North America’s second-biggest ethylene maker LyondellBasell Industries NV estimates global demand for ethylene to outpace supply additions through 2015, leading to shortages. Ethylene demand will rise by at least 70 bln lbs through 2015, driven mostly by Asia, requiring 35 new crackers. No more than 24 crackers will be built in that period, leading to shortages and wider margins for producers. There should be a demand kick-up and a supply shortage and, as a result, a peak” in profit margins.
Low natural-gas prices relative to oil will continue to benefit LyondellBasell’s U.S. plants as more ethane is extracted from shale gas through 2013, providing enough raw materials to supply five new crackers