Based on the current planned addition of new capacities, the GCC polyolefins industry is likely to see an avalanche of additional capacity by 2010. With the GCC polyolefins market being a low-growth one with a corresponding low demand, the additional capacities are expected to create a surge in the demand for polyethylene and polypropylene in the GCC.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of the Polyolefins Demand in the GCC, finds that the market grew at 4.9 percent in 2008.
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The governments in the GCC are looking to take advantage of the low costs and abundant feedstock in the region to promote downstream industries for further diversification and development.
"The GCC Governments are initiating multiple strategies to help GCC countries to grow from being exporters of polyolefins to exporters of finished polyolefin products," says Frost & Sullivan Research Associate Eshwaran Raghavan. "The most significant of the new initiatives, which reiterates the governments' strategy to strengthen the private sector, is the initiation of economic cities to facilitate greater inward investments to the GCC."
With the governments promoting investments, there have been numerous joint ventures of foreign companies with local establishments in the GCC. The influx of more funds has further catalyzed the creation of new capacities, which are anticipated to be functional by 2010. The overcapacity is a boon to the polyolefin market because its end-user industries are largely still developing.
Tepid domestic demand, coupled with the current economic downturn, is likely to result in a lackluster 2009. However, as the planned capacities turn operational and end-user industries start maturing, the market is likely to experience moderate growth.
The low local demand for and export of finished polyolefin have squeezed market participants' profit margins, especially because it is a price-based market.
"Polyolefins being commodity products by nature, product development is of utmost importance," notes Raghavan. "In order to sustain their current rate of growth and to grab additional share in the market, companies must focus on streamlining their products according to end user requirements."
Polyolefin companies have to invest heavily in R&D to identify ways in which their products can deliver better value.
Strategic Analysis of the Polyolefins Demand in the GCC is part of the Chemicals & Materials Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Middle East paints and coatings market, Middle East flexible packaging market, Indian polymer additives market, and Indian construction chemicals market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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