Daily Chemical Reactions | Global Polymers

Global Polymers Market Update: US Polyolefin Margins Surged Into 3Q24, High Prices Help Sustainability Efforts
July 10, 2024
Commodities Mentioned:
Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Corn, Soybean, Fertilizer, Ethylene, Propylene, tural Gas, Crude Oil, Hydrogen, Naphtha, Ethane, LNG, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Low Carbon Fuels, SAF
Companies Mentioned:
LyondellBasell, Dow, Nova Chemicals, ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillip Chemical, Petroquim, Covestro, ADNOC, Lotte Chemical, Sinopec, Air Products, Honeywell, Aramco, Fluor, BP, Shell, Ineos, Ingevity, SABIC, Indorama Ventures, Nestle, Walmart, McDonald's, Bunge, Cargill, PureCycle, Graham Packaging, Union Pacific, Sonoco, Apple

Global Polymers Market Update: US Polyolefin Margins Surged Into 3Q24, High Prices Help Sustainability Efforts

Key Findings

  • General Thoughts: US spot polyolefin margins have surged to a YTD high, with US spot polyethylene (PE) prices rising with global markets, while its US feedstocks, notably ethane, have fallen relative to Europe and Asia.
  • Supply Chain/Commodities: We discuss US PE producer efforts to boost contract reference prices in July and August, China’s polypropylene glut, and factors favoring European polymer price support in the near term.
  • Energy/Upstream: We highlight YTD price support and less volatility in Ex-US naphtha prices relative to crude oil and falling US ethane values relative to US natural gas, which benefits North American ethylene producers.
  • Recycled/Renewable Polymers: Food packaging consumers are among the most willing to pay for eco-friendly products, which is positive for the transition to sustainable solutions relative to those facing less buyer support.
  • Downstream/Other Chemicals: We highlight PE demand growth views and resins geared the most toward food packaging and discuss why tepid resin demand growth in China poses a risk for Ex-China producers.

Exhibit 1: US spot polyolefin margins reflect a YTD high in early July on an absolute basis and vs. Europe and Asia.

Source: Bloomberg, C-MACC Analysis, July 2024

See PDF below for all charts, tables and diagrams

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