As summer wanes and autumn draws near, storm clouds continue to gather on the horizon and creep closer with every new record for the Dutch TTF gas price. It is not a hyperbole to say that this winter looks quite harrowing for many commodity marketplaces, and Europe is ground zero for what on paper looks to be a seismic event that could lead to governments there deciding between heating homes and businesses operating. Let us hope the doomsday scenarios do not come to pass. Regardless, the situation sets up three themes that I think define the rest of 2022 and likely start the narrative that will be 2023:
Prices precipitously falling from their highs after months of feverous run-up is typical commodity market behaviour, but the conditions in which the current moves are occurring remain unusual. While indexes in the three major IPEX regions fell, the yawning gap between them remains atypically wide with little indication of towards deviating back to the historical norm.
Negotiations on annual contracts are under way for many in the plastics supply chain, and the market conditions looming over the bargain table have rarely been as complex and vexing. After a year of ever-increasing resin prices on the back of strong demand and the potent cocktail of supply and logistics issues, diverging market pictures […]
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I can prove the one here is worth 1,034. How so? Because my colleague John Richardson wrote that many in his excellent 5 September blog on the yawning gap between NE Asia and US polypropylene (PP) prices, and the reasons behind that. Without knowing those […]
Forecasters of this year’s hurricane season expect above-normal activity, and so far that seems on point with the naming this week of the Atlantic’s fourth tropical system. The active start also should bring to mind the precarious state commodity chemical markets and their participants find themselves in right now. Should the Texas-Louisiana coast not navigate […]
Reinvestment in infrastructure has finally made it to centre stage of US political discussions, but prepare to be underwhelmed by what ultimately results from what will be a partisan debate over a subject that on its surface should not be contentious. This blog previously has expressed optimism that a large investment in US infrastructure renewal […]
Finding common ground for US Republicans and Democrats is as difficult as ever during these hyper-partisan times, but if there has been one subject that has ventured into that rarified air, it is the need to reinvest in the country’s infrastructure. But while both Republican President Donald Trump and his Democrat opposition have signaled their […]