The Weekly Catalyst

Market Indicators Suggest Lower US Spot Polyolefin Prices Ahead; Some Kinda Hurricane, Higher Oil Needed For Support
June 3, 2024
Companies Mentioned:
ExxonMobil, Dow, Nova Chemicals, LyondellBasell, Methanex, OCI, Celanese, Mitsui, CF Industries, Nutrien, LSB Industries, Westlake, Occidental, Shin-Etsu, Formosa Plastics
Commodities Mentioned:
Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyvinyl Chloride, Ethylene, Propylene, Methanol, Ammonia, Ethane, Naphtha, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Chlor-Alkali
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

Market Indicators Suggest Lower US Spot Polyolefin Prices Ahead; Some Kinda Hurricane, Higher Oil Needed For Support

  • Chemical Market Trends: We flag price strength in US spot polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) relative to their 2019 and 2023 averages and why less downside risk faces US spot polyvinyl chloride (PVC) near term.
  • Polymer Market Trends: Global base and intermediate spot chemical prices were primarily unchanged WoW. We discuss the strength in global spot methanol prices WoW, which mostly rose with global natural gas costs.
  • Feedstock Market Trends: The price of Brent crude oil modestly declined last week while global natural gas prices moved higher, and these trends favor pulling Ex-US naphtha values lower relative to USGC ethane.
  • Agriculture Market Trends: Crop prices moved lower WoW, and US spot ammonia values fell WoW relative to overseas markets and natural gas costs. However, US ammonia margins are higher YoY and relative to Europe.

Exhibit 1 – Chart of the Day: US spot PE reflects a higher price relative to pre-COVID (2019) levels than PP and PVC.

Source: Bloomberg, C-MACC Analysis, June 2024


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