The Asia-Pacific region will continue to dominate the ethylene market in the future and generate more than a third of the worldwide demand, as per Taiyou Research report. The pioneer in the Asia Pacific region will be China, rising to become the greatest ethylene consumer worldwide and will therefore drive out the United States to the second place, followed by Saudi Arabia. Asia Pacific had the largest capacity and demand shares of 38% and 65% respectively in the year 2010. The rapidly growing economy combined with a huge population base is expected to lead the increased demand for PET in the Asia Pacific region in the near future. This increased PET demand is set to drive the growth of the Ethylene Glycol (EG) market in the region. The Asia Pacific EG market has witnessed a rapid growth in the last decade and its production capacity has nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010.
Leading regional players operating in the market include Formosa Plastics Group, Honam Petrochemical Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Mitsui Chemicals, Nova Chemicals Corp, PEMEX Mexicanos, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Sinopec, Beijing Yanhua Petrochemical Co Ltd and SK Energy. Among the most important buyers are producers of HDPE. They account for a third of ethylene demand. In the second place are producers of LLDPE and LDPE. HDPE is primarily used for packaging and construction materials. Along with the capacity developments in the Middle East has come acceleration in capacity addition in Asia, primarily in China. Following long delays to the first world scale Chinese cracker projects developed by Chinese producers in joint ventures with BASF, Shell and BP, projects in China are increasing in number, scale and speed of development. Projects are increasingly integrated with plants, and exploit the advantages of lower fixed cost and proximity to markets relative to investments in the Middle East.