In 2018, world ethylene consumption was 164 million tons. Demand for ethylene will grow by 3.3-3.4% annually until 2025, said Alan Gelder, Vice President of oil refining, petrochemistry and oil markets at Wood Mackenzie, at the CIS Petrochemicals conference.
About 60% of ethylene was converted into polyethylene in 2018, 16% into ethylene oxide, and 9% into various vinyl compounds.
The driver of growth in consumption of ethylene in the coming years will be polyethylene production – 3.6–3.8%. Ethylene oxide consumption (4.7%) will grow at the highest rate.
The most profitable way to produce ethylene is processing gas in North America and the Middle East. The maximum cost is the processing of methanol into olefins in China.