April 2006

Special Report: Petrochemical Developments

Petrochemical and polymers outlook – 2006 and beyond

For this industry, the forecast is optimistic. Yet, energy prices can dim future demand and profits

Swanson, A. B., Nexant, Inc.

Turbulence has characterized the global petrochemical industry in the last two years. Rising and volatile crude oil prices have heavily impacted feedstock and fuel costs. This has been a global phenomenon as traded oil prices have surged. Additionally, the North American industry has experienced similar natural gas price hikes as supplies have tightened, with these prices rolling through to natural gas liquids (NGL) prices. Yet at the same time, the industry has managed to achieve profitability superior to that in the early 2000s when hydrocarbon prices were lower. FEEDSTOCK ISSUES Tightening supply demand balances in crude oil – driven by strong growth in demand in China and India,

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