Fast Market Research recommends "Israel Petrochemicals Report Q2 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/30/2013 -- Israel is exposed to key developed markets where growth is faltering and is now seeking to maximise opportunities elsewhere. Nevertheless, industry consolidation, coupled with currency depreciation, has affected the structure of the Israeli petrochemicals market and this could balance out the cost disadvantages that arise because there are so few sources of indigenous feedstock.
Although faltering growth in key developed export markets will continue to weigh on the relatively large external sector, growing diversification and exposure to faster-growing emerging markets, as well as ongoing product specialisation, should support Israel's petrochemicals industry. Much will depend on Israel's external competitiveness. Israel's weakening external position has put pressure on the shekel over the medium term and this is expected to continue. As a result, we expect the currency to continue depreciating, enabling chemicals exporters to maintain competitive prices.
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Naphtha costs will also be crucial. The theoretical surplus between supply and demand in the global oil market will grow over the coming years, precipitating a decline in the price of oil and a corresponding decline in naphtha feedstock costs. BMI forecasts a decline in crude prices in 2013, which, together with depreciation, should ensure an easing of costs through the petrochemicals value chain and bolster domestic production.
Over the last quarter, BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- Carmel Olefins completed a four-week maintenance shutdown at its petrochemicals complex in Haifa in early February 2012. The shut-down compounded rising import prices as producers in Europe and the Middle East sought to push increased costs onto buyers. The reopening of the facilities should ease prices on the local market throughout the rest of Q113, thereby stimulating sales volumes. The opening of a new hydrocracker at the Haifa refinery will also boosts long-term naphtha availability and improve margins.
- The Israeli chemicals market is set for stronger growth in 2013, in line with an increase in economic growth of 3.1% - although this is a slight revision of our 3.3% forecast last quarter due to heightened political risk. Growth in domestic polymers consumption will be supported by a sharp 6.2% increase in construction growth, prompted by an increase in residential construction. This is in large part due to pentup demand but also because of falling interest rates and the subsequent impact on mortgages. This should boost polyvinyl chloride (PVC) consumption. Meanwhile, industrial production is set to rise 8.7%, providing a strong context for domestic market growth. At the same time, exports are expected to assist with manufacturing activity.
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