US demand for petchems falls on seasonal slowdown - Fed Reserve

11 January 2012 21:10  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US demand for petrochemicals waned in the last few months of the year, mainly as a result of a seasonal slowdown, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) said on Friday.

The Fed’s periodical “Beige Book” report on the US economy noted that the producers of plastics and plastic feedstocks said prices stabilised after sharp declines in October and November.

Chlorine demand was also weak, partly as a result of sluggish global growth, the report said.

“Contacts in the refining industry noted weak domestic consumption of refined products, especially gasoline, although export markets were still strong,” the report said. “Inventories were said to be near expectations for this time of year.”

The analysis was given by the Fed’s Dallas-centred 11th district, which includes Texas, New Mexico and a part of Louisiana and is home to much of the nation’s petrochemical and refining capacity.

The 11th District economy grew at a moderate pace since the Fed’s last report, bolstered by the robust retail sales, the report said.

Meanwhile, the Beige Book reported that there was modest to moderate growth among the 12 districts of the US.

“Compared with prior summaries, the reports on balance suggest ongoing improvement in economic conditions in recent months, with most districts highlighting more favourable conditions than identified in reports from the late spring through early fall,” the Beige Book said.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Bobbie Clark
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