US OLEFINS: FIRST-HALF 2012—Heavy turnaround activity pushed ethylene production to 3-year low

Dan Lippe Petral Consulting Co. Houston Microeconomic factors (downtime for turnarounds and trends in production costs from heavy feeds, for example) rather than macroeconomic trends during first-half 2012 were more important influences on short-term trends in US ethylene production and profitability, as was the case during second-half 2011. "Big picture" questions certainly dominated headlines during first-half 2012. From financial and economic perspectives, European sovereign debt was the crisis du jour in 2011 and was again at center stage during first-half 2012. Europe's problems with sovereign debt, however, had little direct impact on demand for primary petrochemicals in N...

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