Russia’s chemical production tumbles

Russia May09.jpg

Last week’s global production numbers highlighted the startling collapse in output from Central & Eastern Europe. This was the worst regional performer in Q1, and the blog decided to investigate further.

Russian output is key to the region’s performance. And the chart, based on data kindly provided by ICIS’s Sergei Blagov, shows how all parts of the Russian industry have been impacted over the past 18 months:

• Fertiliser output fell 25% to 4.6m tonnes in Jan-April, after a 6% fall in 2008
• Polymers fell 13% to 1.3m tonnes, after a 4% fall in 2008
• Synthetic rubber fell 31% to 250KT, after a 6% fall in 2008

The Russian stock market has recently been the best performer in the world, up 90% since 1 March, as oil prices have risen. This return of confidence, plus the end of destocking, should hopefully lead to a relatively stronger performance for the region in future months.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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