April 2018

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Petrochemicals: Ethylene and polyethylene— An outlook to 2022

The first petrochemical-based production of ethylene occurred nearly a century ago. Since then, the industry has undergone a momentous evolution.

Kirby, P., Hussain, A., PCI Wood Mackenzie

ETHYLENE—NEARLY A CENTURY IN THE MAKING The first petrochemical-based production of ethylene occurred nearly a century ago. Since then, the industry has undergone a momentous evolution. The global market has grown significantly, reaching approximately 154 MMtpy at the end of 2017. Production and consumption of ethylene is truly global, with the largest markets being in the US, Europe, the Middle East and China. Over the next 5 yr, the industry is set to expand at an average annual growth rate of 3.6%/yr, taking the market size to 184 MMtpy by 2022. The sheer size of the market and relatively high growth rates translate into significant year-on-year movements. To satisfy this rapidly growin

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