Asian petchems demand surge

RIYADH - Asian demand for petrochemicals is expected to exceed the combined demand of the United States and Europe within two years, Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said on Monday.

By (Reuters)

Published: Mon 31 Mar 2008, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:27 PM

Petrochemicals producers in the Middle East, where cheap access to energy encouraged large investment in the industry, will benefit from the expected demand surge, said SABIC Chief Executive Mohamed al-Mady.

“Growth in global demand was a catalyst for growth in these industries, especially in China and Pacific Asia ... where demand is the expected to exceed within two years its level in the United States and Europe put together,” he told a conference.

Output from the Middle East will account for 17 percent of global output by the end of 2010 against 10 percent at the beginning of 2000, said Mady, whose firm is the world’s largest petrochemical company by market value.

“Growth in global demand was as fast as growth in production capacities,” he said.

Demand in China is growing at an annual 10 percent for polyolefins, at 9 percent for high-density polyethylene, 12 percent for low-density polyethylene and 10 percent for polypropylene, Mady said.

SABIC expects its polyethylene exports to reach 10 million tonnes by the end of 2010, which is 120 percent above its level in 2004, Mady added.

Asia is expected to take 80 percent of the polyethylene exports, Mady said without giving comparative figures.

SABIC, the world’s fourth-largest producer of polyolefins, hoped to become the second-largest in 2015, said Mady. SABIC is the third-largest producer of polyethylene and fourth-largest polypropylene producer.

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