The global methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) market is fairly consolidated with the top five companies accounting for 63.6% of the market in 2012. These key players in the market are ExxonMobil Chemical, Maruzen Petrochemical Co. Ltd., Zibo Qixiang Petrochemical Industry Group Co. Ltd., Sasol Solvents, and Tasco Chemical Corporation. Most of the players are from China Taiwan, Korea, and Japan and their main focus is on increasing the production capacities of their existing plants. Some of the problems faced by players in this market are cost fluctuations and problems with the availability of raw materials. The threat from substitutes is likely to rise from medium to high owing to the availability of viable substitutes such as acetone and ethyl acetate, says a new report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). On the other hand, high cost of innovation and commercialization will result in a low level threat from new entrants.
According to the report, the global market opportunity in global methyl ethyl ketone will rise from US$2,560.0 mn in 2015 to US$3,064.5 mn by 2019. On the basis of application, the paints and coatings segment is anticipated to account for 56.2% of the market by 2019. By geography, Asia Pacific will continue to lead and is likely to account for a whopping 56.5% of the market by 2019. The market in Asia Pacific is also expected to witness a fast paced growth in the coming years.
Rising Demand from Paints and Coatings Industry to Drive Market
The paints and coatings market is growing and this in turn is aiding the growth of the methyl ethyl ketone market as MEK is used as a solvent. The growing infrastructure developments in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) nations is expected to help drive the paints and coatings industry. There also exists high demand for methyl ethyl ketone from the printing inks industry. The demand for printing inks is growing as they are used for newspapers and magazines and also for any product that is packaged with information about its contents. Technological advancements in this field is expected to increase the applications of MEK in the coming years. They are being used as an ingredient in the rubber-based industrial cement, in resin thinners, and cleanup operations. They are also used in adhesives for PVC pipes, thus driving the market.
Health Concerns Regarding MEK to Pose a Problem
Although MEK is present in fruits and vegetables naturally, MEK is toxic and volatile in nature. Exposure to MEK can cause problems related to eating, breathing, touching, and drinking and its inhalation can cause tightness of the chest and lungs, throat and nose irritation. Contact with skin may cause redness, irritation, dryness, and dermatitis. Moreover, fits, dizziness, and coma are some of the effects of severe exposure to methyl ethyl ketone. As such, the exposure to MEK in households in the form of paints, thinners, varnishes, and glues, means exposing children to potential risks. These health hazards are thus, posing a grave threat to the global methyl ethyl ketone market. On the other hand, the growth potential of MEK in the emerging nations of Asia Pacific is expected to drive the market in the coming years and act as opportunity.
This information is based on the findings of a report published by Transparency Market Research titled “Methyl Ethyl Ketone Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth Trends and Forecast 2013 - 2019.”
The global methyl ethyl ketone market is segmented as follows:
MEK Market - Application Segment Analysis
- Paints & Coatings
- Printing Inks
- Others (Plastics, textiles, rubber-based industrial cements, etc.)
MEK Market - Regional Analysis
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the world
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