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Market danger set to lurk in the Gulf

Time to keep a watchful eye on the Gulf of Mexico. Apropos of the approaching peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, there is growing chatter among meteorologists about the possibility of a significant storm building in the southern Gulf’s Bay of Campeche by early next week, with the possibility that this could evolve into a […]

Immense challenges facing chemical, polymer procurers

Mid-February’s prolonged freeze on the Texas-Louisiana coast has juiced up market commentary as much as it has most petrochemical and polymer pricing. Just days after the storm, a polyethylene (PE) trader said that the freeze’s effects on regional and global supplies would be “worse than Hurricane Harvey”. Perhaps so, because not long after, a PE […]

Could recycling bring naphtha back in style?

Last week, the blog took a look at how government policies could shape a market such as that for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). The scenarios analysed uncovered a major point: A major upsurge in demand above the 2.24m tonnes base case for 2025 jeopardises operations for disadvantaged LLDPE plants globally. However, the demand for […]

Decoupling talk is decoupled from reality

It was supposed to be a harmless press conference honouring the US Labor Day holiday, but President Donald Trump made a statement about possible changes in the US-China relationship that if implemented would have substantial implications for chemical markets. In vowing to bolster US manufacturing by reshoring jobs from China should he be elected to […]

Helping the chemical supply chain not be BlackBerry

Market-driven economics work, even if they at first are overwhelmed by unprecedented demand. Such is the case with isopropanol (IPA), whose demand for use in sanitation remains at levels stronger than before the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world. But US IPA prices continue to fall from the stratospheric heights achieved in April when initial demand […]

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