Wan Zulkiflee sees the margin for ethylene under pressure as capacity increases – Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Global ethylene capacity is expected to increase to seven million tonnes per year (mtpa), putting the margin forecast under pressure, said Petroliam Nasional Bhd President and Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.

He said the company expected the price to drop from US $ 550 (US $ 1 = RM4.09) per metric ton next year to about US $ 350 per tonne by 2025.

"As such, the sector is aggressively pursuing growth in specialty chemicals to benefit from higher product dispersion as opposed to commodity chemicals." Industry must also brace itself for the continued trade impact between the US and China, "he said in his opening speech. during the 39th Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2018 theme "Creating Value for Collaboration." More than 4,000 people attended the two-day conference that began yesterday.

Explained about the opportunities and challenges for the industry, Wan Zulkiflee said that the shale-driven petrochemical expansion of the United States and integrated petrochemical projects from India, China and the Middle East would push olefins and derivatives to the region.

"As we face this market dynamic, we also need to think about preparing the sector for the future.

"This is where associations such as the Malaysian Petrochemicals Association and other regional associations play an important role in promoting a collaborative spirit and starting strategic dialogues in a well-orchestrated and cost-effective way," he added.

Meanwhile, the international trade and industry chairman drew Ong Kian Ming the commitment of the government to ensure that the country remained open for international trade and investment.

"We want to position Malaysia as an ASEAN hub for exporting value-added goods, particularly on a petrochemical basis or otherwise, to China and the US.

"We will ensure that our manufacturers and investors can continue to benefit from the fast-growing economy in Asia, which is driven by rapid urbanization and income growth," said Ong.

He also said that for industries across the value chain, it is necessary to work together to find innovative solutions, with an emphasis on diversifying downstream production.

"We hope that more players will come up with innovative products, reduce disposable plastic and increase products that can last longer," he added. – Bernama

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