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Toluene market frequently asked questions
Beroe’s category intelligence suggests that the global toluene market revenue pegged $28.4 Bn in 2019 and is likely to swell at a steady 1.1% CAGR over the projection period.
Greater focus on water treatment and favorable regulatory framework across the developed regions, underpinned by the sturdy worldwide economic progress across all industries, are auguring well for the global toluene market.
The aromatics are a major by-product of crude refining in the western geographies. In addition, the supply of toluene is low in these regions compared to Asia, which is home to BTX production units. Furthermore, toluene is primarily obtained as a co-product in refinery gasoline streams. As such, the industry is majorly backward integrated, offering complete control to the suppliers.
The global toluene market is consolidated, with leading players controlling the entire value chain, from crude oil or naphtha. However, sufficient availability of raw materials from Asia increases supply options for purchasers, further intensifying the competition among local suppliers for the revenue share.
High capital expenses (CPEX) in establishing manufacturing facilities to keep pace with the evolving feedstock dynamics due to the advent of shale gas are creating hurdles for the market entrants.
Manufacturers do not face any threats of substitutes for toluene in the derivative markets.
Toluene market report transcript
Toluene Global Market Outlook:
The global market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~3 percent during 2023-2026: The toluene market is expected to be driven by a healthy demand for derivatives benzene and xylenes from the automotive and construction sectors. The global demand is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of ~3 percent
Demand for transportation fuels to drive toluene price trend: The major application of toluene is in the production of gasoline as a transportation fuel. The demand for transportation fuels is expected to increase in the developing Asian countries, thereby impacting the growth of the toluene market
Toluene Demand Market Outlook
Gasoline production is the major driver for toluene: Major demand for toluene is expected to come from the developing countries of Asia for transportation fuels. The demand for chemical derivative production (styrene, solvents, and benzoic acid) are expected to improve once the lockdown conditions are lifted in India. The automobile (3-4 percent growth) and construction sectors (3-4 percent growth) would be the key segments driving the demand.
Global Market Size: Toluene
The global toluene market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.0 percent during 2023-2026, driven by a healthy downstream demand for derivatives benzene and xylenes for the use in the automotive, construction, and household durables sectors
Demand for gasoline is another key driver for the toluene market
Toluene market growth had increased by approx. 5.8 percent in 2022, due to a strong recovery in demand from construction, gasoline blending and TDI segments
Global Capacity–Demand Analysis : Toluene
Asia to drive the toluene market in the long term: The global demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2–3 percent, primarily driven by a healthy, rising demand for solvents, fuel additives, and downstream derivatives benzene and xylenes in Asia. Additional 1.5-1.7 MMT capacity is expected during 2023-2026, from the Middle Eastern and Asian regions
The global toluene market is currently tightly supplied, due to a low production of toluene in the US and a shortage of imports from Asia, due to a container shortage situation
Benzene and xylene conversion margin to drive the demand: Nearly 50 percent of toluene produced is converted into benzene and xylene for applications in the automotive, construction, and household durables sectors. Healthier margins in toluene to xylene conversion are expected to drive the demand for toluene at a CAGR of about 3 percent. An increased benzene output from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia may reduce toluene demand for conversion
Global operating rates were in the range of 77–80 percent during 2020–2022. It is forecasted to be in the range of 80–84 percent during 2023–2026, due to limited capacity additions
Use of toluene in gasoline and solvents production accounts for about 29 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Growth in these segments is expected to be healthy in the Asian region at CAGR of 2–4 percent
TDI to drive toluene demand in the Asian markets: Demand from the TDI sector, which accounts for 5 percent of the total demand, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4-5 percent, due to increased construction activities in Southeast Asia
Pharmaceutical demand to increase in the US: Use of toluene in the production of drugs, such as penicillin G, prednisone, ciprofloxacin, and norfloxacin, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1–3 percent
Spot buying is preferred in Asia: The consumers buy commercial-grade toluene available in the spot market and convert that into solvent, which can be used in FMCG applications
Porter's Analysis on Toluene (North America and EU)
Aromatics comes predominantly as a by-product in crude refining in the western markets: Production of toluene is quite low in the West as against Asia, where BTX units are set up. Toluene is mainly produced as a co-product in refinery gasoline stream. So, the industry is technically backward integrated, which results in complete control over the supply chain
Barriers to New Entrants
Huge capital cost on the back of changing feedstock dynamics, due to the shale gas advent: Barrier for entrants is higher due to the high capital cost involved in setting up a plant. The US has shifted to gas-based setup, which puts the toluene sector at a disadvantage
Intensity of Rivalry
Integrated facilities and import dependency: Comparatively, consolidated industry with complete control over the value chain starting from crude oil or naphtha
However, availability of material from Asia adds to the supply options for buyers, thus increasing the rivalry among domestic producers for the market share
Threat of Substitutes
There are no substitutes available for toluene in the market
Buying power is low for small volume buyer (personal care product manufacturers): Mostly, toluene producers are forward integrated with production of gasoline and other fuels from crude oil
The demand for toluene in chemical derivative production remains considerably lower when compared to fuel production and so, the buyer power is very low
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