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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.

Started From The Bottom – Sequential Profit Growth Robust Since 2Q20, QoQ Momentum To Moderate

1Q Chemical sector profit reports & business updates display remarkable strength and optimism – we see slowing momentum as a concern for 2H21.
We flag pertinent chemical sector corporate items (e.g., Avient, Chevron, Eastman Chemical, Eni, ExxonMobil, IMCD, Ingevity, LSB, LyondellBasell, OMV, Repsol, Sibur, Smurfit Kappa, Total, Tronox, Versalis, & Wacker business updates; Multiple price hike & supply-chain notices)
Commodity chemical values remain broadly elevated YoY – we discuss recent trends in polyethylene and other product chains.
Consumers are paying a premium for sustainable products – we view this as a factor lacking adequate appreciation and as a risk for the pyrolysis plans.
We highlight multiple macro-economic factors supporting the positive sector outlooks being provided by most producers with their 1Q21 updates.

Addicted To Love – Chemical Producer Views Stay Broadly Optimistic; 2Q Auto Disruptions Flagged

March-quarter chemical profits broadly exceed Street expectations and the guidance offered in early 2021. Full-year profit outlooks are also on the rise.
We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate updates (e.g., Ashland, BASF, Clariant, Hexpol, Kraton, Methanex, Orbia, PQ Group, SABIC, Shell, Sinopec, OCI, & Total profit postings; multiple global sector Capex updates)
We preview LyondellBasell’s results tomorrow with some Dow compares
We flag inflating input costs for many chemical end-product producers across various raw materials beyond commodity chemicals.
We discuss Ford and Mini news of production issues due to semiconductor sourcing issues. Notable impacts expected in the June quarter.We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate updates (e.g., Ashland, BASF, Clariant, Hexpol, Kraton, Methanex, Orbia, PQ Group, SABIC, Shell, Sinopec, OCI, & Total profit postings; multiple global sector Capex updates)
US refinery operating rates & US chemical rail traffic increased WoW.
We flag inflating input costs for many chemical end-product producers across various raw materials beyond commodity chemicals.
We discuss Ford and Mini news of production issues due to semiconductor sourcing issues. Notable impacts expected in the June quarter.

The Biden Plan: Taking The Harder Path, Limiting Odds Of Success

By our analysis, the Biden emission goals can’t work without a carbon tax/price.
The current plan will get tied up in local and state courts delaying action.
Corporates need (lacking) clarity re economics and policy longevity to invest.
The US could become a global laggard on climate action and weaker as a result.
The ESG investment lobby is currently driving the bus but hasn’t passed the test.

Sector Per-Unit Profit Trends Robust, Producers Set To Battle Degradation As Supply Chains Normalize

Commodity chemical per-unit profit postings remain robust in 1Q reports – we flag recent polyurethane trends at Covestro & ECU trends at Olin.
We frame the Methanex North America methanol contract nomination for May relative to US & Asia spot prices, & historic contract premium trends.
We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate items (e.g., 3M, Covestro, LG Chem, Olin, Shin-Etsu, Tikkurila, & Tokuyama business updates).
We flag the rising fund flows targeting CCS & unrealistic hydrogen goals.
The Baltic Index hits a 10-year high amid continued freight rate strength.

Elevated Demand Expectations Lessen Input Cost Concerns; ESG News Flow High

Downstream/specialty producers push prices to offset 1H21 raw material cost strength in some product chains – inflationary for the consumer
Axalta, BP, Ecolab, Kemira, Elkem, Honeywell, JSR, Posco Chemical, Stepan, Sekisui, Shikoku, & Sherwin-Williams business updates.
Plastic sourcing issues persist in the US, but availability is rising in China.
EU CO2e prices hit a record this week. ESG news flow remains high.
The Freightos China-to-US freight rate index remains at multi-year highs.
Numerous other pertinent chemical sector items are discussed.We highlight Axalta, BP, Ecolab, Kemira, Elkem, Honeywell, JSR, Posco Chemical, Stepan, Sekisui, Shikoku, & Sherwin-Williams business updates.
Plastic sourcing issues persist in the US, but availability is rising in China.
EU CO2e prices hit a record this week. ESG news flow remains high.
The Freightos China-to-US freight rate index remains at multi-year highs.
Numerous other pertinent chemical sector items are noted in this report.

Global Chemical Update – US PE Premiums Expand Further

US polyethylene value up again relative to Asia WoW. Is this the top?
Asia polymer values reflect a broad-based decline WoW, with PVC being the strongest, & LDPE and PP being the weakest.
Ex-US naphtha values fall modestly relative to USGC ethane WoW.
Other global commodity shifts flagged WoW include global Butadiene, Benzene, Ethylene, & Propylene. Supply chains remain broadly out-of-whack.