APLA ’13: US polymers demand up 4-6% in 2014 – consultant

17 November 2013 15:22 Source:ICIS News

CARTAGENA, Colombia (ICIS)--US polymers demand is expected to grow by 4-6% in 2014, a consultant said on Sunday, also predicting that profitability in the US industry will increase next year.

Global demand growth is also expected to be good, but demand for US exports might drop because of capacity growth in other countries, said Robert Bauman, president of Polymer Consulting International.

But any drop in export demand is likely to be compensated by growth within the US market, the consultant said, adding that the domestic market absorbs around 80% of the US polymer production.

US producers prioritise the domestic market, Bauman said, noting that each percentage point of demand growth at home represents a 3-4% drop in output available for exports.

With demand expected to increase, any type of cracker outage in US industry next year is likely to cause an immediate spike in US prices.

That includes derivative prices for both ethylene and propylene, he said on the sidelines of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting.

Oil prices will continue to rise in 2014 while the US feedstock advantage will remain the same or potentially increase, Bauman added.

The APLA conference ends on Tuesday.

By William Lemos