Home Speciality Chemicals Butane Market Size, Growth, & Share-2031

Butane Market

Butane Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Applications (Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG), Petrochemicals, Refineries, Others), By Type (Gasoline Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Isobutane, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRSC54076DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 5.85%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 93.33 Billion
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 155.68 Billion
Largest Market Asia-Pacific Fastest Growing Market North America
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Market Overview

The global butane market size was valued at USD 93.33 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 155.68 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.85% during the forecast period (2023–2031).

Butane is flavorless, odorless, gaseous hydrocarbons (carbon and hydrogen compounds) belonging to the paraffinic hydrocarbons family. They have the chemical formula C4H10. Normal butane, also known as n-butane, is a molecule in which the carbon atoms are connected in a straight chain. On the other hand, Isobutane has a branched chain. Both substances are found in natural gas and crude oil and are produced significantly when petroleum is refined to make gasoline. In addition, butane has become a replacement material for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), acting as propellants in aerosol deodorants. It is flammable, colorless, heavier than air, and easily liquefied. It is one of the most widely utilized propellants for cooking and heating. Butane is also used primarily as LPG in residential and commercial purposes for heating and cooking purposes. There are numerous uses for butane gas, including in fridges, lighters, and aerosols.


  • LPG dominates the application segment
  • Asia-Pacific is the highest shareholder in the global market

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

Rising Demand for LPG from the Residential Sector

The demand for LPG will continue to show steady growth. The increase in demand will be more rapid in Asian countries such as China and India. Moreover, as the LPG price is competitive, the market in China, South-East Asia, and India is expected to grow beyond current projections. Consumption in these countries will depend on the installation of distribution facilities and the rate at which LPG can substitute for traditional fuels and kerosine, as well as compete for limited disposable incomes.

Furthermore, LPG demand from residential and commercial sectors will continue to be a key component of future demand growth since there is significant latent LPG demand in most countries, where LPG supply capacities and distribution infrastructure remain underdeveloped. New LPG markets in China and South Korea have been generating incremental demand and showing growth opportunities for LPG. In addition, butane is an essential component of LPG. Depending on the nation and location, the proportion of butane and propane gases in the LPG combination can range from 100% propane to 20% propane and around 80% butane. As the LPG sector is expected to grow from new LNG ventures and refineries, the global market will likely rise over the forecast period.

Growing Demand for Butane from the Industrial Sector

Butane is used as a petrochemical feedstock for producing ethylene and other derivates. Butane is also used as a feedstock component for the production of base petrochemicals as a component of gasoline in steam cracking and a fuel for cigarette lighters. In addition, most of the regular butane is mixed into gasoline, particularly in the cooler months when there is a shortage of isobutane due to isomerization, which also transforms regular butane into isobutane. Regular butane can be used as a petrochemical feedstock. In automobiles, a mixture of propane and butane, termed Autogas, is the third most widely used automotive fuel globally and powers as many as 27 million vehicles.

Furthermore, isobutane is used to create alkylates, which raise the octane in gasoline and reduce its volatility, whether it comes from natural gas plants, refineries, or isomerized from regular butane. It is possible to use high-purity isobutane as a refrigerant. N-butane-based maleic anhydride is the most widely used maleic anhydride owing to its lower environmental effects and price. Hence, the global demand for butane is intensifying due to its growing demands from the automobile and petrochemical industries. This trend is projected to remain intact even during the forecast period.

Market Restraint

Volatility in the Prices of Raw Materials

Butane is a petroleum-derived gaseous, liquid petroleum-derived gaseous liquid that is extracted from gas processing plants as a by-product of crude oil production and refining. Gas prices fluctuate daily, much like the price of crude oil does. In addition, refinery and distribution costs, business earnings, and state and federal taxes make up the remaining portion of the cost of gasoline. The prices of butane are constantly fluctuating due to factors such as variations in demand and supply and volatility in crude oil prices. Hence, the instability of crude prices is anticipated to hamper the profits of the butane manufacturers.

