Global Bitumen Market: Snapshot
The bitumen market is indirectly related to the GDP due to its widespread usage in road construction, industrial applications, and waterproofing. Robust growth of the construction sector primarily owing to government initiatives to improve infrastructure is positively impacting the bitumen market. This is because bitumen possess certain properties that are inbuilt at the time of its manufacture. Bitumen as a raw material in flexible road construction and bitumen as a mix offers several advantages that account for its wide usage in road construction.
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Bitumen is also used as an adhesive and as a sealant. Some other applications of bitumen include water proofing of ships and boats due to its water insoluble characteristics. Bitumen is used in the construction of water tanks, dams, and bridges.
Bitumen is a mixture of black organic liquids that are highly sticky, viscous, and entirely soluble in carbon disulfide. Crude bitumen is so thick that it must be heated to make it flowing. Refined bitumen is the residual obtained by the fractional distillation of crude oil. Naturally available crude bitumen is the key feedstock for petroleum production from tar sands that is currently under development in Canada.
Some of the crucial factors responsible for the extensive usage of bitumen are its economical means of production, versatility due to its physical and rheological properties, low melting point, recyclable, adhesive properties, and color variety.
On the other hand, climate change concerns due to greenhouses gases has led to the introduction of bitumen alternatives that are eco-friendly and are less toxic.
Global Bitumen Market: Overview
Bitumen is a mixture of hydrocarbons, which are highly viscous and black, obtained naturally or as a byproduct of petroleum distillation. It is extensively used for surfacing in the road construction. It provides excellent water resistance along with high stickiness and viscosity. The commonly available types of bitumen are paving grade, cutback, polymer modified, bitumen emulsion, and oxidized. Other than road construction, they find application in insulations, adhesives, waterproofing, and paints.
Global Bitumen Market: Key Trends
The increasing government measures for road development across the world are augmenting the global bitumen market. In addition, the rising road traffic is creating a dire need for wider roads, which is consequently boosting the global demand for bitumen. Moreover, the booming construction industry worldwide is favoring the growth of the market. The growing investments by governments in the upgradation of public infrastructure and rising disposable income of people around the world are leading to the greater construction activities. The robust growth of the paint and coatings sector is also supplementing the growth of the market. Paints manufactured using bitumen provide excellent weatherproofing and corrosion traits.
On the flip side, the stringent regulatory environment for the manufacturing and application of bitumen is adversely affecting the growth of the market. Furthermore, bitumen manufacturing includes fractional distillation of crude oil. Thus, the protean prices of raw material are negatively impacting the growth of the market.
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Global Bitumen Market: Market Potential
Transportation of bitumen is a major concern for players in the market, as any accident can lead to environmentally damaging spills and high-profile explosions. As a result, bitumen manufacturers and transport authorities are focusing towards developing safer transport option. One such effort that could be a game changer is being taken by the Canadian National Railway Co. In February 2017, the company filed a patent for a novel technology that turns bitumen into mostly solid dry packets that would not leak, explode, or sink in water. It is still a bleeding edge technology, however, with constant efforts the technology is estimated to emerge niche alternative to traditional shipping methods. Such innovations are expected to provide a significant boost to the growth of the market.
Global Bitumen Market: Geographical Segmentation
The key segments methodically examined based on geography are North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. North America will be a prominent destination for global players during the review period. The increasing initiatives taken by governments towards the repair and redevelopment of existing roads are driving the demand for bitumen in the region. The growing residential remodeling practices, especially in the U.S., is also fuelling the growth of the region.
Developing regions are expected to progress at a noteworthy CAGR in the forthcoming years. The growth of Asia Pacific can be attributed to the growing number of cities and increasing consumer disposable income, which is leading to the rising construction activities and sales of vehicles. China, Japan, and India will be sights of high growth rate in the region. The increasing infrastructure development will propel the growth of the market in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.
Global Bitumen Market: Competitive Landscape
The presence of a large number of regional players has rendered the global bitumen market highly fragmented. The majority of players are operating throughout the supply chain of the market. Companies are focusing towards enhancing their visibility in the market by introducing advanced technologies that cater to the requirements of end users. Some of the prominent global participants in the bitumen are Total S.A., British Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, Chevron Texaco Corporation, Total S.A., Royal Dutch Shell Plc., NuStar Energy, and Exxon Mobil Corporation.
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