AFPM '13: US cracker boom may create long ethylene market

26 March 2013 01:17  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--The numerous producers that are either expanding existing US crackers or building new ones could create a long ethylene market and a potential boon for consumers of the monomer, the head of Huntsman said on Monday.

The derivative projects that would consume this growing source of ethylene have yet to keep pace with the new cracker announcements, said Peter Huntsman, the company's CEO.

Huntsman made his statements on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), held by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).

The resulting rush of ethylene capacity could lengthen the market for the monomer, lowering prices for consumers, he said. "I think you are going to be better off as a buyer versus as a seller of ethylene."

Producers have also announced plans to build up to eight on-purpose propylene plants in North America, potentially creating a flood of supply for another key petrochemical feedstock.

However, the outlook for propylene is cloudier than that for ethylene.

Some producers may drop their plans for propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plants.

Supplies of propane could also tighten, since the fuel could also be exported through the terminals that companies plan to build.

The PDH plants would also offset falling US capacity for propylene, as the switch towards lighter cracker feeds has reduced production of the monomer.

The AFPM conference lasts through Tuesday.


By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

ICIS news FREE TRIAL
Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index