Market Opportunities

Growing Industrialization in the Middle East and Africa

Energy consumption in the Middle East and Africa continues to increase, with about 20% growth in each region between 2010 and 2016, according to EIA's International Energy Statistics database data. In particular, energy consumption has been increasing in the Middle East and Africa, driven by economic growth, increased access to energy markets, and quickly growing populations. Similarly, emerging countries such as South Africa have very low per capita LPG consumption relative to their income level, indicating very high market growth potential.

Furthermore, long-term LPG demand forecasts for these countries reflect the market potential for clean-burning fuels such as butane, a great energy source. In addition, with a lower carbon content than oil, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and ethanol, propane and butane gas contain significantly less greenhouse gas emissions per product unit than other fuels. Ald can replace fuel oils (such as diesel and HFO) in industrial power generation to provide a secure, reliable source of electricity with reduced carbon emissions. Therefore, growing energy demand in the Middle East and Africa will create favorable growth opportunities for butane manufacturers.

Regional Analysis

Based on region, the global butane market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and RoW. 

Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market

Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.39% during the forecast period. Factors such as rapid urbanization and increasing demand for gas from refineries and chemical processing units will drive the growth of the Asia Pacific butane market. Favorable government policies and subsidies for using LPG gases will offer several growth opportunities to market vendors. Further, the rapidly expanding construction and the automotive industry in emerging countries such as China and India propel market growth. In China, the Butane market is driven by additional processing capacity at three new PDH plants and recovering post-COVID economic growth. In contrast, domestic sales in South Korea are anticipated to keep growing in order to meet petrochemical demands.

Furthermore, the major importing economies of India and Indonesia in the Asia-Pacific will be the primary driver of butane imports, as LPG is heavily used as cooking fuel without intense competition from natural gas. In recent years, LPG demand in India has considerably grown as the government pushes for cleaner fuel, particularly for women in below-poverty-line (BPL) households, by providing the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) program. In addition, the country is becoming the second-largest consumer of LPG in the world after China. India is the largest butane importer globally.

North America is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.81% over the forecast period. The US is the key revenue generator due to the rising demand for natural gas liquids and supportive government regulations. The United States is a significant LPG exporter. In the United States, natural gas liquid production was around 4.3 million barrels per day in the year 2018, which is the highest in the world. Large US production coupled with strong demand from Asia has put the US in the top spot for LPG exports while creating some challenges in other regions. In addition, the production and exports of LPG from the US are driving shifts to the global trade pattern. Petrochemical manufacturers spend a total of USD 200 billion in the US on constructing new petrochemical facilities. Further, the region is growing as the petrochemical sector continues to grow. ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical Company, LG Chem, and DuPont are major petrochemical suppliers in the country.

Europe is transitioning from conventional energy sources to more affordable and sustainable renewable energy solutions to meet growing demand. In the European Union (EU), governments and energy companies are focusing on fossil fuel energy technologies and products. In addition, the preference for LPG over coal is rising due to its several advantages. The changing norms on emissions by European countries positively affect the Butane market. Implementing regulations such as 443/2009/EC to reduce vehicle carbon emissions and several companies pledging towards net-zero emissions are expected to drive market growth. Further, the global market in the region is expected to grow due to the popularity of liquefied natural gas, which is cheaper than diesel and gasoline. In Europe, the demand for butane from the gasoline sector is high as blenders begin to stockpile it ahead of the switch to winter gasoline blending. The demand from the petrochemical sector, which cracks butane as a feedstock, is also considered high in the region. Furthermore, numerous refiners preserve butane stock for in-house blending, although a product is available in the terminals. BASF, LyondellBasell Industries, and INEOS are major petrochemical suppliers in the region.

The RoW comprises Latin America, the Middle East and Africa region. The Middle East region is the prominent exporter of butane, especially to Asia-Pacific. A Middle East butane export is expected to augment progressively owing to developed novel non-associated natural gas reserves. Government-owned companies dominate the Middle East LPG market from the Middle East. In addition, the major suppliers of LPG to the Middle East and African countries are regional oil and gas explorers and refiners. National Iranian Oil Corporation is likely to hold the second-largest LPG supplier in the region. Apart from these, the companies such as Kuwait National Petroleum (Kuwait) and Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Abu Dhabi) have a significant market share in the Middle East and Africa LPG market.

