Key Market Overview:
Methyl Ethyl Ketone Market size was valued at USD 3.14 Billion in 2022, registering a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period (2023-2030), and the market is projected to be worth USD 5.24 Billion by 2030.
Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is also known as butanone with molecular formula C4H8O or CH3COCH2CH3. Methyl ethyl ketone is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet, acetone-like odour and is widely used as a solvent in various industries, such as paints and coatings, adhesives, printing inks, and chemical intermediates. Methyl ethyl ketone is an effective solvent for resins, cellulose acetate, nitrocellulose, and many other compounds.
Further, methyl ethyl ketone is commonly used in the manufacturing of synthetic rubber, paraffin wax, and other chemical products. In addition, they are also employed as a dewaxing agent in the refining of crude oil and as a chemical intermediate in the production of methyl ethyl ketoxime (MEKO), which is further used as an anti-skinning agent in paints and coatings.
Moreover, the automotive industry is a major end-user of paints and coatings. For instance, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), in 2022, the total production of motor vehicles including cars and commercial vehicles globally is approximately to be 85,016,728 with a 6% of growth rate from the previous year. Thus, the increasing demand for automobiles globally is driving the need for methyl ethyl ketone as they are used in the production of paints and coatings owing to their excellent gloss, durability, and scratch-resistance properties.
Methyl Ethyl Ketone Report Coverage:
Growing awareness of climate change
|Report Attributes||Report Details|
|Market Size in 2030 (USD Billion)||5.24 Billion|
|CAGR (2023-2030)||4.9 %|
|By Grade||Regular Grade, Urethane Grade, and Others|
|By Application||Solvent, Synthetic Rubber, Paraffin Wax, Lacquer and Varnishes, Paint Remover, Glues, Catalyst Production, Intermediate, and Others|
|By End Use||Rubber Industry, Industrial & Institutional cleaning, Paint and Coatings, Pharmaceutical, and Others|
|By Geography||Asia-Pacific [China, Southeast Asia, India, Japan, Korea, Western Asia] |
Europe [Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey]
North America [United States, Canada, Mexico]
Middle East & Africa [GCC, North Africa, South Africa]
South America [Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Peru]
|Key Players||Exxon Mobil Corporation, Maruzen Petrochemical, Sasol Limited, Merck KGaA, Zibo Qixiangtengda chemical Co., Ltd., Nouryon Chemicals Holding B.V., ENEOS Group, Solventis, INEOS Solvents, and TASCO Group|
In the paint and coating industry, methyl ethyl ketone is commonly used in surface coatings and in the production of many paint and paint products including lacquer, paint remover and glue due to low viscosity, excellent adhesion and water resistance properties. For instance, according to the report published by Statista, in 2021, the global paint and coatings industry amounted to USD 160 billion and is forecasted to reach approximately USD 235 billion by the year 2029. Thus, the increasing growth of the paint and coating industry globally is driving the growth of the methyl ethyl ketone market.
Severe exposure of humans to high concentrations of methyl ethyl ketone irritates the eyes, throat, and nose. Further, prolonged exposure to methyl ethyl ketone is likely to damage central nervous system and cause headache, depression, and nausea. For instance, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, deleted methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) from the list of chemicals subject to reporting requirements under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA). Thus, the aforementioned factors are likely to hinder the market growth.
The increasing preferences of the industries towards environmentally friendly products is likely to create new opportunities for the development of sustainable solutions since conventional methyl ethyl ketone is derived from petroleum which increases environmental as well as geopolitical concerns.
However, the development of bio-based methyl ethyl ketone using renewable solutions as alternatives to traditional methyl ethyl ketone is likely to propel the market growth. For instance, Vertec BioSolvents Inc. developed ELSOL KTR1, a powerful bio-based replacement for highly volatile methyl ethyl ketone products. As a result, the ongoing research and development activities will create opportunities for the key market players to meet the growing demand for sustainable products and reduce their environmental footprint, in turn, spurring market growth over the forecast period.
