• Brent (blue dotted line) is down 11%
• Naphtha (red) is down 13% in Europe
• Benzene (green) is down 9% in Europe
• HDPE export (purple) is down 7% in the USG
• PTA import (red) is down 9% in China
These are serious price declines. They support the blog’s fears that buyers have now retreated to the sidelines.
Downturn Alert was introduced to provide chemical companies of an early warning of a slowdown, after the euphoria of Q1’s excellent results.
Of course, prices may still rally. But for the moment, the Alert is suggesting we may now be at the start of the downturn that has always followed previous periods of high oil prices.