Petrochemicals Plants in the Middle East Expand but Face Challenges, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

A threat to U.S. and European plastics exporters is the emergence of plastics producers in the Middle East.  Initially, Middle Eastern plastics firms thought they might garner competitive advantage in making products such as polyethylene (PE) at low cost due to a ready, local supply of natural gas as a feedstock.  However, the boom in very low-priced natural gas from American shale production is changing the marketplace, and giving the U.S. a significant cost advantage of its own. The global Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 dramatically lessened demand from industrial customers for petrochemicals.  Prior to 2020, hopes for growing global sales…

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