IHS Chemical Week
VIEWPOINT

Asia olefins revamp

6:07 AM MDT | April 17, 2015

Japan’s chemical industry had a solid 2014 despite the anemic conditions in the broader Japanese economy. A weaker yen and cheaper crude, which has improved the relative competitiveness of Japan’s high-cost naphtha-based production, are the reasons for the improved performance (p. 21)....


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Change endures

Former LyondellBasell CEO James Gallogly told attendees at AFPM’s International Petrochemical Conference that he maintains a print of Texas artist G. Harvey’s “When Cowboys Don’t Change” as a reminder of how quickly circumstances and fortunes can reverse. The painting shows a group of cowboys riding alongside oil derricks and early automobiles at the dawn of the dawn of the car—and oil—ages....

Petrochemical outlook

Global petrochemical makers are still sorting through a correction in energy markets. As CW’s cover story shows, North America’s natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) remain strongly advantaged, but with oil prices at half their previous level, the returns expected for some projects may not be as compelling or reliable as they once were (p. 19)....

Energy-chemical intersect

Former ExxonMobil Chemical president Stephen Pryor noted that chemicals and energy continue to converge, with chemicals set to play an ever larger role, as he accepted the Chemical Industry Medal of the Society of Chemical Industry’s American section last week in New York....

Paints brighten

Producers are positive about the outlook for the global paints and coatings market, as our cover story this week shows (p. 21)....

Activists advance

For better or worse, activists are likely to be a recurring theme in industry. Even with recent high-profile spats involving blue chips names, such as Air Products, Dow Chemical, and DuPont, activist activity is likely to expand to more companies. Activists are raising funds at an aggressive pace, and high-profile campaigns against chemical makers may draw others to the sector....

Shake it off

US chemical makers continue to report positive results for the fourth quarter with solid US demand and advantaged feedstocks offsetting muted volume growth and weaker pricing (p. 7)....

Quarterly call

The 2015 outlook should become clearer over the next two weeks as the majority of US chemical makers report fourth-quarter earnings and outline expectations for the year ahead....

Demand steady despite oil

The decline in crude has been swift, but producers say demand should shrug off the impact of lower crude....

Outlook improves

Chemical demand is expected to strengthen in 2015, with growth anticipated to exceed 3.0% in both the United States and the overall global market....

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