29 March 2009 23:21 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--The role of the North American petrochemical industry will be redefined with increasing imports from low-cost production areas abroad, the president of a marketing and distribution said on Sunday.
“In many commodity petrochemicals, US production will continue to shut down. And as low-cost regions like the Middle East and southeast Asia also push downstream, that will cause additional pressure,” said The Plaza Group's Randy Velarde in an interview with ICIS news.
“But the US is still the largest market and places like Houston will become larger distribution centres,” he added at the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA) annual meeting.
When The Plaza Group was founded 15 years ago, 100% of its petrochemicals were sourced from the US. Today, around 40% is sourced from Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
The company, based in Houston, Texas, has close to $200m (€150m) in annual sales and 16 employees. It markets and distributes solvents and chemical intermediates in vessel, tank car and tank truck quantities.
The NPRA's International Petrochemical Conference started on Sunday and runs through Tuesday.
($1 = €0.75)
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