BMI believe that Hungarian petrochemicals output will struggle with poor domestic market conditions, particularly in the construction sector, but trends observed in Q213 point to a recovery in 2014 as exports and household consumption pick up. However, BMI think that the industry is far from a recovery and it could be at least two years before it approaches prerecession production levels. What should enable Hungarian petrochemical producers to capitalise on the country’s position as a production centre for the European automotive industry is the diversification of production in isocyanates and butadiene.
In the first eight months of 2013, chemicals output grew by 8.2%, but plastic and rubber production declined by an average of 3.9%. On the whole the Hungarian manufacturing sector reported a contraction of 0.2%. This indicates that while chemicals performed far better than most other industrial sectors, plastics and rubber were under severe pressure.
Figures from MOL suggest that in Q2 of last year the industry bounced back from a slump in Q1 to deliver an overall stronger performance for the first half of the year. Ethylene output was up 6.2% year on year to 327 000 t in the first half of 2013, with propylene up 4.4% to 167 000 t. Due the closure of a low density polyethylene (LDPE) line in October 2012, output of LDPF dropped 17.9% last year to 64 000 t, however output of high density polyethylene (HDPE) output grew by 18.3% year on year to 181 000 t.
InvestmentsMOL announced plans in 2012 to invest in a new 130 000 tpy butadiene plant. The plant will be located at the company’s TVK operations in Tiszauhvaros and is scheduled for completion in 2015. Growth in butadiene output will help secure feedstock supplies for synthetic rubber used in the country’s growing automotive industry.
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