Global Chemicals Outlook 2020

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After an eventful 2019 featuring:

  • a global manufacturing downturn
  • major supply disruptions in chemicals and energy
  • government policy changes
  • increased momentum in plastics recycling
  • escalation and de-escalation in the US-China trade war

2020 will be a pivotal year for the global petrochemical sector. Find out how critical market dynamics will play out on the global stage.

The ICIS Global Chemicals Outlook 2020 is your guide for what to expect in key product chains. Our experts share their insights on the crucial trends and factors propelling markets forward in 2020 for Europe, Asia, the US, and the Middle East.

Government Agency / MinistryIndustry AssociationRegulatorStatutory BoardOther
AcidsAlcoholsAromaticsBase Oil / Lubes / Motor OilButadiene / C4 / ElastomersFertilizers / Agri ProductsFibre ChainIntermediatesOlefinsOleochemicalsPhenolics, Chlor-alkaliPolymers / Polyolefins / ThermoplasticsSolventsSurfactantsNaphthaPolyurethane chainSpecialty ChemicalsOther
Carbon EmmissionsCrude OilLNG / Natural GasRefinery By-Products / Petroleum / LPGNaphthaCoal / HydrocarbonGasoline / Jet Kerosene / Fuel OilsPower or ElectricityAcidsAlcoholsAromaticsBase Oil / Lubes / Motor OilButadiene / C4 / ElastomersFertilizers / Agri ProductsFibre ChainIntermediatesOlefinsOleochemicalsPhenolics, Chlor-alkaliPolymers / Polyolefins / ThermoplasticsSolventsSurfactantsPolyurethane chainSpecialty Chemicals
Carbon EmmissionsCrude OilLNG / Natural GasRefinery By-Products / Petroleum / LPGNaphthaCoal / HydrocarbonGasoline / Jet Kerosene / Fuel OilsPower or ElectricityOther
Asset ManagementBrokerageCommodity TradingExchange / Trading PlatformFinancing / LoansInvestments / AcquisitionsInsuranceOther
ChemicalsFertilizers / Agri ProductsCrude OilRefinery By-Products / Petroleum / LPGCoal / HydrocarbonLNG / Natural GasGasoline / Jet Kerosene / Fuel OilsNaphthaGeneral Shipping / Ship BrokingOther Consumer Products and ServicesOther Industrial or B2B Services
Polymer compounders / MasterbatchesAuto Parts / Automobile / TransportFoams / Insulation MaterialsElectronicsFood and BeverageFurniture / Appliances / Home FinishingsMedical / PharmaceuticalPaints / Adhesives / Dyes / Pigments / Epoxy ResinPersonal Care / Soap / Cleaning ProductsPackaging Materials / Plastics OEMPipes / Tubes / Gaskets / Sealants / CablesPulp / PaperRubber Products / TyresTextiles / Yarns / Garments / FabricsOther Consumer Products and ServicesOther Industrial or B2B Services
Crude OilLNG / Natural GasOil Refinery / Refinery Gases / PetroleumNaphthaCoal / HydrocarbonGasoline / Jet Kerosene / Fuel OilsPower or Electricity ProviderMining / Metals / MineralsRenewable Energy / BiofuelsOther
AcidsAlcoholsAromaticsBase Oil / Lubes / Motor OilButadiene / C4 / ElastomersFertilizers / Agri ProductsFibre ChainIntermediatesOlefinsOleochemicalsPhenolics, Chlor-alkaliPolymers / Polyolefins / ThermoplasticsSolventsSurfactantsUpstream FeedstockPolyurethane chainSpecialty ChemicalsOther
Crude OilLNG / Natural GasOil Refinery / Refinery Gases / PetroleumNaphthaCoal / HydrocarbonGasoline / Jet Kerosene / Fuel OilsMining / Metals / MineralsAcidsAlcoholsAromaticsBase Oil / Lubes / Motor OilButadiene / C4 / ElastomersFertilizers / Agri ProductsFibre Chain IntermediatesOlefinsOleochemicalsPhenolics, Chlor-alkaliPolymers / Polyolefins / ThermoplasticsSurfactantsSolventsOther
Oil Refinery / Refinery Gases / PetroleumNaphthaAcidsAlcoholsAromaticsBase Oil / Lubes / Motor OilButadiene / C4 / ElastomersFertilizers / Agri ProductsFibre ChainIntermediatesOlefinsOleochemicalsPhenolics, Chlor-alkaliPolymers / Polyolefins / ThermoplasticsSurfactantsSolventsOther
Business SchoolUniversityOther
ConsultingEngineering / ContractorResearch / Information ServiceLaboratory / R&D FacilitySoftware / Technology ServiceOther Consumer Products and ServicesOther Industrial or B2B Services

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Please see your content below:



Year-end cheer for urea but challenges await in 2020 remains soft.

Senior Editor Manager Deepika Thapliyal discusses the outlook for the global urea market in 2020. Prices are likely to remain under pressure in the coming year, with Indian import requirements dictating price levels. Weather issues may also plague import hubs, with the sluggish global economy additionally having implications for demand.



European phenol and acetone – out of the storm but headwinds remain

European phenol and acetone enter the new decade with cautious optimism after a tumultuous year that saw an acetone oversupply push prices down to more than 3-year lows, squeezing producer margins and putting pressure on phenol price discussions.

ICIS markets reporter Fergus Jensen discusses the price trends for both materials, noting that their performance in 2020 will depend on whether producers can maintain low output levels.



Phosphates market looks ahead to 2020 following challenging year

2019 has been a difficult year for the phosphates market characterised by oversupply globally and lacklustre demand.

Senior phosphates editor Sylvia Traganida talks about the main issues affecting the phosphates market and the global outlook for 2020.



M&A outlook weighed by economic downturn, uncertainty

Expectations for strong mergers and acquisitions (M&A) dealflow at the start of 2019 on the back of strong cashflows, resilient valuation multiples and voracious private equity appetite cooled through the year on the back of economic and political uncertainty.

Despite a flurry of late-2019 deals, the environment is likely to continue to be bearish through the early months of 2020 at least, according to ICIS deputy Europe news editor Tom Brown, speaking at the end of December 2019.

Download the Outlook here

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