Global polyolefins markets continue to shift east

2011-4-28 15:38:04

Global markets for polyolefins will continue to grow, but the world’s balance will increasingly shift from North America and Europe to Asia and the Middle East.

Global polyolefin production should increase 5 percent a year from 2011-2014, said Hogan, managing director of the olefins and polyolefins unit of Noble Group, a global supply-chain management firm based in Singapore. But that 5 percent rate won’t satisfy global demand, which is growing rapidly in the Asian consumer market, he said at the forum.

“We’re seeing a dramatic change in global polyolefins,” said Hogan, whose career of 20-plus years in plastics and petrochemicals includes stints with Nova Chemicals Corp. and Arco Chemical Co. “There’s been increased investment in the Middle East and Asia, and consolidation in Western Europe and North America."

China already has become the world’s largest polyethylene consumer, with a 23 percent market share, said Hogan. Developed Europe holds 19 percent, with the U.S. in third place with 15 percent. Chinese per capita PE consumption is increasing, while U.S. per capita PE use peaked in 1999 and now is declining, he said.


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