World Analysis – Propylene

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

Market Overview

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

Propylene is second only to ethylene by volume as a structural material platform for producing other organic chemicals and, like ethylene, it has virtually no use in consumer markets without being processed into some derivative product. Downstream it is polymerized (as in the production of polypropylene) or reacted with other chemicals (as in the production of acrylonitrile, propylene oxide, and oxo alcohols) to produce a large variety of industrial products. Polypropylene consumes approximately 70% of all propylene produced globally. Propylene is commercially generated as a coproduct, either in an olefins plant or in the fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) unit of a crude oil refinery, but it can also be produced on-purpose in propane dehydrogenation (PDH), metathesis, or methanol-to-olefins (MTO) plants.

After ethylene, the second-largest volume product from a steam cracker is typically propylene. In fact, the production of propylene from such a plant is so important that the name “olefins plant” is often applied to this kind of manufacturing facility. Except where ethane is used as the feedstock, propylene is typically produced at levels ranging from 40% to 60% of the ethylene produced dependent on feedslate used. In an olefins plant, propylene is generated by the same pyrolysis and purification processes as ethylene. It is recovered as either chemical grade (92 to 96% purity) or polymer grade (99.5% purity) and must be essentially free of diolefins, acetylenes, and other olefins. Propylene generated by a refinery FCC generally has a purity of 65–80%, depending upon operating conditions of the unit. Refinery-grade propylene has several potential consumption options: acid alkylation; dimersol and polymer gasoline; propane blending; direct consumption into chemicals, such as cumene, isopropanol, and oligomers; and purification to polymer-grade propylene (PGP) or chemical-grade propylene (CGP). FCC units designed for enhanced propylene production typically include purification to PGP or CGP. PDH makes ups the largest on-purpose route to propylene.

Key Benefits

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The World Analysis – Propylene provides a comprehensive analysis and key insights of critical market developments as they shape the future outlook for the global propylene 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 products, polymer grade/chemical grade propylene (PGP/CGP), refinery grade propylene (RGP) and total propylene, capacity data and brief textual analysis is also provided for the following products:

  • Acrylic Acid (ACA)
  • Acrylonitrile (ACN)
  • Normal Butanol (NBO)
  • Cumene (CUM)
  • Epichlorohydrin (EPI)
  • 2-Ethylhexanol (2EH)
  • Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPDM)
  • Isobutanol (IBO)
  • Isopropanol (IPA)
  • Propylene Oligomers (OLI)
  • Nonene (Propylene Trimer)
  • Dodecene (Propylene Tetramer)
  • Polypropylene (PPE)
  • Propylene Oxide (POX)
  • Fluid Catalytic Cracking Units (FCC)

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: Propylene (Polymer/Chemical grade), Propylene (Refinery grade), Total Propylene


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: Propylene (Polymer/Chemical/Refinery grade), Acrylic Acid (Crude), Acrylonitrile, Cumene, Ethylene, Propylene Rubber (EPDM), Epichlorohydrin, 2-Ethylhexanol, Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC), Isopropanol, Isobutanol, Normal Butanol, Oligomers, Nonene (nonlinear), Propylene Tetramer, Polypropylene, Propylene Oxide


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


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: Propylene (Polymer/Chemical grade)


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: Propylene (Polymer/Chemical grade)


