26 March 2002 17:01 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNI)--Polypropylene (PP) markets will be the first of the bulk polymers to see a recovery, with strong growth in demand returning by the fourth quarter this year, predicted Andrea Borruso, senior consultant for SRI Consulting.
Borruso, who was speaking to CNI here during the 27th annual International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC), added that margins should start to improve at the beginning of next year. However, new projects not yet implemented will be delayed until margins reach satisfactory levels, probably not until the middle of 2003.
This outlook is based on new analysis of the market that has just been released to subscribers of SRI’s World Petrochemicals Program.
SRI predicts that worldwide demand for PP will increase at 6.3%/year in the 2001-06 period. Growth will be strongest in China at 8.2%/year while North America and West Europe will grow at 6.8% and 4.7% respectively.
New PP capacity announced for 2001-06 amounts to 8m tonne/year. However, Borruso argued that only new projects already under construction - amounting to some 5m tonne/year - would be completed on schedule by 2004. The remaining 3m tonne/year of planned capacity will be delayed to beyond 2006.
This delay will also push back the world PP market cycle. Burruso expects the market will now peak in 2004-05 with the next trough in 2006-07.
The IPC, which is sponsored by the National Petrochemicals & Refiners Association (NPRA), concludes today.
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