The Weekly Catalyst

North American Petrochemical Production Cost Positions Improve Further Relative to Asia & Europe
March 18, 2024
Companies Mentioned:
Nova Chemicals, Oxy, Celanese, Enterprise Products, OQ, Braskem, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, Westlake, Shin-Etsu, Olin, Yara, CF Industries, Nutrien, LSB Industries
Commodities Mentioned:
Ethylene, Propylene, Butadiene, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyvinyl Chloride, Naphtha, Propane, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Ethane, Chlor-Alkali, Methanol, 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 Dashboard, Flow Charts & Other Ancillary Data

The Weekly Catalyst

North American Petrochemical Production Cost Positions Improve Further Relative to Asia & Europe

  • Chemical Market Trends: North American commodity chemical production margins rose relative to Europe and Asia WoW, primarily due to US natural gas and USGC ethane falling relative to Brent Crude and Ex-US naphtha.
  • Polymer Market Trends: We discuss strength in US spot PE WoW, lifting domestic integrated margins, flag the drop in spot PP that outpaced PGP lower, and note weaker EDC prices in Asia and Europe relative to spot PVC.
  • Feedstock Market Trends: Ex-US naphtha prices surged to a new five-year high relative to USGC ethane last week, as shown in Ex 2, notably benefiting North American ethylene-chain players relative to most abroad.
  • Agriculture Market Trends: Crop prices increased WoW, while US ammonia production costs moved lower relative to those abroad – a general positive development for North American ammonia producers.

Exhibit 1 – Chart of the Day: Natural gas and USGC ethane prices fell relative to Brent Crude oil and naphtha WoW.

Source: Bloomberg, C-MACC Analysis, March 2024


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