Asian petrochemical majors anticipate a healthier performance in Q3-09 as compared to performance in the second quarter as the global economy gradually recovers. China grew at a faster rate of 8.9% July to September, as compared to a 7.9% clip in the June quarter, as per ICIS. Analysts expect China to post a stronger economic growth in the fourth quarter, backed by the government’s fiscal stimulus and heavy lending. This should buoy up the country’s demand for petrochemical products.
Peter Huntsman, CEO of Huntsman Corp, told ICIS news that he was positive on the prospects of “those differentiated or specialty businesses that are geographically diversified” but warned that commodity chemicals such as styrenics, polyethylene and polypropylene “would be hit very hard because of the excess capacity that is coming on in the Middle East”. “[In the] short-term, you will continue to see Asia doing well. Europe will be gradually improving and North America would be very sluggish. “I do think global recovery will take us longer than most people think,” said Huntsman, adding that he saw no turnaround taking place in North America in the next six months.