Bitumen market has been experiencing a renewed popularity, pertaining to the large-scale commercialization of the product across a plethora of applications. The growth can also essentially be attributed to the escalating construction sector across the globe subject to the fact that bitumen is widely used as a binder in road construction. The governments of various countries have been spending increasingly on infrastructure development, such as roads, bridges, etc. In addition, this product is also used in paints & adhesives which in turn, find usage in roofing applications. With the increasing demand for roofing insulation subject to the rising temperature of the Earth, bitumen industry size had been pegged at USD 84.3 billion in 2017.
U.S. Bitumen Market Size, By Application, 2014 – 2025 (USD Billion)
Ironically, bitumen is often mistaken to be asphalt, despite the fact that they are essentially two varied materials. Bitumen is a dark-colored, viscous, cement-like substance comprising hydrocarbons that are derived from asphalt distillation and which have a high molecular weight. A two-coat bitumen seal is applied on roads to ensure durability and strength, thereby increasing its demand for road construction and propelling bitumen market. In fact, estimates state that a substantial proportion of the application spectrum of bitumen is concentrated in road construction.
Bitumen market trends | The deployment of PMB and the robust number of road construction projects
Polymer modified bitumen, one of most widely-used products of bitumen industry, is used massively for numerous industrial applications and road surfacing. On these grounds, PMB market is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. Mixing PMB products with polymers strengthens them further, improving their elasticity and viscosity, and making them suitable for elevated stress applications and road constructions.
Roadway applications held an astounding share of more than 80% of bitumen market in 2017. One of the most essential reasons for the same is the rising population in that requires adequate housing in addition to the high living standards of the masses. The population upsurge has also led to a significant rise in global traffic resulting in the construction of a number of heavy duty roads and flyovers along with widening of the existing roadways. This trend is projected to boost the overall bitumen industry growth from roadways over 2018-2025.
Bitumen market trends | APAC on the forefront
Asia Pacific, led by India, Japan, and China has always been at the helm of the global construction sector. Of late, with rapid urbanization and upgraded living standards, infrastructural development has witnesses a tremendous boost. With a strong project pipeline of airports, roads, highways, flyovers, and bridges, APAC bitumen industry is anticipated to grow at a commendable growth rate over 2018-2025.
As per estimates, China covered a massive 40% of APAC bitumen market share in 2017. The same year witnessed India bitumen market size being valued at USD 2.25 billion. Indeed, the country is likely to witness a CAGR of 5% over 2018-2025, primarily on account of the rapid demand for bitumen from the construction and manufacturing sectors. Aided by the product demand across the economies of China, Japan, and India, in tandem with the general rise in disposable incomes in the region that has led to the requirement of adequate housing, APAC bitumen market share is projected to depict a commendable growth rate over 2018-2025.
Global bitumen market is fiercely competitive and involves the participation of strong contenders such as Petroleos Mexicanos, Exxon Mobil Corporation, British Petroleum, NuStar Energy, Nynas AB, Royal Dutch Shell Plc., Bouygues S.A., Indian Oil Corporation, Chevron Texaco Corporation, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, Total S.A., Villas Austria GmbH, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, and Marathon Oil Corporation.
Stringent regulations enforced by REACH regarding the manufacturing of bitumen is likely to affect key end-use segments. In addition, the fluctuating prices of crude oil are also likely to hamper bitumen industry, subject to the fact that the product is derived from the fractional distillation of crude oil. However, players operating in global bitumen market have been striving to develop bio-based products pertaining to the government rules regarding environmental concerns, which will increase the overall scope of bitumen industry over the coming seven years. Indeed, driven by the rising road construction activities and the efforts by the government to enhance infrastructural development, global bitumen market size is anticipated to be valued over 112 billion by 2024.