GPCA ‘11: Global chemicals demand slows after post-crisis surge

13 December 2011 13:18  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--Global chemicals demand has slowed in 2011 as a result of an overhang caused by a surge in consumption following the global financial crisis of 2008, a consultant said on Tuesday.

The declining pace of growth is evident since the first quarter and oversupply conditions exist for most but not all products, said Gary Adams, chief adviser at IHS Chemical.

The market has not seen a real “holiday season” push and weak consumer spending will linger, particularly in Europe, over the next six months, he said during a presentation at the 6th Annual GPCA (Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association) Forum in Dubai.

The industry sold ahead of itself after the financial crisis and is now seeing the impact of that, Adams said, adding that chemicals demand has slowed even in high-growth markets such as China.

“When China catches a cold, the rest of us get fever,” he told delegates.

Despite the slowdown, demand growth will continue to be centred in high-velocity markets – such as China – but at a pace more aligned with real economic growth, Adams said.

China is becoming more self-sufficient, but it can still only meet around 60% of its equivalent ethylene demand, he said.

For more on ethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: William Lemos
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