Americas Chemical Industry Outlook for 2013

08 January 2013 23:03  [Source: ICIS news]

The following OUTLOOK '13 stories were published by ICIS news between Friday 21 December 2012 and Monday 7 January 2013. Please click on the headlines to read the full versions.

OUTLOOK '13: Shale gives US chems advantage to slow, steady gain
The US chemical industry is expecting increased activity in 2013, mostly due to the shale gas advantage, although economic growth will not reach long-term trend levels until 2014, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said in its year-end situation and outlook report.

OUTLOOK '13: US ethane spot prices may rebound from historic lows
US ethane spot prices should rebound in 2013 from all-time ICIS lows in the last few weeks of 2012.

OUTLOOK ’13: Projects to export LNG has US manufacturers rankled
The US natural gas market could see its historically-high inventories gradually work down in 2013, as gas-directed production has curtailed during the last year and consumption has remained modest.

OUTLOOK '13: US methanol big moves will continue
Look for more big moves in US methanol in 2013, as producers continue to follow the lure of cheap natural gas in North America and the shift toward methanol as a fuel source and additive.

OUTLOOK '13: US ethylene momentum to carry on in 2013
US olefins prices will end 2012 on a high note after rising unexpectedly in the last few weeks of the year amid a spree of unplanned outages.

OUTLOOK '13: Less volatility may stabilise US polyolefins pricing
Less feedstock volatility is expected to usher in more stable pricing in the US polyolefins sector in 2013, while economic uncertainties are dampening sentiment about improved demand in the coming year, sources said.

OUTLOOK '13: Americas PET markets may rise on trends in Asia
The US polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market in 2013 will likely follow the lead of Asia, where feedstock prices have been rising, market sources said.

OUTLOOK '13: US, Lat Am PVC producers look to improve over 2012
Participants in Latin America and the US are projecting higher polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices in January on rising demand amid snug regional supply, following the customary year-end destocking.

OUTLOOK '13: US benzene to remain strong in 2013
As 2012 comes to a close, many aromatics market participants have said they believe the US benzene market will remain strong in 2013 citing the tight supply availability and the continued global financial situation.

OUTLOOK '13: US styrene market to see little improvement
US styrene trade participants do not expect to see much improvement in market conditions in 2013, citing continued weak domestic and overseas demand.

OUTLOOK ’13: US phenol-acetone market hinging on benzene costs
The US phenol-acetone market has several concerns for 2013, but the biggest remains upstream benzene costs staying at or near record levels.

OUTLOOK ’13: US MMA, epoxy markets sparking guarded optimism
The US methyl methacrylate (MMA) and epoxy resins markets have inspired some guarded optimism for 2013.

OUTLOOK '13: US SBR market struggling to see growth in 2013
The US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market has been struggling as its top end users – tyre makers – have seen almost stagnant movement of finished goods over the past several months, and it looks like that will remain the case well into the first half of 2013.

OUTLOOK '13: Waiting game on when US BD market will recover
US butadiene (BD) sources are emphasising that when downstream styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) producers begin ordering more than contractual minimums, they will begin to see the US BD market regain strength.

OUTLOOK `13: North America TiO2 demand to rise later in year
North America titanium dioxide (Ti02) market conditions will remain soft early in the year, exerting downward pressure on pricing during the first two quarters, sources said.

OUTLOOK `13: US solvents demand to improve later in the year
US solvents producers will be aided by snug supply in some markets, but after a slow start, demand is expected to pick up after the first half of 2013, sources said.

OUTLOOK '13: US chlor-alkali picture still muddied
After a lacklustre 2012, in which US chlor-alkali producers struggled to push through price increases, many are expecting market conditions to improve in 2013.

OUTLOOK ’13: Economic uncertainty may stifle US gasoline price increase
Gasoline prices in 2013 could hold near 2012 highs, although decisions on key topics and an increase in alternative fuel use could cause prices to fall.

OUTLOOK’13: Americas biodiesel makers hopeful yet uncertain
North American biodiesel is keeping a hopeful outlook going into 2013, following mandates by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for increasing production and use of renewable fuels.

OUTLOOK ’13: US base oils must contend with growing supply
US base oils will have to contend with growing supply in 2013, as increasing production capacity and expectations for ongoing flat global economics appear poised to continue the price squeeze that emerged in the latter months of 2012.

OUTLOOK ’13: Prospects up for refined glycerine, oleic fatty acids
Prospects are good for refined glycerine and for oleic fatty acids in the coming year.

OUTLOOK '13: US ammonia demand will be robust
Strong agricultural fundamentals and an improving US economy are expected to drive robust demand for ammonia in 2013.

OUTLOOK '13: Sorbitol prices to rise 8% in 2013
US sorbitol prices are expected to increase about 8% in 2013 as higher feedstock corn prices and increased demand from the food sector push market prices higher.

OUTLOOK ’13: Removal of uncertainty may drive chemical M&A
There is a great will on the part of global chemical companies for mergers and acquisitions (M&A), but two major roadblocks are hindering activity – lack of clarity on the US fiscal cliff and few quality assets on the selling block.

OUTLOOK '13: US WR Grace seeks exit from bankruptcy protection
US-based catalyst producer WR Grace expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection in 2013, more than a decade after it filed for Chapter 11.

OUTLOOK ’13: Rocky regulatory road ahead for chemicals, others
With the national elections finally over, the US chemicals sector and a broad array of other manufacturers are decidedly wary about what lies ahead for legislative and regulatory affairs under a second Obama administration.

OUTLOOK’13: US energy bonanza bodes well for chemicals
It is as if government energy agencies and think tanks are vying with each other to trumpet wildly optimistic, even spectacular forecasts for US oil and natural gas production in the years ahead.

OUTLOOK ’13: US housing recovery to continue at slow, steady rate
As a central element in the financial crisis that started about five to six years ago, the US housing market is expected to continue to recover through the coming years, although remaining challenges will limit the industry to a slow but steady growth.

OUTLOOK '13: Brazil eyes slowdown, Mexico sees reform
The outlook for Brazil's economy continues to dim as the nation cannot shake off its sluggish growth.

OUTLOOK '13: PE imports to grow in Latin America during 2013
The natural demand growth for polyethylene (PE) in Latin America derived from economic development and demographic changes is not finding a corresponding increase in production, and this will bring more opportunity for sellers of imported product in the region during 2013.

OUTLOOK '13: PP imports poised to grow in Latin America
As happened in 2012, Latin American countries will not have any significant polypropylene (PP) added capacity in 2013, inviting imports to fill in uncovered needs.

By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214

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