World Analysis – Propylene Oxide

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

Market Overview

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

Propylene oxide (POX) is a highly reactive chemical intermediate with no direct consumer application. The dominant end use for propylene oxide is to produce polyether polyols. Polyether polyols are further used in the production of flexible and rigid polyurethane systems, which find applications in a wide range of industries and products such as transportation, construction, appliances, furniture, bedding, packaging, adhesives and sealants, and surface coatings. The second-largest end use of propylene oxide is propylene glycol, used in food and pharmaceutical sectors as well as for antifreeze and deicing aircraft. Butanediol can also be produced from propylene oxide, but this demand segment is small.

Propylene is the primary feedstock to produce POX, and there are three main production routes: the chlorohydrin route, peroxidation, and hydroperoxidation. The chlorohydrin process to produce POX—the oldest and, at one time, the most prevalent technology—has slowly been losing capacity share as other technologies have become more attractive. As the process utilizes chlorine, only integrated chlor-alkali producers use this route. The PO direct processes (either hydrogen peroxide–propylene oxide [HPPO] or cumene) represent the latest generation of production technology and are designed to produce POX without concerns of coproduct economics or environmental issues surrounding chlorohydrin. The process is more capital-intensive than the competing technologies, and its operating costs are higher than propylene oxide–styrene monomer (PO–SM) and propylene oxide–tert-butyl alcohol/methyl tert-butyl ether (PO–TBA/MTBE). However, it remains a preferred technology because it does not possess the risk level of other technologies. POX processes relying on coproduct values have been subject to the volatility of the coproduct markets over the years, particularly as PO–SM and PO–TBA/MTBE coproducts are produced at a rate of 2.1–2.3 times the output of POX.

Key Benefits

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The World Analysis – Propylene Oxide provides a comprehensive analysis and key insights into critical market developments as they shape the future outlook for the global propylene oxide 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 critical 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 and 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, propylene oxide, capacity data is provided for the following products:

  • 1,4-Butanediol
  • Polyether polyols
  • Propylene glycol

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: Cumene, Phenol, Acetone, Bisphenol A


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: Acetone, Alkylphenol, Aniline, Bisphenol A, Cumene, Cyclohexanol/one, MMA, Other Phenol, Phenol, Phenol Formaldehyde Resins, p-Dodecylphenol, p-Nonylphenol, Diphenyl Oxide, Phenol Derivatives (Agrochemicals), Polyphenylene Ether Resins, Salicylic Acid


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


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: Cumene, Phenol, Acetone


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: Cumene, Phenol, Acetone


  • 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 4
  • Executive Overview 5
  • Strategic Insights 8
  • Direct PO processes becoming more commonplace 8
  • A significant wave of capacity investment is underway 8
  • Polyols for polyurethanes offer strong demand-growth prospects 9
  • Trade is expensive; therefore, POX derivatives are typically located next to POX production 9
  • Production Process Overview 11
  • Introduction 11
  • Chlorohydrin Process 11
  • Peroxidation Processes 12
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Direct Process 13
  • Cumene process 15
  • Price Forecast 16
  • Methodology 16
  • North America 17
  • West Europe 18
  • Northeast Asia 19
  • Price forecast tables 20
  • Supply/Demand Forecast Methodology 22

Market Coverage


Buildings & Constructions


Paint & Coating

Marcelo Wasem

Marcelo Wasem Director, Americas Purified Terephthalic Acid | Polyethylene Terephthalate Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Marcelo Wasem is the Director of Americas Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) at Chemical Market Analytics. Marcelo Wasem is the director of PET and PTA in North America at Chemical Market Analytics. Throughout his tenure with the company, he has shouldered diverse responsibilities spanning various product categories. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Marcelo is a pivotal asset within the organization, offering invaluable understanding and insights into the aromatics sector of the petrochemical industry. In the North America region, Marcelo collaborates closely with the petrochemical and plastic industries and brand owners, providing support and guidance across the entire petrochemical chain. His primary focus is managing the Global PET Stream reports, which delve into the Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) markets. Additionally, he plays a role in developing World Analyses for PTA/DMT and Polyester, conducting supply and demand analyses, and offering price forecasts for both the short and long term. At Chemical Market Analytics, Marcelo previously covered the orthoxylene market and polyurethane feedstocks, such as propylene oxide and polyether polyols. Throughout his career, Marcelo has held various roles within the petrochemical industry, encompassing work with feedstocks, energy, and the commercialization of petrochemical products. He also worked on a project to recycle waste tires using a pyrolysis process. Marcelo holds a bachelor’s degree in plastics engineering and specializes in business finance.  
See Yan Wong

See Yan Wong Director, Polyurethane Feedstocks, Asia Pacific Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

See Yan Wong is the Director for Polyurethane Feedstock at Chemical Market Analytics. See Yan is the Asia Director for Polyurethane Feedstocks at Chemical Market Analytics. Since her appointment in 2018, she has been pivotal in establishing and growing the Polyurethane Feedstock Market Advisory Service. With over two decades of industry expertise, See Yan is a cornerstone within the organization, offering invaluable understanding and profound insights into the polyurethane feedstocks sector. Operating within the Asia region, she collaborates closely with stakeholders in the polyurethane sector, fostering ongoing dialogues with key industry players to provide essential support and guidance. Her primary focus encompasses overseeing the analysis of the Propylene Oxide chain and the MDI and TDI chains. Her prior experience includes Business Management, Supply Chain, Procurement, Sales and Marketing. Her portfolio of achievements includes developing a supply chain (planning and order management) and procurement processes for the Asian region, driving profit improvements through supply chain cost savings and commercial trading activities. She is equipped with rich market knowledge, a positive and mature personality, and solid managerial capability, which are essential strengths to make a difference in managing commodity trading activities within Asia. Ms. Wong has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of South Australia.
Tobias Spyra

Tobias Spyra Director, EMEA Styrenics & Polyurethane Feedstocks Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Tobias Spyra is the Director for EMEA Styrenics & Polyurethane Feedstocks at Chemical Market Analytics. Mr. Spyra joined the European aromatics and fibers team in 2016 and his current role in Chemical Market Analytics is as Director of Styrenics and Polyurethane Feedstocks in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa region. As a key resource within Chemical Market Analytics for understanding and providing insight into the Aromatics sector of the petrochemical industry, he works closely with the petrochemical, oil, and financial industries. He specializes in cumene, phenol, acetone, AMS, BPA, solvents, styrene monomer, and its derivatives as well as the in the isocyanates, polyether, and polyester polyols markets. Prior to joining Chemical Market Analytics, he worked in the chemical and petrochemical industries in various Sales, Marketing, and Global Business Management roles at Ineos, Innovene, and BP. Fluent in English, Spanish, and German.

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