Europe aromatics chain sentiment stronger in September - CMCI

28 September 2016 15:40 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Confidence in the European aromatics chain was higher across all indicators in September when compared to last month, analysis of the ICIS Chemical Market Confidence Index (CMCI) showed on Wednesday.

The most significant rise was for future order book volumes which increased by more than a third from August. Current order book volumes were also up, by almost 12%.

Current and future profitability and future business conditions were higher than last month but only just, while sentiment for future business conditions rose by more than 7%.

The September aromatics chain index remained in positive territory for all indicators. 

For the individual products, toluene is more positive looking forward, with more gasoline blending demand expected once new specifications towards a lower sulphur content kick in for US and China next year.

Benzene is hard to judge, with the spread over naphtha currently around $300, which is where it has averaged this year but demand not great in September.

Styrene is really struggling and in 2017 there could be more structural imports coming in so this could balance out the market overall and keep prices on an even keel.

The overall September CMCI hinted at stabilising conditions for the European chemicals sector as a whole after several volatile months, but improvements for business condition expectations and current profitability remained modest.

The newly established ICIS Europe CMCI aggregates sentiment from hundreds of petrochemical market players actively involved in price negotiations across more than 60 different markets.

The Europe CMCI runs from +100, to -100, with zero on each index representing neutral, or uncertain conditions, a negative score indicating bearish expectations and a positive score representing bullish expectations. The indices also gather sentiment on the comparison between the current situation and the situation across the past 12 months to give a complete picture of current market conditions and confidence. The information is gathered in the third week of each month.  A full methodology is available on request.

For more details on the overall Europe CMCI data, click here

By Graeme Paterson