APIC: US Feedstock and Asia Optimism

Business, China, Company Strategy, Economics, Europe, Olefins, Polyolefins, Technology, US

By John Richardson

FEEDSTOCK advantages in the US and the continued economic rise of Asia were some of the themes of last week’s Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Steam crackers are being planned in abundance in the US. As much as 7.65m tonne/year of new ethane-based ethylene capacity could be on-stream in the States by 2017.

Old technologies are also being brushed-off and updated to take advantage of the shale-gas boom. For example, West Virginia-based Aither Chemicals is re-developing a 1980s Union Carbide technology for reacting ethane in the presence of oxygen, over a catalyst, to produce ethylene and acetic acid, the conference heard.

Several companies were also said to be working on commercialisation of technologies to make aromatics from methane.

The inexorable economic rise of Asia was said to revolve around increases in urbanisation and per capita incomes.

The China slowdown and the Eurozone crisis were also discussed.

But both in public, and privately, delegates said that we would soon return to strong overall economic conditions, thanks to Asia replacing lost growth in the West. 

On feedstock advantages, there is of course no doubt that the landscape has changed quite radically.

The US has enormous opportunities to become the United States of Gas, thus boosting both petrochemicals and downstream manufacturing industries, as it also benefits from a shift in relative labour costs.

But for us, demand remains a concern – both in the short and long-term. We worry that there are no guarantees that we will easily move beyond the problems in China and the Eurozone. 


The Worst Things Get The Better They Are


By John Richardson THE more that China’s economy weakens, the greater the ...

Learn more

APIC: A Sense Of Shock


  By John Richardson ANOTHER theme that emerged from last week’s Asia...

Learn more
More posts
Petrochemical feedstock purchasing managers: What to think about and what do next

By John Richardson ALL THE old assumptions about how oil, feedstock and petrochemicals markets work ...

Vital work to maintain petrochemicals supply for essential services must continue

By John Richardson INDUSTRY associations around the world are lobbying governments about the importa...

Polyethylene: How to plan sensibly as we face threat of new Global Depression

By John Richardson I SINCERELY want to help you guys. That’s what I am here for. To this end, here...

Coronavirus may take as much as two years to be brought under control

By John Richardson The only honest answer is that none of us know how events will turn out because o...

Coronavirus: The new ten-point guide for the petrochemicals industry

By John Richardson EARLIER THIS month I provided you with a ten-point guide for the impact of corona...

Container freight shortages will lead to regional petrochemicals trade and supply shortages

By John Richardson THIS excellent chart highlights the lingering effects of the coronavirus outbreak...

European polyethylene and coronavirus: Panic buying versus the real demand outlook

By John Richardson NOW that the epicentre of the virus has moved to Europe, we need to think through...

Big declines in Chinese polyethylene imports, a global recession and a financial crisis

By John Richardson YOU MIGHT be hoping that sanity will be restored after the “most expensive spee...


Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more


Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more