Chemical Market Analysis

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Chemical & Associated Industries

C-MACC has extensive expertise in the chemical and related industries. With a background in both finance and chemistry, we offer services that provide market analysis, news discovery, expert perspectives, and valuable data. Our services are used by corporations and investment firms to gain insights and make informed decisions.

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what we are talking about today

Daily Chemical Reactions

How The Markets Look 

The Weekly Catalyst

North American Spot Petrochemical Margins Further Erode From 1H24 Highs, US Spot PE Prices Face Pressure

North American Spot Petrochemical Margins Further Erode From 1H24 Highs, US Spot PE Prices Face Pressure

Polymer Market Trends: US polyethylene (PE) prices have increased in 2024 relative to their 2023 average and production costs. However, export price weakness and rising costs have trimmed US margins from 1H24 highs.  

Chemical Market Trends: North American base and intermediate spot chemical prices mostly increased WoW, while Europe and Asia mostly saw price declines, suggesting downward pressure on US chemical export prices.  

Feedstock Market Trends: US natural gas and USGC ethane prices increased last week relative to crude oil, Ex-US naphtha, and Ex-US natural gas, pinching the still substantial North American feedstock cost advantage.

Agriculture Market Trends: Crop prices moved higher WoW, while spot ammonia values, on average, mainly were unchanged, with North American producers seeing margin erosion due to higher natural gas costs.

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what we are covering

Sunday Thematic & Weekly Recap 

A Cascade Of Trouble In Europe; Few Industries Will Be Unscathed, Including Autos

A Cascade Of Trouble In Europe; Few Industries Will Be Unscathed, Including Autos

While we primarily focus on the struggles of the chemical industry in Europe, its economic challenges extend downstream because operating costs are high, and its basic industries must pass through costs to customers.

The EU seems to be paying little attention to the de-industrialization discussions that the chemical industry is championing – maybe it will feel different when the auto industry is struggling, which is quite likely! 

The same challenge will likely face other high-cost regions for chemical production, though most of these do not face the same strict decarbonizing plans that exist in Europe, which are raising costs and causing shutdowns.

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Valuable insights for critical subjects

Sustainaility & Energy Transition

Can China Decarbonize Its Coal Industry and Create Low-Carbon Fuels At The Same Time?

Can China Decarbonize Its Coal Industry and Create Low-Carbon Fuels At The Same Time?

1st Topic of the Week: As the West imposes more tariffs against China in clean tech and EVs, China is driving down a path of innovation around low-cost, low-carbon fuels and materials that we likely have no chance of catching in the West – will countries and corporates sacrifice sustainability targets to avoid China?

2nd Topic of the Week: This week because of our monthly Ag report – published on Wednesday, we look at biofuels and particularly falling US credits caused by credit oversupply. Like the European carbon price, the drop in value will alter the economics of projects still in the pre-FID phase and may cause delays.

Otherwise: We question some of OCI’s hope for its blue ammonia, look at the immediate need for fuel cells for power and the longer-term need for small nuclear if the technology owners can stay in business long enough.

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weekly sERVICE

Hydrogen Economy Update 

Mandated Expense – Can Europe Afford Its Current Pathway?

Mandated Expense – Can Europe Afford Its Current Pathway?

Most of the European hydrogen projects that we cover need high premium pricing, which they are getting through grants, subsidies, and fuel value mechanisms that allow fuel makers to pay the necessary high prices.

But this is expensive, and someone must pay – in a worst case below we estimate a hydrogen subsidy growing to 1.3% of current EU GDP by 2040 – things are expensive in Europe and even higher costs will limit GDP growth.

Carbon pricing in Europe also factors into hydrogen economics, blue and green, and with weaker carbon pricing, because of industrial cutbacks, some of the projects in the chart below will need even more subsidies.

We remain convinced that the electrolyzer market could face chronic oversupply for years, yet governments keep funding expansion – this will not lead to lower costs it will lead to bankruptcy – more next week.

Meanwhile, ammonia pricing is trending down globally, and this will make some of the blue and green projects more challenging as company directors and lenders pay more attention to current pricing than forecasts.

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Polymer Pricing Service

Polymer Price Expectations Report

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