FIRST-HALF 2009: US petchems experience rebound with new year

While economic activity in North America remained weak during first and second-quarters of 2009, petrochemical industry developments call into question the most bearish views of a protracted global economic recession for 2009-10.Specifically, ethylene production began to rebound during first-quarter 2009, and the rebound was stronger than forecast in fourth-quarter 2008. Exports of all major ethylene derivatives rebounded in first-quarter 2009.These trends indicate that worst-case scenarios need to be replaced with moderately optimistic and more realistic forecasts for third and fourth-quarters 2009.Feed slate trendsEthylene industry’s demand for fresh feed averaged 1.31 million b/d...

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