Methyl isobutyl growth to reach US$800 mn by 2025; rubber/tyres as drivers

The methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) market is set to grow from its current market value of more than US$600 million to over US$800 million by 2025. The growth will be driven by escalating construction activities across the globe for the use of solvents in various surface coatings, says a latest study by Global Market Insights Inc. MIBK is also extensively used to produce rubber processing chemicals, which will witness growth owing to the increased automotive sales and tyre production.

MIBK is also one of the vital components in the production of insecticides, fertilisers and other agrochemicals. This will boost the product demand in various emerging economies such as China, India, Mexico, that spend heavily to improve their agricultural output, directly augmenting the methyl isobutyl ketone market share in the expected timeframe.

The high toxicity and harsh impacts on human health and the environment may obstruct the growth of MIBK market size in the near future. Petroleum-based MIBKs are believed to be highly toxic when exposed to the air that can cause mucous membrane irritations and vulnerable effects on central nervous system in humans.

However, the negative properties of the product is fuelling the adaptation of bio-based MIBK, which is eco-friendly, cost-effective and has an uncomplicated production process. The shift towards the bio-based substitute will propel the product demand advancing the methyl isobutyl ketone market size in the projected timespan.

Based on MIBK applications, the market is segmented into solvent, extraction solvent, rubber processing chemical, surfactants and other minor applications such as denaturant, insecticides, fertilisers etc. Rubber processing chemicals segment is anticipated to grow at a significant rate to surpass US$90 million till the end of 2025. The rapid growth in the drift towards radial tires, the application of MIBK as a solvent in the amalgamation of anti-ozonant additives and rubber is likely to fuel the methyl isobutyl ketone market in the coming years.

Based on revenue, agrochemicals recorded a substantial share among the end-use industries growing with a CAGR over 3.5% by 2025. Methyl isobutyl ketone is widely used in manufacturing insecticides that control garden insects and various fertilisers to keep the crops safe before harvest. Moreover, it is also an extraction solvent for antibiotics and pharmaceutical products owing to its high solvency and excellent stability.

Europe is anticipated to control the methyl isobutyl ketone market by capturing over 20% revenue share in 2018 and will generate a revenue exceeding US$190 million by 2025. Prices in the region is likely to be higher owing to the unavailability of raw materials. Positive outlook for bio-based MIBK in the end-use industries will bolster the overall market size in future. This would not only improve the product demand but would also lower the risks to the environment.

Key methyl isobutyl ketone market competitors include Arkema Group, The Dow Chemical Company, Royal Dutch Shell, Sasol, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Kumho P&B Chemicals Inc., Mitsui Chemicals, Celanese Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, LCY Group and Jilin Chemicals.