EPCA’10: Demand outlook optimistic for Europe olefins

04 October 2010 10:14  [Source: ICIS news]

BASFBUDAPEST (ICIS)--There will be increased demand for European olefins next year and crackers will be running at full capacity, market sources said on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 44th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting, ethylene (C2) and propylene (C3) producers and consumers remarked that the mood was upbeat and that the expectation was for increased demand through 2011.

“We have had first [demand] nominations for 2011 and they are looking good,” a major producer said.

He added that compared with 2010, next year’s nominations were showing a marked increase.

“It looks like we will be running our crackers at full speed.”

This year so far has been widely described as better than expected, with European ethylene and propylene derivative markets supported by robust exports and the failure of new Middle East capacity to make as much of an impact as had been feared.

While the influence of new capacity was inevitable, sources now had more confidence that Europe could adapt and would be able to weather the impact.

However, “I am still cautious” another producer said, echoing general sentiment that although the markets were improving, the tide could still turn at any time.

The memories of the unprecedented demand decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 was still fresh in everyone’s minds.

The European ethylene contract settlement was agreed at €950/tonne ($1,311/tonne), a rollover from September, while propylene settled at €920/tonne, down €10 from the previous month.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214



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