EPCA ’11: Industry faces slowdown but remains confident – ENI exec

02 October 2011 14:24  [Source: ICIS news]

Industry faces slowdown but remains confidentBERLIN (ICIS)--Petrochemicals demand in Europe is slowing down or “normalising” after a quiet August, and the industry needs to be cautious, but there are no signs of a sharp downturn, a senior chemicals executive with Italian energy giant ENI said on Sunday.

“I’m really confident that we are talking about a slowdown, a normalisation,” ENI’s manager for monomers, aromatics and intermediates, Emanuele Tagliabue, said on the sidelines of the 45th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Berlin.

“I am still positive. There are no elements to indicate a crash,” he said.

Tagliabue added that the sector was coming off a first-quarter 2011 high point that had seen output reach pre-crisis 2007 levels.

Demand had been somewhat lower in August and was lower than expected in September and October, probably because of reduced inventories, and producers were in a “wait-and-see situation”, he added.

Players were trying to gauge the possible impact of the macroeconomic changes at work in Asia, North America and Europe.

“We are not pessimistic at all,” Tagliabue said. “We just need to be cautious.”

Companies are wary of being left with too-high inventories at the year-end, he added. “What is missing is the visibility for the next part of the year.”

Tagliabue said that there would be less product in petrochemical supply chains at the start of 2012 when demand would be at a “more normal level”.

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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