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

Another 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 and other petrochemicals.  However, the boom in very low priced natural gas from shale production is changing the marketplace, and giving the U.S. a significant cost advantage of its own. Hopes for growing global sales spurred the construction of a number of new petrochemical and plastics plants throughout the Middle East.  Ethylene,…

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