US petchem demand slows overseas on weakness in Asia, Middle East

06 June 2012 21:39  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Export demand for US petrochemicals has slowed over the past six weeks as a result of rising US plastics prices as well as weak growth in Asia and the Middle East, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) said on Wednesday.

The Fed’s periodical “Beige Book” report on the US economy also noted that domestic demand for petrochemicals was moderate.

“Outlooks for the petrochemical industry were positive, and announcements for new construction or expansion continue at a rapid pace,” the Fed said. “Refiners said margins improved slightly in early May.”

Additionally, the Fed said spot prices for many petrochemicals fell sharply as a result of plants coming out of maintenance, adding contract prices should follow suit.

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.

Meanwhile, the Fed reported overall economic activity grew at a moderate pace.

By: Bobbie Clark
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