Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) petrochemical companies posted a record 67.2 million tonnes in chemical exports valued at $62 billion in 2014, according to the latest industry report by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).
According to the ‘GCC Petrochemicals and Chemicals Facts and Figures 2014’, export revenues for GCC petrochemicals in 2014 rose from $54.6 billion in 2013 and are more than double that of ten years ago.
“Petrochemical producers in the Arabian Gulf manufacture products for diverse sectors and markets around the world, earning GCC economies valuable returns,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, secretary general of GPCA.
“Chemical producers from the Gulf region ship their products to approximately 170 countries. Asia, and in particular, China, being the most important export market,” he added.
Kuwait and Oman are each responsible for 7 per cent of total export volume and Bahrain accounts for 3 per cent of the total.
The GCC chemical industry registered solid recovery since 2010 with chemical exports by volume 77 per cent higher in 2014 than before the global economic and financial crisis level of 2008. However, though the GCC chemical trade quickly recovered from effects of the global crisis, it has grown modestly since 2012.
The slower than usual growth can be attributed to weaker global demand and the decline in commodity prices. The effect has partly been offset by growth in chemical production, which demonstrated a 4 per cent annual growth during the same period.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the largest chemical exporters, together responsible for generating nearly three-thirds of total GCC chemical exports by volume. In 2014, Saudi Arabia accounted for 53 per cent of the total regional export measured by volume or 35.9 million tonnes valued at $36.2 billion.
Qatar accounts for 20 per cent of the total GCC chemicals export volume, valued at $10.6 billion. The UAE has doubled its export share since 2010, reaching 10 per cent of the total regional exports in 2014. This equals 6.6 million tonnes valued at $6.4 billion.
The GPCA’s ‘Facts and Figures’ report is an annual publication will be released at the GPCA’s annual forum, which will be held in Madinat Jumeriah on November 17. Currently in its fourth edition, the report provides information on wide-ranging subjects for the region’s chemicals industry including product capacity, employment and trade.
Now in its tenth edition, the annual forum will kick off with a keynote from Eng. Suhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy for the United Arab Emirates. Abdullatif A. Al Othman, governor and chairman of the board of Directors, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority will deliver this year’s opening address.
Other notable industry leaders that are among the confirmed speakers include Rashed Saud Al Shamsi, chairman of GPCA and petrochemicals director, Adnoc; Yousef Al Benyan, vice chairman, CEO, Sabic; Nizar M Al Adsani, CEO, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Neil Chapman, president, ExxonMobil Chemical; Osamu Ishitobi, Chairman Sumitomo Chemical; Thierry Le Henaff, Chairman ARKEMA Group and Bob Patel, CEO, Lyondell Basel.