The impact of COVID-19 pandemic can be felt across the chemical industry. The growing inability in the production and manufacturing processes, in the light of the self-quarantined workforce has caused a major disruption in the supply chain across the sector. Restrictions encouraged by this pandemic are obstructing the production of essentials such as life-saving drugs.
The nature of operation in chemical plants that cannot be easily stopped and started, makes the operational restrictions in these plants a serious concern for the industry leaders. Restricted and delayed shipments from China have created a price hike in the raw materials, affecting the core of the chemicals industry.
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The slacking demand from different impacted industries such as automotive is negatively influencing the growth of the chemical industry. In light of the current crisis, the market leaders are focused to become self-reliant which is expected to benefit the economic growth of different economies in the longer term. Companies are triggering events to restructure and recover from the losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cyclohexane is manufactured by catalytic hydrogenation of benzene. Cyclohexane is insoluble in water and colorless in nature. Cyclohexane is key element in manufacturing of caprolactum and adipic acid which are intermediates for manufacturing nylon. Cyclohexane is used to produce cyclohexanone and cyclohexanol for nonprecursor use. There are two processes through which cyclohexane can be manufactured, viz., hydrogenation of benzene and cracking of natural gasoline. Cyclohexane can also be used as a solvent, in chemical synthesis and reaction diluents. Cyclohexane is also used as a starting material for KA Oil and can be used as a substitute for benzene in some end-user applications.
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The market for cyclohexane was mainly driven by increasing demand for adipic acid and caprolactum which are key elements for manufacturing Nylon-6,6 and nylon 6 respectively. These fibers are mainly used in automotive and textile industry. The major opportunity for cyclohexane is huge demand and investments for nylon-6,6 in developing and emerging countries such as Saudi Arabia, India and China. However, volatile raw material prices may hamper the growth of the market as most of these materials are downstream products of petrochemicals.
In terms of demand, North America and European countries were leading regions for cyclohexane. However, due to financial downturn and euro zone crisis the market in the European region has suffered. China holds the largest market share for cyclohexane in Asia Pacific region. The demand is large owing to increasing demand for nylon 6, nylon-6,6 which is manufactured from caprolactum and adipic acid. The demand for cyclohexane is likely to grow from the Middle East region due to rising number of nylon polymer facilities. Regions such as Latin America, South America and Central Europe are expected to exhibit lower demand for cyclohexane.
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Some of the key manufacturers in the cyclohexane market are