Chemical Market Analysis

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Chemical & Associated Industries

C-MACC has extensive expertise in the chemical and related industries. With a background in both finance and chemistry, we offer services that provide market analysis, news discovery, expert perspectives, and valuable data. Our services are used by corporations and investment firms to gain insights and make informed decisions.

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what we are talking about today

Daily Chemical Reactions

Global Shipping Issues Benefit Europe, Hurt Asia; Surging US Power Demand Will Not Be Met Without More Natural Gas Use

Global Shipping Issues Benefit Europe, Hurt Asia; Surging US Power Demand Will Not Be Met Without More Natural Gas Use

General Thoughts: Global container freight rates reached a fresh YTD high this week amid logistic issues and some inventory stocking amid production concerns. Western markets, on average, reflect tighter conditions than Asia.

Supply Chain/Commodities: We discuss European PE and PP spot price support, business updates from Asian Paints and Lanxess, and Hexcel’s 2024 profit outlook reduction due to a more cautious near-term aerospace view.

Energy/Upstream: We discuss Kinder Morgan and BP comments toward natural gas demand exceeding most forecasts amid surging power needs and highlight US natural gas price trends relative to Asia and Europe.

Sustainability/Energy Transition: Solar modules have fallen to a record low, though still at a notable premium to China, and we also provide a few additional thoughts on clean agriculture following our sector report yesterday.

Downstream/Other Chemicals: We highlight the significant drivers of improvement in US industrial production, with energy and utilities both seeing strength MoM, and we comment on North American rail traffic trends.

How The Markets Look 

The Weekly Catalyst

Rock You Like A Hurricane – Beryl Disruptions Favor US Spot Commodity Chemical Price Strength, May Harm Specialty Profits

Rock You Like A Hurricane – Beryl Disruptions Favor US Spot Commodity Chemical Price Strength, May Harm Specialty Profits

Polymer Market Trends: Hurricane Harvey was labeled the first global hurricane for chemicals in 2017, given its impact on US plastic producers increasingly targeting exports – we discuss similarities with Hurricane Beryl.

Chemical Market Trends: US commodity chemical prices rose last week, and we anticipate further strength amid production disruptions on the US Gulf Coast – a plus for commodity prices that is negative for buyers.

Feedstock Market Trends: Brent Crude Oil and Ex-US naphtha prices rose WoW relative to global natural gas and USGC ethane prices, steepening the global chemical cost curve, on average, in favor of North America.

Agriculture Market Trends: Global ammonia prices were mostly unchanged, on average, last week, though US natural gas prices fell relative to Ex-US values, lifting US margins. We see limited Agriculture impact from Beryl.

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what we are covering

Sunday Thematic & Weekly Recap 

Summer of Love – Maybe Not; Summer of Profits – Possible for Some

Summer of Love – Maybe Not; Summer of Profits – Possible for Some

As each week of the summer progresses, we get another data point that causes planning headaches, both short and medium term. Hurricane Beryl may have caused minimal industry damage, but the early arrival is not good.

Meanwhile, politics is all over the place with surprises in Europe, the US (as recently as yesterday), Mexico, and India kicking off a year in which consequences for industrial and climate policy are increasingly opaque.

In Europe this week we have had discussions with companies at the challenging end of the scale – high costs on a global basis, even higher costs of decarbonization, and a strong green lobby that wants to ban everything.

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Valuable insights for critical subjects

Sustainaility & Energy Transition

Data Center and Other AI Related Power Demand Poses Challenges for Industry

Data Center and Other AI Related Power Demand Poses Challenges for Industry

1st Topic of the Week: Our expectations around renewable power availability for industry is getting more challenging as power demand expectations rise and the purchasing power of the data centers looks much higher than industry. Industry cannot find many customers willing to pay for green/clean and cheap power is needed.

2nd Topic of the Week: We use a lithium example to discuss the risk of “peak” investing – building something that only makes sense with high prices. The investment process in the US and Europe is slow enough to last through some pricing peaks and avoid mistakes – China moves much faster and can build based on a peak market view.

Otherwise: We look at some recycling price opportunities in food packaging, highlight another reason why we believe carbon credit values will rise steeply, note some of the battery initiatives are stalling – bad for lithium demand, good for EV makers, and we take a quick first look at the new BP net-zero global model.

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weekly sERVICE

Hydrogen Economy Update 

Webcast Feedback and New Ideas

Webcast Feedback and New Ideas

The hydrogen and other transition industries need new guidance and revised incentives at a time when there is political upheaval in many places, suggesting that the industry will need to wait/hope for post-election calm.

Companies with near-term decisions to make will find them challenging unless they stand up without further incentives or pricing driven by demand mandates, and then only where project financing is not required.

The SAF industry is in particularly bad shape, with critical projects being abandoned, leaving airlines with very deficit supply projections, and a need to stimulate investment by paying up for fuels now – bad for airfares.

We need a rule change for US green hydrogen credits to save the industry from several years of depressed activity, but despite moves from Plug Power and others, we do not think the change will come.

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Polymer Pricing Service

Polymer Price Expectations Report

C-MACC Coverage of Companies and Commodities

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