Domestic hurdles, Western sanctions, and unprecedented growth on the global petrochemicals market are pushing Russia to look increasingly toward the Asia-Pacific. During the recent Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, local companies poised to increase supplies to the region and signed a number of lucrative deals. While such expansion could play well to offset Russia’s crippled economy, it poses a question: whether Russian companies can be trusted in light of the Kremlin’s foreign strategy to combine business and politics.
The global petrochemicals market capacity is poised to grow to 1,931.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2026 and appears as the fastest-growing segment of crude oil consumption. Asia will be in the vanguard of such growth, with China adding more than half the number of upcoming projects in the region and appearing as the top destination for petrochemical investment. Yet Russia’s exports to Asia still lag behind compared to Europe, undercutting the Kremlin’s self-declared turn to the east. (Read more….)