MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) is mainly used as a solvent in variety of applications owing to itsexcellent chemical properties such as low boiling point, fast evaporation rate, high solvency and high viscosity. The major industrial applications of MEK include paints and coatings, printing inks, plastics and textiles among others. The revenue generated by the global MEK market was 2,254.1 million in 2012which is expected to reach USD 3,064.5 million by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2013 to 2019.
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Paints and coatings applications segment was the largest market segment of MEK in 2012. The paints and coatings segment of the MEK market generated revenue of USD 1,223.0million in 2012.The rapidly growing infrastructure sector especially in developing nations is driving the paints and coatings market, which in turn is expected to fuel the demand for MEK in the next few years. Printing inks, plastics and textilesarethe other major application segments ofMEK.The demand for printing inks is likely to grow due to the rising demand from publishingand packaging industries among others. The increasing number of applications of MEK such as adhesives for PVC pipes, rubber based cements, resins thinners, lacquers in furniture industryand extraction solvent for pharmaceuticals among others, is expected to drive the MEK market in future.
Asia Pacific represents the largest and the most important market for the MEK industry.TheMEKmarket in Asia Pacificis mainly driven by robust growth in the paints and coatings marketdue to heavy consumption from manufacturing and construction industries. North America is the second largest market for MEK followed by Europe and RoW. Due to the growing automobile and infrastructure industries in India and China, Asia Pacific is expected to be the key market for MEK in the future.
MEK is an organic compound used as solvents in several applications such as paints and coatings, printing inks, adhesive for PVC pipes, ingredient in rubber-based industrial cements and resin thinners. The value chain for MEK market comprises of feedstock suppliers, producers, distributors, buyers and end user industries. Procurement of raw material is made from the big petrochemical companies. Various petroleum by-products are used as raw materials for the production of MEK. The raw material prices fluctuate as petrochemicals are the base for extraction of raw materials. Major petrochemical companies are integrated backward as they manufacture MEK along with its feedstock. These largecompanies have their own distribution channel while smaller companies generally opt for private distributors.The application products of MEK are consumed by various end user industries such as paints and coatings, pharmaceutical, construction, automotive, furniture and electronic goods.
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The increasing number of industrial applications is also expected to drive the MEK demand throughout the forecast period. The growth of the MEK market is expected to be limited by certain factors such as the health issues associated with use of MEK, the volatility in raw material prices, as well as the growing demand for its substitutes. There are certain other factors such as growing environmental concerns and strict governmental regulations that are secondary challenges for the growth of the MEK market.ExxonMobil Chemical, Maruzen Petrochemical Co. Ltd., Zibo QixiangPetrochemical Industry Group Co. Ltd., Arkema S.A., Sasol Solvents, Shell Chemicals, SK Energy Co. Ltd., PetroChina Lanzhou Petrochemicals, and Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. are some of the key producers of MEK.