17 November 2008 00:00 [Source: ICB]
The big wave of polymer capacity from the Middle East will arrive at the worst possible time.
The industry is just now coming to grips with the global financial crisis and its devastating impact on economies and credit. Already, plastics producers across Asia, Europe and the US are slashing operating rates and shutting down production.
And if world economic growth slows further, as many expect, it will only be the tip of the iceberg in a new age for the industry.
It's tough to be optimistic in the current environment, but supply-demand balances will eventually swing the other way around as they always do.
Today, it's exceedingly difficult to get the financing for large projects, and the economics just don't work as well.
Beyond 2012 lies a barren desert of new projects and the promise of better margins to come. But in the meantime, batten down the hatches!
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