Global ethylene demand to grow 3%/year until 2040, according to Exxon Mobil Chemical's Outlook for Energy; around 60% of growth forecast to be driven by growing middle class in developing countries, with half of growth coming from China

LONDON , April 18, 2014 () – According to ExxonMobil Chemical's Outlook for Energy, the global ethylene demand will grow at 3%/y until 2040. Around 60% of this growth will be driven by the growing middle class in developing countries, with half of it coming from China. Growth in China would sit on the back of increasing prosperity as its per capita income is expected to grow five folds from 2010 to 2040. Moreover, 75% of the Chinese population is expected to occupy the cities by 2040. The middle class in India would be ten times higher by 2040, whereas that in Africa would reach majority. The growing demand will highly globalize the chemical supply market. Volumes of traded chemicals will increase from the current 10% of global capacity to 20% by 2020. Meanwhile, North America's feedstock advantage due to the shale boom would double its exports of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE) and paraxylene (PX). Furthermore, over $100 bn worth of announced projects will increase chemical capacity in the US. However, regulations for acquiring permits for pipelines, plants and export facilities, as well as the shortage of skilled workforce must be addressed in the US to maintain growth in the chemical industry.

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