The U.S. chemical industry may perform better in 2013 than other mature markets because of the advantages afforded it by shale natural gas. "With the help of low-cost shale gas, the U.S. is poised to become a major force in exports of petrochemicals and other bulk chemicals not only in the emerging economies of the Asia Pacific, where it will take business away from Middle East producers, but also in mature markets like Europe," Sean Milmo writes.

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