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Facing the Feedstock Challenge

1:15 PM MDT | October 31, 2007 | Robert Westervelt Robw@Chemweek.Com

Chemical makers continue to struggle with high and volatile feedstock costs as third-quarter earnings reports demonstrate. Forecasts that energy and feedstock costs would moderate in the second half have not materialized as crude oil, propane, and ethane continue to notch up to new record highs. Conditions overall are solid but producers are still trying to recover soaring feedstock costs. “Margins [in the third quarter] did not expand to levels that we believe reflect the supply/demand balance,” says Lyondell Chemical chairman and CEO Dan Smith...

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