April 2001

Trends and Resources

HP Impact: HPImpact: Chemical price, margin forecasts to 2005

"Chemical prices are softening, even as feedstock costs remain high," says Fred Peterson of Probe Economics (www.probeeconomics.com). In a recent assessment, he notes that it is too early in the indus..

Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

"Chemical prices are softening, even as feedstock costs remain high," says Fred Peterson of Probe Economics (www.probeeconomics.com). In a recent assessment, he notes that it is too early in the industry cycle for a true profit recovery. "Real" recovery will have to wait a year or two. Previously, Peterson had identified five factors that were temporarily inflating chemical prices and profits: Oil prices have doubled. Economy has been very strong, especially in the U.S. and Asia. Low plastics prices in the recent past have boosted demand. Expansions have been delayed or canceled, especially in Asia. Inventories probably have accumulated downstream. However, most of thes

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