The Weekly Catalyst

No April Fool – US Margins Surged in 1Q 2024, but it is almost all Feedstocks. Europe Still in Trouble
April 1, 2024
Companies Mentioned:
Dow, Nova, Westlake, Oxy, Celanese, Enterprise Products, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Phillips 66, Braskem, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, Yara, CF Industries, Nutrien, LSB Industries
Commodities Mentioned:
Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyvinyl Chloride, Ethylene, Propylene, Butadiene, Chlor-Alkali, Naphtha, Propane, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Ethane, 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

No April Fool – US Margins Surged in 1Q 2024, but it is almost all Feedstocks. Europe Still in Trouble

  • Polymer Market Trends: US integrated spot polymer margins leaped higher in 1Q24 compared to 2H23 levels and closed the quarter above their 1Q average despite reversing spot price momentum for most in late March.
  • Chemical Market Trends: Global base and intermediate spot chemical prices were primarily unchanged WoW, with non-integrated spot buyers in Europe seeing stiffer net headwinds in 1Q24 relative to the US and Asia.
  • Feedstock Market Trends: Crude Oil prices reached a multi-year high relative to US natural gas in March, and the global chemical cost curve significantly improved for US producers YTD relative to Europe and Asia.
  • Agriculture Market Trends: Crop prices increased WoW, and global ammonia prices moved higher, which is a constructive development for global producers in the near term, though it favors increased production in 2Q.

Exhibit 1 – Chart of the Day: US integrated polymer margins jumped in 1Q24, mostly returning to 1H23 average levels.

Source: Bloomberg, C-MACC Analysis, April 2024


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