Market Scope

MRFR (Market Research Future) confirms that the toluene market was worth USD 26.84 million in 2018. MRFR also expects the market size to soar at a rate of more than 5.8% during the evaluation period (2020 to 2027).

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Market Drivers and Restraints

The strong demand for toluene is the result of its extensive usage in gasoline blends. It acts as an octane booster while maintaining the energy level of the gasoline. Additionally, its low sensitivity properties along with significant octane ratings make it perfect for use as a fuel in complex and heavily loaded engines. Toluene that is the form of benzene-toluene-xylene mixtures is used extensive to blend petrol and is a major by-product of styrene manufacture. Surging consumption of aromatics in the petrochemical sector for developing elastomers, nail paints, synthetic fibers, dyes, and agrochemicals could render the market quite lucrative in the following years.

The toluene market size presents several opportunities to the manufacturers, given the surge in disposable incomes and the significant economic growth. Toluene diisocynate (TDI) manufacturing should be the second-leading derivative market, in view of its extensive use in the manufacturing of polyurethanes, which has led to higher applications of toluene in forming toluene diisocyante (TDI). Expanding end-user sectors like cosmetics, explosives, and agrochemicals, particularly in Latin America and Asia Pacific can be another huge opportunity for the global companies. Rising investments in emerging countries will also favor the business growth in the years ahead.

Companies are increasingly focus on technical integration during the value chain, intensifying the competition in the market. Escalating use of the latest technologies like drones, Internet of Things (IOT), robotics, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing is transforming several aspects of toluene manufacturing, for the better. These technologies are being adopted by the companies to foster the safety level, boost reliability and efficiency and also facilitate accurate monitoring throughout the supply chain.

Segmental Analysis

The toluene market can be considered for product type, application, and end-use industry.

The product types are gasoline additives, toluene diisocyanate (TDI), benzene and xylene, tri-nitrotoluene (TNT), solvents, and others. Benzene and xylene form the leading segment since these are extensively used as petrol blenders for better quality. The second in the lead is the solvents segment, due to their significant usage in coatings and paints.

The top applications of toluene include foams, paints & coatings, cleaning agents, fuel additives, polymer production, heating oils, and more.

End-use industries covered are building & construction, packing, oil & gas, healthcare, automotive, and others.  

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Regional Outlook

The toluene industry will note varying levels of growth rates across a few regions, which are APAC or Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East & Africa, Latin America, as well as Europe.

The highest gainer has been Asia Pacific, accounting for the biggest share in the global market in 2018. It is presumed that the region will remain the market leader throughout the analysis period, thanks to the rapid growth of the oil & gas sector. Lenient regulations with regard to the use of toluene has favored the regional market as well. Developing countries like China, South Korea, and India, are identified as the most profitable markets in Asia Pacific, considering the surging demand from the infrastructural and industrial sector. Besides, rising manufacturing of paints and coatings in China, which is giving way to set up of new production plants in the country. AkzoNobel recently started with the operations of the world's biggest powder coatings unit in Changzhou, China.

North America is the second biggest market for toluene, largely due to the strong presence of several oil & gas manufacturers in the region. escalating construction activities combined with the thriving automotive sector in the region has raised the need for polyurethane foams as well as paints and coatings, with the former using toluene as a key solvent. As a result, the regional market can expect to expand rapidly in the following years.

Affluent Firms

China National Petroleum Corporation (China), BP p.l.c. (UK), China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (China), Exxon Mobil Corporation (US), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (India), Covestro AG (Germany), TOTAL S.A. (France), Royal Dutch Shell plc (The Netherlands), Formosa Chemicals & Fiber Corporation (Taiwan), CPC Corporation (Taiwan), GS Caltex Corporation (South Korea), DuPont de Nemours, Inc (US), BASF SE (Germany), SK innovation co. Ltd (South Korea), are the well-known manufacturers in the global market for toluene.

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The companies are primarily focused on carrying out strategical moves such as new launches, business expansion, acquisition, and agreements to bolster their footprints across the globe.

To illustrate, in February 2021, Lanxess is all set to buy Emerald Kalama Chemical for a total sum of USD 1.1 billion. Emerald Kalama is a world-renowned developer of benzoic acid, using toluene oxidation at its Washington plant and a production unit in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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