Daily Chemical Reactions

Commodity Chemical Profit Collapse In 4Q23 Unlikely As Harsh As 4Q22, But Likely Needed For A More Positive 1H24
October 3, 2023
Commodities Mentioned:
Plastics (PVC, PP, PE, PU, PC, PET, etc.), Clean Energy Minerals, Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen, Natural Gas/NGLs, Crude/Naphtha
Companies Mentioned:
Borealis, TotalEnergies, Baystar, Shell, Solvay, Dow, LanzaTech, Entegris, Fujifilm, LCY Chemical, Lanxess, Lithium Americas, Minerals Technologies, Albemarle, Sadara, Johnson Matthey, Grupa Azoty, TPC Group, Shin-Etsu, Solenis, ADNOC, OQ Methanol, Occidental, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Tosoh, Electra, Airbus, Chesapeake Energy, Louis Dreyfus, Hystar, Korea Zinc, Wintershall DEA, BASF, Saint-Gobain, Kem One, E3 Lithium, Electric Hydrogen

Daily Chemical Reaction

Commodity Chemical Profit Collapse In 4Q23 Unlikely As Harsh As 4Q22, But Likely Needed For A More Positive 1H24

Key Points:

  • North American commodity chemical profits have risen relative to the start of 2023, exceeding low mid-year expectations in 3Q23, as the global production cost curve steepened in its favor.
  • With more global capacity coming online and demand facing challenges, we view a flattening global chemical production cost curve, driven by lower crude oil values, as a significant profit risk.
  • We observe more commentary on supply-driven crude oil price support than otherwise but argue that most demand views likely remain too optimistic, suggesting downward price pressure.
  • The global build-out of clean hydrogen and ammonia facilities has faced headwinds, partly due to challenges with sourcing high-capacity-factor green power and increasing project costs.
  • We also highlight North American RNG capacity by feedstock, discuss global manufacturing trends, and general concerns with the Chinese economy that are unlikely to be fixed quickly.

See PDF below for all charts, tables and diagrams


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