Asian Chemical Connections
The Solvay/INEOS vinyls deal should be looked at from a European PVC and a US shale perspective.
The European PVC business is tough. Costs - ethylene and electricity - are high. Demand is 30% lower than at the peak of the last cycle in 2007 due to the collapse in construction and weak economic activity in much of Europe. Prices are weak. And, as Solvay puts it, scenarios for the European and the US energy petrochemical businesses today are so different.
INSIGHT: US ethylene set to peak in May on pipeline restart
"In Texas, expectations of a May pipeline restart not only pushed up pricing, but also lead to a surge in trading activity."
VIDEO: ICIS Special Report on Asia benzene, styrene dynamics