The financial crisis began a decade ago, yet production of the key “building block products” for the European petrochemical industry has still not recovered to its pre-Crisis peak, as the chart shows (based on new APPE data): Combined production of ethylene, propylene and butadiene (olefins) peaked at 39.7 million tonnes in 2007 A […]
An ageing population and record annual levels of oil prices create massive headwinds for Europe’s petrochemical producers. One means demand growth is much reduced from the SuperCycle. The other means these lower volumes cost more to produce. What a pity, you might say, that the industry is not part of the financial sector. Then it […]
Nobody was expecting very much from Q4 ethylene production in Europe, as several plants had been taken offline in December due to lack of demand. And yet it is still possible to be disappointed by the actual outcome as reported by APPE. As the chart above shows: Q4 production at 4.4MT was the lowest since the […]
The latest EU olefin operating rates (OR%) were very disappointing, even though they were not a surprise. As the chart shows, ethylene rates were just 81% (based on APPE data). They were far below the 90%+ rates that were normal before the crisis beg…
The above chart would have seemed unbelievable at any time in the past 30 years. It shows the performance of propylene and butadiene relative to ethylene.
Not because it shows butadiene prices racing ahead relative to ethylene (green line). This hap…