Just Released: "Hungary Petrochemicals Report Q4 2013"

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Mon Sep 09 2013

Hungarian petrochemicals output will struggle with poor market conditions, but following a 23% drop in olefins and polyolefins production in 2012 it should see a modest improvement, according to BMI forecasts. However, the industry is far from a recovery and it could be at least two years before it approaches pre-recession production levels. Diversification of production in isocyanates and butadiene should enable Hungarian petrochemicals producers to capitalise on the country's position as a production centre for the European automotives industry.

The first five months of 2013 witnessed average chemicals output growth of 9.6%, while plastic and rubber production declined by an average of 4.0%. The Hungarian manufacturing sector as a whole reported a contraction of 0.8%, indicating that while chemicals performed far better than most other industrial sectors, plastics and rubber were under severe pressure. This downward trend was also noted in output figures by Hungarian petrochemicals producer MOL which reported a 33.3% drop in low-density polyethylene (LDPE) output, in large part due to the closure of an LDPE line since October 2012, as well as a 5.5% drop in polypropylene (PP). However, in the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) segment, which represented 37% of polymers output, production increased 3.4% year-on-year.

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TVK's 65,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) LDPE No.2 installation in Tiszaujvaros remained out of action in H113 following a fire that broke out at the plant in October 2012. The company stated that the plant was continuing with reconstruction, but the start-up schedule had yet to be decided. This will weigh on petrochemicals output in 2013.

BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:

* In terms of demand, we do not see any scope for a rebound in 2013 with -0.5% growth in construction and 0.7% growth in vehicle production. As such, the export market will need to generate the growth that will power a recovery in the Hungarian petrochemicals industry.
* Although the trends in the petrochemicals industry were poor in Q113, output levels were still higher than in much of 2012. With the likely resumption of production at MOL subsidiary TVK's temporarily closed 65,000tpa LDPE plant, we continue to forecast modest growth in 2013, albeit with significant downside risks and still at historically low levels.
* In BMI's Europe Petrochemicals Risk/Reward Ratings, Hungary scores 58.0 points out of 100, unchanged since the previous quarter. It lies in 10th place, 0.7 points behind the Czech Republic and 7.5 points ahead of Slovakia.

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