Global Mixed Xylenes Market: Overview

Mixed xylenes are colorless aromatic hydrocarbons produced by catalytic reforming of petroleum naphthenic fractions or distillation of coal. Mixed xylenes is a mixture of xylene isomers m-xylene, o-xylene, and p-xylene. Mixed xylenes contain 40% to 65% m-xylene and 20% each of o- and p-xylene and ethylbenzene. Mixed xylenes are miscible with alcohol, ether and many other organic solvents, but are insoluble in water. They are used as chemical intermediates in the manufacture of high octane gasoline and thinners, agrochemicals such as pesticides, and protective coatings. Mixed xylenes are used as solvents in the manufacture of lacquer, alkyd resin, cement, enamels, etc. They are also employed as raw materials in the manufacture of metaxylene (isophthalic acid), orthoxylene (phthalic anhydride), styrene monomer, and p-xylene. P-xylene is used in the manufacture of purified terephthalic acid (TPA) and its derivative, dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), which, in turn, is employed in the manufacture of polyester textiles and PET plastic bottles. 

Global Mixed Xylenes Market: Key Segments

The global mixed xylenes market can be segmented based on grade and application. Based on grade, the mixed xylenes market can be bifurcated into solvent grade and isomer grade. Isomer grade is used for the production of p-xylene. P-xylene is produced by blending mixed xylenes into gasoline to increase the octane level. Solvent grade mixed xylene is used as solvent in various industries. For instance, it is used as blended component in gasoline to increase its octane number and as solvent in adhesives, paints, degreasing agents, and sealants. It is also used as raw material for organic pigments, dyes, plasticizers, perfume, medicines, etc.

Rise in demand for PET plastic bottles across the globe is expected to drive the mixed xylenes market during the forecast period. Increase in demand for polyester in various other applications such as textile, packaging, and construction materials is also anticipated to boost the global mixed xylenes market. Lower availability and high prices of mixed xylenes are estimated to restrain the market during the forecast period. Rise in number of regulations on limiting aromatic content in gasoline is also projected to hamper the mixed xylenes market in several ways. For instance, lower value returns on aromatic may compel manufacturers to shut down their production facilities. This, in turn, is likely to lead to supply-demand gap. However, increase in research activities to raise the octane content of gasoline by using mixed xylenes is expected to provide lucrative opportunities to manufacturers in the near future.

Global Mixed Xylenes Market: Regional Analysis

In terms of region, the global mixed xylenes market can be segregated into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is the leading consumer of mixed xylenes, followed by North America and Europe. China, India, Japan, and South Korea are the leading consumers of mixed xylenes in Asia Pacific, led by the abundant availability of raw materials; and presence of numerous manufacturers of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), p-xylene, and mixed xylene in these countries. Increase in capacity expansion and establishment of new plants are anticipated to provide lucrative opportunities to market players. For instance, in 2018, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., a Japan-based petroleum company, commercialized its operations for mixed xylene at its Aichi Refinery.

The mixed xylenes market in North America is estimated to expand at a sluggish pace in the near future due to the maturity of various end-use industries. However, rise in demand for high-octane blend stock in order to reduce its reliance on toluene feedstock is projected to boost the demand for mixed xylenes market in the region. The mixed xylenes market in Europe and Middle East & Africa is expected to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period. Rise in demand for solvent grade mixed xylenes in various end-user industries such as paints & coatings and agrochemicals is anticipated to fuel the mixed xylenes market in Europe and Middle East & Africa. Brazil and Mexico in Latin America are estimated to increase their import of mixed xylenes due to the improvement in economy and rise in FDI investment in these countries.

Global Mixed Xylenes Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the global mixed xylenes market are Shell Chemicals Company, Banner Chemicals Limited, LOTTE Chemical Corporation, GS Caltex Corporation, and Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc.

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