
Asia Pacific alpha olefin market demand is expected to exceed 900 kilotons by 2020, while Europe is expected to witness annual gains of 2.6% up to 2020.
Competitive Market Share
The global alpha olefin market share is moderately concentrated with top four companies accounting for over 60% of the total demand in 2013. Key market players are concentrated within the U.S. and Middle East regions due to easy and ample availability of petrochemical products and NGLs in these regions.
Shell Chemicals Ltd. was the leading alpha olefins producer and accounted for over 25% of the market share in 2013. Other Key companies include Chevron Philips, Sasol, Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Ineos Oligomers, Evonik, ExxonMobil, Linde AG, Saudi Basic Industries Corp, Mitsubishi Chemical and Qatar chemical.
Research Support Specialist, USA