China demand is robust despite some signs to contrary – Dow CEO

28 April 2011 19:41  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--China’s demand for chemicals is robust, and any indications of high inventories are likely to be transitory, the chief executive of US-based Dow Chemical said on Thursday.

“We’re not seeing [high inventories]. There is some decline in credit growth due to tightening to curb inflation, but the Chinese run a fairly directed economy, so it’s really to avoid the speculative side on property,” said chairman, president and CEO Andrew Liveris on Dow’s earnings conference call.

“Household savings are still very high and the government’s 5-year plan is to stimulate the domestic sector. So any aberrations of the inventory kind are very short term,” he added.

Liveris responded to an analyst question on concerns and reports about high China chemical inventories.

The Dow CEO characterised China demand as “quite robust” – reflected in both its strong first-quarter results and its outlook.

“They’re spending on infrastructure, energy, the environment, new materials for aerospace and automotive, and that is all very directed,” Liveris said.

“In the next five years, they want to spend $1.7 trillion (€1,120bn) in these sectors. I don’t think we have a lot to worry about in the short term,” he added.

($1 = €0.68)

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By: Joseph Chang
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