Cumene Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Cumene Market is segmented by Manufacturing Process (Aluminum Chloride Catalyst, Solid Phosphoric Acid (SPA) Catalyst, and Zeolite Catalyst), Application (Phenol, Acetone, Paints and Enamels, High-octane Aviation Fuels, and Other Applications), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa).

Market Snapshot

Cumene Market Overview
Study Period: 2016 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: >4 %
Cumene Market Key players

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Market Overview

The cumene market is projected to register a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period (2021-2026).

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected various chemical and other industrial activities, which has negatively affected the demand for cumene.​ The automotive industry also faced a decline in production and sales due to the pandemic situation and thus affected the cumene market. According to the OICA, automobile production declined by around 23% in the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

  • In the medium term, the major factors driving the market studied include increasing demand for phenol from the plastic industry and increasing use of acetone as a solvent.
  • On the flip side, harmful effect, due to extended exposure, is expected to significantly hinder the growth of the market studied.
  • Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the global market during the forecast period. Also, it is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

Cumene (isopropylbenzene) is an aliphatic-substituted aromatic hydrocarbon. Crude oil and refined fuels all contain it. It is a colorless, flammable liquid with a boiling point of 152°C. The cumene market is segmented by manufacturing process, application, and geography. By manufacturing process, the market is segmented into aluminum chloride catalyst, solid phosphoric acid (SPA) catalyst, and zeolite catalyst. By application, the market is segmented into phenol, acetone, paints and enamels, high-octane aviation fuels, and other applications. The report also covers the market size and forecast for the cumene market in 15 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecast have been done on the basis of volume (kiloton).

Manufacturing Process
Aluminum Chloride Catalyst
Solid Phosphoric Acid (SPA) Catalyst
Zeolite Catalyst
Paints and Enamels
High-octane Aviation Fuels
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

Growing Usage in Acetone Application

  • More than 95% of the global acetone production is used as a by-product of phenol production, which involves cumene use. The demand for acetone is primarily driven by its use as a solvent in products, such as nail polish removers, lacquers and finishes, and adhesives.​
  • Acetone is used in a wide range of applications, such as manufacturing methyl methacrylate (MMA) and BPA, and as a solvent in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.​
  • MMA is widely used for the production of PMMA resins, which are increasingly being used to produce acrylic sheets in the construction industry. Automotive parts and medical devices are other applications of MMA.​
  • The pharmaceutical industry is continuously expanding, increasing the demand for acetone, thus, driving the cumene market. As of the end of 2019, the global pharmaceutical market was valued at USD 1,250.4 billion. The pharmaceutical market grew at a rapid pace in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.​
  • Additionally, the growing cosmetic industry is increasing the demand for acetone for use as a solvent. According to the Statista market forecast, the revenue generated by cosmetics reached USD 87 billion in 2020, witnessing a decline of 3% compared to 2019. It is estimated to reach USD 118.5 billion by 2025.
  • Due to the increase in demand for acetone globally and the setting up of new phenol/acetone production facilities, the cumene market is expected to witness a high growth rate during the forecast period.
Cumene Market Share

China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Market

  • In Asia-Pacific, China is the largest economy in terms of GDP. In 2019, the country witnessed about ~6.1% growth in its GDP, despite facing trade disturbances due to its trade war with the United States. Currently, the Chinese economy has been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections, the Chinese GDP growth has registered a 1.9% in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected to recover and reach 8.2% by the end of 2021.
  • With the investments from various chemical manufacturers, the production facilities of bisphenol-A, phenol, and acetone have been increasing in the country. This, in turn, is projected to drive the demand for cumene in the country in the coming years.
    • In 2019, Shandong Lihuayi Weiyuan put its 120,000-metric ton/year new bisphenol A (BPA) unit into production, with products coming out. Its two BPA units are running at an average rate of 90% at present, according to company sources. Thus, all cargo from its 220,000-metric ton/year phenol plant will be for captive use.​
    • Zhejiang Petrochemical planned to build new 400,000 metric ton/year phenol and 250,000 metric ton/year of acetone plant in 2020.​
  • Additionally, cumene is also used as a thinner for paints, enamels, and lacquers. This is further increasing the demand for cumene in the region.​
  • China is the leading producer and consumer of paints and coatings across the world. Currently, China produces more than half of the coatings from Asia-Pacific and is home to more than 10,000 paint companies. Local producers occupy more than half of the share in the domestic paints market.​
  • However, the country's steps toward recovery from COVID-19, along with fruitful investments expected to be witnessed in the near future, are likely to act as driving factors for the cumene market during the forecast period.​
Cumene Market Growth Rate By Region

Competitive Landscape

The cumene market is partially fragmented in nature. Some of the major players of the market studied include Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Braskem, Cepsa, and INEOS, among others.

Recent Developments

  • In October 2019, INEOS announced that it breaks ground at its world-scale cumene investment at Marl, Germany. The plant has a capacity of 750,000 metric ton per year of cumene, which is expected to be completed in 2021.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Increasing Demand for Phenol from the Plastic Industry

      2. 4.1.2 Increasing Use of Acetone as a Solvent

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Harmful Effects Due to Extended Exposure

      2. 4.2.2 Unfavorable Conditions Arising Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak​

    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 Feedstock Analysis​

    6. 4.6 Technological Snapshot

    7. 4.7 Trade Analysis

    8. 4.8 Price Index

    9. 4.9 Regulatory Policy Analysis


    1. 5.1 Manufacturing Process

      1. 5.1.1 Aluminum Chloride Catalyst

      2. 5.1.2 Solid Phosphoric Acid (SPA) Catalyst

      3. 5.1.3 Zeolite Catalyst

    2. 5.2 Application

      1. 5.2.1 Phenol

      2. 5.2.2 Acetone

      3. 5.2.3 Paints and Enamels

      4. 5.2.4 High-octane Aviation Fuels

      5. 5.2.5 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. Canada

        3. Mexico

      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 Mergers 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 Braskem

      2. 6.4.2 Cepsa

      3. 6.4.3 Domo Chemicals

      4. 6.4.4 Exxon Mobil Corporation

      5. 6.4.5 INEOS

      6. 6.4.6 Total

      7. 6.4.7 Royal Dutch Shell PLC

      8. 6.4.8 Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd

      9. 6.4.9 ENEOS Corporation

      10. 6.4.10 Prasol Chemicals Pvt. Ltd

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Increasing Investments for New Capacity Additions

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Cumene Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Cumene Market is growing at a CAGR of >4% over the next 5 years.

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

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2020.

Braskem, Cepsa, INEOS, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Exxon Mobil Corporation are the major companies operating in Cumene Market.

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