The forecast for world oil demand growth in 2012 was revised

(ICIS) -- The forecast for world oil demand growth in 2012 has been revised down by 100,000 bbl/day to 1.1m bbl/day, because of a slowdown in the global economy, OPEC said on Tuesday.
Global oil demand in 2012 is now expected to average 88.9m bbl/day, said OPEC. Economic uncertainty has spilled over to non-Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries following the eurozone debt crisis, which has negatively impacted world oil demand, it added.

⌠In 2011, the global economy entered a phase of increased uncertainty. While underlying demand in the real economy has improved, the outlook has weakened over the course of the year, OPEC said in its December monthly oil market report. "This was mainly due to the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone, persistently high unemployment in the advanced economies, and inflation risk in the emerging economies," it added.

OPEC said that the negative economic turbulence is affecting China, the second-largest oil consumer in the world. ⌠Slow oil demand, initiated in the OECD region, has moved to China and India, leading to a new downward revision of 100,000 bbl/day in next year's oil demand growth forecast, said OPEC.

OPEC said retail petroleum prices are also negatively affecting oil demand across the globe. ⌠The new downward revision is not restricted to the OECD region only, but is spreading to the non-OECD region as well. The transportation and industrial sectors are the ones most affected," it added.
OPEC said the use of oil in both sectors is noticeably slowing down worldwide.


PVC imports to Russia in November declined to 21 thous. tonnes

(MRC) -- A weak demand for finished products made of PVC, sufficient availability of the resin in the market and low prices from Russian producers resulted in reduction of PVC imports to Russia. In November, import volumes of suspension PVC fell to 20.8 thousand tonnes, according to MRC DataScope.

Since September, PVC-S imports have been gradually reducing, due to a low demand for finished products made of PVC, oversupply of the resin and low prices from Russian producers. By mid-November, the demand for finished products made of PVC had fallen sharply.

In early December, the market of finished products have boosted a bit, but a seasonal factor still has a major impact in the market. This month, quite a lot of Russian converters refused to purchase PVC, some companies reduced purchases by many times in comparison with November.

In advance of these factors, in September the companies-importers significantly reduced their purchases of PVC in external markets. As a result, imports of PVC-S to the Russian market had fallen to 20.8 thousand tonnes by the end of last month.

Supplies of the resin from the U.S. fell to 8.6 thousand tonnes (a record volume of imports fell on May 2011 - about 36 thousand tonnes). The imports of acetylene PVC from China fell to 600 tonnes.

In general, over the 11months imports of PVC-S to the Russian market exceeded 437 thousand tonnes, which was by 35% more, year on year. After two weeks of December, the imports of suspension to the Russian market made 9.3 thousand tonnes. Supplies from the U.S. amounted to 5.8 thousand tonnes, Ukraine - 1.9 thousand tonnes, China - a bit more than 700 tonnes.


DuPont CEO criticised news media outlets for reporting "rumours"

(ICIS) -- DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman on Tuesday criticised news media outlets for reporting of what she said were rumours and speculation that the company planned to sell chemical coatings business.
Kullman would not confirm or deny such plans. ⌠I think this [reporting] is terrible, Kullman told analysts during a webcast investor event. ⌠Quite frankly, I am a little appalled about the [┘] responsibility of certain, you know, media outlets, she said in responding to an analyst who was seeking her comment about the future of the coatings business.

Kullman said DuPont was putting all of its 13 businesses to a ⌠rigorous portfolio process, with very clear goals for each business, ⌠and we expect them to meet them.
⌠I love all my children equally, until I don't love them. That does bother my own children, but in business it seems to work, Kullman said. ⌠Time will tell about any disposals DuPont may or may not decide on, she added.

In October, a newswire service reported that DuPont was seeking buyers for its performance coatings division.


China's styrene market to remain subdued for several weeks

(ICIS) -- China's styrene monomer (SM) market is expected to remain subdued for several weeks because of weak downstream demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, industry sources said on Wednesday. Trade in the normally active SM market in east China has slowed as traders have lowered their purchasing volumes in December to maintain their margins, a major trader in east China said. In addition, there were few concluded deals because of weak demand from end-users as the year-end is the traditional off-peak season, the trader added.

The Lunar New Year in 2012 is earlier [than usual], so we do not have to buy SM for production because our expandable polystyrene (EPS) unit will be shut during the holiday, a domestic EPS producer said.
The domestic spot prices of SM fell to yuan (CNY) 9,700-9,750/tonne (USD1,523-1,530/tonne) ex-tank Zhangjiagang on 13 December, from 9,950-10,000/tonne ex-tank Zhangjiagang at the beginning of November, with a few deals heard done, according to data from Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

Most traders and end-users will be unable to conclude deals in the second half of December because of China's tight monetary policies and the traditional lull period in the market, a second east China-based trader said. ⌠I may not buy any large-volume cargoes during the second half of December, the second trader said. ⌠If I were to buy, I will have to apply for special approval from my [management], so it is better for me to wait until next year, the trader added.

The domestic prices of SM in east China are expected to hover at the current levels during the second half of December, the industry sources said.


GPCA '11: Access to technology is key in Middle East - KPMG chief

(ICIS) -- Access to technology will be the main issue for Middle East petrochemical producers as they shift strategy to push downstream into value-added chemicals, Paul Harnick, chief operating officer of KPMG's chemicals and performance technologies practice, said on Tuesday.
The Arabian Gulf region "can sort out most things", he said, "such as infrastructure, logistics and raw materials, but it needs to acquire the technology".

KPMG, a global management consultancy, is launching a special report at this year's Annual GPCA Forum, entitled "The GCC in 2020: Downstream expansion of the Middle East chemical industry". The report, which forms the latest issue of KPMG's Reaction chemical magazine, has been developed with the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemical Association (GPCA) and is co-branded as a KPMG/GPCA publication.

Said Harnick: "The report is very timely as the move downstream is getting much more important for Gulf producers. This is being driven by two things: regional demographics that are seeing growing populations and an increasing need to create jobs, and the desire to add yet more value to the region's oil and gas production."

Looking at the four main petrochemical producing regions, Harnick said that the Middle East continues to have an advantage with feedstock provision, while Asia has rapidly growing markets, and Europe and North America have an advantage in technology. This presents a win-win' situation for Western technology holders willing and able to create joint ventures with Middle East partners.

Harnick pointed to the Saudi Aramco/Dow Chemical mega-complex being planned for Al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia as a case in point. "They have agreed things so both partners are going to win, with a trade off between technology advantage and feedstock access."
But equally, added Harnick, Middle East players have a cash advantage that will allow them simply to buy-in technology in some cases, under licence or through acquisition. However, there is a risk here that political issues may prevent transactions if governments decide technology ownership is sensitive.