The study integrates multiple variables to assess the competitiveness of U.S. exports of ethane, ethylene and polyethylene products. The key variables in the study were:

  • Product supply and demand
  • Year
  • International market
  • Freight & logistics costs
  • Oil prices

The research began in 2014 and lasted through to December 2015. Fieldwork, involving interviews with industry personnel, was conducted to deliver accurate project insight. The results of this research were validated by internal and external proprietary project databases. Further data was gathered on ethane cracker construction & expansion projects as well as derivative unit projects in the US. Oil & gas pricing data was collected along with pricing series data for ethane, ethylene and two types of polyethylene, high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene, (LDPE). International market data, logistics, packaging and freight data was collected, reviewed and authenticated by industry personnel and consultants.

After the data collection phase was completed several statistical regression models were employed to provide quantitative forecasts for demand, supply and pricing estimates for the key variables. A freight rate estimation was conducted for each export destination for various different ship types and sizes. Due to changes in the oil market, largely related to falling prices, a second round of data collection and analysis was launched in October 2015, to incorporate the new industry outlook and ensure the robustness of the reports analysis.

The outputs from these distinct analytical approaches were combined to produce the reports main conclusions and derive export margins for the three products at the core of the research, ethane, ethylene and polyethylene.

For a more detailed methodology, download the full report brochure

Have questions on the methodology? contact Samuel Smith at

Aleksandra Sledzinska
Aleksandra Sledzinska
Client Relationship Manager
Petrochemical Update
+44 (0) 207 422 4332

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