OUTLOOK’09: Ailing economy dominates Europe chems into 2009

08 January 2009 10:42  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--De-stocking, weakened demand, falling prices and production cuts. These were the issues dominating European chemicals as 2008 drew to a close against the backdrop of the sharpest economic downturn in living memory. ICIS news has taken a look across the industry to assess the damage and to see what this year may hold.

Here is a list of stories published over the end of year holiday period. Please click on a headline to read the full story. 

OUTLOOK ’09: Crude unlikely to recover above $50/bbl
LONDON (ICIS news)--Crude oil prices, which dropped from a peak of $147/bbl in July 2008 to below $48/bbl in December due to weak demand resulting from the global economic crisis, are unlikely to recover above $50/bbl in 2009, analysts said.

OUTLOOK ’09: Europe naphtha yet to bottom, slow recovery seen
LONDON (ICIS news)--The European naphtha market has yet to bottom out and will be slow to recover after a disastrous fourth quarter in 2008, traders said.

OUTLOOK ’09: Europe olefins face uncertain year ahead
LONDON (ICIS news)--European olefins players are looking ahead to 2009 with much wariness and varying degrees of pessimism following the unparalleled extremes of 2008 which have left so many shell-shocked, especially during the fourth quarter.

OUTLOOK ’09: Europe aromatics face volatile future on downturn
LONDON (ICIS news)--Discussions surrounding the outlook of Europe's aromatics (benzene, toluene, xylenes) markets all return to one overarching theme: the global economy.

OUTLOOK ’09: Early-year increases, volatility for Europe styrenics
LONDON (ICIS news)--While much of the latter part of this year has seen European styrene prices drop from record highs to near-historical lows against a bleak backdrop of crumbling demand, players within the wider styrenic complex said they were expecting early-year increases and a volatile 2009.

OUTLOOK ’09: Europe polyolefins head towards a gloomy 2009
LONDON (ICIS news)--Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) prices fell by record levels in the fourth quarter of 2008, demand was down by double digits and the outlook was gloomy as the year ended in sharp contrast to 2007.

OUTLOOK ’09: Europe MEG, derivatives looking weak in near term
LONDON (ICIS news)--Prices of monoethylene glycol (MEG) in Europe and its downstream derivatives will continue to be weak because of the economic downturn, although there is a faint light at the end of a rather long tunnel, market sources said.

OUTLOOK ’09: Europe solvents face sluggish start to the year
LONDON (ICIS news)--The solvents industry can expect a slow start to the year and it was difficult to predict when demand would return, market players said.

OUTLOOK ’09: Weak demand expected for Europe oxos, plasticisers
LONDON (ICIS news)--The lacklustre trade and weak demand that has characterised the European oxo-alcohol and plasticiser markets during the fourth quarter looks set to continue into early 2009.

OUTLOOK ’09: Tax issues to dominate Europe biodiesel
LONDON (ICIS news)--It is already clear that, as far as the European biodiesel market is concerned, 2009 will be all about tax.

OUTLOOK ’09: Balance sought in Europe chlor-alkali
LONDON (ICIS news)--Market sources' forecasts for the 2009 chlor-alkali industry were varied, with the depth and magnitude of the global economic downturn – and its effect on the European chlor-alkali market – hotly debated.

OUTLOOK ’09: Economic, auto woes to impact Europe base oils
LONDON (ICIS news)--With base oil demand so intrinsically linked to economic performance, huge question marks remain over the development of the market in 2009 both in Europe and within the wider global arena, as industrial production remains under threat and automotive industries sit under a heavy cloud.

OUTLOOK ’09: Europe methanol to face cost and price pressure
LONDON (ICIS news)--A massive increase in global methanol capacity combined with a gloomy economic forecast makes further downward pressure on European pricing likely in 2009, with high-cost producers feeling the tightest squeeze.

OUTLOOK ’09: Fertilizer producers, traders tighten belts for 2009
LONDON (ICIS news)--In 2008 the fertilizer industry has proved the old adage that the cure for high prices is high prices. A cold dose of reality has been administered in the latter part of the year and producers and traders are contemplating much tighter belts in 2009.

OUTLOOK ’09: Chemicals makers face no ordinary downturn
LONDON (ICIS news)--The combined effect of economic recession and the credit crunch continue to drive the downturn in chemicals. And, as is becoming increasingly clear, this is no ordinary slump with the banking crisis having a severe knock-on impact across the global economy.

OUTLOOK ’09: Shift ahead in global M&A amid credit crisis
LONDON (ICIS news)--“Huntsman is not for sale – not in today’s market. The M&A market is basically shut down,” Peter Huntsman declared after Huntsman’s proposed $6.5bn (€4.6bn) merger deal with private equity-owned Hexion Specialty Chemicals broke down.

OUTLOOK ’09: Chemical shipping faces stormy waters
LONDON (ICIS news)--The chemical shipping industry is facing tough conditions this year with crew shortages, piracy problems and poor market conditions due to the severe economic downturn, industry observers said.

OUTLOOK ’09: Analysts see an unclear horizon for CEE petchems
PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Unipetrol is usually a reliable bellwether for those charting the central and eastern European (CEE) petrochemical industry’s prospects.

OUTLOOK ’09: German chems face tough year in falling economy
LONDON (ICIS news)--With the German economy expected to drop in 2009 and exports falling sharply, the country’s chemicals industry is facing a tough year ahead.

OUTLOOK ’09: Russia petrochemicals set to slow in 2009
MOSCOW (ICIS news)--The future of Russia’s new petrochemicals projects for 2009 is now in doubt as the global financial turmoil begins to bite.

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By: Staff Reporter
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