Wood Mackenzie now sees the petrochemical sector as an integral driver of future oil demand growth throughout the energy transition and any subsequent decline in transportation fuels demand. As a sector, this would leave petrochemicals as the fastest-growing part of the oil barrel. The petrochemical industry has been a highly cyclical since its inception. This and the booms and busts that inevitably follow have proved challenging for companies to handle or, worse, survive. A love-hate relationship developed in the industry, with several companies limiting their exposure to petrochemicals and others exiting it completely. The attitude now towards petrochemicals is now much rosier, with many companies in the energy value chain now trying to maximise their exposure to the business. However, several recent headwind events and disruptions have threatened the industry’s position. Here we outline five key trends that have shaken the foundations of the petrochemical markets in 2019.