Industry Blogs: Current Topics & Trends
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The clear advantage of chemical recycling – as seen in the linked Agilyx headline – is that there are no issues with product cleanliness, etc., to get the material back into the cycle. As the polymers are essentially destroyed in the pyrolysis process and then reused as a feedstock in the traditional polymer production process, the rigors of sorting and cleaning for a mechanical recycling alternative are not needed. From a food contact perspective, chemical recycling is the easiest way to close the loop. What we are seeing in the headlines, however, is still “proof of concept” stuff and there remain plenty of challenges with logistics and/or proof of custody with the feedstocks that are flowing back to the ethylene unit, as well as how much recycling credit is appropriate, given that roughly half of the recycled feedstock does not end up as a polymer.
We talked a little about recycled polymer pricing in our ESG and Climate report yesterday. Recycled polymer pricing is rising relative to virgin polymer pricing (see chart below) and is likely to continue to rise unless hydrocarbon prices push virgin resins materially higher. Demand for recycled polymer is growing quickly and more quickly than supply...
The big news of the week is the massive grant that the Dutch government approved for an offshore carbon capture project that will be focused on the operations of Shell, ExxonMobil, Air Products, and Air Liquide. This looks to be localized within the Port of Rotterdam, where both oil majors operate large refineries, Shell also operates a large chemical site and the industrial gas companies have significant hydrogen capacity...
We would like thoughts, in the hope of starting an interesting dialogue on what you think the primary role of an ESG fund manager should be – to maximize returns, to promote change, to attract funds, etc.
As we highlighted in yesterday's report, ethylene continues to weaken (see chart below) in the US and it is the one product with a true supply/demand-driven problem today – there is simply more capacity to produce ethylene in the US than there is the capacity to consume it. For more details please see today's daily.
The Dow announcement yesterday speaks to a much larger issue within the investment community in our view, which is that research fees have come down so much over the last ten years that the sell-side gets paid very little for doing any real research. We talked about the upside in 2Q for the commodity polymer producers for months. Still, we know that we cannot get paid for maintaining the models needed to get to the numbers with enough confidence to publish estimates. The buy-side does not have the budget. In the past, as sell-side analysts, we would subscribe and talk to price discovery consultants, such as the predecessor companies of IHS (now in the middle of an acquisition by S&P) and CDI (in the middle of a merger with ICIS). This data and these dialogues would allow us to adjust earnings estimates during the quarter and keep up alongside our other work (e.g. corporate marketing/roadshows, etc.) as analysts. There is enough data in our weekly report – published each Monday to do this for many companies...
This headline about China creating petrochemical deflation is largely based on the rate of capacity addition within China and that base chemical pricing in China still sits well above costs – but the argument may be flawed on a couple of levels. First, costs may not fall materially, given the increased thirst for imported naphtha and...
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Some of you will know Raj from his days as CEO of Rohm and Haas, but since then Raj has served on many boards including HP and Tyco. He is currently the Lead Director of Arconic and a Board Director of DuPont. He is Chairman of both APTIV PLC and...
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Graham has spent 40 years in and around the chemical sector and associated industries, and his depth of experience and breadth of industry and geographic experience qualifies him for a wide spectrum of consulting and other advisory roles.
Cooley most recently served as Managing Director and Sector Head of US Basic Materials and Industrials Equity Research at Macquarie while he also worked as a senior analyst directly covering the chemical and agriculture sectors.