Alpha Olefins Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Market is Segmented by Type (1-Hexene, 1-Octene, 1-Butene, Other Types), Application (Lubricants, Oil Field Chemicals, Plasticizers, Polyolefin Comonomers, Surfactants, and Other Applications), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa). The report offers market size and forecasts for Alpha olefins in revenue (USD million) for all the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Alpha Olefins Market Size
Study Period: 2016 - 2026
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: >5 %
Alpha Olefins Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The Global Alpha Olefins Market is projected to register a CAGR of more than 5% during the forecast period (2021-2026).

The market was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the nationwide lockdowns, strict social distancing measures, and worldwide traveling restrictions that disrupted the automobile and oil and gas industries. The oil demand in China suffers the most in the first quarter, with a year-on-year fall of 1.8 million barrels per day (mb/d). In the second quarter, an improving situation in China offsets deteriorating demand elsewhere. However, a progressive recovery took place through the second half of 2020. For 2020 as a whole, the magnitude of the drop in the first half led to a decline in global oil demand of around 90,000 barrels a day compared to 2019, which affected the growth of the alpha olefins market.

  • Over the medium term, the major factor driving the market is the growing demand from the paper and pulp industries.
  • On the flip side, stringent environmental regulations due to the non-biodegradable nature of polyethylene are hindering the growth of the alpha olefins market.
  • The Asia-Pacific region represents the largest market, and it is also expected to be the fastest-growing market over the forecast period due to the increasing consumption from countries such as China, India, and Japan.

Scope of the Report

Alpha-olefins are a family of organic compounds, which are alkenes (also known as olefins) with a chemical formula CxH2x, distinguished by having a double bond at the primary or alpha (α) position. This location of a double bond enhances the reactivity of the compound and makes it useful for a number of applications. The Alpha olefins market is segmented by type, application, and region. By type, the market is segmented into 1-Hexene, 1-Octene, 1-Butene, and Other Types. By application, the market is segmented into Lubricants, Oil Field Chemicals, Plasticizers, Polyolefin Comonomers, Surfactants, and Other Applications. The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the alpha olefins market in 15 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of revenue (USD million).

Other Types
Oil Field Chemicals
Polyolefin Comonomers
Other Applications
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Increasing Usage in Surfactants Application

  • Surfactants are present in a wide range of cleaning products, and one of the usual groups is anionic surfactants, which are particularly valued for their foaming ability. There is a multitude of anionic surfactants for use in detergents, although the most commonly used today are the salts of dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid and ethoxylated sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Conversely, new trends have led to a rethinking of the suitability of these surfactants due to factors such as hazardous or difficult handling, biodegradability, compatibility with skin and fabrics, efficiency in low-temperature washing, or transport costs linked with diluted products. For this reason, ingredients developed in the last century, such as Alpha-Olefin Sulfonate (INCI: Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate), are once again of interest in the detergency and cosmetic sectors.
  • Alpha Olefin Sulfonate is an anionic surfactant that has been used efficaciously for many years in laundry and personal care products but was gradually substituted by other low-cost products.
  • The chief benefits of Alpha Olefin Sulfonate in cleaning products are its great capacity to form stable foams, even in diluted products, in hard water and at low temperatures, good cleaning properties, useful in both detergents and cosmetics, fast biodegradability, good compatibility with the skin, and its high-water solubility. It is therefore making it suitable for liquid or powder detergents and personal hygiene products, and especially for hand dishwashers, laundry detergents, automotive cleaners, or bath gels.
  • The most common Alpha Olefin Sulfonate(AOS) used in personal care is sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, which functions as a detergent, wetting agent, and as an emulsifier. When properly formulated, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate imparts viscosity, a consumer-acceptable foaming profile, and quick flash foam to produce a stable lather, among other benefits.
  • AOS usage in consumer products in the United States is mainly in liquid hand soaps with minor use in shampoos. AOS use outside the United States has principal consumer applications in household cleaning and personal care products. Moreover, AOS is used extensively in Japan and South Korea in both laundry and liquid dishwashing detergents.
  • Owing to all the abovementioned factors, the market is expected to grow during the forecast period.
Alpha Olefins Industry

The Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market

  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the dominant market in alpha olefins consumption. In countries like China, Japan, South Korea, India, and the Southeast Asian nations, the demand for alpha olefins is increasing. China is also the largest producer of lubricants, oil field chemicals, plasticizers, etc., catering to the market worldwide.
  • China has one of the largest pulp and paper industries in the world. China is one of the top three producers of paper in the world. However, owing to environmental concerns, the country announced to ban all wastepaper imports in 2020, and it is estimated to have eliminated more than 45 million metric ton of backward paper capacity during the last seven years. The new investment in the pulp and paper industry in the country is also slowing due to strict regulatory controls and the low availability of raw materials. This is expected to negatively impact the demand growth of the market studied in the country, during the forecast period.
  • China, the per capita consumption of toilet/bathing soap in China is four kilograms, which is one of the largest across the world. In addition, the consumption of soap and detergent witnessed a sharp increase in the country, owing to the hygiene awareness due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This consumption is expected to propel the demand for alpha olefins in the coming years.
  • Procter & Gamble (China) Ltd, Nice Group, Guangzhou Liby Enterprise Group Co. Ltd, Unilever (China) Ltd, and Nafine Chemical Industry Group Co. Ltd are the major producers of soaps and detergents in the country.
  • Alpha olefins are mostly consumed to manufacture polyethylene, such as linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which are used in various applications ranging from packaging to pipes.
  • The packaging industry in China is expected to witness tremendous growth, and it may record a CAGR of nearly 6.8% to reach CNY 2 trillion by 2025. This positive momentum in the packaging industry is expected to ignite the market demand.
  • According to the Packaging Industry Association of India (PIAI), the Indian packaging market was valued at USD 50.5 billion in 2019. It is expected to reach USD 204.81 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 26.7% during 2020-2025, which is expected to increase the demand for polyethylene, thus increasing the demand for alpha olefins in the market.
  • All the abovementioned factors, in turn, are expected to significantly impact the market in the coming years.
Alpha Olefins Market Share

Competitive Landscape

The alpha-olefin market is partially consolidated with the presence of both international and domestic players. The major companies include Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, INEOS, SABIC, Sasol, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

Recent Developments

  • In June 2019, INEOS Oligomers signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi Aramco and Total, France, to build three new plants as part of the Jubail 2 complex in Saudi Arabia. INEOS will build 425,000 tons acrylonitrile plant and 400,000 ton Linear Alpha Olefin (LAO) plant.
  • In May 2019, Exxon Mobil Corporation planned to expand its Vistamaxx production in its Texas facility and will enter the linear alpha olefins market. This expansion will allow ExxonMobil to enter into the linear alpha olefins market, which is used in the production of detergents and synthetic lubricants.
  • In January 2019, Shell started the production of the alpha-olefins unit at its Geismar, Louisiana unit, United States. The 425,000-ton-per-year capacity expansion brings the total AO production at Geismar to more than 1.3 million ton per annum.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Growing Demand from the Paper and Pulp Industries

      2. 4.1.2 Other Drivers

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Non-biodegradable Nature of Polyethylene

      2. 4.2.2 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market

      3. 4.2.3 Other Restraints

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition

    5. 4.5 Technological Snapshot


    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 1-Hexene

      2. 5.1.2 1-Octene

      3. 5.1.3 1-Butene

      4. 5.1.4 Other Types

    2. 5.2 Appllication

      1. 5.2.1 Lubricants

      2. 5.2.2 Oil Field Chemicals

      3. 5.2.3 Plasticizers

      4. 5.2.4 Polyolefin Comonomers

      5. 5.2.5 Surfactants

      6. 5.2.6 Other Applications

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.3.2 North America

        1. United States

        2. Mexico

        3. Canada

      3. 5.3.3 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. Italy

        4. France

        5. Rest of Europe

      4. 5.3.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Merger and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Share Analysis**/Ranking Analysis

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC

      2. 6.4.2 Exxon Mobil Corporation

      3. 6.4.3 Evonik Industries AG

      4. 6.4.4 Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd

      5. 6.4.5 INEOS

      6. 6.4.6 Kemipex

      7. 6.4.7 LANXESS

      8. 6.4.8 Qatar Chemical Company Ltd

      9. 6.4.9 Royal Dutch Shell PLC

      10. 6.4.10 SABIC

      11. 6.4.11 Sasol

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Growing R&D Investments for the Development of Alpha Olefins from Various Sources

    2. 7.2 Other Opportunities

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Alpha Olefins Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Alpha Olefins Market is growing at a CAGR of >5% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2020.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, INEOS, SABIC, Sasol, Royal Dutch Shell PLC are the major companies operating in Alpha Olefins Market.

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