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Turkey’s polyolefins market analyzed at ChemOrbis Conference

The first ChemOrbis Turkey Polyolefins Conference took place in the CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel in Taksim, Istanbul on June 10, 2014 with the participation of 150 companies and more than 230 players.

The morning sessions started with Nexant Asia’s Manager Andrew Lee Fagg’s presentation about the monomer outlook in global markets. Fagg mainly talked about the outlook of the petrochemical sector, developments of the olefin supply and their impact on pricing and profitability. Comparing the ethylene and propylene markets in terms of profitability, Fagg pointed out, “Profitability in global ethylene markets has weakened due to oversupply issues as margins are strongly influenced by supply and demand while propylene profitability is currently higher when compared to the past.” Regarding the future of the olefin markets, Fagg remarked that the global olefins markets are expected to see an excess capacity growth in 2015 while the year 2020 may see a period of excess growth.

Turkey’s polyolefins market analyzed at ChemOrbis Conference
Turkey’s polyolefins market analyzed at ChemOrbis Conference

Following Fagg’s presentation, Anna Ibbotson, Petroleum & Petrochemicals Manager at Nexant, talked about the world polyolefins markets. She looked for answers to the questions of what the current situation is in polyolefins markets and what is the demand outlook and key trade patterns in polyolefins markets. “Half of global polyolefins demand comes from Asia and it is followed by North America. When we look at the Middle Eastern market, 40% of the overall demand comes from Turkey, followed by Iran and Saudi Arabia,” she informed. When it comes to the growth of the polyolefins markets, she stated that they expect LLDPE to post a larger increase than other PE products due to the wider use of metallocene products. She also shared her opinion about the possible global trade flows following the new feedstock developments in the US and capacity additions in Asia and the Middle East.

The second session started with the presentation of Hayati Ozturk, Board Member at Petkim Petrokimya about Turkey’s petrochemicals industry and polyolefin market. Ozturk remarked that Turkey has started to adopt the petrochemical strategy of the leading countries including South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, none of which has its own energy resources. “Unfortunately Petkim is able to meet only 18% of Turkey’s plastics demand,” he said. Ozturk gave a detailed brief about their upcoming refinery and its benefits, adding that they are expecting a start-up date of around late 2017 and early 2018.

Dr. Seyed Mohammad Hosseini – Founder and board member, OPEX Fund (Oil Product Export
Development Fund of Iran), CEO and M.D, Matco Int’l Trading and Consulting Ltd – made a speech about the Iranian petrochemical industry. He noted that there are currently 47 active plants in Iran while they expect this number to rise to 100 in the near future. He shared important values about the share of Iran in global olefins and polyolefins markets. He also mentioned Iran’s objectives for 2020 in the petrochemicals sector. This was followed by the presentation of Mustafa Güçlü – Assistant General Manager, MTS Logistics about the status of the AEO (Authorised Economic Operator).

The third session started after the lunch-break with the presentation of Michel Defrang – Senior Technical Engineer – Total Petrochemicals & Refining SA/NV, Belgium. He made a presentation about flexible packaging and new metallocene technology, which grabbed a lot of attention from the attendees. This was followed by another presentation about polypropylene applications and trends by Andrea Borruso – IHS Director, EMEA Chemical Industry Consulting. He shared crucial numbers and values about the size and the share of the PP market both in global and regional terms. He also touched on the relative pricing in the PP markets.

Chaired by Borruso, the last session started with a panel discussion about possible developments in PE and PP trade, the developments in Asia and the USA and their impact on global trade and in Turkey. Participants included Belkis Tamakan (GM at LyondellBasell Turkey), Kurt Kuruc (GM at Farmamak Packaging), Yavuz Eroglu (Chairman at Sem Plastik and PAGEV) and Cem Doganca (EMEA&CIS PE Product Manager at Tricon). Mr. Kuruc from Farmamak also made a presentation about the polyolefin applications in the packaging industry, clarifying the question of how the industry should adapt to the changing rules in the game. The session ended with the presentation of Selcuk Aksoy, Chairman at Aksoy Plastik and Plasfed, about polyolefin masterbatch applications.

Participants also had many opportunities for networking at the coffee-breaks and closing cocktail during the day.

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