The Weekly Catalyst
Global Chemical Update – Ammonia Remains A Winner
- Domestic commodity chemical producers benefit from significant cost relief in September. We think the ammonia market could hold the profit margin benefits longer than most amid tight conditions.
- US natural gas and USGC ethane feedstock values have declined 27% and 35% during the past month, while Brent crude is 2% higher and Ex-US naphtha is only 0.7% lower during this period.
- Global polymer prices were primarily unchanged WoW, though US price premiums lessened relative to Asia. Global monomer prices were mostly lower, implying global polymer production cutbacks.
- Spot US ethylene margins WoW based on US ethane and propane feedstock are positive. In contrast, ethylene production in Europe and Asia still reflects negative cash margins amid myriad factors.
- Global ammonia prices were higher on average WoW, led by strength in the US and NW Europe. This is a plus for US producers amid still elevated crop prices and advantaged domestic feedstock costs.