Asian demand for petrochemicals is expected to exceed the combined demand of the United States and Europe within two years, as per a statement by Saudi Basic Industries Corp. Petrochemicals producers in the Middle East, where cheap access to energy encouraged large investment in the industry, will benefit from the expected demand surge.
Output from the Middle East will account for 17% of global output by the end of 2010 against 10% at the beginning of 2000. Demand in China is growing at an annual 10% for polyolefins, 9% for high-density polyethylene, 12% for low-density polyethylene and 10% for polypropylene.
SABIC expects its polyethylene exports to reach 10 mln tons by the end of 2010, which is 120% above its level in 2004. Asia is expected to account for 80% of the polyethylene exports.