Global Xylene Market: Introduction

Xylene is a petrochemical that is produced by the methylation of toluene and benzene. Its structure has two methyl groups attached to a six-carbon ring. Xylene exists in three isomeric forms: ortho-xylene, meta-xylene, and para-xylene. It is a greasy colorless hydrocarbon used in the manufacture of various chemicals, chemical intermediates, and consumer products such as solvents, paints & coatings, adhesives, rubber cements, lacquers, lubricant, enamels, clearing agent, dyes, pesticides, rubber products, detergents, thinners, rubber products, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, inks, precursor to polyesters, and as additives in gasoline.

Global Xylene Market: Trends & Developments

The xylene market is currently witnessing significant growth which is expected to continue past the forecast period. Ortho-xylene finds application in the production of polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) polymer, which is a high performance polyester that is used in film and rigid packaging. PEN polymer is an emerging and potentially significant product, which is expected to fuel the demand for ortho-xylene in the near future. Xylene is a source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are hazardous to the environment. Stringent government regulations imposed by governments on the release of VOCs in the atmosphere has caused many end-use industries to opt for alternative organic solvents and is likely to restrain the growth of the global xylene market.

Global Xylene Market: Segmentation

Based on type, the global xylene market can be segmented into meta-xylene, ortho-xylene, and para-xylene. In terms of consumption in volume, the para-xylene segment dominates the market. It is an important chemical feedstock and raw material required in the synthesis of various polymers, polyester fibers, terephthalic acid (TPA), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Ortho-xylene constitutes a large share of the market in terms of volume. It is extensively used in the manufacture of phthalic anhydride which is used as a precursor in the production of phthalate plasticizers, unsaturated polyesters resins (UPRs), alkyd resins, solvents, bactericides, soya bean herbicides, and lube oil additives. Ortho-xylene is commonly used as a solvent in leather, printing, and rubber industries. Meta-xylene is used in manufacturing solvents, chemical intermediates for dyes and organic synthesis, insecticides, and aviation fuel.

Global Xylene Market: Regional Outlook

In terms of region, the global xylene market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to be a key consumer of xylene due to the large presence of xylene producing refineries in countries such as China. Major manufacturing companies are shifting their production bases to developing economies such as India, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Low feedstock cost and rapid industrialization in Asia Pacific are expected to drive the market in the region. The Europe is anticipated to expand at a significant pace due to rising demand for xylene products like construction adhesives and paints and coatings in the construction industry.

Global Xylene Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the global xylene market include BASF SE, Braskem, BP plc, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, China National Petroleum Corporation, ConocoPhillips Company, Doe & Ingalls, DynaChem South Africa (Pty) Ltd., Eastman Chemical Company, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Koch Industries, Inc., LOTTE Chemical CORPORATION, MITSUBISHI GAS CHEMICAL COMPANY, INC., Reliance Industries Limited, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., Honeywell International Inc., Eni S.p.A., TORAY INDUSTRIES, INC., Puritan Products, and Royal Dutch Shell plc.

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