24 December 2008 03:13 [Source: ICIS news]
By Bohan Loh
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)—The outlook for Asian petrochemical producers remains grim into 2009, as pressures of dwindling global consumer demand and ample Middle East petrochemical capacities threaten to eat into their market share, market sources said.
“Chemical prices are likely to continue on a downtrend trend as some new capacities will come on stream, especially the polyolefin plants in the ?xml:namespace>
“So I think it is still a tough year in 2009, maybe tougher than this year,” Wang added.
Business advisory firm KPMG International has projected ethylene capacities in the
The new year will also pose a daunting challenge for Asian petrochemical players as capacity expansions in the
“Although most of
Qu, however, said that the primary target market for materials from the Middle East should be the European regions due to geographical proximity but cargoes that came to Asia would put added pressures on prices in the region due to low production costs in the
However, the on-going global financial crisis might delay further the time taken for the facilities in the
“I think some of the crackers might be postponed for a year or two. Same goes for projects in
Some market sources said that it was inevitable that there would be further consolidation in the Asian chemical industry, which was expected to witness large merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in 2009.
“We would probably see some big M&A next year. Older and less efficient plants should be scrapped within the next 2-3 years,” said a northeast Asian styrene monomer producer.
In a recent interview with German newspaper, Handelsblatt, BASF chief executive offier Jurgen Hambrecht was quoted as saying: “There will be fewer chemical companies”.
With contributions from and Dolly Wu and Judith Wang from CBI China
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