Global naphtha market grows from strength to strength

Oil tank
Source: DollarPhotoClub

The recent years have seen significant growth in the naphtha market due to rising demands from many end-user industries such as transportation, construction, plastic, etc. Technological developments, providing invention of new manufacturing techniques, have also contributed towards the growth of this industry. According to a new Transparency Market Research report, global naphtha market is estimated to value USD 237,625.2 million by 2019. However, some factors such as unstable crude oil prices and easy availability of cheap alternatives such as shale gas and LPG are considered restrictive for the market growth.

Naphtha is an umbrella term that refers to a number of inflammable mixtures of various hydrocarbons. It is a group of volatile, aromatic and colourless to reddish-brown coloured compounds that structurally have mixtures of numerous hugely volatile to extremely light fractions of hydrocarbons. According to the variety of mixes producing different kinds of naphtha, these compounds have varied applications in various fields.

Generally, there are two main classes of naphtha – heavy naphtha and paraffinic naphtha. Paraffinic naphtha is rich in olefins and is suitable for polyolefin and olefin production. Heavy naphtha is mainly used for production of aromatics.

The full range of Naphtha, as defined in Petroleum Engineering, is a fraction of hydrocarbons having the boiling point between 30 degree Celsius and 200 degree Celsius. These compounds typically contain 5 to 12 carbon atoms and contain 15% to 30% crude oil by their weight. The segment of light naphtha has boiling point in the range 30 degree Celsius and 90 degree Celsius and consists of 5-6 carbon atoms in their molecular structure. The segment of heavy naphtha has boiling points in the range 90 degree Celsius and 200 degree Celsius and constitutes 6-12 carbon atoms.

Demand for naphtha is primarily in the petrochemical industry where naphtha is primarily used as a feedstock for producing petrochemicals such as high octane gasoline. This field is in fact the biggest market player of the naphtha industry and accounted for a 60% market share of naphtha in 2012.

Naphtha is also used in various industries for blending gasoline. In steel industry, fertilizer plants and power plants, it is used as a fuel for energy production. According to the report, the demand for naphtha from the petrochemical industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.3% during the analysis period of 2013 to 2019. Growth in demand from the energy industry is estimated to be at the rate of 5% during the same period.

Geographically, the regions of Asia-Pacific were the market leaders in terms of demand for naphtha. They accounted for a 40% share of the market 2012. The high demand comes from the growth in manufacturing and construction activities in these regions and a rise in demand for plastic used in cars, electronics and construction industry.

The North American market is expected to rise at the rate of CAGR 2.6% while the European market is estimated to grow at the rate of CAGR 2.1% from 2013 to 2019. Rising demand for plastic and petrochemical industries are the major reasons that will drive the growth of the market, according to the report.

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