BLOG: Petrochemicals demand and the pandemic: we continue to stumble around in the dark

Author: ICIS Editorial

2021/04/14

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. We remain completely in the dark on petrochemicals demand and we will remain in the dark if we continue to rely on the old ways of measuring consumption.

Take as examples polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene which have benefited from the pandemic-driven rise in demand for takeaway. How long will this last?

Critically, also, we must understand the extent to which government stimulus will continue to shape markets. How much will further government handouts be spent as opposed to save? What will be the scale and impact of infrastructure spending?

We need entirely new demand-growth models if we are going to get anywhere as the slide below indicates.

Today’s blog considers wide range of potential outcomes for US polyethylene demand in 2021-2025 because of unprecedented levels of uncertainty.

Editor’s note: This blog post is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS.