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4 Key Takeaways from Fact.MR’s Report on Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Market for Forecast Period 2017 - 2026

A new report by Fact.MR slates that the global methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) market will reflect a volume CAGR of 4.6% throughout 2017 to 2026. Nearly US$ 17,000 Mn worth of methyl tertiary-butyl ether is estimated to be sold worldwide by 2026-end.

Future Consumption Prospects of MTBE to Remain Steady in Developing Countries

A form of oxygenate derived from isobutylene and methanol, methyl tertiary-butyl ether is blended with gasoline to produce cleaner burning fuels that are used across several developing countries. Although adoption of MTBE for blending with gasoline has been banned in developed countries such as Japan, The U.S., and some parts of Europe, its future consumption prospects are expected to remain steady across developing nations of the Middle East, Mexico, and China. This chemical compound is considered as the second most employed gasoline oxygenates. Albeit methyl tertiary-butyl ether is highly effective as an octane enhancer along with the provision of cost benefits, increasing concerns apropos to groundwater contamination have constrained adoption of MTBE. This has further resulted into rapid replacement of MTBE with ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE) and ethanol.

MTBE prevails as an attractive replacement for aromatics utilized in gasoline, underpinned by the chemical’s availability as an affordable feedstock coupled with its property of reducing vehicular emissions. Additionally, methyl tertiary-butyl ether represents a cost-effective replacement for toxic fuel components including benzene, olefins, sulfur, and lead. Demand for MTBE in the global chemical industry is set to witness a hike in light of expanding production capacities of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and isobutylene-isoprene rubber (IIR), which are considered as two major downstream products of MTBE. Oxygenate production nowadays seeks adoption of Bio-MTBE, which is an emerging niche segment currently, utilizing bio-methanol from renewable sources. Considered as an attractive compound in the second-generation biofuel landscape, bio-MTBE holds potential for use as blending compound devoid of any compatibility issues.

4 Key Research Findings from Fact.MR’s Report on MTBE Market

  • Volume sales of methyl tertiary-butyl ether will remain the largest in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ), and are poised to account for roughly two-fifth market share by 2026-end. In terms of volume, APEJ is envisaged to endure as the fast-expanding market for MTBE through 2026, followed by Latin America. Presence of numerous vehicles coupled with relatively lenient environmental protection policies will continue to fuel adoption of MTBE in these regions in the foreseeable future.
  • In terms of volume, Oil & gas will continue to be dominant among end-use industries in the global MTBE market. This is mainly because this industrial sector accounts for a large amount of gasoline which in turn creates demand for MTBE as a fuel additive. However, polymer industry and chemical industry are set to record the fastest volume consumption of MTBE through 2026.
  • Based on applications, reformulated gasoline will continue to hold the lion’s share of the market, in terms of volume. Sales of MTBE for application in reformulated gasoline will remain considerably larger than those in solvent and extractant combined.
  • In terms of volume, derivative grade MTBE will remain fast-expanding product in the market through 2026.

With increasing competition in the global MTBE market, key companies are focusing on the development of innovative application-specific product variants of methyl tertiary-butyl ether at affordable costs. Dynamics that are expected to guide the market expansion rely on goodwill of companies, their robust product portfolios and long-term contracts.

The global market for MTBE is fragmented, where the market players are focusing on leveraging opportunities in emerging economies of Latin America and APEJ. Key market participants identified by the report include Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad, Reliance Industries Ltd., LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., Evonik Industries AG, S.C Carom S.A, BP plc, Akzo Nobel, Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore, Qatar Fuel Additives Company, Huntsman Corporation, and Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd.