ChemOrbis Europe Petrochemicals Conference: Mid-Eastern petrochemical industry shifting focus
Emmelius started his speech by pointing to the drastic fall in Brent crude oil prices over the past year and the resulting downward pressure on global feedstock costs. Lower oil prices are resulting in a significant improvement in naphtha cracking competitiveness while introducing uncertainty for assessing the benefits of alternative feedstocks. Emmelius stated that the Middle East is focusing on integration to maintain competitiveness and added that butane is projected to hold a larger share in the region’s ethylene production by 2020.
Regarding polyolefins, Emmelius reported that Middle Eastern PP capacity is expected to witness little to no change in the next few years as on purpose investments are driving China towards self sufficiency for propylene and PP. Consequently, Middle Eastern PP exports to China are projected to decline notably from 2016 to 2020.
Emmelius noted that Turkey holds the largest share in polyolefins demand in the Middle East, followed by Saudi Arabia and Iran, from which sanctions will start to be lifted gradually as of early 2016. Nexant estimates that it will take around 3-4 years for the Iranian petrochemicals industry to return to pre-sanctions levels.
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