MTBE – Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether is used as a fuel component and is volatile, colorless, and a flammable liquid. The market for MTBE is dominated by Asia Pacific region. Few prominent players incorporate Sinopec Corp., PetroChina Company Ltd., Zibo Qixiang Petrochemical Group Limited, Heilongjiang Anruijia Petrochemical Company Ltd., and Shandong Yuhuang Chemical (Group) Company Ltd among others.
The report published by TMR analyzed that the biggest manufacturer of MTBE is China owing to the continuous product expansion. In 2016, organizations such as Shangdong and Huntsman Corporation and Wanhua Chemical Group Company were continuously involved in product innovation and expansion. The market for methyl tertiary-butyl ether in Asia Pacific includes some other key players such as Reliance Industries Ltd., PETRONAS, LyondellBasell Ind. Holdings B.V., and Evonik Industries AG.
The MTBE market in Asia Pacific is expected to increase by 50% in the forecast period as per volume. In terms of revenue, the market in Asia Pacific was valued at US$6.7 billion in the year 2015 and is estimated to be worth US$10.9 billion by the end of 2026. The overall market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period. According to application, the methyl tertiary butyl ether is divided into isobutene, gasoline, extractants, and solvents. The gasoline segment dominated the MTBE Asia-Pacific market in the year 2015.
China is the major contributor of MTBE market and Asia Pacific is going to foresee more than half of methanol development in the next few years owing to the reduced cost of raw materials. It has been observed that China alone generated 51 mn tons of methanol in the year 2016. The MTBE market in China is estimated to surge the expansion of many end-use sectors that operate MTBE downstream products. The MTBE market depends on imports from countries such as ASEAN sub-region, India, and Middle East Countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Although, now China wants to increase their production of MTBE at a domestic level in order to meet the country’s demand.
Increasing use of Gasoline Products to Augment MTBE market Demand in Asia Pacific
One of the biggest factors driving the growth of MTBE market in Asia Pacific region is the extensive use of gasoline and its products. Gasoline is used as an octane booster and anti-knocking agent in the gasoline fuel engines. Owing to its better efficiency and less cost, this additive is preferred more than others. Furthermore, the use of gasoline especially in the car segment is expected to grow the segment within the forecast period. Also, increasing demand for gasoline and its products in marine and oil &gas sector is anticipated to boost the demand for MTBE in Asia Pacific.
One more important application of MTBE is high purity isobutene. The demand for isobutene in different downstream products is estimated to boost the MTBE market in Asia Pacific over the coming years.
Stringent Regulations to Hinder the MTBR growth in Asia Pacific
Several factors such as strict government regulations are expected to restrict the growth of MTBE market in Asia Pacific. The rising accessibility of oil and non-oil based alternatives and the adverse environmental effects are posing crucial difficulties for the growth of methyl tertiary butyl ether market in Asia Pacific region. One more factor impacting the growth is the continuous expansions which affects the market dynamics by increasing price of MTBE products in the forecast period. This eventually will become difficult for small scale vendors to invest in MTBE products.