The strength of China’s post zero-COVID recovery in 2023 will be crucial, as will local operating rates as self-sufficiency further increases.
Another important factor: European gas supply next winter and the effect on local PE production.
The chart shows European
dependence on Russian gas compared with country-by-country percentages of the region’s total PE capacity, Germany is the standout risk country as it has a nearly 50% reliance on Russia for its gas supplies with a total of more than 70% of Europe’s PE capacities across the three grades. In the case of the Netherlands, it is the location for just under 40% of capacities with its dependence on Russian gas at around 20%.
Lower refinery operating rates on a lack of Russian oil and naphtha -– and reduced electricity supply to refineries and petrochemicals plants -– may be more than offset by weaker European petrochemicals demand.
By John Richardson WE NOW HAVE enough data to make some firm conclusions about what the Chinese polyethylene (PE) market will have looked like in 2021. We can also make some early estimates about the shape of the market in 2022. The slide below details what the ICIS apparent demand data for January-October 2021 (our […]
By John Richardson THE CHART BELOW shows that 60% of global benzene production in 2021-2040 is forecast to be made via technologies linked to refining units that also make gasoline components. The 60% includes a 33% share for catalytic reformers that make toluene, mixed xylenes (MX) and benzene, referred to collectively as reformate. In the […]
By John Richardson WE ALL NEED TO ASK ourselves whether the global patterns in polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) pricing and margins that we have seen over the last year represent a long-term divergence in global markets or something temporary. As discussed on Monday, when I examined linear low-density PE (LLDPE) market (and the same […]
By John Richardson THE BALTIC DRY INDEX, one of the excellent barometers of overall economic activity, was late last week at its lowest level since June on a slowing Chinese economy, easing congestion at Chinese ports and a fall in Chinese coal imports (more on this in a moment). “The index was around 1,000 a […]
By John Richardson AGAIN, DON’T say I didn’t tell you. In my 11 October blog post, having talked to people who know what they are talking about, I flagged up the possibility that China’s energy shortages could be fixed a lot quicker than many people were suggesting. Those in the know about China told me […]
By John Richardson TRADE DATA when combined with price assessments, supply and demand estimates and market intelligence is the modern-day equivalent of alchemy with a rather important difference: we can genuinely convert numbers and conversations with the market into gold, unlike the bogus science of alchemy. A great example is the chart below, the first […]
By John Richardson RARELY, IF EVER, have events felt so bafflingly complex in the global polyethylene (PE) business. Take as an example the chart below listing the factors that have reshaped demand since the beginning of the pandemic. Let’s go through these factors one by one, box by box. It is reasonable to assume, starting […]