The Weekly Catalyst

Upstream Chemical & Ex-US Feedstock Values Declined WoW, Suggesting Weaker Global Spot Polymer Prices
April 22, 2024
Companies Mentioned:
Dow, Nova Chemicals, ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Occidental, Braskem, Celanese, CF Industries, Nutrien, LSB Industries
Commodities Mentioned:
Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Ethylene, Propylene, PGP, Butadiene, Ammonia, Ethane, Naphtha, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Chlor-Alkali, Methanol
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 Chemical & Ex-US Feedstock Values Declined WoW, Suggesting Weaker Global Spot Polymer Prices

  • Polymer Market Trends: Global spot polymer prices reflected less weakness than upstream chemical values, and most Ex-US feedstock costs WoW, which increases the likelihood of polymer price weakness ahead.
  • Chemical Market Trends: Global base and intermediate spot chemical prices were broadly lower WoW, with spot ethylene and propylene falling in all major markets. However, the most notable weakness was in Europe.
  • Feedstock Market Trends: Crude oil prices decreased more than US natural gas WoW, but the oil-to-gas ratio stays near multi-year highs. European natural gas prices reflected strength relative to the US and Asia WoW.
  • Agriculture Market Trends: Global ammonia values WoW showed price support, but the setting favors a net uptick in production margins for US producers relative to Europe. Crop prices modestly decreased WoW.

Exhibit 1 – Chart of the Day: US spot polypropylene (PP) prices now reflect a more usual level relative to spot regional propylene relative to Asia and Europe. Upstream indicators WoW suggest global PP prices face downward pressure.

Source: Bloomberg, C-MACC Analysis, January 2024


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