25 November 2009 16:32 [Source: ICIS news]
AMSTERDAM (ICIS news)--No more growth is expected in the European styrenics chain after multiple plant closures that appear permanent and as competition continues to grow from new capacities in Asia and the Middle East, BASF’s Udo Fenske said on Wednesday.
The head of BASF’s styrene business in Europe said that he “would not bet” on any Asian styrenics production returning to ?xml:namespace>
“European and US demand has stagnated, and the global styrene business depends purely on the increase of Asian demand,” he said.
Fenske also painted a gloomy picture in the domestic market, citing European shutdowns in styrene and downstream markets, as well as multiple mergers and acquisitions that had taken place since mid-2007.
As a result, the industry would need to surrender to these new market conditions, he said.
Options available to affected companies included reducing risks by increasing cash business, optimising their logistical set-up and strict inventory management.
Earlier in the day, Fenske’s colleague Jaroslaw Michniuk, BASF’s group vice president of styrenics in
“Styrene producers need to be flexible, and adapt supply to what is happening on demand. This is the new normal,” he said.
The 8th European Aromatics & Derivatives Conference, jointly organised by ICIS and International e-Chem, takes place from Wednesday 25 November to Thursday 26 November 2009.
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