OUTLOOK ’09: More cuts, crunches and shutdowns loom in US

08 January 2009 18:36  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Production cuts, credit crunches, plant shutdowns, falling demand and weaker prices made the headlines in the later half of 2008, with the promise of more to come in 2009 as US chemicals faced what is seen to be the sharpest economic downturn in living memory.

ICIS news has taken a look across the industry through its OUTLOOK ’09 series to assess the situation for this year.

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: Base oil players use '08 lessons to prepare
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The ups and downs of US base oil pricing alongside volatile supply over the last year have been more dramatic than ever, but market players are hoping the lessons learned in 2008 will prepare the market for what will likely be one of the most trying economic times in history during 2009.

OUTLOOK '09: Economy, tyre sales lag, put brakes to US SBR
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A domestic economy that is on the precipice is expected to dim the outlook for US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) in 2009, only months after a period of extreme volatility pushed SBR prices up to all-time highs.

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: US shipping faces challenges but growth too
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US domestic shipping industry will have to navigate recession shallows well into 2009, with market sources predicting
higher costs, tighter credit - and weather watchers warning of an above-average hurricane season.

OUTLOOK '09: US carbon politics may lift natural gas demand
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The environmental aspirations of US President-elect Barack Obama may help push up natural gas demand in 2009 even though a weak economy and slowing industrial appetite will weigh on gas prices, sources said.

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: US methanol supply outweighs demand, for now
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US methanol market has entered a period of oversupply with demand deteriorating due to a faltering global economy.

OUTLOOK ’09: Stormy seas await the US PVC industry
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry faces an uncertain and potentially grim future in 2009.

OUTLOOK '09: Trough to deepen in US solvents markets
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Sources in US solvents markets appeared certain of little other than continued weak demand and pricing as they looked ahead to next year.

OUTLOOK ’09: US offshore energy may be shut in again
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--US offshore areas that were closed to energy development for nearly three decades are now open - but the new Congress that convenes in January may move to restore that drilling ban in all but name.

OUTLOOK ‘09: Biofuels to be a big factor in oleochems
NEW YORK (ICIS news)--Future bio-energy policy will largely influence the oleochemical market again in 2009.

OUTLOOK '09: Credit turmoil will persist in 2009
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Financial markets will remain tight in 2009, and chemical companies will likely struggle to secure capital, refinance debt or obtain any type of financing during a bankruptcy process, a law professor said.

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: US biofuels industry expected to consolidate
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US biofuels industry is expected to undergo consolidation in 2009, with many of ethanol and biodiesel plants either closing or being absorbed by a few larger players who will dominate the market.

OUTLOOK ’09: Health issues to continue to haunt US plastics
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US plastics industry will continue to face a barrage of health-related issues as consumers and regulators press forward with questions regarding the impact of chemicals like phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA).

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: N American plastics markets face oversupply
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--After a bruising fourth quarter of falling prices and demand, North American polyolefins producers will enter 2009 desperately needing to repair margins.

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: Tougher US chemical security rules ahead
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US chemicals industry is certain to face tougher anti-terrorism requirements in 2009, perhaps to include first-time federal authority to dictate inherently safer technologies (IST) as part of security measures.

OUTLOOK ’09: US aromatics to face less volatility
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US aromatics market appeared set for a challenging 2009, with participants saying prices would follow crude oil movements more closely and with less volatility than in than in 2008.

OUTLOOK ’09: US styrenics face long supply, weak demand
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US styrene participants have predicted a slow 2009 market with no recovery expected until late in the first half.

OUTLOOK ’09: US heading for environmental shift
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US is poised to undergo the greatest shift in national environmental policy and enforcement in its history, an abrupt change of course that could have profound impact on chemical producers and manufacturing in general.

OUTLOOK ’09: US economy weighs on olefins demand, prices

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The sharp downturn in the US economy in the second half of 2008 is expected to last through at least the first six months of 2009, stifling demand for petrochemicals and keeping a lid on monomer prices.

OUTLOOK ’09: Wall Street expects profit declines
NEW YORK (ICIS news)--Wall Street expects mostly lower earnings for the North American chemical sector in 2009 as the world economic slowdown hits demand.

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By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214

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