Americas chemical industry outlook for 2010

06 January 2010 16:26  [Source: ICIS news]

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

OUTLOOK '10: Recovery optimism muted for chem shippers
There seem to be few, if any, wild-eyed optimists concerning the prospects for chemical shipping in 2010.

OUTLOOK ’10: Base oil volumes remain uncertain, recovery elusive
A recovery in the US base oils market could be years away, while near-term volume forecasts remain uncertain.

OUTLOOK '10: Slow recovery expected in US isocyanates, polyols
Participants in the US isocyanates and polyols markets expect a slow recovery to take hold in the second half of 2010 as the ailing US construction, small appliance and home furnishings sectors forecast modest improvement.

OUTLOOK '10: US chems to stage muted recovery
In 2010, the US chemical industry will likely grow for the first time in three years, as increasing trade and a general economic recovery will boost demand.

OUTLOOK ‘10: US SBR rebound could be another year away
The US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) sector went through a calamitous drop in demand in 2009, and all indications were that the downturn could last until at least the middle of 2010.

OUTLOOK ’10: US chem safety board hopes to expand, seeks funding
The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has a detailed watch list for 2010 and beyond for improving the safety of the chemical industry.

OUTLOOK '10: US auto industry will begin long recovery in 2010
US automobile sales will likely increase in 2010 after plummeting to abysmal levels during the nation's recession.

OUTLOOK ’10: Global chemical M&A market to revive
Mergers and acquisitions in the global chemical industry are poised to make a comeback in 2010 after hitting bottom in early 2009, according to investment banks.

OUTLOOK ’10: US non-residential construction likely to lag
Much has been made over the US construction industry’s potential to stop its financial bleeding and nearly break even in 2010, but a look at the internal numbers is not as positive for the US chemical industry.

OUTLOOK ’10: US chlor-alkali on a tightrope
US chlor-alkali producers hope they will see price increases in 2010 as the market walks a tightrope balancing operating rates and wobbling demand for driver product polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

OUTLOOK ’10: Industry faces challenges from Congress
The US chemicals industry will face a tough challenge in 2010 in trying to stop Congress from imposing an inherently safer technology (IST) mandate on producers as part of new antiterrorism security requirements.

OUTLOOK ’10: Solvents likely flat or weaker until 2010 second half
US solvents buyers and sellers sounded grim about first-half 2010 prospects but said some improvement could surface in the second half of the year when government stimulus efforts might begin to have an impact.

OUTLOOK ’10: US biofuel firms need government help to survive
US ethanol and biodiesel players have put a disastrous 2009 behind them, but many are wondering if they can survive 2010 without major government support.

OUTLOOK ’10: TiO2 expectations are weak for 2010 - buyers
Expectations for the 2010 North American titanium dioxide (TiO2) market are dim, according to buyers who say the depth of the recession will make recovery tedious in the important end markets of housing and automobile manufacturing.

OUTLOOK ’10: N American polyolefins margins to narrow
US polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) producers expect slimmer margins in 2010 as the economy recovers gradually and new capacity in Asia displaces US exports in global markets.

INSIDE VIEW '10: Distribution industry to face challenges
When I gave you my “outlook” last year, I predicted a year with unprecedented challenges for the chemical distribution industry - an economic downturn that would impact chemical distributors and all players in the supply chain and a new administration with eager plans to pass new legislation that would threaten our businesses. These predications are now realities.

OUTLOOK '10: US styrene goes back to the future
Capacity reductions, thin margins and sluggish demand recovery in the 2010 US styrene market will hearken to the mid-1980s, when the economy was in recession and styrene plants were trading hands.

OUTLOOK '10: US olefins industry headed for transition in 2010
The US olefins industry had a rough ride in 2009 and there is more to come in 2010, as market participants expect the sector to go through a year of transition due to incoming capacity in Asia and the Middle East.

OUTLOOK ’10: US natgas is abundant but may be restricted
The US has record-high resources of natural gas, enough to meet domestic consumption for a century - but while those supplies are technically accessible, they might remain beyond reach for political reasons.

OUTLOOK '10: US housing market to remain weak despite uptick
US housing construction will increase in 2010, but the industry will still remain well below the peaks reached earlier this decade, as the market struggles with high unemployment and tight credit.

OUTLOOK ’10: Prospects for US climate bill are chilly
Although the prospect of climate change legislation remains worrisome to US chemical producers and a broad range of other manufacturers, congressional passage of a cap-and-trade bill in 2010 looks increasingly unlikely.

OUTLOOK '10: Fertilizer producers expect big rebound
The world’s fertilizer producers, disappointed by 2009's severe drop in demand, anticipate broad-based recovery in 2010 across the three major nutrient segments of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214

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