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The Future of Feedstocks Study

FGE’s detailed assessment of the future paths, business models and opportunities for feedstocks over the next 30 years.

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As ever-more stringent fuel economy standards and rising electric vehicle penetration further curb global oil demand growth, the hydrocarbons industry has shifted its focus to plastics demand and petrochemicals as the main source of future demand growth . With a rapidly emerging middle class from Jakarta to Lagos and from Mumbai to Sao Paulo, living standards are rising in many parts of the world, with an accompanying increase in per capita plastics’ consumption.

At the same time, we anticipate strong growth for polymers as lightweight, low-cost carbon-based materials are used to underpin the energy transition, while COVID-19 has resulted in renewed demand for plastic packaging for hygiene purposes as well as PPE (personal protective equipment) for the fight against the virus.

However, the energy transition winds of change are not just limited to global fuel demand and greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental policy in some countries is now focusing on a much broader strategy of reducing carbon waste in materials as well as from fuels. An entirely circular supply chain is the supposed promised land of tomorrow, but we are far from there today.

Will more stringent policies around recycling and the adoption of new technologies and feedstocks translate into slowing virgin feedstock demand growth? In our view, this will depend on a variety of factors, including resin types, recycling industry economics, the pace of change for both individual and collective corporate trends and -- most importantly -- government policies underpinning these changes. In this report we map out the future paths, business models and opportunities for feedstocks over the next 30 years.


Key Areas Addressed in this Study

  • Detailed mapping of petrochemical feedstock supply, availability and regional pricing through the upcoming market cycles and emerging materials transition.
  • A look at overarching environmental policy frameworks, their evolution and shifting consumer habits around sustainability in consumer cyclical products and packaging segments.
  • Competitive positioning of the various petrochemical makers on the feedstock cost curve in the context of both economics as well as growing environmental requirements and trends.
  • Investigation of new technologies and feedstocks, their economics and the potential impact on the industry.
  • How existing and new business models around feedstock selection can withstand the various changes over the next 20 years.

Scope of Coverage

  • Key Topics
    • Oil Market Outlook
    • Outlook on Petrochemical Feedstocks
    • Alternative Feedstocks and Their Potential
    • Trends in Petrochemical Markets
    • A Look at Current Corporate Strategies and Policies in this New World
    • Key Takeaways and Considerations for the Petrochemical Feedstocks Story
  • Data
    • Feedstocks
      • Supply (by source) and demand (by end-use) balances by country and region for ethane, LPG (propane, butane), naphtha (Light, Full-Range, Heavy Full-Range, Heavy), and condensate.
      • Price forecast for key feedstock benchmarks and spreads out to 2040 (including underlying crude and gas price forecasts).
    • Petrochemicals
      • Global steam cracker database with feedstock data.
      • Global PX database.
      • Global PDH database.
      • Price forecast for base olefins and key polymers out to 2040.
      • Long-term demand outlook for base chemicals and key polymers out to 2040.
      • Regional cash cost margins out to 2040.
      • Alternative feedstocks database (Selected biorefining, plastics-to-oil projects).
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