Business Monitor International

Australia Petrochemicals Report

Published 11 November 2013

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Australia Petrochemicals Report

If Australia is to expand petrochemicals production and compete on the global market, it will need to leverage its gas supplies and, to a lesser extent, secure naphtha supply. Cracker capacity is likely to depend on the country's abundance in ethane, since declining oil output growth will limit the scope for expansion of naphtha streams and raise feedstock costs. However, BMI's Australia Petrochemicals Report anticipates no further increase in petrochemicals capacity over the medium term due to the small size of the domestic market and the strength of competition in the increasingly over-supplied Asian market.

In 2013, the Australian petrochemicals industry witnessed some modest growth in capacity as Qenos' Altona complex raised national polyethylene (PE) capacity by 35,000tpa to 455,000tpa and cracker capacity by 20,000tpa to 550,000tpa. The move has helped reduce Australia's dependence on HDPE imports, although in global terms the expansion was very modest.

Stagnation in retail spending is likely to undermine domestic consumption growth in the PE and polypropylene (PP) segments, although evidence of growth in the housing market could stimulate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) demand. Our core scenario does not envisage any slump in demand, although slower economic growth in 2014 will result in lower petrochemicals growth. In the long-term, the automotive industry is set to shrink due to planned plant closures, which could have a significant impact on PP used in automotive parts. Overall, with industrial growth lagging behind economic growth, the Australian petrochemicals market will remain lacklustre over the medium-term, although it is not forecast to shrink.

Over the past year, BMI has made the following revisions and updates:

  • The main downstream growth area is fertilisers. India's Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals says it is working towards setting up a 300,000tpa technical ammonium nitrate (TAN) plant in the state of South Australia, with completion possible in...

The Australia Petrochemicals Report has been researched at source, and features Business Monitor International (BMI)'s market assessment and independent forecasts for key petrochemicals sub-sectors. The report also analyses the impact of regulatory changes, recent developments and the background macroeconomic outlook and features competitive landscapes comparing companies by products and services, sales, market share, investments, projects, partners and expansion strategies.

BMI's Australia Petrochemicals Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Australian petrochemicals industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent petrochemicals industry forecasts to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and planning in the Australian petrochemicals market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the Australian petrochemicals sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Australia.
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. KPIs and latest activity).


BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI's key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis, covering petrochemicals markets, regulatory changes, major investments, projects and company developments.

Market Overview

Structure, size and value of the industry sector; overview of the industry landscape and key players; assessment of the business operating environment and the latest regulatory developments.

Business Environment Rankings

BMI's Petrochemicals Business Environment Rankings provide a country-comparative Risk-Reward Rankings index aimed at investors (both corporate and financial) in the regional petrochemicals market.

The rankings methodology makes sophisticated use of over 40 industry, economic and demographic data points and is part of BMI's integrated Country Risk-Industry Rankings products.

Industry Trends & Developments

Evaluation of company and sector-wide developments, including key projects (as well as expansion plans), latest company financial details and proposed international ventures.

BMI Industry Forecasts

Historic data series (2009-2012) and forecasts to end-2018 for all key industry and economic indicators supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key risks to the main forecasts. Indicators include:

Energy: Oil production (`000 b/d), oil consumption (`000 b/d), net oil exports (`000 b/d), gas production (bcm), gas consumption (bcm), net gas exports (bcm), oil refinery capacity (`000 b/d).

Petrochemicals: Ethylene capacity (`000 tpa), ethylene production (`000 tpa), ethylene consumption (`000 tpa), polyethylene capacity (`000 tpa), polypropylene capacity (`000 tpa), polyvinyl chloride capacity (`000 tpa), polyolefins consumption (`000 tpa).

Oil Products Prices: Price forecasts for all major oil-based products (US$/bbl) at major global energy trading hubs.

Economic: Nominal GDP (US$bn), real GDP growth (%), GDP per capita (US$), population (mn), unemployment (%), exchange rate (against US$).

Company Profiles

Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI's industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape. The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.

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'An essential, multi-faceted research tool. BMI’s thorough understanding of the major market players enables an informed – and informative – review of the sector’s actual performance, together with useful insights into current industry issues, which are topped-off with detailed and invaluable forecasts of industry and macroeconomic trends.’

Senior Research Analyst, ABC International Bank plc