Published October 2013
Only three of many possible products resulting from the chlorination of benzene continue to have any large-volume applications—monochlorobenzene, o-dichlorobenzene and p-dichlorobenzene—and they are the major focus of this report. These three products combined account for as much as 92–96% of the total chlorobenzenes market. Other chlorobenzenes that have commercial applications but are not produced on a large scale include m-dichlorobenzene, trichlorobenzenes, tetrachlorobenzenes and hexachlorobenzene. Market information on these products is included in the report where available.
The following pie chart shows consumption of chlorobenzenes in the major regions:
Monochlorobenzene accounts for nearly 73% of total chlorobenzene consumption. China is the world's largest manufacturer and consumer, accounting for nearly 82% of total consumption in the four major regions shown below. Monochlorobenzene represents about 70% of chlorobenzene consumption in Western Europe, and 52% of consumption in the United States, but only 10% in Japan, where p-dichlorobenzene is a larger factor than in the other regions.
Nitrochlorobenzene is the most significant end use for monochlorobenzene. Nitrochlorobenzenes are consumed as intermediates in the manufacture of dyes and pigments, rubber-processing chemicals, pesticides (e.g., parathion and carbofuran), pharmaceuticals (e.g., acetaminophen) and other organic chemicals. Monochlorobenzene has been used for the synthesis of diphenyl ether (also known as diphenyl oxide or DPO) and is increasing in demand for sulfone polymers.
o-Dichlorobenzene is a chemical intermediate consumed mostly for 3,4-dichloroaniline in the United States, South America and Western Europe and as an herbicide intermediate in Japan.
Worldwide, p-dichlorobenzene is used primarily as a raw material for polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resins, for deodorant blocks for indoor air, and for moth control. Polyphenylene sulfide is a growing high-performance polymer that is produced only in the United States, Japan and China. PPS resin production has increased rapidly both in the United States and Japan over the past five years and has become significant in China since 2010. PPS production is projected to continue to grow over the next five years, with additional capacity planned in China and the Republic of Korea. There are no producers of PPS resins in Western Europe.
The gradual shift in global demand away from industrialized regions and further into developing countries has resulted in a buildup of new chlorobenzene capacity in Asia. China is the world's most diverse market and home to four of the world's five largest producers. It also accounts for an estimated 68–75% of global capacity.
With the exception of high-performance polymers, the markets for chlorobenzenes are mature. Demand for chlorobenzenes in more industrialized regions has been on a decline for the past few decades as a result of the substitution of alternative chemistry in the production of such products as phenol, rubber chemicals and moth control agents. Growing environmental concern over usage in herbicides and solvents has additionally contributed to the slow decline. However, strong growth in China and growing global demand for p-dichlorobenzene have since stabilized this trend, resulting in a moderate, average growth rate of 4% per year for the forecast period.