Latin America accounts for a relatively small portion of the global market. The demand for butane is driven by LPG, driven by residential and commercial customers in Latin America, which consume nearly 80% of the region's LPG. The reason behind the slow growth of this region is a need for more industrial capacity and stagnant natural gas production in Latin America. In contrast, the shale boom in the United States has created a growing surplus.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Applications
  1. Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG)
    1. Residential/Commercial
    2. Chemical/Petrochemical
    3. Industrial
    4. Auto Fuel
    5. Refinery
    6. Others
  2. Petrochemicals
  3. Refineries
  4. Others
By Type
  1. Gasoline Crude Oil
  2. Natural Gas
  3. Isobutane
  4. Others
Company Profiles BP Exxon Mobil Corporation Chevron Corporation Valero Energy Corporation China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group)
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global market is segmented by application.

Based on application, the global market is segmented into LPG, petrochemicals, refineries, and others.

The LPG segment owns the highest market share and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.03% over the forecast period. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) primarily comprises propane, butane, and isobutane in different ratios. Depending on the nation and location, the proportion of propane and butane in LPG gas can be 100% propane, 60% propane and 40% butane, 35% propane, and 65% butane, or 20% propane and 80% butane. Furthermore, countries such as the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and Turkey use a higher percentage of butane in LPG mixture. This, in turn, is estimated to fuel the growth of the LPG segment in the market. In addition, LPG is widely used for various applications, including commercial business, industry, transportation, farming, power generation, cooking, heating, and other recreational applications. Such broader applications of LPG are majorly driving this segment. Further, the growing residential sector in Asian countries such as India and China is expected to increase the demand for butane from LPG manufacturers.

Butane is used in the petrochemical industry as a feedstock for petrochemical cracking. This process yields butadiene and other chemicals, a precursor to synthetic rubber. Moreover, butadiene and other organic compounds, such as ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, and xylenes, are the fundamental building blocks of plastics. According to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, the consumption of five major synthetic resins, including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, expandable polystyrene, polyester fibers, polystyrene, and PVC including was about 2 billion tons in 2020. Furthermore, the demand for these polymers is estimated to increase 134% over the 20 years forecast from 2021 to 2040. The growing demand for petrochemicals is anticipated to boost the growth of this segment in the market.

Butane is blended into LPG or gasoline and converted into isobutane as an alkylation feedstock in refineries. Blending butane into gasoline offers refiners the opportunity to achieve incremental profits. For instance, an American refinery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, blended an average of 4.8% butane into its gasoline. The refinery reached an extra USD 4 million in profit by blending butane in gasoline. This, in turn, augments the demand for butane in refineries. Moreover, butane has good anti-engine knock qualities, improving gasoline quality. The anti-knocking capabilities of butane blended gasoline drive its demand among consumers. This further propels the growth of the refineries segment in the market.

Market Size By Applications

Recent Developments

  • January 2023- Calor Gas declared that it would discontinue its 4.5kg butane cylinders on 1 February 2023 to "simplify" its operations. Last year, the company attributed a scarcity of 4.5kg and 7kg cylinders in the United Kingdom to high seasonal demand and a labor constraint caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • January 2023- The management of Martin Midstream Partners L P plans to exit the butane optimization business (buying and storing butane inventory in the summer months for resale in the winter) following the butane selling season in the second quarter of 2023, thereby reducing commodity risk exposure, earnings volatility, and working capital needs.

Top Key Players

BP Exxon Mobil Corporation Chevron Corporation Valero Energy Corporation China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the market size butane?
The global butane market size was valued at USD 93.33 billion in 2022.
Asia Pacific region has the highest growth rate in the butane market.
Growing industrialization in the middle east and africa is one of the key trends in butane market.
Rising demand for lpg from the residential sector , growing demand for butane from the industrial sector are the key drivers for the growth of the butane market.
Key verticals adopting butane include: - BP, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Valero Energy Corporation, China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), and many others.

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