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What is MEG and who are its producers?

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Monoethylene Glycol (MEG) or ethylene glycol is an organic compound which is produced industrially from ethylene or ethylene oxide. The two of its main applications are: it is one of the main raw materials for manufacturing polyester fiber and it acts as antifreeze formulations. It is odorless, colorless, and transparent in a viscous liquid.

Due to a large number of fiber and textile producers in Asia, there is a high demand for polyester fiber and hence Asia dominates a prominent share in the global market of ethylene glycol production. Among the Asian-Pacific countries, China, India, and Taiwan are the leading ethylene glycol producers. After Asia, the second-largest producer of ethylene glycol is Middle East Africa due to its high demand in antifreeze, fiber, coolant, and packaging industries. This region produces around 11.9 million tons of ethylene glycol annually. Other industries include North America which produces 5.7 million tons of ethylene glycol annually followed by Europe which produces around 2.1 million tons of this chemical annually.

Since ethylene glycol is used in a variety of industries, hence its demand is affected by its different applications in different industries. The largest demand for ethylene glycol was around 26.9 million tons, by fiber and textile industries which produce polyester fibers. These industries are mainly located in emerging countries situated in Asian-Pacific regions.

The second-largest demand for ethylene glycol in the market is from industries manufacturing PET bottles. This demand was around 6.99 million tons in 2016 followed by industries producing PET films with a demand of around 1.61 million tons. Ethylene glycol is also used for the production of antifreeze which is used as the liquid for preserving biological tissues and organs, and as de-icing fluids in windshields and aircraft. The demand for this market was around 2.15 million tons in 2016.

Based on different applications, end-use and region, the global ethylene glycol market is segmented into 3 types:

• Based on application: Industries manufacturing fibers, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyester films, antifreeze.
• Based on end-use: Industries manufacturing textiles, packaging materials, plastic related products.
• Based on the region: Ethylene glycol is mainly produced in countries like North America, Europe, Asia Pacific region, Latin America, Middle East Africa.

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