  • 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 chemical feedstock supply 11
  • Implications for refining operations 12
  • Crude Oil to Chemicals (COTC) 15
  • Propane availability and continued investment in propane dehydrogenation 16
  • New US Laws that may impact petrochemical industry 17
  • The European Green Deal and Fit for 55 18
  • Plastic Circularity 20
  • North America 22
  • South America 25
  • West Europe 28
  • Central Europe 31
  • CIS & Baltic States 34
  • Africa 37
  • Middle East 40
  • Indian Subcontinent 43
  • Mainland China 46
  • Other Northeast Asia 49
  • Southeast Asia 52
  • Production Process Overview 55
  • Introduction 55
  • Propylene production in refineries 55
  • Fuel applications for propylene 56
  • Chemical applications of propylene 57
  • On-purpose propylene production 58
  • Production Economics 60
  • Explanatory Notes 60
  • United States 61
  • Propane Dehydrogenation 61
  • Propylene Purification 62
  • Alkylation 63
  • West Europe 64
  • Propane Dehydrogenation 64
  • Northeast Asia 65
  • Propane Dehydrogenation 65
  • Coal-to-Olefins 66
  • Methanol-to-Olefins 67
  • Southeast Asia 68
  • Propane Dehydrogenation 68
  • Price Forecast 69
  • Methodology 69
  • United States 70
  • West Europe 72
  • Asia 73
  • Propylene Price Forecast Tables 74
  • Supply/Demand Forecast Methodology 76
  • Appendix 80
  • The renaissance of Middle East and Africa olefin projects 80
  • Changing fortunes for the olefins industry in the CIS and Baltic States 86

Market Coverage

Paint & Coating



Soap & Detergents


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.  
Pablo Giorgi

Pablo Giorgi Executive Director, North America Light Olefins Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Pablo Giorgi is the Executive Director of the North American Light Olefins business at Chemical Market Analytics. Pablo Giorgi is the executive director for North America Light Olefins at Chemical Market Analytics. With over 25 years of industry expertise, Pablo is a key resource within the business for understanding and insight into the olefins sector of the petrochemical industry. Within the Americas he works closely with the petrochemical, energy, refining and financial industries, bringing support and guidance throughout the petrochemical chain. His current area of focus includes oversight of the North America Light Olefins Service and primary input and insight for the World Ethylene and Propylene analyses. Mr. Giorgi’s professional experience includes working in styrenics, aromatics, olefins, and polyolefins businesses. Before his current position at Chemical Market Analytics, he held roles in commercial, purchasing, supply chain, strategy, and market intelligence functions across various organizations in Brazil and the USA. Mr. Giorgi holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), later acquiring an MBA in Logistics from Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV) and an MBA in Management from Fundacao Dom Cabral (FDC).
William Chen, PhD

William Chen, PhD Executive Director, Asia Olefins and Derivatives Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

William Chen is an Executive Director of the Asia Olefins and Derivatives at Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company. Dr. William Chen is the Executive Director at Chemical Market Analytics. He leads Asia Olefins' business and has research responsibilities for providing insight into the dynamics associated with the ethylene, propylene, C4, and derivatives value chain markets. Provide thought leadership on the markets relating to supply, demand, price and economics, as well as competitive dynamics and changing industry structural elements. William also leads Asia Olefins' business for strategic growth and provides ongoing commercial management. Focus on nurturing client relationships and deepening services as part of clients’ commercial and strategic decision-making processes. Nurture relationships with clients, including SOEs, POEs and MNCs, to deepen services in clients’ commercial and strategic decision-making processes. William has been involved in many petrochemical consulting projects and client studies, including the China Coal Chemical Study, Global Propane Dehydrogenation Research, and Refinery-cracker/aromatic complex feasibility study. Before Chemical Market Analytics, William worked for ChemChina. William started as a chemical engineer at the company at a Lanzhou fiber plant in Northwest China. Then, he moved back to Beijing to focus on downstream application development. In the last two years with ChemChina, William took charge of sales and marketing responsibility in NE Asia. William earned a Ph.D from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and majored in Polymer Chemistry and Physics. William is based in Beijing, China.

Looking for Short Term Analysis ?

Your Success, Our Priority
In a world where markets evolve rapidly, having the right insights is the key differentiator. Partner with us for critical market insights that propel you beyond competition. Your success is not just a goal, it's our commitment.
Contact us today to revolutionize your approach to business strategy with Market Insights!

View our Market Advisory Service

Talk To An Expert

These offers include recommended content or information on upcoming events. I can unsubscribe at any time.

By clicking the button below, you agree to the Dow Jones Privacy Notice and Cookie Notice.