2020 AFPM Summit: Five trends to watch as coronavirus reshapes the global olefins industry

The coronavirus outbreak is having a transformational effect on global olefins. Supply, demand, trade, pricing, costs and margins are all being affected to the extent that it will undoubtedly reshape the wider industry. So, what forces are defining the “new normal?” Refinery run cuts have started—and could intensify. Reduced demand for transportation fuels has led to refiners cutting rates to manage supply (FIG. 1). The impact on olefins supply varies by region, but there is a clear domino effect. FIG. 1. Global refinery utilization.   Olefins production is linked to the U.S. refining industry in two key ways: Direct propylene supply (primarily via gasoline production) Feedstock supply f

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