The Weekly Catalyst

Upstream Integration & Cost Position in Focus As Downstream Uncertainties Persist
March 4, 2024
Companies Mentioned:
Dow, OMV, Borealis, Enterprise Products, LyondellBasell, Shell, INEOS, Invista, ExxonMobil, Braskem, OQ, Evonik, Yara, CF Industries, Nutrien, LSB Industries
Commodities Mentioned:
Propylene, Naphtha, Propane, Polypropylene, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Ethane, Ethylene, Polyethylene, Ammonia, Corn
Report Sections:
Feedstocks & Energy, Global Ethylene Cracker – Spot Profit Analysis, Ethylene & Propylene – Price Trends, Other Relevant Global Commodity Chemical Trends, Global Polyethylene Analysis, Global Polypropylene Analysis, Global Chlor-Vinyl Analysis, Global Methanol Analysis, Global Chemical Data Sheets, Agriculture Price & Margin Dashboard, Flow Charts & Other Ancillary Data

The Weekly Catalyst

Upstream Integration & Cost Position in Focus As Downstream Uncertainties Persist

  • Chemical Market Trends: US spot polymer-grade propylene values jumped again WoW, suggesting another contract uptick in March if the current spot price holds – we discuss the global landscape and those impacted.
  • Polymer Market Trends: Global polymer prices were flat-to-up across all primary regions last week, with the most regional strength occurring in Europe, and we show regional spot trends worth consideration in 1Q24.  
  • Feedstock Market Trends: The price of Brent crude oil rose 2.4% WoW, dwarfed by a 14.5% rise in US natural gas. However, relative to three months ago, Brent Crude is 5.9% higher, and US natural gas is 34.8% lower.  
  • Agriculture Market Trends: Crop prices moved modestly higher WoW, following a period of weakness in early 2024, and we highlight the drop in Ex-US ammonia prices, likely putting downward pressure on US spot prices.

Exhibit 1 – Chart of the Day: US propylene contracts rose MoM in February; March spot levels suggest another uptick.

Source: Bloomberg, C-MACC Analysis, March 2024

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