RIYADH, July 20 The global outlook for petrochemical demand over the next three years is positive and there is room for prices to rise, the chief executive of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said on Sunday.
Mohamed al-Mady was addressing a news conference after SABIC, one of the world's largest petrochemicals groups, earlier reported a 7 percent year-on-year increase in second-quarter net income, matching analysts' predictions.
Forecasts suggest shale gas, a potential feedstock for petrochemicals, will only be produced in large quantities from the United States in 2018, leaving room for improvement in petrochemical prices before then, he said.
For this year, Mady predicted the business outlook would remain similar to 2013, with petchrochemical product prices probably staying stable.
He added that Africa was a very promising market for SABIC and the company was focusing on opening distribution centers in a number of African countries, especially for fertilisers and plastics.
Chief financial officer Mutlaq Morished told the news conference that SABIC's sales in the second quarter climbed to 48.15 billion riyals ($12.84 billion) from 44.99 billion riyals a year earlier. (Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Writing by Andrew Torchia)
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