Americas chemical industry outlook for 2011

10 January 2011 14:30  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The following OUTLOOK '11 stories were published by ICIS from Friday 24 December 2010 to Monday 3 January 2011. Please click on the headlines to read the full versions.

OUTLOOK '11: Sulphuric acid expected to remain tight on high demand
Earlier expectations of a relatively-balanced global sulphuric acid market in 2011 are no longer deemed realistic as market conditions have continued to tighten amid higher demand, potentially sending prices higher.

OUTLOOK ’11: US chem safety board awaits budget from new Congress
In an ideal world, the year 2011 for the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) would include a successful investigation into the BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, the opening of a Houston office and additional funding for new cases.

OUTLOOK '11: US chems to grow on recovery, exports
Demand for US-made chemicals will likely increase in 2011 as the nation's economy continues to recover and maintains a trade surplus for the second year in a row.

INSIDE VIEW ’11: ACC to foster environment of innovation
Congress may have changed, but the focus of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) remains the same: ensuring our members can continue to develop solutions to our nation’s biggest challenges.

OUTLOOK ’11: Chem profits to accelerate as ‘supercycle’ begins
A growing number of Wall Street analysts are forecasting a “supercycle” for commodity chemical producers, with profit gains in 2011 building to a peak in 2013-2014.

OUTLOOK ’11: Base oil demand to recover, supply remains in flux
Global base oil demand bottomed in 2009, improved consistently each month in 2010 and will mostly recover by the end of 2011, but supply conditions remain in flux, according to industry experts.

OUTLOOK ’11: New US Congress to review regulatory issues
The US chemicals industry will face a wholly different legislative landscape in 2011 and have the opportunity to influence a broad range of regulatory issues that could provide a long-sought level of certainty for perhaps decades to come.

INSIDE VIEW '11: Congress to be more pragmatic on chem regs
The new year marks the 90th year that the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) has served as the voice of a very specialised sector of the industry.

OUTLOOK '11: China remains in driver's seat for US methanol market
If 2010 is any indication, Asia and specifically China should continue to dominate the global methanol market in 2011, including in the US.

INSIDE VIEW ‘11: Chemical distributors ready to meet the new year
At NACD's recent annual meeting, Alan Beaulieu of the Institute for Trend Research highlighted the fact that economic markers are indicating that 2011 will be a brighter year and 2012 will be even better.

OUTLOOK '11: Recovery begins for construction industry
The construction industry likely hit a bottom in 2010 and should begin a slow recovery towards its pre-recession peaks in 2011.

OUTLOOK ’11: Strong distillate production, demand to resume
Distillates for 2010 broke trends of the past few years by setting out on a new path with an increase in demand - and that pathway is expected to extend through 2011, according to a consultant.

INSIDE VIEW '11: Education of new Congress goal of NPRA
A top priority for NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, in the months ahead will be educating new members of Congress about the importance of our member companies to the American economy and the vital role their products play in all Americans’ lives.

OUTLOOK ’11: US auto sales poised to rebound, boosting plastics
US automobile sales are expected to continue their bounce-back from recession-fuelled lows and several plastics are expected to gain market share in the production of lighter-weight automobiles.

OUTLOOK ’11: North America TiO2 demand, supply to keep market tight
The North American titanium dioxide (TiO2) supplies will remain pinched throughout 2011, most markets sources said, keeping prices on an upward trajectory.

OUTLOOK ’11: US ‘citizen suits’ against producers may continue
An $81.25m (€61.75m) lawsuit against ExxonMobil is the latest in a series of “citizen suits” over alleged pollution violations in Texas, but it may not be the last.

OUTLOOK ’11: US greenhouse gas rules go up in smoke
Once-ambitious US federal plans to cap and sharply reduce the nation’s emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) have run out of air, steam and political support.

OUTLOOK '11: Newly-resurgent US SBR market slowly gathers speed
For the US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) sector, 2011 is likely to produce few variations on 2010 themes, including challenges ranging from a slowdown in vehicle sales to high feedstock prices besetting producers.

OUTLOOK '11: Steady pace likely to characterise US chlor-alkali
The US chlor-alkali market is likely to be characterised by a steady pace in 2011 as it seeks to maintain hard-kept margins in caustic soda and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

OUTLOOK ’11: US solvents to be stable, growth at GDP levels seen
Buyers and sellers in the US solvents industry are no longer singing the blues that prevailed a year ago.

OUTLOOK ’11: US biofuels hopeful on subsidy, tax credit extensions
The uncertainty that permeated the US ethanol and biodiesel markets in late 2010 has been replaced by optimism for early 2011 following the December passage of subsidy and tax credit extensions by Congress.

OUTLOOK '11: Improving polyurethanes demand expected
US polyurethanes market participants look forward to demand gradually increasing in 2011, and are projecting better growth rates compared with 2010.

OUTLOOK '11: Bumpy ride likely for US oleochemicals
The US oleochemical segment is likely to face a bumpy ride in 2011, as producers cope with feedstock price volatility and uncertainty in glycerine because of the reinstated biodiesel tax credit.

OUTLOOK '11: Steady road of mid-$4.00s/MMBtu natgas prices ahead
The forward curve for the NYMEX Henry Hub natural gas futures price looks like a road with few peaks or valleys and values in the mid-$4.00s/MMBtu.

OUTLOOK '11: N American PE and PP will face inflationary pressures
North American polyethylene (PE) manufacturers expect to see improved margins in the coming year, based on firm global demand and rising international prices.

OUTLOOK '11: North American styrene producers see stronger exports
Citing a strong cost advantage for raw materials such as natural gas, North American styrene producers say they expect 2011 to be business as usual, with healthy exports and no major price movements in the market.

OUTLOOK '11: US olefins prices to begin 2011 on uptrend
The US olefins market, particularly propylene, is expected to begin 2011 on an uptrend following tight supply and higher spot prices in the final weeks of 2010.

OUTLOOK ’11: Ethane demand to continue to overshoot supply
Ethane demand in the US has overshot supply for most of 2010, and is expected to continue through 2011 to a point where chemical plants eventually may have to soften consumption of the feedstock.

OUTLOOK '11: Rising N American fertilizer demand to pressure supply
Resurgence in demand for fertilizers in North America during 2010 will carry forward into 2011, placing heavy pressure on the supply side to deliver plant nutrients when and where needed.

OUTLOOK '11: Slow growth returns for Americas chemical shippers
The prevailing outlook for 2011 among observers in the Americas' chemical shipping business is that while more prosperous times may still be more than a year away, the worst times are over.

OUTLOOK '11: Shipping 'tonnage overhang' expected to continue
Too many chemical ships will probably continue to chase too few cargoes in 2011, at least in Europe, according to owners and brokers.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214

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