The grade segment is classified into regular grade, urethane grade, and others. In 2022, the regular grade segment accounted for the highest market share in the methyl ethyl ketone market owing to the growing use of the regular grade segment in a wide range of applications, including as a solvent for the production of paints, coatings, and adhesives and in the production of pharmaceuticals, printing inks, and magnetic tapes. For instance, according to the report published by Statista, the volume of the global paint and coatings market is estimated to increase by 1.3% in 2022, and by an additional 2.3% in 2023, as compared to the year prior. Thus, the growing paint and coating industry is driving the need for methyl ethyl ketone for the production of paint and paint products such as lacquer, adhesives, among others.
However, the urethane grade is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. Urethane grade is a high-purity grade of methyl ethyl ketone that is primarily used in the production of polyurethane coatings and adhesives. The increasing use of polyurethane coatings and adhesives in various end-use industries, such as automotive, construction, and furniture, is expected to fuel the growth of the segment in the following years.
The application segment is divided into solvent, synthetic rubber, paraffin wax, lacquer and varnishes, paint remover, glues, catalyst production, intermediate, and others. In 2022, the solvent segment accounted for the highest market share in the methyl ethyl ketone market. Methyl ethyl ketone has the following properties including fast evaporation rate, high solvency power, and low viscosity due to which it is a widely used ingredient in the production of printing inks, lacquers, wood stains and varnishes, paint removers, cleaning solutions, and others.
Further, methyl ethyl ketone is used in manufacturing processes for cellulose acetate, gums, resins, and nitrocellulose coatings which are widely used in the production of textiles, plastics, and paraffin wax. Thus, the aforementioned factors are driving the growth of the segment.
However, synthetic rubber segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period due to the increasing use of methyl ethyl ketone in the production of various types of synthetic rubber including styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and polybutadiene rubber (PBR). The increasing demand for synthetic rubber in automotive for the production of tires, door, and window profiles, seals are expected to boost the growth of methyl ethyl ketone market.
By End Use Industry
The end-use industry segment is categorized into the rubber industry, industrial & institutional cleaning, paint and coatings, pharmaceutical, and others. In 2022, the paints and coatings segment accounted for the highest market share in the methyl ethyl ketone market. This is due to the increasing use of methyl ethyl ketone in the production of various resins, such as nitrocellulose, acrylic, and epoxy resins which are widely used in paint and coating industries.
However, the rubber industry is expected to be the fastest-growing segment over the forecast period owing to the increasing use of methyl ethyl ketone as a hardener in the production of synthetic rubber. For instance, according to the report published by Statista, the global synthetic rubber market size is estimated to be USD 19.1 billion in 2021 and is forecast to grow to USD 23.2 billion by 2026. As a result, the growing synthetic rubber industry is expected to boost the demand for methyl ethyl ketone market in the segment.
By region, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. In 2022, Asia Pacific accounted for the highest market share in the methyl ethyl ketone market owing to the high demand from the printing inks sector in emerging countries including China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand. Further, the increasing demand for adhesives and printing inks from commercial and residential buildings is fueling the methyl ethyl ketone market in the region.
However, North America is expected to be the fastest growing region over the forecast period due to increased construction spending particularly in the U.S. For instance, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, construction spending in December 2022 amounted to USD 1,809.8 billion with a growth rate of 7.7% from the previous year. Thus, the increasing construction activities in the region is driving the demand for methyl ethyl ketone for production of adhesives, paints, and varnishes required in construction applications.
Methyl Ethyl Ketone Market Competitive Landscape:
The methyl ethyl ketone market is highly competitive, with several large players and numerous small and medium-sized enterprises. These companies have strong research and development capabilities and a strong presence in the market through their extensive product portfolios and distribution networks. The market is characterized by intense competition, with companies focusing on expanding their product offerings and increasing their market share through mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships. The key players in the market include-
• Exxon Mobil Corporation
• Maruzen Petrochemical Co. Ltd.
• Sasol Limited
• Merck KGaA
• Zibo Qixiangtengda chemical Co., Ltd.
• Nouryon Chemicals Holding B.V.
• ENEOS Group
• INEOS Solvents
• TASCO Group
• In August 2022, Merck KGaA signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of the chemical business of Mecaro Co. Ltd. (Mecaro), a Korea-based manufacturer of heater blocks and chemical precursors for semiconductors.
• In December 2021, Nouryon started full-scale production at its new organic peroxide greenfield site in Tianjin, China to support the polymer industry in Asia.