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European ethylene: 2017 production hits highest level in a decade

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15 May 2018

European ethylene: 2017 production hits highest level in a decade

Report summary

Full year 2017 ethylene production statistics have recently been released by Petrochemicals Europe (formerly APPE) for the European (EU15+Norway) region. The numbers indicate that production in 2017 (20.36 million metric tons) was at the highest level since 2007 and marginally up from 2016. This is impressive considering the European industry has consolidated well over 2 million tons of capacity since 2007. The high production numbers reflect the top of cycle conditions the industry has recently experienced. Our forecast for 2018 is for production to be at a similar level to 2017, likely slightly higher due to a lighter turnaround season and lower unplanned outage activity. Interestingly propylene production appears to have fallen dramatically from the 2016 level, reflecting the structural supply gap emergence that Wood Mackenzie has been forecasting for several quarters - we expect propylene production to continue to fall in 2018/2019.

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