According to ChemAnalyst report, “Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) Market Analysis: Plant Capacity, Production, Operating Efficiency, Technology, Demand & Supply, End-User Industries, Distribution Channel, Regional Demand, 2015-2030”. Methyl Ethyl Ketone market witnessed a demand of around 1.15 million tons globally in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at a significant rate with a healthy CAGR of 4.80% until 2030 attributed to its surging demand as a solvent in various end use industries.

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Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) is a colorless, highly flammable, volatile, low viscosity liquid with a characteristic odor like Acetone. MEK is an extremely good solvent and easily soluble in many natural and synthetic resins, but partially soluble in water. Methyl Ethyl Ketone is manufactured commonly by 2-Butanol dehydrogenation and this reaction is catalyzed by cooper, zinc, or bronze. MEK is also produced via direct oxidation of n-butene and isobutyl benzene using palladium or cupric chlorides as catalysts. Moreover, Methyl Ethyl Ketone can also be extracted in fractions in the manufacturing process of butane-based acetic acid as a by-product.

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Methyl Ethyl Ketone market is segmented into two grades as Regular Grade and Urethane Grade. Urethane Grade comprises of superior properties than Regular Grade MEK such as fast evaporation and lower boiling point and employed prominently in preparing adhesives, coatings, printing inks, lacquers and varnishes etc. Additionally, before paint application, it is also utilized as a superb thinner to remove contaminants and oils from metal surfaces.

The major applications of MEK are its utilization as an excellent industrial solvent, as a chemical intermediate, a curing agent and as a plastic welding agent. Most of the total Methyl Ethyl Ketone produced globally is used as a solvent in resins (polyurethane, polyester, acrylic, polychloroprene), vinyl films, gums, and nitrocellulose coatings. Owing to its fast evaporation rate, it is used in the production of rubber based industrial cement. Methyl Ethyl Ketone extensively used in the production of adhesives, printing inks, lacquers & varnishes, paraffin wax, thinners, cleaning agents, textiles, synthetic rubbers, paint remover, plastics etc. Methyl Ethyl Ketone also finds applications in pharmaceuticals and personal care sector in the formulations of lotions, anesthetics, antiseptics, and drugs and is projected to boost its demand in the forthcoming years.

The major end use industries of Methyl Ethyl Ketone based on its applications are Paints and Coatings, Printing Inks, Construction, Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care and Others. Among these Paints and Coatings holds the largest market share for Methyl Ethyl Ketone globally and is anticipated to drive the MEK market in the forecast period as MEK is used in powder coatings in the electronics and automotive sectors. Surging demand for adhesives, lacquers and varnishes from construction sector coupled with the increasing demand for printing inks from the packaging industry is likely to drive the MEK market in the forecast period. However, Methyl Ethyl Ketone is a petrochemical derivative, fluctuations in the prices of crude oil would directly influence the prices of MEK and its derivatives that is a major challenge for the growth of the Methyl Ethyl Acetate market in the upcoming years. Additionally, Methyl Ethyl Acetate is also associated with environmental and health hazards which may also hinder its market growth in the forecast period.

The unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 in the first half of 2020, across the globe led to the imposition of nationwide lockdowns by the major economies. Most of the industries were impacted due to the disruption in the functioning of manufacturing plants as well as the interruption in the supply and demand chain. The Methyl Ethyl Ketone market was also affected in the first wave of COVID-19 because its major end-use industries such as Construction, Paint and Coatings suffered drastically.  However, despite pandemics, there was a constant demand for Methyl Ethyl Ketone from Pharmaceuticals and Printing Inks sectors due to its prominent use in drug formulations, lotions, antiseptics, and Packaging respectively. Moreover, after the exemption of trade restriction and resumption in industrial operations in the second half of 2020, an improvement was witnessed in the Methyl Ethyl Ketone market as end use industries such as Construction, Paints, and Coatings recovered swiftly and the demand for MEK is expected to swell up in the forthcoming years.

Region wise, Asia Pacific holds the maximum demand share of the Methyl Ethyl Ketone market and is expected that its Methyl Ethyl Ketone market would grow at a promising pace through 2030. Growing industries like construction, packaging, pharmaceuticals, automobile, plastics, and textile in the region where MEK and its derivatives are being used extensively are anticipated to propel the demand for Methyl Ethyl Ketone in the upcoming years.

North America and Europe are also expected to show sluggish growth in Methyl Ethyl Ketone market due to the strict regulations by the government for its production, consumption, and transportation as it is a potential health and environmental hazard.

According to ChemAnalyst report, “Methyl Ethyl Ketone Market Analysis: Plant Capacity, Production, Operating Efficiency, Technology, Demand & Supply, End-User Industries, Distribution Channel, Regional Demand, 2015-2030”, Major players for Methyl Ethyl Ketone globally are ExxonMobil Chemical company, Sasol Ltd., Arkema S.A., Maruzen Petrochemical Co. Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc., Ineos Group, SK Energy Co. Ltd., and Petro China Company Ltd., Tonen Chemicals Corp., Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd., Tasco Chemical Co., and Fushun Petrochemical Company.

“Methyl Ethyl Ketone is a highly used solvent in industries. Owing to its properties such as excellent solvency, low boiling point, fast evaporation, low viscosity MEK finds applications in the preparation of various industrial products such as paints, coatings, lacquers, resins, thinners, cleaning agents, printing inks etc. which are further utilized in numerous end-use industries. Growth in the demand of any of these products would positively influence the demand for Methyl Ethyl Ketone and is likely to drive the market for Methyl Ethyl Ketone through the forecast period. Hence, surging demand from Construction, Paints and Coatings, Printing Inks and Pharmaceuticals for MEK would offer several opportunities for manufacturers to expand their capacities in order to fill demand and supply gap in future.” said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm promoting ChemAnalyst.

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