NPRA 2010: Recovery Patterns Differ by Region, Product

March 29, 2010 - San Antonio, TX

From Chemical Week, March 29, 2010

By Lindsey Bewley

The petrochemical industry is facing what may be the deepest trough in 25 years, but there is hope for recovery, Lynne Lachenmyer, senior v.p./basic chemicals, intermediates and synthetics at ExxonMobil Chemical, told attendees at the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association’s (NPRA) 35th annual International Petrochemical Conference, currently being held in San Antonio, TX.

“As an industry, we’re having to face reduced demand and inventory destocking. However, we are cautiously optimistic that destocking is coming to an end,” Lachenmyer told attendees at the Chemical Heritage Foundation/NPRA Symposium on Entrpreneurship and Innovation in the Petrochemical Industry at the NPRA meeting. “There are short-term challenges for us all, and recovery is likely to be slow.”

“Recovery will not be uniform,” she says. “It will be different by end use and sector.” The food and beverage and textile sectors were less affected by the recession, Lachenmyer says. But the automotive, construction and durables sectors were hit much harder, and demand will be slower to recover, she says.

Long-term recovery in GDP is tied to consumer products, and consumer confidence is an important part of recovery, Lachenmyer adds.

The outlook for the petchem industry is strong because of the essential role that chemicals play in our daily lives,” she says. “Most people don’t realize how our products help them day in and day out.” . . .

Link to CW (Subscription required)

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