Question mark.pngThe blog’s New Year Outlook has just been published in ICIS Chemical Business. Please click here if you would like to download a copy
It suggests that 2010 turned out to be a better year than many in the industry had expected. But even so, global operating rates (OR%), at 86%, remain well below those considered normal over the past 20 years.
So the key question is: What happens next?
Will the recovery continue, and OR% return to more normal levels, perhaps even to another ‘super-cycle’?
Will they simply stabilise at today’s levels?
Or will a slowing Chinese economy, plus the switch from stimulus to austerity measures by many governments (particularly in Europe), lead to a further fall as demand growth slows?
Equally, it is becoming clear that we are heading towards a New Normal in terms of global demand patterns.
So the article suggests that Scenario Planning is becoming essential, as we seek to position our businesses for an increasingly uncertain future.