PODCAST: Petrochemicals face toughest month as crisis drags on

Author: Will Beacham


BARCELONA (ICIS)--The global petrochemical industry faces its toughest month so far as the coronavirus deepens disruption of normal demand patterns while supply is also threatened.

  • Challenge of managing integrated refinery/cracker operations in this phase of the crisis
  • At least one third of European chemical capacity potentially threatened by refinery closures/restrictions
  • Demand for petchems could be down by around one third globally
  • Normal seasonal trends are disrupted, making forecasting impossible
  • Europe mono ethylene glycol (MEG) prices at record low levels
  • Influx of imports threatens to overwhelm storage
  • Impact of renewed trade war on China
  • Expect destocking in China as recovery in production is ahead of recovery in demand
  • Central banks have mismanaged financial crises since 2000
  • Overcapacity in energy and chemicals can be traced back to central bank interventions

Europe chemical capacity threatened by refinery closures and restrictions

Source: ICIS Supply & Demand database

Listen to this podcast interview with International eChem chairman Paul Hodges, ICIS Asia senior consultant John Richardson, ICIS Insight editor Nigel Davis, and ICIS senior editor for MEG, Melissa Hurley.

Read more analysis of chemical market trends in this week's edition of ICIS Chemical Business.

ICIS is organising regular updates to help bring the industry community together in this time of crisis. Register here. 

Read John Richardson's Asia Chemical Connections blog.

Read Paul Hodges ICIS Chemicals and the Economy blog.

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Podcast interview by Will Beacham