Oversupply, geopolitical factors, the sharp plunge of crude prices, further slowdown of the Chinese economy and changing trade flows brought about by India and China's gradual move towards self-sufficiency are just some of the common themes to affect our Chemical Industry in 2015.
Oil prices have fallen sharply since late 2014 when they hovered around US$100 per barrel. In recent weeks they have dropped into the mid $20s, prompting some commentators to point out that the contents of a barrel of oil are now worth less than a third of the price of the actual steel drum that it comes in!
The US dollar has also been stronger which is at odds with the historical relationship with Oil, possibly because the US shale revolution has left the US less dependent on foreign oil these days.
And in the Plastics Industry?Most players in southeast Asia are adopting a cautious outlook on the PE market, opting to monitor China's domestic market and await a clearer price direction
Spot prices of imported polyethylene (PE) grades in southeast Asia are expected to remain stable-to-soft in the first quarter of 2016, with no strong demand recovery expected ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in the key China market.
Southeast (SE) Asia polypropylene (PP) price downtrend is expected to come to an end as market participants say they feel values will hit the bottom soon though demand is likely to remain soft in the first quarter of 2016.