APLA '12: Existing routes to assist US PE exports to Latin America

12 November 2012 15:10  [Source: ICIS news]

RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)--Existing trade routes bringing product from South America to the US should assist polyethylene (PE) exports, as ships could return to Latin America with containers filled with resin, a consultant said on Monday.

The US is expected to increase PE exports to the region because of the advent of shale gas, which has made low-cost ethane feedstock available to the nation's producers.

Much of the world relies on higher-cost naphtha as a feedstock, giving US producers a cost advantage.

As the US increases PE production, it will likely target the Latin American market for exports.

Since Latin America exports products to the US, ships could return with PE, said Jorge Buhler-Vidal, director of Polyolefins Consulting.

He made his comments on the sidelines of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting.

Once the ships complete their deliveries to the US, they could either return with empty containers or with containers filled with PE, Buhler-Vidal said.

For example, Ecuador exports bananas to the US, Buhler-Vidal said. Those ships could return to Ecuador with PE.

The APLA conference ends on Tuesday.

By: Al Greenwood
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