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Industry Trends

Global industrial production expanded at a meager pace in 2018 after growing at a fairly robust rate in 2018. Both advanced and emerging economies contributed to the global industrial slowdown in 2019. Among major advanced economies, industrial production growth decelerated significantly in the US and became negative in the Eurozone and Japan. China, the largest emerging economy, also recorded a slowdown in industrial production growth in 2019. 

Petrochemical Industry Trends

Global petrochemical capacity continued to grow during 2019, driven mainly by expansions in the US and China. Increasing availability of highly competitive US feedstock led to increases in production and market share for US exports around the globe. These increases in capacity led to more supply and higher competition with negative impact on prices. Global operating rates were also impacted as it retreated from above 80% level to slightly below this level. On the other hand, global demand grew at lower pace due to persistent low global GDP growth and uncertainty from the trade dispute, geopolitical tensions and Brexit.

Upstream Trends

Compared to 2018, oil prices declined by approximately 10% and averaged around mid-60s per barrel for Brent. Naphtha prices also witnessed declines by around 15% compared to 2018 due to weak global demand and weaker oil prices. US Ethane declined by more than 30% as a result of improving supply and the end of major logistic bottlenecks, and natural gas prices declined by around 15% compared to 2018. Liquefied petroleum gas in Asia declined by around 17% as demand weakened with the global economic slowdown. 

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