Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/17/2014 -- No major expansion is expected in the Kuwaiti petrochemical sector until 2017 when Olefins III will boost ethylene capacity to 3.1mn tonnes per annum (tpa), while polyethylene will nearly double to 1.6mntpa. Nevertheless, BMI's Kuwait Petrochemicals Report predicts an increasingly competitive external market environment, although the country's industry looks capable of meeting the challenge.
The success of the Kuwaiti petrochemicals industry will be conditioned by the Asian markets. We have consistently highlighted that China's petrochemical product imports could follow a downward trend, both a result of slower growth and an increase in domestic capacity as China slowly becomes a net petrochemicals products exporter. As the world's largest consumer and producer, slower Chinese demand would loosen up the global oil products market. At the same time, US capacities are set to soar, posing a major challenge to Kuwait's exports in Asia. Nevertheless, the Kuwaiti petrochemicals industry is proving resilient in a highly competitive market and will retain operating rates even as Asian markets such as India and China become more self-sufficient.
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BMI has the following forecasts/views:
- Household consumption will follow broad economic trends, sustaining the retail sector that underpins the consumption of many plastic goods, including packaging.
- Stronger growth rates will be seen in the construction sector, thereby stimulating consumption of plastic building materials, particularly PP piping and PVC.
- Kuwait's petrochemicals rating is 60.8 points this quarter, up 0.3 points since the previous quarter due to a modest rise in its country risk score. It lies 0.5 points behind Qatar and 1.7 points ahead of Iran, in fourth place in our regional Risk/Reward Ratings ranking for the Middle East and North Africa.
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