A boring topic to harp on about again I know, but this article from my colleague Nigel Davis from the Insight section of ICIS news supports what I have been saying for the past two years.
The industry has overbuilt, and despite all the optimism engendered by project delays and probably cancellations in Iran of No 11 Olefins and beyond, this is still, as Nigel says, an unprecedented wave of new capacity.
The reasons for this overbuilding are the easy liquidity that Paul Hodges of international eChem talks about in our commentary section, the optimism over sustained strong global growth and a continuing demand boom in China and India.
Nigel's report came out on the same day that Ben Bernanke's remarks sent stockmarkets into decline.
Imagine this: a combination of an unprecented wave of Middle East capacity, greater self sufficiency in China due to the large amount of capacity being built there and a US housing sector-driven recession that Bernanke's comments were interpreted as pointing towards.
This could be a great opportunity to pick up some cheap petrochemical shares and bankrupt companies in 2009 and beyond.