OGJ FOCUS: Global ethylene surplus

Severe global capacity oversupply will characterize the ethylene industry through 2011. This outlook rests on three factors:1. The collapse in energy prices at the end of 2008 caused destocking in various value chains and a severe contraction in total demand.2. A global economic recession in 2008-09 hampered overall demand growth.3. Start-up of large ethylene capacity in the Middle East and Asia is planned. The addition of this capacity has brought surplus ethylene capacity to more than 15% of demand, which would typically lead to a severe decrease in margins for the industry as a whole, especially on the heels of such a deep recession.Various factors, however, such as falling feedstock p...

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