Daily Chemical Reactions

Less Gobble, More Wobble – Polymer Prices Weaken As Feedstocks Fall, Supply Rises, Buyer Urgency Bobbles Lower
November 21, 2023
Commodities Mentioned:
Plastics (PVC, PP, PE, PU, PC, PET, etc.), Clean Energy Minerals, Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen, Natural Gas/NGLs, Crude/Naphtha
Companies Mentioned:
Nova Chemicals, Chevron Phillips Chemical, ExxonMobil, Dow, Baystar, Formosa Plastics, Covestro, Petronas, Mitsui Chemicals, Mineral Resources, Macquarie, Orion Engineered Carbon, PTTGC, Dynemic Products, SQM, Fertiglobe, LyondellBasell, Toray, Jiangsu Sailboat, ArcelorMittal, Hanwha Solutions, Harima Chemicals, Yara, TotalEnergies, Marathon Petroleum, Brenntag, Henkel, AkzoNobel, Pan American Energy, Braskem, Ineos, Hy2Gen, Amogy, Petrobras, Shell, Air Liquide, Origin Materials, Stardust Power

Daily Chemical Reaction

Less Gobble, More Wobble – Polymer Prices Weaken As Feedstocks Fall, Supply Rises, Buyer Urgency Bobbles Lower

Key Points

  • Higher crude oil prices and outages spurred a polymer price rebound in 3Q23 – many prices are still well above mid-2023 levels despite 4Q oil price weakness and signs of reviving production.
  • We discuss recent global price trends in polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), as US PE appears more likely to fall further into 2024 than PVC, whose price is now near its YTD low.
  • We discuss ExxonMobil initiatives in lithium and its integrated push to expand its chemical business, and we show recent VAM margin support in the US helped by falling input costs.
  • We flag more examples of Western clean energy and material companies highlighting long-term demand optimism, needed supply security, and vague near-to-medium-term return goals.
  • We discuss Best Buy and Lowe’s results, noting a consumer push toward discounted products, and flag recent trends in gasoline and food prices ahead of the US Thanksgiving holiday.

Exhibit #1: Global polyethylene (PE) prices reflect declines WoW, further falling from 2H23 highs.

Source: Bloomberg, C-MACC Analysis, November 2023

See PDF below for all charts, tables and diagrams

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