Global methanol market is anticipated to witness growth on account of its high demand in various end-use industries including paints & adhesives, construction, plastics, pharmaceuticals and automotives. In addition, methanol is widely used in the manufacture of biodiesel which is biodegradable, safe and produces less air pollutants as compared to other fuels. Supporting government initiatives to reduce global carbon footprint is anticipated to augment biodiesel demand which in turn is expected to boost methanol market over the next seven years. Methanol is largely used as a feedstock in the manufacture of plastics.
Growing demand for plastics in various end-use industries including automobile and packaging is likely to boost methanol market over the forecast period. Furthermore, large quantities of methanol are employed in the manufacturing of other intermediate chemicals after which these intermediates are used in the production of plastics, plywood, paints, permanent press tiles and explosives. Rapid growth in the global chemical industry especially in developing economies including China and India is anticipated to propel methanol demand over the projected period.
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Furthermore, on account of depleting crude oil reserves, there is an increasing demand for alternative transportation fuel which is expected to augment use of methanol as a blended fuel. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the largest market for methanol over the next seven years in light of increasing growth in the pharmaceutical, automotive and chemical industry. Moreover, lack of environmental regulations is anticipated to boost methanol market in Asian countries.
Furthermore, presence of large natural gas reserves in North America is likely to have a positive impact on the methanol market particularly in U.S. over the projected period. Shift of chemical manufacturing units from Europe to emerging economies including India and China on account of low labor and manufacturing costs is anticipated to negatively impact European methanol market. The European Fuel Quality Directive allows usage of up to 3% methanol along with an equal amount of cosolvent to be blended in gasoline. In 2012, the U.S. government passed the Open Fuel Standard Act to primarily encourage car owners to utilize methanol along with ethanol and gasoline as a fuel.
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Major players dominating the methanol market include Celanese Corporation, Methanex Chile Ltd, Eastman Chemical Company, BASF SE, Atlantic Methanol Production Company, Mitsubishi, DuPont Fuel Cell, China XLX Fertilizer Ltd and Antig Technology Co. Ltd. In April 2015, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company Inc., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Corporation signed an agreement with state owned National Gas Company of Massy Holdings Ltd., and Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. to construct a methanol plant in the country of Trinidad and Tobago. The main aim was to increase production capacity of methanol in the country.
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