Published December 2020
Benzene is a large-volume commodity petrochemical that is primarily produced in oil refineries and steam crackers, or as a by-product of p-xylene production. The primary chemicals produced from benzene are ethylbenzene, cumene, cyclohexane, and nitrobenzene. Ultimately, benzene is used in a wide range of downstream sectors including construction, automobiles, electronics, and appliances, as well as diverse other durables and consumables.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dampened economic growth in 2020, due to the lockdowns and social distancing rules implemented. Mainland China is projected to be the only major economy globally to avoid recession in 2020. Coupled with lower spending and weak economics because of COVID-19, consumption of benzene in 2020 is estimated to have declined by nearly 5% from 2019 levels.
Over the past decade, benzene consumption has shifted from the West (Western Europe, North America) to the East (Northeast Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia). Mainland China has become an increasingly important influence on the benzene market. Mainland Chinese benzene consumption has increased at an average rate of nearly 8% per year since 2015.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of benzene:
Global consumption of benzene will continue to grow at an average of 3–4% per year during 2020–25; the higher calculated growth is a result of the steep decline in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the expected recovery boost in 2021, with continued recovery thereafter. Growth is expected to be driven primarily by the developing markets in Asia, particularly mainland China. Benzene consumption and growth will vary by region, based on the development of downstream derivative capacity.
Benzene production is influenced by many different dynamics that vary from one region to the next. As benzene is produced primarily as a coproduct, its supply is not driven by global benzene demand but rather by demand for other products (gasoline, ethylene, p-xylene, steel). With a wide variety of potential sources available (refineries, steam crackers, PX units, coke ovens), the benzene market equilibrium is quite complex and is analyzed in detail in this report.
Over the forecast period and beyond, several trends are projected to alter the course of development of the benzene market globally; changes in mobility solutions, sustainability targets, growing environmental consumer awareness, changing regulations pertaining to the use of plastics in packaging, and increasing recycling activity are all expected to impact benzene consumption in the medium-to-long term.
For more detailed information, see the table of contents, shown below.
IHS Markit’s Chemical Economics Handbook –Benzene is the comprehensive and trusted guide for anyone seeking information on this industry. This latest report details global and regional information, including
IHS Markit’s Chemical Economics Handbook –Benzene has been compiled using primary interviews with key suppliers and organizations, and leading representatives from the industry in combination with IHS Markit’s unparalleled access to upstream and downstream market intelligence and expert insights into industry dynamics, trade, and economics. This report can help you
- Identify trends and driving forces influencing chemical markets
- Forecast and plan for future demand
- Understand the impact of competing materials
- Identify and evaluate potential customers and competitors
- Evaluate producers
- Track changing prices and trade movements
- Analyze the impact of feedstocks, regulations, and other factors on chemical profitability