According to ChemAnalyst report, “Global Cumene Market: Plant Capacity, Production, Operating Efficiency, Demand & Supply, End Use, Competition, Trade, Customer & Price Intelligence Market Analysis, 2015-2030”, the global Cumene market is projected to grow at a healthy CAGR of 4.03% during the forecast period on account of robust rise in Cumene demand for manufacturing Phenol and Acetone which can be further processed to produce resins, paints & coatings, plastics or construction materials. Increase in demand for phenol in downstream Bisphenol A (BPA) sector, driven by strong growth in the polycarbonate production across the globe to bolster the demand for Cumene during the forecast period.
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Acetone and Phenol production accounts for about 95% share in the global Cumene demand with Phenol leading the market share. Moreover, exceptionally rising Acetone demand globally for manufacturing Iso Propyl Alcohol (IPA), a key ingredient in alcohol-based hand sanitizers has further contributed to spike in Cumene demand during the current scenario of COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, increasing use of solvents in diverse industries such as paints and adhesives, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics will further drive the Cumene demand during the forecast period globally. Other application of Cumene include its potential to be used as a blending component due to its high-octane number.
According to ChemAnalyst report, UOP technology is the most sought-after technology for the industrial production of Cumene, with many companies investing in advanced formulations of the traditional technique. Recently, PKN Orlen announced to utilize Honeywell’s UOP Q-Max and Phenol 3G technology for converting Orlen’s benzene and propylene into high-quality Cumene at low benzene-to-propylene ratios using regenerable catalysts. In addition, leading producers like INEOS are investing heavily in future expansion projects to contribute to the global Cumene demand in the forecast period. In 2019, INEOS signed agreement with Evonik Chemiepark, to build a new Cumene unit having capacity of 750KTPA. Major players in the global Cumene market include CEPSA, INEOS Phenol, Sunoco Inc., Georgia Gulf, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Petroleum, Shell Chemical, Mitsui Chemicals, Chang Chun Group, Citgo Petroleum Corporation, Deepak Nitrite Limited etc.
Global economic slowdown caused due to Covid-19 has strongly impacted Cumene international prices in 2019 causing them to dip sharply. In addition, the ChemAnalyst report analyzes the impact of feedstock benzene and refinery crude propylene (RGP) on Cumene’s pricing trend. Slump in crude values and Cumene feedstocks, have pressurized global Cumene contract prices in Q1 2020. US Cumene prices plummeted by 43% in April 2020, hovering between $380-398/tonne over the previous month. The prices recorded 11 years lows tracing benzene and propylene values, drastically hit due to crude price crash from the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Global Cumene prices are expected to head towards recovery after the feedstock prices match pre-Covid-19 levels with reopening of economies around the world which would eventually push crude prices higher.
Regionally, the Cumene market has been segmented into various regions including Asia-Pacific, North America, South America, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. According to ChemAnalyst report, Asia-Pacific has witnessed a strong boost in Cumene demand over recent years, outpacing slow growth in North American and European markets. Huge investments in construction of bigger phenol and acetone capacities in Asia-Pacific will cause this trend to continue in the future. APAC is expected to account for 42.26% of global Cumene demand by 2020.
“The global Cumene market is currently surplus in capacity and sluggish demand for its derivatives and weakened upstream values have almost halted the global Cumene production. However, players are optimistic and anticipating huge benefits after the shutdown of Philadelphia Energy Solutions which took place 2019 due to a major fire accident. The refinery’s Cumene unit which had a capacity of 612,000 KT made approximately $1 million impact on AdvanSix’s quarterly sales. At the same time, this opened a wider opportunity for its competitors and exporters who are counting on profits as soon as the economies head towards recovery. Major players are currently optimizing the logistics and enhancing the network of Cumene suppliers to recover the losses incurred due to pandemic.” said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm promoting ChemAnalyst.
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