Daily Chemical Reactions | Global Polymers

Global Polymer Market Update: US Polyolefin Margins Improved In 1Q24, But Support Fades in Early 2Q24
April 10, 2024
Commodities Mentioned:
Propylene, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Ethane, Naphtha, LLDPE, Ethylene, Natural Gas, Power, Brent Crude, rPET, Hydrogen, Ammonia, Nuclear Power
Companies Mentioned:
Dow, ExxonMobil, Westlake, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Nova Chemicals, Phillips 66, LyondellBasell, Braskem, INEOS, TotalEnergies, Reliance Industries, RWE, Goldman Sachs, Borealis, P&G, Eastman, Neom, Encavis Asset Management, Amandina Bumi Nusantara, Coca Cola

Global Polymer Market Update: US Polyolefin Margins Improved In 1Q24, But Support Fades in Early 2Q24

Key Findings

  • General Thoughts: We hosted a webcast today discussing our new polymer price expectations service. We see this as a value-added service for polymer buyers, sellers, and other market followers; feedback supports this view.
  • Supply Chain/Commodities: We evaluate and discuss US, Asia, and European polyolefin margins to illustrate the major outperformance of North America since 2H23 but its recent momentum reversal amid supply improvement.
  • Energy/Upstream: We discuss the improvement in North American chemical producer feedstock costs relative to Europe and Asia since 2H23 and that higher oil prices are needed keep prices (and margins) from collapse in 2H24.
  • Recycled/Renewable Polymers: We focus our commentary on recycled polymer markets, flag the trends in food-grade vs. non-food grade recycling capacity, and for general perspective frame emissions across the food chain.
  • Downstream/Other Chemicals: We compare China industrial capacity use to the US, Europe, and Brazil, highlight US dollar movements relative to other major foreign currencies, and discuss other relevant global developments.

Exhibit 1: US avg. spot polyolefin margins remain higher than Europe and Asia levels but have fallen from 1Q24 highs.

Source: Bloomberg, C-MACC Analysis, April 2024

See PDF below for all charts, tables and diagrams

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