Petrochemicals are made from raw materials of petroleum or other hydrocarbon origin. Although some of the chemical compounds that originate from petroleum may also be derived from coal and natural gas, petroleum is the major source.
The largest petrochemical industries can be found in the USA and Western Europe, though the major growth in new production capacity is in the Middle East and Asia. There is a substantial interregional trade in petrochemicals of all kinds. World production of ethylene is around 110 million ton per year and of propylene 65 million tons.