Q2 petchems volumes up for US, emerging markets, as Europe weakens

19 July 2013 12:04  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Petrochemicals production grew year on year in the US and emerging markets during the second quarter of 2013, but European volumes continue to decline, US analyst Bernstein Research said on Friday.

Volumes in the US grew by 3% in June compared to the same period a year earlier, Bernstein said, while India and Brazil reported basic chemicals production growth of 7% and 2% respectively year on year in May.

European volumes slumped by 6% year on year in May, while China’s basic chemicals production grew by 7% in June compared to the same month in 2012.

However, volumes were flat or down sequentially in all regions, Bernstein added, with European volumes down by 0.5% month on month in May, and US volumes down by 0.3% month on month in June.

Despite the production falls, naphtha cracker margins increased sequentially in all regions, along with ethane cracker spreads in the US.

Bernstein added that the rising naphtha cracker margins are good news for BASF, along with strong margins for toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) and methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI), which are important for the German specialty chemicals company.

“We show [BASF] has diversified and  moved downstream to increase stability. Moreover, we think their diversification is exceptionally valuable in today's volatile environment,” the firm said.

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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