Europe chemical industry outlook for 2010

05 January 2010 14:13  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The following OUTLOOK '10 stories were published by ICIS news between Thursday 24 December 2009 and Monday 4 January 2010. Please click on the headlines to read the full versions.

OUTLOOK '10: Crude oil to remain stable around $75/bbl in 2010
Crude oil prices are expected to remain around the $75/bbl mark in 2010 as any increase in demand will be offset by a winding down of product in storage, while a weak US dollar and oil used as an investment asset will support prices above the market equilibrium.

OUTLOOK ’10: Fertilizer market back on track for growth
The fertilizer industry is looking forward to 2010 with something approaching optimism after a difficult year in 2009, sources said.

OUTLOOK ’10: Mideast naphtha capacity casts shadow over Europe
The European naphtha market has a healthy immediate future, but the expected new capacity from the Middle East casts threatening clouds over the coming decade, traders and analysts said.

OUTLOOK '10: Europe capacity utilisation to remain low
Plants and production sites across Europe have been running significantly below capacity as producers try to counter the effects of lower demand, but while improvements are likely in 2010, utilisation is expected to remain below pre-economic-slowdown levels.

OUTLOOK '10: Europe olefins producers face a year of two halves
European olefins producers are steeling themselves for a year of two halves in 2010, with some relief expected early on due to delays in new capacities from Asia and the Middle East, industry and market sources said.

OUTLOOK '10: Europe aromatics market faces uncertainties
The only certainty heard in recent discussions surrounding the outlook for the European aromatics market in 2010 is uncertainty.

OUTLOOK '10: Europe polyolefins will be hit by extra capacity
A swathe of new capacity is likely to push prices down in the European polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets at some point next year but the extent of any negative impact remains unclear, industry and market sources said.

OUTLOOK '10: Europe PS producers see styrene spread changes
European polystyrene (PS) producers expect to see some changes in the spread between styrene and PS in 2010, after poor margins over the past two years led to permanent closures that were already having an impact on the market at the end of 2009.

OUTLOOK '10: Germany's chems sector looks to modest growth
’s chemical companies are largely confident and hoping for better business in 2010, VCI president Ulrich Lehner said earlier this month.

OUTLOOK '10: Bloated biodiesel industry on EU life support
The European biodiesel industry is no stranger in the hallways of bureaucratic power in Brussels.

OUTLOOK '10: Solvents players predict slow recovery in 2010
European solvents will see a slow recovery in demand in 2010 amid higher prices than those seen in the previous year, sources across the product chain cautiously predicted.

OUTLOOK '10: Mideast expansion to put pressure on Europe chems
Rapid expansion of production capacities in the Middle East's chemical industry is expected to have a significant impact on the European market's competitiveness, industry experts said.

OUTLOOK '10: Slow start expected for Europe Oxos demand
Slow European demand for oxo-alcohols was expected to continue into early 2010, but producers hoped this would be partially offset by sustained Asian offtake.

OUTLOOK '10: Tough 2010 for Europe MEG as PET fights for survival
European monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices should stabilise at a high level before experiencing the effects of a potential surplus in mid-2010, while downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) will continue to battle for survival, market and industry sources said.

OUTLOOK ’10: East Europe chems focus on Poland privatisation
The chemical industry in central and eastern Europe (CEE) is set to enter 2010 with analysts' eyes primarily fixed on Poland and the impending privatisation of its chemical sector.

OUTLOOK '10: Europe nanotechnology to come under closer scrutiny
Nanotechnology has been hitting the headlines for a couple of years now, but 2010 is set to be the year in which the EU will start to look at formally regulating the industry.

OUTLOOK '10: Africa polymer producers face big challenges
African polymer producers are facing several major hurdles in 2010 as they try to recover “unsustainable” margins in an uncertain market, industry sources said.

OUTLOOK '10: Chlor-alkali producers must be ready for volatility
Chlor-alkali producers must be prepared to react quickly to the unpredictable price changes expected in the market for 2010 if they want to remain competitive, industry sources have said.

OUTLOOK ’10: Europe phenol production rates to remain low
European phenol utilisation rates will remain at low levels during 2010 until derivative demand significantly improves and is 100% sustainable, market sources said.

OUTLOOK '10: Europe MA players predict a slow recovery
The majority of European maleic anhydride (MA) players are expecting a steady increase in demand throughout 2010 totalling 10-20%, driven by the downstream unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) market.

OUTLOOK '10: Europe PA players predict consolidation in 2010
European phthalic anhydride (PA) buyers and sellers are expecting market consolidation in 2010 due to low profit margins, industry participants said.

OUTLOOK ’10: Europe producers cautious amid signs of recovery
’s chemicals producers are not expecting a great deal from 2010 but are beginning to see signs of recovery.

OUTLOOK '10: Price stability expected for European base oils
After a number of years of price volatility in the European base oils market, the end of 2009 saw a degree of stability that is expected to continue into early 2010, according to industry sources.

OUTLOOK ’10: Europe methanol to suffer from global oversupply
New low-cost global methanol capacities due to come on line in the second quarter of 2010 are set to have a profound impact on the European market, putting significant downward pressure on prices and forcing rationalisation of existing production.

OUTLOOK '10: Europe ethanol shortages to set tone for prices
First-quarter ethanol negotiations could not come soon enough for some. Squeezed by rising feedstock prices on the one hand and weak demand on the other, European traders of imported fermented ethanol were unhappy with prices in the last quarter of 2009, which they regarded as too low.

OUTLOOK '10: Russia's petchems sector braced for tough year
The downturn in Russia's chemical and petrochemical industry is expected to continue in 2010 with rising domestic gas prices making the situation worse in some sectors, according to the country's economic development ministry.

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By: Staff Reporter
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