The global market for methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) features a largely consolidated competitive landscape, with the top five players accounting for over 55% of the overall market in 2015. These companies, namely Shell Chemicals, Kumho P&B Chemicals., Inc., Celanese Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, and LCY Chemical Corp. have established strong distribution and sales channels to enhance their reach and market their products to customers across the globe. The degree of competition in the market is expected to be low to medium during the forecast period. Focus on the increased production of bio-based MIBK is anticipated to offer lucrative opportunities to market participants in terms of product development in the near future.
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Transparency Market Research estimates that the global methyl isobutyl ketone market will exhibit a 7.5% CAGR over the period between 2016 and 2024. If the prediction holds true, the market, which valued at US$827.4 mn in 2015, will rise to US$1,572.3 mn by 2024.
In terms of application, the solvent segment accounted for the leading share of the market in 2015 and is anticipated to expand at a promising CAGR of 7.7% between 2016 and 2024, smoothly retaining its dominance over the said period. In terms of geography, the Asia Pacific market accounted for the leading share of over 42% in terms of revenue in the global MIBK market in 2015.
Steady Rise in Demand for Rubber Chemicals and Solvents in Automotive Industry Key to Growth
One of the most lucrative applications of MIBK is its use as a solvent and rubber chemical. The flourishing global automotive industry has led to an increased consumption of solvents for surface coatings and rubber processing chemicals, which in turn, has increased the consumption of MIBK in the automotive industry. In the next few years, the demand for MIBK across automobile applications is expected to be one of the most influential drivers of the global MIBK market.
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Moreover, the market is also driven by the rising demand for bio-based MIBK. Rising aversion to synthetic MIBK owing to its harsh impact on the environment and the health of living beings in close proximity of the substance, is expected to fuel the global demand for bio-based MIBK in the near future. Cost of the bio-based MIBK processing method is less than the petroleum-based method. Thus, the adoption of bio-based MIBK is being considered an economical as well as an ecologically viable option for a number of industries. Analysts forecast that bio-based MIBK will gradually replace petroleum-based MIBK to a large extent by 2024.
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Concerns Regarding Environmental and Health Hazards to Restrain Market Growth
Several studies have revealed the harmful impact of even low-level exposure to MIBK on the human health. Petroleum-based MIBK is also considered to be harmful to the environment as the substance can form explosive peroxides upon exposure to air, while spilling during transport and storage. Concerns regarding these aspects are one of the key challenges faced by the global MIBK market, limiting its use across a number of applications in many key end-use industries. However, the rising acceptance of bio-based MIBK and the vast advancements seen in the process of manufacturing MIBK from plant sources is a viable opportunity for future growth.