09 April 2008 21:21 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--This year's scheduled start up of six ethylene crackers in the Middle East will likely kick off the next petrochemical downturn, an analyst said on Wednesday.
In the next 12 months, 9m tonnes of Middle Eastern ethylene capacity should come online, said PJ Juvekar, an analyst at Citigroup.
The Middle East's share of global ethylene capacity could reach 18.2% by 2010, up from 11.5% in 2007, he said.
Such increased supply would exceed Asian demand, said Juvekar, who quoted analysis from petrochemical consultancy Chemical Market Associates Inc (CMAI).
CMAI's own prognosis for ethylene was also pessimistic, according to analysts' coverage of the firm's recent conference. The group expects the downturn to start in 2009 and last through 2011.
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