In this section, you will find a review of the market situation for ethylene, propylene and benzene, as well as an analysis of the competitiveness of the European petrochemicals industry.
ETHYLENE PRODUCTION, CONSUMPTION AND TRADE BALANCE
In 2014, Western European ethylene consumption decreased very slightly to 19,068 Kt compared to 2013.
At the same time ethylene production (19,279 Kt) increased by 4,09 %, whilst capacity (23,378 Kt) decreased by 2 % compared to 2013 (23,862 Kt).
The Western European crackers operated at 82,5 % of nameplate capacity.
In 2014 imports (66 Kt) from outside Europe were 2.5 times lower than in 2013 (165 Kt), whilst exports to outside Western Europe (229 Kt) were 2.8 times higher (2013 = 79 Kt).
In 2014, naphtha and condensates provided about 68 % of the feed to the European ethylene crackers. 21 % came from ethane, propane and butane and the balance from gasoil and other sources.
Propylene consumption, production and trade balance
In 2014 Western European propylene consumption was almost stable with 14,357 Kt/y.
The same goes for propylene production from refinery with 4,400 Kt.
The steam crackers propylene/ethylene production ratio was 0.523, at almost at the same level than 2013 (0.534). In 2014 imports (141 Kt) from outside Europe increased by 19 % and exports (195 Kt) increased by 20 %.
Benzene consumption, production and trade balance
In 2014, Western European benzene consumption (7,534 Kt/y) decreased by 100 Kt versus 2013, whilst production decreased by 2.4 %
Pyrolisis gasoline remains the first source of supply with 54.3 % of the total, reformatted-based production represents 28.7% and on-purpose and coal-based production represent 17 %.
In 2014 the overall production reached 68 % of the nameplate capacity.
In 2014 imports (1,071 Kt) from outside Europe increased by 16 % compared to 2013, whilst exports to outside Western Europe were almost stable with 190 Kt/y.
The industry's overall performance for propylene during year 2014 is still slowly catching up compared to pre-crisis levels of year 2008, whilst the performances for ethylene remain stable and the erosion continues for benzene.
The Western European trade balances for ethylene, propylene and benzene derivatives are shown in the following figure: