March 2010

The global petrochemical industry is facing an avalanche of new production capacity, largely owing to cost-advantageous feedstock. Alpen Capital estimates additional ethylene and polyethylene production capacity of about 32 million metric tons (mmt) and 23 mmt respectively over the next six years from 139 mmt and 90 mmt in 2009. The supply demand mismatch is expected to worsen in the short run, but gradually improve as the global economy recovers and more downstream projects come on-stream.

The majority of the world´s petrochemical capacity growth is concentrated in the Gulf, which now accounts for around 10% of global supply. The region has natural competitive advantages in access to cheap feedstock and being located relatively close to demand-dense Asian countries.

According to Alpen Capital, the GCC healthcare service sector will witness major improvements in the quality of services provided and in competitiveness on a global scale. The region’s endeavors in setting up integrated healthcare facilities in the form of healthcare cities and medical hubs, coupled with continuous improvement in technology and infrastructure, will significantly improve the availability and quality of healthcare services in the region.

2009 was defined as a year of recovery, when petrochemicals prices moved up from the cyclical trough of 2008. The price trend has also been encouraging over the past quarter. The price trend in 2010 will be a function of downstream sector growth, global economic recovery and new supply initiatives overcoming feedstock, technical and human skill-set constraints.

For more details please click here to access the complete version of the Gulf Petrochemicals Industry Report.