Exclusive extracts from this 122-page-long report:
- What is the business?
Petrochemicals are the basic building blocks for most durable and non-durable consumer goods produced worldwide. Crude oil, natural gas and coal serve as feedstock for petrochemical companies that produce intermediates such as benzene, chlorine, methanol, propylene and ethylene. Ethylene is the largest bulk petrochemical produced worldwide and the main input for polyethylene, a main building block for plastics. […]
- What are the main markets?
Demand from main customer sectors such as automotive, construction, electric & electronic goods as well as consumer goods has been growing at a moderate pace since 2013, although growth was stronger in the electronics sector, especially in 2017. Meanwhile, advanced economies still account for the largest share of demand due to their higher plastics consumption, but growing urbanization rates and wealth levels in emerging markets leave ample space for the industry's growth in these countries. [...]
- Who are the key players?
While players based in mature economies have traditionally dominated the market, players from emerging economies are maturing. New competitors from Asia and the Middle East, who have benefited from technology transfers from Western players, are now direct rivals to the current major global leaders. As the petrochemical industry in emerging markets has grown, a number of companies have emerged as big names in the industry and are expanding in mature economies. [...]
- How intense is competition?
Competitive pressure is intense, but differences exist between the basic/intermediate segments and the polymers/specialty segments. Most petrochemicals are derived from oil-based naphtha and gas-based ethane, but for basic petrochemicals, cheap energy and feedstock prices clearly favour competitiveness. While price remains a key driver of competitiveness, players based in regions with higher input costs such as Europe have differentiated their offering by positioning themselves in value-added markets where innovation, customisation and branding, as well as long-term customer relationships, are vital. [...]