The in Asia Pacific is presently dominated by key players in China. These include Sinopec Corporation, PetroChina Company Limited, Shandong Yuhuang Chemical (Group) Co., Ltd., Zibo Qixiang Petrochemical Group Ltd., and Heilongjiang Anruijia Petrochemical Co., Ltd.
Transparency Market Research has noted that China, one of the largest producers as well as consumers of MTBE in the world, has been primarily focused on business and production expansions in order to retain its lead in the APAC market. For instance, Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd.’s MTBE plant in Shangdong and Huntsman Corp. and Sinopec Jinling’s plant in Nanjing are two promising ventures to look forward to in 2016.
Other leading companies in the APAC methyl tertiary-butyl ether market include Evonik Industries AG, PETRONAS, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., and Reliance Industries Limited.
The MTBE market in Asia Pacific was valued at US$6.7 bn in 2015 and is anticipated to reach US$10.9 bn by 2026, expanding at a CAGR of 4.6% therein.
China’s 81.9% Share in APAC MTBE Market a Key Growth Booster
The gasoline additive segment of the MTBE market accounted for a whopping 93.11% share in the APAC market in 2015, emerging as the clear leader. An increase in the demand for gasoline additives in ASEAN countries and China is expected to propel the demand for methyl tertiary-butyl ether in this segment. Gasoline additives is also projected to register significant growth over the course of the forecast period, exhibiting a CAGR of over 4.0% in terms of both revenue and volume.
Accounting for an 81.9% share in the APAC MTBE market in 2015, China is forecast to continue its dominance through 2024, presenting lucrative investment opportunities to market players. Registering a 4.7% CAGR during the forecast period, China is also projected to exhibit the fastest growth in the methyl tertiary-butyl ether in Asia Pacific.
The ASEAN sub-region is also likely to present a rather lucrative scenario, owing to a rise in the demand for gasoline additives.
ASEAN Automotive Sector Driving Demand for Gasoline Additives
A key factor driving gasoline blending across the Asia Pacific region, and therefore the MTBE market, is the declining prices of raw material as well as final products. This can be primarily attributed to China.
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“China is one of the major methanol producers in the world and the country is likely to account for nearly 50% of the global methanol production in the next few years,” the author of the study finds. The total methanol production in China is estimated to reach nearly 51 million tons in 2016, a trend that will potentially check the prices of downstream products, including MTBE, in the near future.
Another factor boosting the market for methyl tertiary-butyl ether is a rise in the demand for gasoline additives, particularly in ASEAN.
“The automotive industry in the ASEAN sub-region has been witnessing an upward trend in the last few years, with the number of total vehicles in major countries rising from around 130 million in 2015 to 200 million by 2025,” the lead analyst states. The significant growth of the automotive sector is likely to propel the demand for gasoline additives, thereby supporting the MTBE market during the forecast period.
In contrast, the availability of a wide range of petroleum-based and non-petroleum-based substitutes and the hazardous environmental effects of methyl tertiary-butyl ether pose significant challenges to the MTBE market in Asia Pacific.