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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 […]

Chemical market whack-a-mole

Anyone ever play whack-a-mole? The image here comes from the 1990s, a time of ill-fitting T-shirts and no smartphones, so entertainment came from games such as whack-a-mole that sprung up (literally) to test our hand-eye coordination as well as our ability to deal with a new problem cropping up just as soon as we had […]

Amid information madness, it’s the methods that matter

It’s getting harder to know what to believe. That statement doesn’t come as a revelation to many reading this blog, as the constant inundation of information makes distillation into beliefs, assertions and forecasts extremely challenging. Just as you’re trying to wrap your head around a set of data, another comes out that contradicts it or […]

Automobile demand woes taking polypropylene for ride

There are a few time-tested principles you take for granted when dealing with chemical data: Crude oil price movements will be a direct or indirect indicator of chemical price deltas. Upstream price rises, compared with upstream price falls, are more likely to cause downstream prices to change (in other words, suppliers tend to pass on […]

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