Latest Reports


Our most recent publications are summarized in the blocks below and a more complete list can be found to the right of the blocks. Please call us with any questions.

One Piece At A Time – Input Sourcing & Inventory Levels Remain Hot Sector Topics, Autos In Focus

report discusses a few relevant auto market trends worth considering amid considerable disruption.
We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate updates (e.g., Albemarle, Arkema, Evonik, Henkel, Linde, Perstorp, PQ Group, & W.R. Grace)
US refinery operating rates rise, but US chemical rail traffic falls WoW.
This report discusses plastic recycling & other ESG industry trends.

The High Price of Perfect Versus The Lower Price of Good Enough

ESG investing likely to face turbulence as empowered regulators weigh in
Previous ESG darlings may become favorites once more – with significant upside
The dirty side of clean energy lacks attention – limiting options – lifting inflation
Carbon prices encouraging carbon capture – support from the ESG crowd needed
Water is joining the band – expect more news flow and ESG driven initiatives

Wilder Days – Input Markets Anything But Tame For Chemical End Product Makers; ESG Efforts Broaden

Input cost inflation remains a broad-based issue for specialty chemical and broadly for sector product consumers – we find commodity inflation is not only occurring in chemical markets & flag metals and lumber as examples.
This report discusses likely changes in manufacturer inventory habits due to input sourcing issues lifting concerns with long supply chains.
We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate items (e.g., Amcor, DSM, Cabot, Kumho Petrochemical, Solvay, & Tata Chemicals business updates).
Carbon prices hit a record level in Europe & ESG news flow remains high.
The Baltic Index hits an 11-year high amid continued freight rate strength.

Pump It – Commodity Profit Posts Continue To Beat; Specialties Move Their Feet; ESG Efforts Bring Heat

1H21 raw material inflation remains a concern in some specialty chemical product chains, though many producers think end-product demand will allow price pass-throughs. We provide our views after multiple 1Q21 reports.
We highlight DuPont, Westlake, Aramco, Enterprise Products, AdvanSix, Nippon Shokubai, Ube Ind., Huntsman, & Tata Chemicals business updates.
USGC spot ethylene falls, while US polymer-grade propylene rises WoW.
EU CO2e prices hit a record. EV market framed from a global perspective.
The Freightos China-to-US freight rate index remains at multi-year highs.
We note numerous other pertinent chemical sector items in this report.

Global Chemical Update – A Sky Full of Stars

Western commodity chemical prices display historic premiums to Asia.
Asia polymer values reflect a broad-based decline since mid-April, with PVC being the strongest, & LDPE & PP being the weakest per our estimates.
Ex-US naphtha values fall modestly relative to USGC ethane WoW.
Other global commodity market shifts noted include Butadiene, Benzene, Ethylene, & Propylene. Supply chains to remain far from normal near-term.

Trading Places: Momentum Leaving Commodity Chemicals

US commodity prices will likely peak in 2Q21, weather permitting.
Commodity length likely to hurt producer profits less than their equities in 2H21.
Investor shifts from commodities to specialties and selective positions likely.
Our preferred commodity chains remain Vinyls, Acetyls, & Urethanes.
Commodity company capital deployments will face increased levels of scrutiny.
Global sector environmental efforts gain positive momentum, less so in the US.