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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.

Global Chemical Update – Chain, Chain, Chain

Some commodity chemical producers should use the recent surge in FCF to boost specialty portfolios. Westlake makes a compelling move on this front.
Asia HDPE relative to US ethane reflects a lower price spread compared to 2019, while US HDPE integrated ethane margins remain near historic highs.
Other global commodity trends flagged in this report comprise monomer, polymer, and feedstock indicators relevant to gauging sector profitability.

One Last, But Possibly Long, Hurrah

What is approaching 40 years of chemical industry experience tells us that a brick wall is out there somewhere – we cannot see it yet, but it is out there.
But this time, it is different; changing demographics and political agendas will likely overwhelm the usual cyclical chemical industry drivers, eventually.
The oil industry is feeling the change today, and one possible consequence is a period (perhaps prolonged) of high prices and profits – can chemicals do the same?
This report discusses some of the chaos in the ever-changing political landscape, and we explain why and how the chemical industry can best benefit.
The biofuel industry is flagged – we view it as an interesting space to watch.

Pour Some Sugar On Me – US Commodity Chemical Equities Fail To Keep Up Despite 1H21 Profit Surge

US commodity chemical equities have underperformed peer subsectors and the broader market since the start of 2019. This report discusses the relative negative investor sentiment targeting the commodity sector.
US spot butadiene values sit above the mid-point of the five-year range, and we flag several global market indicators worthy of notice in late 2Q21.
We flag pertinent chemical sector corporate items (e.g., Total, PPG, Saudi Aramco, & Kemira news; Several Capex & price nomination updates)
Carbon market discussions advance and we flag more ESG sector items.
We flag multiple macro-economic factors worthy of note, ranging from the continued strength in the US used car values to global shipping challenges.

Hyperactive – Business Updates Positive, Price Hike Efforts Persist, Production Notices Mixed By Region

This research report discusses the risk of an overreaction among chemical producers to tight supply chains and mixed global availability by region that could result in a profit hangover ahead for some major product chains.
We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate updates (e.g., Ashland, Dow, Sekisui Chemical, Sinopec, Wacker, & other price & business news).
Broadly demand indicators remain robust. US refinery operating rates and North American chemical rail traffic increase WoW.
We find numerous ESG announcements worth note, particularly noting updates in green methanol, bio-plastics, & an e-cracker development.
We note numerous other pertinent chemical sector items in this report.

Hydrogen – The Endgame, But The DoE Ambition Could Hurt

Unrealistic hydrogen cost targets concern us, as the benefit of spurring R&D investment may be more than offset by waiting for something unachievable.
Hydrogen is a key “endgame” need for climate action, but the DoE targets appear much more realistic for 2040-2045 (and possibly later) than 2030.
Biofuels are a “plug-and-play” solution that works today – the sector is likely undervalued, in our view, but this market is not absent sizable challenges.
Our research also discusses whether chemical recycling can be good enough for all stakeholders – unintended consequences may hurt current polymer makers.
The SPAC craze is far from over – some of the ESG ones will work but not all.

Knock On Wood – Building Product Prices Begin To Fall From Historic Highs Amid Improved Supply

Building & Construction raw material prices rose notably in 2H21. This report discusses the recent decline in price from historic highs for few key products amid improved supply, signaling 2Q21 will likely mark the peak.
This report flags the recent development in Crude prices relative to Natural gas and displays an estimated US Chlor-vinyl profit trend.
We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate items (e.g., Huntsman, BASF, WR Grace, Pembina, Indorama, SABIC & other producer updates).
Carbon prices in Europe bounce higher WoW but remain below the mid-May peak – we highlight a few fundamental drivers of this market.
We note numerous other pertinent chemical sector items in this report.