World Analysis – Ethylene

  • Market Overview
  • Key Benefits
  • Service Features
  • Annual Table of Contents

Market Overview

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

Diisocyanates and polyisocyanates are reactive intermediates, which typically are reacted with the hydroxyl groups of polyol coreactants to form polyurethanes. Toluene diisocyanate (TDI, also called tolylenediisocyanate) is derived from toluene and is most commonly used for flexible foam used in furniture, bedding, and automotive components. A fast-growing application of TDI is in electric vehicles that require strong, but lightweight, materials. As advancements continue in the development of electric vehicles, TDI consumption per vehicle is expected to trend upward to ensure electric vehicles are as light as possible. Another area with high growth opportunities is the development of more environmentally friendly flexible foams for the automotive industry, including TDI-based flexible polyurethane foams made with renewable or recycled polyether polyols.

The three largest producers, BASF, Covestro, and Wanhua Chemical, account for about 60% of global nameplate capacity as the TDI market is concentrated owing to high barriers of entry related to proprietary technology and complex production processes. However, technology licensing has become less of an obstacle as producers have developed their own technology, especially in mainland China. Over 90% of TDI capacity is in Northeast Asia (mainly mainland China), West Europe, and the United States. New world-scale capacity in the future will likely be limited to the Asia Pacific region, particularly in mainland China. In the U.S., producers may decide to debottleneck existing plants given the low-cost position. In other emerging economies, such as India, the Middle East, and Central Europe, construction of TDI plants could occur over the next ten years. The concentration of production and exports within only a few markets contrasts with a high number of importing markets. The largest net importers include Brazil, Poland, Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Key Benefits

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The World Analysis – Ethylene provides a comprehensive analysis and key insights of critical market developments as they shape the future outlook for the global ethylene market.

The following reports, data files, analytical tools and visualization modules are available online and can be downloaded from our website:

  • Direct Access to the Subject Matter Experts
  • In-depth exploration of present market strategic insights, recognition of key challenges, and presentation of our experts’ forecasts and analysis
  • Explanatory Notes detailing data sources, methodologies, unit and conversion factors, and World Analysis deliverables.
  • Energy and Economy assumptions
  • Price, cost and margin base assumptions forecast and sensitivities analysis, including price assessment methodology, including price definitions across all regions.
  • Excel data files with standard supply/demand graphics and price forecasts extended to 2050, trade grids with country and regional trade flows Data appendix (Excel) with supply/demand, capacity and trade tables.
  • An online dashboard visualization of capacity, supply/demand, trade grids, and price, cost and margin forecasts
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser
  • Data Appendix (Excel) with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Capacity by company/shareholder, capacity integration, top producer/consumer and surplus/deficit capacity ranking, and ownership/subsidiary information

In addition to the main product, ethylene, capacity data and brief textual analysis are provided for the following products:

  • Acetaldehyde (ACH)
  • Alpha Olefins (AOL)
  • Ethanol (EOH)
  • Ethyl Chloride (ECL)
  • Ethylbenzene (EBZ)
  • Ethylene Dichloride (EDC)
  • Ethylene Oxide (EOX)
  • Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPR)
  • High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
  • Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDE)
  • Propionaldehyde (PRH)
  • Vinyl Acetate (VAM)

This World Analysis contains detailed information on capacities, production, demand, and trade for all significant producing and consuming countries and regions. Although data gathering is essential for understanding history and potential future trends, we believe that the interpretation and analysis of the data is the most valuable information to our clients.

Service Features

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050



Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050
Area Coverage: By country/region; include “hypothetical” capacity changes in the forecast period
Chemical Coverage: Ethylene


Frequency: Updated daily
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050

  • Nameplate capacity on individual plant location by producer and by the shareholder for main study products + essential derivatives
  • Integration table and top producer and consumer ranking tables (includes net surplus/deficit)
Chemical Coverage: Ethylene, Acetaldehyde, Alpha Olefins, Ethanol, Ethyl Chloride, Ethylbenzene, EDC, Ethylene Oxide, Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPDM), HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, Propionaldehyde, Vinyl Acetate


Frequency: Quarterly
Format: Excel
Timeframe: up to 2050
Area Coverage: For the key regions of North America (US), Europe & Asia
Chemical Coverage: Ethylene


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 1 year of history, up to 10 years of forecast
Area Coverage: Between partner countries and by region
Chemical Coverage: Ethylene


Frequency: Annual
Format: PDF/HTML
Timeframe: 5-year history, forecast to 2050
Coverage: Regional market summaries

  • Production economics/snapshots for selected regions/processes
  • Production process/technology overview
Chemical Coverage: Ethylene


  • Access to our global team of subject matter experts
  • Interactive data visualization module (dashboard)
  • Standard supply/demand graphs
  • Data appendix with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser

