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Sustainability, Clean Energy, Recycling & ESG Blog

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Chemical Recycling: An Easier Plastic Waste Than Recycling Story

Tue, 20 July 2021

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.

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Consistent Supply Of Recycled Plastics Will Require Consistent & High Enough Pricing

Thu, 13 May 2021

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...

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If Carbon Prices Don't Rise, The Tax Payer Will Foot The Bill Anyway

Wed, 12 May 2021

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...

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The Friday Question: What is the Primary Role of an ESG Investor?

Fri, 14 May 2021
Today we should focus on the very good FT article linked here, which discusses in detail many of the issues facing both ESG investors and corporates concerning the lack of standards in ESG metric providers and the data provided by companies. 

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.

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There May Be Limited Interest In Surplus US Ethylene

Wed, 12 May 2021

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.

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What Happens When The Sell-Side Runs Out Of Money - No Proactive Analysis

Fri, 04 Jun 2021

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...

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New Petrochemical Capacity In China Does Not Change The Dynamic Of The Cost Curve

Tue, 18 May 2021

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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Friday Chemical Question: How will global PVC values develop during the next three months?

Fri, 14 May 2021
Lower or higher?
 
See our general PVC market views in our research report today titled, "Do it to me one more time - China PVC spot prices hit another high; UK Carbon Trade To Start"
 
We welcome your thoughts regarding the development of PVC values. 
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There May Be Limited Interest In Surplus US Ethylene

Wed, 20 Oct 2021

We talk about inflation several times a week (and it features in many of the headlines in yesterday's daily report), but the effect that shortages, perceived or otherwise, are having on the US consumer, is significant, as buying remains high, fueled in part by rising consumer credit... 

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All I Want For Christmas Is Not Available

Wed, 13 Oct 2021

Welcome to the first C-MACC macro blog. These will be less frequent than our industry and ESG blogs, and we will only publish when we feel we are making more sense than, or at least as much sense as everyone else.  

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Industry Events: Conferences and More

Resources

Conferences

Learn from Industry Experts at Events Organized by C-MACC

Dennis Reilley

Dennis Reilley

Since retiring as CEO of Praxair at the end of 2006, having more than tripled the value of the company during his 7 year tenure as CEO, Dennis has served on many boards, retiring only recently as: a Director of DowDuPont and previously Dow Chemical; a Board Director...

Andrew Liveris

Andrew Liveris

Andrew talked about the challenges facing industry leaders in the current environment of uncertainty as well as what may be needed to accelerate the opportunities to re-shore manufacturing to the US in the light of the supply/chain problems we have seen this year and...

Braskem

Braskem

We will be hosting an "update" conference call with Rosana Avolio and Beatriz Hidd from the Braskem Investor Relations Team.  Date - Postponed Until After Earnings Are ReleasedTime - TBD

A Team Of Professionals

Graham Copley

Graham Copley

Founder

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 May

Cooley May

Founder

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.