Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/13/2014 -- Indonesia's growth and its market size, with a population of 240mn, continues to attract investment. While a significant increase in petrochemicals capacities is expected over coming years, there remain significant risks, particularly the impact of new low-cost ethane-based petrochemicals production in the US and the differential between ethane and Indonesia's principle feedstock naphtha, according to BMI's latest Indonesia Petrochemicals Report.
The market trends point to a less bullish short-term scenario than BMI had previously predicted, although Indonesia will remain a significant growth market in South East Asia over the medium term. Indonesia's petrochemicals market will not escape the effects of the country's external imbalance, high inflation, and rising borrowing costs on economic activity. As the economic slowdown continues to play out, we have downgraded our 2013 real GDP forecast slightly to 5.7% (from 5.8% previously), and maintain our expectations for the rate of expansion to ease further to 5.4% in 2014. While the trends are placing petrochemicals demand under pressure, Indonesia's market remains relatively robust and with local production unable to cover domestic demand the country will remain a significant net importer of petrochemicals products in Asia.
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Key views for the sector:
- A joint venture between PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) and Pertamina to set up a fully integrated petrochemical complex should commence commercial operations in 2018, if the partners agree to going ahead. The project could include a 1mntpa naphtha cracker with downstream capacities of 400,000tpa of polyethylene, 350,000tpa of polypropylene and 200,000tpa of PVC, which means margins will be closely related to crude prices. The impact of ethane-based US petrochemicals on the Asian market may make the project uneconomic. Bearing in mind the risks, BMI has not included the project's capacities in the medium-term forecast.
- The restart of the TPPI complex in East Java in Q413 after two years of being out of operation has added 550,000tpa of paraxylene to national capacities as well as raising the local availability of naphtha by 2.8mn barrels.
- In BMI's Asia Pacific Petrochemicals Risk/Reward Ratings (RRRs), Indonesia ranks 10th out of 12 countries with 51.8 points, unchanged since the previous quarter. It sits 10.2 points behind India and 9.5 points ahead of the Philippines. Plans for capacity expansion, coupled with improved risk, could raise the country's rating, but BMI thinks it highly unlikely that it will close the gap with other Asian states.
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