GPCA ’12: Global petchem industry should watch out for key trends

28 November 2012 13:01  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--The global petrochemical industry should be aware of four key drivers, or megatrends, that will shape the future and be prepared for it, industry consultants said on Wednesday.

Non-conventional feedstocks, the emergence of new consumer markets, fight for markets and access to new markets as well as the increasing economic and financial volatility will impact the future of the industry, key executives at consulting firm AT Kearney said.

“The first one is shale gas. It had been known for many years, but what surprised everyone was with the speed it came,” Thomson Rings, head of global energy and chemicals practice at AT Kearney told delegates at the 7th annual forum of Gulf Petrochemical Companies Association (GPCA) in Dubai.

Shale gas is becoming a material feedstock that will turn the US from a net importer to an exporter, thus altering global trade flows, Rings added.

In terms of new markets, China, India, the Middle East and Africa have a special role to which petrochemical companies should focus their attention on, Bernard Hartman, head of Asian energy and chemicals practice at AT Kearney, said at the conference.

Hartman said future leading companies in the petrochemical sectors will come from Asia and the Middle East.

The fight for access to the market will remain a key challenge and lastly the industry should be prepared for the global economy’s growing susceptibility to crisis.

“All indicators show a trend… volatility will be there,” Rings said.

For chemicals, the additional challenge might be the volatility in feedstocks, Rings added.

The three-day GPCA forum ends on 29 November.

By: Tahir Ikram
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