Rising paints and coatings demand for home and automotive furnishings and infrastructure is anticipated to be the key driver for Methyl Ethyl Ketone industry. The market is estimated to reach over USD 3.26 billion by 2020. Rising demand from key end-use industries namely automotive and construction, particularly from emerging economies in Latin America and Asia Pacific, is projected to fuel demand.
Application of MEK in the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture cosmetics and drugs is expected to drive demand. Use of MEK in domestic products as synthetic rubber is anticipated to have a positive impact on growth. Fluctuating prices of raw materials along with environmental threats are likely to pose a significant challenge for the manufacturers in the industry. Companies are shifting focus towards bio-based solvents which are expected to hamper growth.
In 2013, MEK market was estimated at 1,319.2 kilo tons and was projected to reach over 1,754 kilo tons at a CAGR of 4.2% from 2014 to 2020. Paints and coating contributed to over 56.3% by volume in 2013 and emerged as the most dominant segment.
Increasing consumption of paint and coatings by manufacturing and construction firms in Asia Pacific is expected to play a significant role in fueling growth. Printing inks segment is anticipated to witness rapid growth owing to its ability to act as a liquefying solvent and is estimated to grow at 4.9% over the forecast period. Intermediate chemical applications in the industrial segment are likely to serve as a key factor in fueling growth over the coming years.
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Strict government policies and regulations to avoid health hazards and rising environmental issues are estimated to hamper growth. Other challenges for the market include price fluctuation of raw materials and availability of substitute compounds such as Trichloroethylene and Toluene
Asia Pacific constituted for 55.8% of overall market share by volume and emerged as a dominant player among others in 2013. Asia Pacific is also expected estimated to grow at 5.0% over the forecast period. Emerging technologies in the regional automotive industry coupled with rising infrastructure expenditure particularly in developing economies namely India and China are expected to fuel demand from 2014 to 2020.
Established markets present in Europe and North America are anticipated to grow at a rather slower pace over the forecast period. The market in these economies is saturated owing to increased adoption of bio-based substitutes to MEK. Further, demand is estimated to grow at a steady rate in the U.S. market due to the decrease in prices.
Approximately 55.0% of the global market for MEK is constituted by four major organizations viz. Maruzen Petrochemical, ExxonMobil Chemical, Sasol Solvents and Zibo Qixiang. Other participants include Shell Chemicals, Tasco Chemical, Fushun Petrochemical, PetroChina Lanzhou, Tonen Chemical, Idemistu Kosan and SK Energy.
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