According to ChemAnalyst report, “India Methanol Market: Plant Capacity, Production, Operating Efficiency, Technology/Process, Demand & Supply, Application, End Use, Distribution Channel, Region, Competition, Trade, Customer & Price Intelligence Market Analysis, 2015-2030”, India Methanol market grew at a CAGR of around 7.15% during 2015-2019 and is projected to grow at a healthy CAGR during the forecast period. Increased Methanol demand as a fuel additive strengthened by India’s vision to create a Methanol Economy will drive the Methanol demand in the forecast period. Moreover, increasing usage of Formaldehyde resins increasingly consumed by downstream packaging sector and rising demand for derivatives such as MTBE, DME, DMT etc. will further propel the Methanol market growth over the coming years.

Browse Complete Report  : India Methanol Price, Demand and Supply

Methanol (also known as Methyl Alcohol) is an important feedstock for the production of Acetic Acid and Formaldehyde, which are further used in products like adhesives, foams, plywood subfloors, solvents etc. In addition, Methanol is used to produce methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and Dimethyl Ether (DME), components used in gasoline blending to impart cleaner fuel properties to the parent fuel. Methanol blends possess the potential to improve the vehicle efficiency by about 25%. In addition, due to its potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Methanol is believed to bring India closer to fulfilling COP-21 UN Climate Conference commitments towards cutting the overall GHG emissions across the globe. In addition, Methanol is also a key component in biodiesel, a renewable fuel that can be used in place of, or blended with, conventional diesel fuel. India’s vision towards switching to cleaner fuels and reducing its import bill by 15% would drive the Methanol market in the forecast period.

Around 45% of the world’s Methanol produced goes for energy-related applications, however, Methanol consumption trends in India slightly vary as compared to the rest of the world. Of all the end-users, Formaldehyde sector holds the largest market share dominated by increasing consumption of Formaldehyde resins which are extensively used in the packaging sector. The share of formaldehyde in the sectoral usage of Methanol has improved significantly to 45% in FY20. This has been strongly supported by the rapid expansion of the country’s packaging and paints and coatings sector with rising middle-class population over the last few decades.

Coal to Methanol technology is the most preferred technology for producing Methanol worldwide. Apart from that biomass or municipal solid waste and flared natural gas can also be used for Methanol production, but the continuous availability of latter poses a major challenge. Since India currently has no commercial coal to Methanol plant, it is anticipated that it would be economically viable if India utilizes its coal reserves for Methanol production to reduce its import dependency. In attenuation to the government’s initiatives towards promoting Methanol blending in petrol and adoption of cleaner fuels, the world's largest coal miner Coal India Ltd. (CIL)  is aiming to produce 6.76 lakh tonnes of methanol per annum to boost clean energy initiatives by setting up a Coal -based Methanol plant at Dankuni Coal Complex (DCC) of South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), a subsidiary of the company. India’s favorable policies and government’s strenuous efforts towards promoting “Make in India” scheme are indicative of the robust growth of the Methanol industry in India.

However, outbreak of COVID-19 triggered a sudden downfall in the global fuel consumption as the operations remained stalled for most of the fourth quarter of 2020 due strict lockdown measures taken to contain the virus spread. Hammered by the pandemic stress, Methanol prices plunged to 11-year lows to about $156 per MT CFR India. Operations at the downstream plywood and Formaldehyde sectors also remained halted for several weeks, due to lack of working laborers. In additions, Methanol inventories at Kandla and Mumbai ports swelled due to reduced offtake because of logistic issues. However, with ease in lockdown restrictions, Methanol players are optimistic as they sense a speedy recovery in the price levels and increase in downstream demand.

Majority (about 90%) of India’s Methanol requirement is met through imports with more than 90% imports from Iran and Saudi Arabia where it is produced abundantly from Natural Gas. This is primarily because, it is cheaper for India to import methanol than to locally produce it from Natural Gas which is again imported as the country does not house any Coal to Methanol plant despite its huge coal reserves.  India also exports small volumes of Methanol, but the amount has been almost negligible as compared to the imported volumes. According to ChemAnalyst report, “India Methanol Market: Plant Capacity, Production, Operating Efficiency, Technology/Process, Demand & Supply, Application, End Use, Distribution Channel, Region, Competition, Trade, Customer & Price Intelligence Market Analysis, 2015-2030”, the key Indian players operating in the India Methanol market are– Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizer & Chemicals limited, Deepak Fertilizers, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, Assam Petrochemicals and National Fertilizers Limited. Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Zagros Petrohemical Co., Kharg Petrochemical, Marjan Petrochemical, Fanavaran Petrochemical etc. are some of Middle Eastern players operating in the India Methanol market.

“India stands third in the list of major energy related carbon dioxide emitter in the world. If the country adopts the idea of Methanol Economy, it can easily mitigate the environmental challenges it is facing since decades. The Indian Government body NITI Aayog is actively preparing a road map for full-scale implementation of Methanol Economy in the coming years. The time has come when the government is betting big on cleaner fuels for transport and household cooking. Due to its emission benefits, the government is also planning to adopt Methanol as a fuel in the marine sector. These factors clearly portray that the growth of the India Methanol industry is likely to surpass its expected levels in the coming few years, with fuel additives sector leading the industrial growth. Currently, India is finding out ways to curtail its import dependence to reduce its import bill by channelizing its coal reserves to produce Methanol. India’s expanding packaging and adhesives market also offers a vast potential to the country’s Methanol market growth. In addition, demand for Acetic Acid and other derivatives such as MTBE and Dimethyl Ether (DME) which when blended with conventional fuels are known to impart high-octane and environment friendly properties with lower emissions, will further give a strong boost to the India Methanol industry in the forecast period. Since India heavily relies on cheaper imported Methanol, it is extremely crucial for the local players to evaluate the influence of COVID-19 outbreak on the Methanol supply chains across the globe and study its potential impact on the India’s Methanol Industry for long term gains.“, said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm promoting ChemAnalyst.

Source : ChemAnalyst

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