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Colombia Petrochemicals Report 2013 - New Market Research Report

Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Colombia Petrochemicals Report 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/16/2013 -- BMI's Colombia Petrochemicals Report raises concerns over the country's failure to realise plans for petrochemicals capacity that could add value to domestic oil and gas output. The report assesses which sectors will be in the best position to ride out the economic downturn and analyses the investment plans of local players as they seek to improve competitiveness and boost sales.

Ecopetrol has mooted a number of petrochemicals expansion plans in recent years, but without making any firm commitments. The most significant expansion has been at Propilco's two polypropylene (PP) plants, which were to have combined capacities of 500,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) by end-2012, up 45,000tpa since 2009. While Ecopetrol's acquisition of Propilco in 2008 enabled vertical integration with a propylene feedstock source, there are no firm plans for expansion in PP. Capacities are unlikely to change over the next five years unless Ecopetrol's unconfirmed plans come to fruition within this timeframe. Ecopetrol indicated at end-2011 that it was looking to build a new cracker with associated polyethylene (PE) and PP facilities near Cartagena, which would also supply propylene to Propilco. Aromatics and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) have also been suggested for the site. The project would cost an estimated US$4bn and a tentative start-up date has been proposed for 2017.

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In terms of current operations, BMI estimates that basic chemicals output shrank 0.5% in 2012 amid weakening global economic conditions and a decline in GDP growth from 5.9% in 2011 to 4.4%. Private consumption is under pressure, reflected in zero retail sales growth in mid-2012, although it should improve in 2013 with private consumption growth increasing as the authorities engage in monetary easing.

BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:

- Household deleveraging will lead to a slowdown in retail performance that will hit PE and PET segments, while the export-oriented PP will be affected by the downturn in external markets. Overall, BMI expects zero or very modest growth in polymers consumption in 2013.
- BMI does not believe that any further expansion is viable until the completion of the expansion of the refineries at Barrancabermeja and Cartagena, which is due in 2014 or 2015.
- In BMI's Americas Petrochemicals Risk/Reward Ratings (RRRs), Colombia is in seventh place, up one place, with its score increasing 5.0 points since 2012 to 43.2 points due to improvements in a broad range of risk and reward ratings.

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