Europe chemical industry outlook for 2012

09 January 2012 10:00  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The following OUTLOOK '12 stories were published by ICIS between Friday 23 December 2011 and Tuesday 3 January 2012. Please click on the headlines to read the full versions.

OUTLOOK '12: Volatile crude to be driven by economics, geopolitics
The crude oil markets are expected to remain volatile throughout 2012 with the fundamentals of supply and demand continuing to take a back seat, leaving global economics and geopolitical factors as the main drivers.

OUTLOOK ’12: Fertilizer market gloomy into 2012 on weak demand
Global fertilizer markets are ending the year in a bearish mood on the back of weak demand exacerbated by economic uncertainty, and the outlook for the first quarter of 2012 looks set to remain gloomy.

OUTLOOK ’12: Europe naphtha to stay bearish on poor demand
Soft demand stemming from a combination of high prices, fears for the economy and increased competition from other products is expected to keep European naphtha market activity levels subdued in 2012.

OUTLOOK ’12: Bleak times expected to continue for shipowners
The chemical shipping industry faces an uncertain future as it enters 2012 burdened by the effects of the lingering eurozone debt crisis and concerns over the wider global economy.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe aromatics to remain unstable
Following on from an erratic 12 months, 2012 is expected to contain more uncertainty for European aromatics players.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe styrenics players optimistic about new year
While the European styrenics market still faces some obstacles, a swathe of new derivative capacities starting up in 2012 and a robust expandable polystyrene (EPS) sector are keeping players optimistic about the new year.

OUTLOOK ’12: Flat times ahead for Europe polyolefins
The year 2011 saw a strong start for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) in Europe, but the situation changed in April, as imports finally began to have an impact on European pricing.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe olefins players aiming to find balance
European olefin players expect a slow, moderate recovery in demand during 2012, pending some economic improvement.

OUTLOOK '12: CEE players ponder investments amid the economic malaise
BorsodChem in Hungary and Spolchemie in the Czech Republic are two companies which may provide a bellwether of the 2012 impact of the ongoing economic squeeze on the chemical industry of central and eastern Europe (CEE).

OUTLOOK ’12: Biofuels to face impact of new Europe legislation
As with many chemicals, European biofuels face uncertain prospects in 2012. However, while traditional petrochemical markets are primarily being undermined by the shaky economy, biofuels are additionally affected by the ever-changing legislative environment surrounding them.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe butadiene hinges more than ever on cracker ops
The outlook for butadiene (BD)/C4s in 2012 will depend more than ever before on European cracker operations, which are still adapting to the challenges posed by the recent and ongoing ethylene capacity additions in the Middle East and Asia.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe Q1 solvents demand expected to stay weak
European solvents suppliers are expecting low demand in the first quarter of 2012 because of weak macroeconomic conditions and the traditional off-peak season in the major construction and automotive sectors.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe oxo-alcohols market expects no shocks in 2012
The European oxo-alcohols market ended 2011 with poor demand, low stocks and “unacceptable” margins, as poor macroeconomic conditions continue to depress domestic demand and limit export opportunities.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe chlor-alkali market to rebalance
Despite continuous cuts in chlorine production, the European caustic soda market could lengthen in the first quarter of 2012 if demand from key downstream markets such as aluminium, mining and pulp and paper continues to soften beyond the year-end.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe SBR producers look to Asia for Q1 sales
Macroeconomic uncertainties and low demand in Europe on the one hand and good export opportunities with increasing prices in Asia on the other are likely to shape the styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market in 2012, market participants said.

OUTLOOK ’12: Chemical M&A market faces challenges
After a record year for global chemical mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in 2011, the deal market is likely to fall in 2012, in terms of dollar volumes, as players struggle with an uncertain economic outlook and financing challenges.

OUTLOOK ’12: Africa PE, PP demand steady despite global woes
Growth in local consumption will offset Africa's exposure to domestic and international crises and help to sustain current levels of polyolefin demand, industry sources believe.

OUTLOOK '12: Market sees sustained demand for Europe phenol
Uncertainty is by far the most commonly used word to describe the outlook for phenol and its major derivative, bisphenol A (BPA), in 2012, market sources say.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe chem producers face financial headwinds
The year started brightly for so many European chemical companies but good times were short-lived as earnings were battered by a turbulent economic climate and the continuing eurozone debt crisis during the second half.

OUTLOOK '12: Tough year expected for PA on structural oversupply
The European phthalic anhydride (PA) market is in need of consolidation because of a 100,000 tonne/year structural oversupply, according to estimates.

OUTLOOK ’12: Europe MA players see risk of 2012 price bubbles
European maleic anhydride (MA) buyers and sellers are divided over their growth forecasts for 2012, depending on their macroeconomic outlook.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe PET set to lengthen but tempered by tight PX
European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is likely to lengthen in 2012, partly because of new production capacities coming on-stream, but this could be tempered by a tight upstream paraxylene (PX) market, sources said.

OUTLOOK ’12: Global methanol has potential to remain stable
As ever, the year ahead for the global methanol market holds myriad variables and uncertainties.

OUTLOOK ’12: Uncertainty for Europe base oils after prolonged price slide
The outlook for 2012 for the European group I base oils market is one of uncertainty, following steady price declines over recent months because of poor demand, market sources have said.

OUTLOOK '12: Europe plasticisers head in different directions
Producers' efforts to reduce operating rates and inventory levels have stabilised prices in the European plasticisers market after six months of steady decreases because of low downstream consumption.

OUTLOOK '12: Prompt recovery for Europe PVC market in 2012 unlikely
There is little hope of a prompt recovery in demand for European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) next year, as growth in the key downstream construction industry, which accounts for more than 50% of PVC consumption, is unlikely to rise above pre-crisis levels until at least 2013.

OUTLOOK '12: Lack of visibility adds to concerns for EU chemicals
Chemicals output in Europe slowed markedly in the fourth quarter of 2011 – and the outlook for 2012 is subdued.

OUTLOOK ’12: Weak polyamide chain demand causes margin fears
Consumption throughout the European polyamide (or nylon) chain is expected to remain broadly flat with 2011 in 2012, buyers and sellers predict, but with trading conditions inversed.

OUTLOOK ’12: Russia plans import-substitution projects
Russian companies and regional governments are pursuing petrochemical import-substitution projects, despite the country’s upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) accession.

By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214

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