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The global butane market size was USD 59.85 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 74.53 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period.
Butane is generally used as a mixture of isomers in a variety of applications. Normal butane accounts for over two-thirds share and isobutene for the remaining share in this mixture. Butane has high flammability and is produced in crude oil refineries as well as gas plants. Most prominently, it is consumed in the form of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in residential and commercial applications. The demand for residential LPG is rapidly rising in developing countries, which, in turn, is fostering the growth of the market.
Butane production can be directly linked to the production of crude oil, which means its prices fluctuate in-line with the WTI prices. Owing to the increasing demand, many players in the market are increasing their production capacities. For instance, in January 2018, Enterprise Products Partners LP announced an expansion of 116,000 barrel/day butane isomerization plant at its NGL (Natural Gas Liquid) fractionation and storage complex in Texas, United States.
COVID-19 Impact: Reduced LPG Consumption Amid COVID-19
The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted most commercial and day-to-day industrial operations across the world. The shortage of labor, disruptions in logistics and supplies, reduced demand from end-users, and others are just some of the examples that showcase the challenges faced by the industry during Coronavirus. There have been different responses to the pandemic in different countries which has impacted the demand and supply. For instance, in India, the uncertainty caused by the pandemic resulted in an overestimation of demand for LPG that ramped up purchases in March and April. Commercial demand for LPG had dropped significantly as most of the hotels and other similar businesses were shut down during lockdowns. A similar situation has been reported in other countries, where strict lockdown measures were implemented.
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Increasing Use of Butane in Deodorants is a Key Market Trend
Normal butane, as well as isobutene, are being prominently used as propellants in deodorants and other aerosols products. A few years ago, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were used significantly in such products. However, these chemicals were found to be ozone-depleting and thus, stringent environmental regulations have been imposed on the use of CFCs. Butane has an advantage over other alternatives. It is inexpensive and can be easily liquefied. It can be used as a propellant in deodorant cans. Besides, it is safe in conjugation with cosmetic formulations.
Rising Demand for Residential LPG to Promote Market Growth
There has been a surge in LPG demand for residential applications, especially in developing countries. Governments in developing countries are extensively promoting the adoption of liquefied cylinders for residential applications. Various subsidies are being offered by the government to boost the consumption of LPG. For instance, the Indian Government has launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana which is aimed to provide LPG connection in the untapped regions. Moreover, the hotel business is booming promptly in emerging countries due to rising disposable income and a growing population. This in turn is expected to spur lucrative growth opportunities in the forthcoming years.
Strong Presence of Alternatives Confines Market Growth
The global butane market is being challenged by the heavy demand for natural gas (mostly methane). According to the International Energy Outlook 2016, consumption of natural gas worldwide is projected to increase from 120 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2012 to 203 Tcf in 2040. The abundant availability of natural gas makes it an attractive option for consumers. Moreover, it is cleaner than other fossil fuels, and governments around the world are implementing stringent environmental regulations that can aid the adoption of natural gas. Various natural gas pipeline projects are under construction around the world which are likely to hamper the LPG market growth.
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Residential & Commercial Segment to Hold the Largest Share of the Global Market
Based on the application, the market is segmented into residential & commercial, industrial, engine fuel, refinery, chemical feedstock, and others. The residential & commercial segment accounted for the largest share in the market in 2019. Growing LPG demand for household and commercial purposes boost consumption. The rising population has increased the dependency on LPG for cooking in developing countries as these countries lack a network of gas pipelines as well as low availability of natural resources.
The chemical feedstock segment accounted for the second-largest share in 2019. These gases are used to manufacture a variety of chemicals such as ethylene, maleic anhydride, and others. Engine fuel application is expected to gradually lose its market shares over the forecast period owing to the rising adoption of natural gas in vehicles. The industrial application includes usage as fuel (cigarette lighters), heating, and others. Other segments include applications as a propellant in aerosols, miscellaneous applications such as heating of greenhouses, and others.
Asia Pacific Butane Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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The Asia Pacific accounted for the largest butane market share in the global market in 2019. Countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and others are witnessing rapid expansion of economies as well as population. LPG demand is increasing in these countries. Moreover, other end-users such as hoteliers, chemical manufacturers, etc., are also witnessing strong growth in these countries. This in turn is expected to drive the market growth over the forecast period. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has dented the LPG demand in 2020. For instance, the demand for LPG in Bangladesh dropped by 40% in just one month after the imposition of lockdown restrictions. China also reported a lower import of LPG during the lockdown restrictions. It reported a 17% fall in LPG imports in March 2020. However, the demand has been rising steadily in the country post lockdown and the industry is expected to recover by the end of 2020.
North America held the second-largest market share, closely followed by the Middle East & Africa, and Europe. Europe largely depends on the natural gas supply lines in the region. Russia dominates the consumption of butane in the region on the back of low prices and large deposits of fossil fuels in the country. Turkey consumes large quantities of Butane as engine fuel due to increased efficiency and low prices. The top 8 players in the Turkey market account for around 80% of the market share according to the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) data. The North American market is oversupplied due to the increased production of shale gas. This has disrupted butane prices across the globe. Moreover, the ambitious natural gas pipeline project between Germany and Russia is likely to impede market growth in the coming years. Upon successful construction and fully operational, the demand for butane in LPG can significantly dip down, thus affecting the adoption and growth of the market.
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The Latin American market has high growth potential, but political and social instability are major growth hindrances in the region. The region has large deposits of fossil fuel which can aid the growth of the market in the form of LPG consumption. The US exports a significant amount of
Focus on Production Capacities by Key Players to Fortify Industry
The butane market is increasing steadily across the globe. The emerging countries that are dependent on imports for cooking gas are rapidly increasing the consumption of LPG. Also, these countries are situated in locations with poor fossil deposits and also far from fossil-rich countries. As a result, the cost of gas pipeline projects to these countries from the resource-rich countries is high.
Regional disputes also act as challenges to such construction projects. Thus, imports of LPG is the most viable option for such countries. To fulfill the growing demand from these developing nations, key players in the market are increasing their Butane blending and production capacities. For instance, Oneok Inc., in July 2019, announced the expansion of new natural gas liquids pipelines and processing plants. The company’s Elk Creek Pipeline transports up to 2,40,000 barrels/day of natural gas liquids, including ethane, propane, and butane. The company is aiming to expand its capacity to 4,00,000 barrels/day by the start of 2021.
An Infographic Representation of Butanes Market
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The global butane market research report provides both qualitative & quantitative insights on this market. Quantitative insights include the global market sizing in terms of value (USD billion) and volume (kilotons) across each segment, sub-segment, and region profiled in the scope of the study. Also, the report covers market share analysis and growth rates of segments, sub-segments, and key countries across each region. Qualitative insights cover an elaborative analysis of market drivers, restraints, growth opportunities, and key trends related to the market. The competitive landscape section covers the detailed profiling of the key players operating in the global market.
Value (USD Billion), Volume (Kilo Tons)
By Application, By Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 59.85 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 74.53 billion by 2027.
Registering a compounded annual growth rate of 4.4%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
The residential & commercial is expected to be the leading application segment in the market during the forecast period.
Rising demand for residential LPG is enabling the growth of the market.
Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Total SA, Air Liquide, and others are some of the key players in the market.
Asia Pacific dominated the global market share in 2019.
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