Petrochemical revenues for the Gulf region reached a record high of $89.4 billion in 2013 as it grew by 7.3 per cent, a latest industry report has said.
According to the GCC Petrochemicals & Chemicals Facts and Figures 2013, revenues from Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) petrochemicals grew by $6 billion between the 2012 and 2013, resulting in a 7.3 per cent growth.
Chemical sales revenue from the Arabian Gulf is the second highest of any petrochemical producing region after Asia.
"2013 marked a turning point for the worldwide chemicals industry, signaling a return from the global economic downturn," said Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA).
"And as the region with the second highest rate of sales growth, the GCC has demonstrated that its petrochemicals industry can compete with sector leaders," he added.
While Saudi Arabia, the region's largest petrochemical producer, accounted for 74.9 per cent of the region's chemical revenue, roughly $ 66.9 billion in sales; Qatar's chemical industry generated $11.5 billion in sales.
With analysts forecasting positive growth figures in the near future, regional producers must not be complacent, Al- Sadoun cautioned.
"While the emergence of favorably priced feedstock – an advantage that the GCC chemicals producers have enjoyed for over 30 years – becomes available in other regions as shale oil and gas becomes commonplace, we as an industry need to focus on innovation," Al- Sadoun said.
"Growth is assured, but we also need to transform our operations in a way that will make us relevant and profitable 10, 20, 30 years from now," he added.
GCC is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union. Its six member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.