The benzene market is quite fragmented due to the presence of a large number of players. The Asia-Pacific is witnessed as the biggest market of benzene and is also the second fastest growing, after the ROW market. The market is expected to show a significant growth in the future and with this anticipation, more than 9.1 million tons of upcoming capacities are in the planning phase. Various market players have integrated their plants to reduce the impact of external environment on plant economics.
Top seven players accounted for about 30.1% of the market in 2012. China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec, China) was the leading market participant with 7.3% and 3,997.0 KT of production capacity at the end of 2012. The company is among the major producers of chemical products in the world with segments including chemicals, refining, exploration and production, and marketing and distribution with its chemical products catering to various application industries such as the automotive, building and construction, electronics, and plastic and polymers.
As a part of its business strategy, Sinopec focuses on its manufacturing and technological innovation. It also established Sinopec Shanghai Research Institute of Petrochemical Technology (SRIPT), a pioneering R&D for refinery and petrochemical industry. The company focuses on high quality products by employing the latest state of art technology and continuously improving the efficiency of its operations. It has enhanced its business by entering into joint ventures with other giants which gives them scope to boost their presence in the emerging markets. It has also implemented various expansion activities to enhance its refinery-petrochemicals integration, move further downstream, diversify its product portfolio, and extend its geographic reach.
ExxonMobil Corporation (U.S.) was the second largest player with 5.3% of market share and 2,885.0 KT of benzene production capacity worldwide by the end of 2012. The company’s downstream portfolio includes a network of 32 refineries, with approximately 45.0% of its refining capacity in North America, 30.0% in Europe, and rest in the Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East. Additionally, the company has a wide presence in exploration and production business, with its presence in more than 40 countries.
In terms of market activities captured, Sinopec was the most active player from 2010 to 2013 with a share of 12.7% of the total development activities traced. The company accelerated its efforts to enhance its brand image and to be on the same page with the market trends by undertaking expansion activities of its refining plants, also, by setting up new plants and entering into joint ventures.
Subsequently, China National Petroleum Corporation (China) and Total S.A. (France) were the other active players to focus on expansions, agreements and collaborations to obtain a wide presence. These companies were the most dynamic players in adopting various growth strategies. These two companies together accounted for 14.0% of the overall market activities recorded between 2010 and 2013.
Benzene Market & Its Derivatives (Ethylbenzene, Cumene, Cyclohexane, Nitrobenzene, and Alkylbenzene) Market by Application & Geography – Trends and Forecasts to 2018
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