European epoxy resins market faces challenges

19 June 2012 14:23  [Source: ICIS news]

MADRID (ICIS)--The Asian epoxy resins market will continue to grow strongly, however, continued rationalisation is likely in more mature markets, said Nigel Seymour, vice president of base epoxy resins and intermediates at US-based Momentive Speciality Chemicals, on Tuesday. 

Seymour, speaking at the 7th ICIS World Phenol and Acetone Conference, in Madrid, said that the European market is facing several challenges, such as declining demand, higher raw material costs and volatility in earnings.

“Without significant new market development, it could take five to six years to recover to 2007 [demand] levels,” said Seymour.

Falling sales in Europe, raw material cost pressure and cheaper material available from Asia are all pressing EU producers to rationalise, he added.

“Undoubtedly, continued capacity expansions in Asia will present challenges to EU producers, requiring increased focus on cost, service and innovation to enable us to successfully compete,” Seymour said.

He also spoke about the challenges the industry faces regarding research into the possible negative effects on health of bisphenol A (BPA), a feedstock for epoxy resins production.

“I think there should be a balance in the media and the chemical industry should be heard alongside lobbyists’ claims against BPA,” Seymour said.

Seymour said that new uses will be found for epoxy resins and research and development will play a major role in the industry’s future.

The 7th ICIS World Phenol and Acetone Conference runs from 19-20 June.

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By: Janos Gal
+44 208 652 3214

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