Daily Chemical Reactions

It’s All Relative – The Danger Of Absolute Thinking In Chemicals Is Absolutely Clear!
February 13, 2024
Commodities Mentioned:
Styrene, PS, PVC, PE, Polyols, Lithium, Paraxylene, Oxo-Alcohols, Butadiene, Natural Gas, Crude Oil, Base Oil, Hydrogen, Carbon, Iron, Acetic Acid, Biomass, Chlor-Alkali, Silicon Carbide, Ammonia, R-PET, Soda Ash, Coal, SAF
Companies Mentioned:
Trinseo, PTTGC, BASF, Tata Chemicals, Shell, SK On, Panasonic Energy, Olin, Albemarle, Nickel 28, Sigma Lithium, Mesaieed Petrochemical, Eastman, Glencore, Lotte Chemical, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, KH Neochem, Aramco, ADNOC, Baker Hughes, Phillips 66, Diamondback Energy, Endeavor Energy, Helmerich & Payne, MidOcean Energy, Novatek, Pemex, QatarEnergy, TotalEnergies, ONGC, BP, Waste Management, Air Liquide, Covestro, Fortescue Metals, AirTrunk, Atlas Copco, Axpo, Aldi, BIMCO

Daily Chemical Reaction

It’s All Relative – The Danger Of Absolute Thinking In Chemicals Is Absolutely Clear!

Key Findings

  • General Thoughts: Western governments and news agencies appear mainly focused on absolute inflation levels, but relative inflation levels are the most likely to impact trade balances and the state of chemical sector growth.
  • Supply Chain/Commodities: We discuss Trinseo 4Q23 results and its business outlook. We also provide a view of much higher Western polystyrene prices relative to styrene than in Asia, suggesting their likely decline in 2024.
  • Energy/Upstream: We highlight crude oil price strength continuing this week relative to falling global natural gas prices, and we also highlight tight refined product markets pushing US refinery margins to a new YTD high.
  • Sustainability/Energy Transition: We discuss WM ambitions to increasingly push its waste supplies downstream into sustainable products, such as RNG, and incremental signs that many large-scale hydrogen plans are stalling.
  • Downstream/Other Chemicals: We highlight our power market webcast, which we will hold tomorrow February 14 – see details HERE. We also discuss recent global freight rate movements and other macroeconomic trends.

Exhibit 1: US consumer prices have risen relative to China since mid-2023 to hold above the 2002-2019 relative range.

Source: Bloomberg, C-MACC Analysis, February 2024

See PDF below for all charts, tables and diagrams


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