Plastivision, ArabiaMold help gauge opportunities
SHARJAH, May 21, 2012 (Khaleej Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Copyright (C) 2012, Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Despite being dependent on the less competitive naphtha feedstock, the petrochemicals sector in the UAE has continued to flourish and is set to witness massive surge in capacities over the next five years as it becomes a major supplier to the Asian markets.
However, the major shift happening in the feedstock availability has the potential to reduce profit margins and overall competitiveness for GCC players, as they do not offer the same cost advantages as gas.
To overcome this, regional players will have to identify new sources of growth, extending downstream into performance and specialty chemicals and consolidating the industry within the GCC and build scale, according to a research on feedstock developments by Booz and Company.
This was also the opinion shared by several regional and international petrochemical and plastics industry leaders and executives who attended the just-concluded Plastivision Arabia and ArabiaMold trade fairs at Expo Centre Sharjah.
"Easy availability of natural gas at cheap prices had helped GCC petrochemical and plastics firms leave their mark in globally. But the growing gas shortage and recent feedstock developments in other parts of the world can be seen as a challenge as well as opportunity to regional players. The shows gave the industry a chance to gauge the industry developments and prepare themselves better for the future," Expo Centre Sharjah director-general Saif Mohammed Al Midfa said.
The shows, which were held at Expo Centre Sharjah from May 14 to 17, received 4,763 visitors from 66 countries during their four-day run, leaving a positive impact on the regional plastics and molds industry with their very first edition. The show also had the distinction of seeing almost all the machines displayed getting sold.
"The shows were well-organised and had enough business opportunities up for grabs. It was a good exhibition for us," said Akhil Parikh and Harpit Parikh of Rajhans Plastic, an exhibitor.
"I am very pleased with the exhibition on several counts. First, the presence of quality visitors... then, visitor representation from across the region. Above all, good business leads. All these constitute an interesting start for my company to strengthen our presence in the Arab World," Aschulman Middle East senior sales manager Najib El Khouri said.