Petrochemicals demand from China, South America and other developing countries will keep the petrochemicals industry afloat despite the weak global economy, industry experts said Wednesday during the World Petrochemical Conference in Houston. "We expect that the industry will continue to experience weak margins during most of this year, but will come out of the trough toward the end of the year," said IHS Senior Director Paul Pang. Upcoming petrochemical projects in China and South America will buoy the industry, especially as discoveries of liquids-rich shale plays provide new sources for feedstock.

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