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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.

Just Dance – US Commodity Chemical Production Broadly Incentivized To Run, 4Q Profit Risk Rises

US commodity chemical per-unit margins incentivize a quick production return following Hurricane Ida. This report discusses mixed signals coming from several key markets that may signal intermediate price declines in 4Q21.    
We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate updates (e.g., Celanese, Repsol, Shell, Chevron, Gevo, Dow, BASF, Nouryon & other news).  
We compare US total rail traffic to US chemical rail traffic, flag several relevant NGL market statistics, and discuss commodity chemical trends.
We flag several ESG items worth noting, ranging from multiple Chevron partnerships to highlighting our latest ESG weekly research that discusses the challenges facing new routes to conventional polymers.
We note numerous other relevant chemical sector items in this report.

New (Polymer) Kids On The Block: The Challenges Of Adolescence

New production routes, including renewables, to conventional polymers, are complicating an already opaque picture of the best course for the plastics industry
New and low carbon polymers do not address plastic waste issues unless large sub-sectors can switch to compostable polymers with consumer buy-in
Most new technologies are largely untested, and almost all untested at scale, and for several, feedstock availability may challenge reaching scale economics
In some cases, valuations already factor in success and not much risk, and we question whether some can deliver on their promises and on time
Otherwise, we talk about hydrogen, carbon offsets (and the possible value of direct air capture), aviation fuel, ESG activism, & the geopolitics of climate change

Matches & Metaphors – Input Shortages Evident In US Building Materials & Autos, Demand Stays Hot

We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate updates (e.g., Huntsman, Shintech, PPG, Sherwin-Williams, LyondellBasell, Azelis, & other items).
We find varied ESG items worth consideration, ranging from EU carbon values hitting a record high this week to several corporate initiative updates.
We note numerous other pertinent chemical sector items in this report.

Global Chemical Update – Twistin’ The Night Away

US commodity chemical price premiums remain pronounced relative to Asia. Today’s research adds to our Sunday Thematic discussing US co-product benefits to integrated ethylene costs and helps frame the Butadiene market.
Global commodity value shifts were mixed WoW, with ethylene higher but propylene lower in most major markets. US Natural gas/NGLs rose notably.  
Other global commodity trends flagged in this report comprise monomer, polymer, and feedstock indicators relevant to gauging sector profitability.

US Cost Advantage: More Fragile Than Usual

US ethylene production costs relative to Asia reflect more benefits from the YoY surge in higher co-product values than lower feedstock costs – this looks fragile.   
The potential for regional co-product prices to “normalize” in 2022 is high and holds more risk than weaker US feedstock (oil vs. gas) ratios – we frame our case. 
Considering still robust natural gas/LNG demand, US chemical and polymer exports will likely grow but drive more marginal returns in 2022 than 2020/2021.
Freight rates will need to correct meaningfully for relative prices to normalize – we do not see that happening this year but think the correction occurs in 2022. 
 Otherwise, we discuss Hurricane Ida as a near-term support factor for US prices, inflation in all things climate-related, and still notably positive refining margins.

September In The Rain – PVC Market Set To Tighten, US Price Premiums Unlikely To Notably Fall Until 4Q

US PVC market tightness should persist near term following a few notable Ida-linked production issues in Louisiana. We foresee US premium values not facing downward pressure until 4Q amid seasonal pressure and more supply.    
We highlight pertinent chemical sector corporate updates (e.g., Covestro, Westlake, Sadara, DSM, Kemira, Tianyi Lithium, Dow & other items).
We highlight our latest ESG weekly research and numerous other ESG items worth note, ranging from offshore CCS projects to technology updates.
We note numerous other pertinent chemical sector items in this report.