Annual Table of Contents

  • Introduction 5
  • Executive Overview 7
  • Strategic Insights 11
  • Economic Forecast Update 11
  • Energy Transition 11
  • Implications for Ethylene Feedstock Supply 11
  • Crude Oil-to-Chemicals (COTC) 12
  • Net Zero Emissions 14
  • Steam crackers in mainland China 16
  • Impact of the Ukraine Conflict 18
  • European Green Deal and Fit for 55 19
  • New US Laws that may impact petrochemical industry 21
  • Plastic Circularity 22
  • North America 24
  • South America 27
  • West Europe 30
  • Central Europe 33
  • CIS & Baltic States 36
  • Africa 39
  • Middle East 42
  • Indian Subcontinent 45
  • China (mainland) 48
  • Other Northeast Asia 51
  • Southeast Asia 54
  • Production Process Overview 57
  • Introduction 57
  • Ethylene Production 57
  • Ethylene Technologies and Licensing 58
  • Alternative Ethylene Production Technologies 59
  • MTO Process 59
  • Fischer-Tropsch Process 61
  • Refinery Off-Gas 61
  • Production Economics 62
  • Explanatory Notes 62
  • United States 63
  • Purity Ethane 63
  • Propane 64
  • Butane 65
  • Light Naphtha 66
  • West Europe 67
  • Full Range Naphtha (High Severity) 67
  • Propane 68
  • Butane 69
  • Southeast Asia 70
  • Full Range Naphtha (Low Severity) 70
  • Northeast Asia 71
  • Full Range Naphtha (Low Severity) 71
  • Propane 72
  • Butane 73
  • Coal-to-Olefins 74
  • Methanol-to-Olefins 75
  • Price Forecast 76
  • Methodology 76
  • North America 77
  • West Europe 78
  • Asia 79
  • Ethylene Price Forecast Tables 81
  • Supply/Demand Forecast Methodology 82
  • Appendix 86
  • Changing fortunes of the olefins industry in the CIS and Baltic States 86
  • The renaissance of Middle East and Africa olefin projects 88

Market Coverage

Film & Sheet




Matthew Thoelke

Matthew Thoelke Vice President, EMEA Olefins Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Matthew Thoelke is the Vice President for Olefins and Derivatives in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Chemical Market Analytics. Matthew Thoelke is the vice president of the olefins and derivatives team in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Chemical Market Analytics. During his time with the company, he has taken a wide variety of roles across a broad range of product areas. With over 25 years of experience, Matthew is a key resource within the business for understanding and insight into the olefins sector of the petrochemical industry. Within the EMEA region, he works closely with the petrochemical, oil and financial industries, bringing support and guidance throughout the petrochemical chain. His current area of focus includes oversight of the ‘Europe and the Middle East Olefins Report’ and primary input and insight for the ‘World Ethylene and Propylene Analyses.’ His prior experience includes coverage of butadiene and elastomers, for which he remains a globally recognized industry speaker and expert. Whilst in this role, Mathew was responsible for the ‘Global Outlook — Feedstocks, Elastomers Report’ and the ‘World Butadiene Analysis’ and took the lead role in analyzing olefin and derivative markets in support of the long-term planning outlooks in the World Analysis. Mr. Thoelke has both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Material Sciences from Cambridge University, as well as a Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering (ACDMM).
Mike Park

Mike Park Director, Asia Olefins and Derivatives Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Mike Park is the Director for Asia light Olefins and propylene derivatives at Chemical Market Analytics.  Mike Park is a research and analyst director for Asia Light Olefins in the Chemical Market Analytics Singapore office. Mike has contributed various Market Advisory Services and World Analysis of Chemical Market Analytics for hundreds of global clients since 2017. Mike currently covers the ethylene and propylene market in Asia. Still, his coverage is not limited to the Asia light olefins and includes various propylene downstream products, including acrylic acid, acrylates, SAP, MMA, oxo alcohols, and plasticizers. His distinguished career has spanned more than 17 years in the petrochemical and chemical industries. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Mike worked at LG Chem in South Korea for ten years, responsible for selling and marketing olefins derivative products.  
Steve Lewandowski

Steve Lewandowski Vice President, Global Olefins & Derivatives Team Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Mr. Lewandowski is the Vice President of Global Olefins & Derivatives at Chemical Market Analytics. Based in Houston, Steve Lewandowski is the Vice President - Olefins at Chemical Market Analytics (CMA) by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company, a leading global provider of information, insight and consulting services to the global chemical and petrochemical. During a career spanning 30 + years in the refining and chemical industry, Steve has experience across the spectrum of refining and petrochemical hydrocarbon value chains covering various financial, strategic, technical and commercial roles. Before his move to Chemical Market Analytics, Steve was Senior Manager of Base Chemicals at TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining, Inc. In that capacity, he managed the P&L of the base chemicals business, including joint venture relationships, strategic guidance to the partnerships, plant operational interfaces, project development, and commercial responsibility for olefin and aromatic monomers, including styrene. Before the Base Chemical Senior Manager role, Steve had increasing responsibilities within the Petrochemical business at TOTAL. The latest assignment was overseas, in Brussels, Belgium, where he was responsible for the Global Aromatics long-term commercial business activity. The assignment included P&L responsibility and strategic project development for TOTAL worldwide. Before the Belgian assignment, he worked as manager of the US aromatics business. Before 2000, Steve was involved in the refining and fuels side of the Hydrocarbon chain both for what was then FINA Oil and Chemical and for Star Enterprise (a joint venture between Texaco and Saudi Aramco), working as a process engineer, optimization engineer, fuels blending optimizer, branded/unbranded fuels marketing and supply lead, and in a business development role. Steve earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University in 1987 and an MBA with a focus on finance and economics from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2000.

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