Polyolefins 2010 operating rates well below 2009 – Nexant

29 April 2010 22:49  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Global operating rates in polyolefin plants "will fall considerably" in 2010 compared with 2009, despite a slight improvement in demand, chemicals consultancy Nexant said on Thursday.

"Looking further ahead beyond 2010, low operating rates are forecast to be a continuing issue as the increased rate of net capacity additions, particularly in the Middle East and Asia, will exceed corresponding increases in demand as the global economy recovers," Nexant said.

It did not give details of its forecast for operating rates. The comments were in a distributed summary of a new subscription-only report by the consultancy.

Nexant said the global trade picture would evolve noticeably in the medium-term as the US and western Europe become large net importers of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP), and the Middle East developed into the role of supplier to the world. 

Western Europe and North America would continue to be net exporters of LDPE, Nexant predicted.

For the period of 2009-2015, Nexant forecast annual growth in LLDPE at 6.2% and in HDPE at 5.5%, with Asia and the Middle East contributing more than 40% of total HDPE growth.  

"Bimodal HDPE will continue to be a focus for much of this consumption growth based on an expanding product performance envelope and the potential for single gas phase reactor production, which would have a lower capital and production cost," the summary said.

PP demand in 2009-2015 would grow at an annual rate of 5.7%, with more than half the growth occurring in Asia, particularly China and India, Nexant said.

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By: Stephen Burns
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