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Chemicals news

SHIPPING: Global container rates moderate, decreases seen on Asia-S America trade lane

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Average global rates for shipping containers moderated this week, and market players in Latin America have even seen decreases in costs from Asia, but rates to the US East Coast are likely to remain elevated as deployed capacity remains tight. Rates on the World Container Index (WCI) from supply chain advisors Drewry edged higher by 1% over the week, as shown in the following chart. Rates from Shanghai to the US East Coast rose by 2.5% over the week while rates from China to the US West Coast rose by less than 1%, as shown in the following chart. Drewry expects freight rates to remain high until the end of the peak season. Rates from online freight shipping marketplace and platform provider Freightos are slightly higher to the West Coast and slightly lower to the East Coast when compared with Drewry's assessments. Judah Levine, head of research at Freightos, said the convergence of peak season demand, strained capacity on continued diversions away from the Red Sea and Suez Canal, and congestion at Asia ports are keeping upward pressure on rates. Kyle Beaulieu, senior director and head of ocean Americas at Flexport, said in a webinar this week that congestion has eased a bit over the last month at key Asian ports, especially Singapore. But still, Beaulieu said deployed capacity was 91% in June and 94% so far in July. He said general rate increases (GRIs) were largely successful for 15 June and 1 July, but that GRIs set to take effect on 15 July have been cancelled. He said there are no real signs of relief for the Asia-USEC trade lane as capacity is expected to remain tight. For the near term, he expects the Red Sea diversions to support higher rates, and those higher rates to continue being spread across all trade lanes. A trader told ICIS this week that it is seeing softer rates from Asia to South America. Rates from Asia to South America were flat to lower this week according to ocean freight rates analytics firm Xeneta and as shown in the following charts. Additional reporting by Bruno Menini

12-Jul-2024

INSIGHT: Brazil’s new gas deals with Bolivia ‘historic step’ for chemicals – Abiquim

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Earlier this week, the head of Brazil’s chemical producers’ trade group Abiquim accompanied President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during his official visit to Bolivia and returned with deals which could potentially increase and liberalize natural gas supplies to Brazil. The chemicals industry in Brazil consumes around a third of all-natural gas available, according to Abiquim. Prices in the largest Latin American economy, however, are considerably higher than in the US, the other large economy in the Americas. Therefore, natural gas supplies – how to increase them and how to make them more affordable – has been on Abiquim lobbying agenda for some time now. Nearly a year ago, Brazil’s minister for energy and mines, Alexandre Silveira, was the star guest at an Abiquim event presenting a study on how to increase supplies. At the time, Silveira thanked them for the kind invitation but he came to basically say the government had little to do and it should be the private sector leading the effort. Truth be told, Brazil’s cabinet has much to say and much it could do about energy. The rather overwhelming and dominant position of Petrobras – a ministry in all effects, with its CEO always handpicked by whoever is the president – gives the energy major a key role in what Brazil's energy landscape looks like. Its interest in natural gas has always been very limited, injecting the supplies it gets from crude oil production back into the system. However, Abiquim and Petrobras earlier this year signed an agreement to explore joint projects on natural gas supplies. In June, Abiquim said in an interview with ICIS there would be news on that front within weeks, but nothing has been announced yet. One year on since Silveira attend that event in Sao Paulo, it seems industrial trade groups come and go in Brasilia’s corridors of power as they please. The current left-leaning administration and manufacturing companies have a common goal, expressed in different wishes: the former, more and better paid manufacturing jobs to please Lula's Workers Party (PT) core constituency; the latter, higher sales and profits, and improving their competitiveness can be an important part of that. Thus, this week Lula invited to go to Bolivia with him trade groups or associations representing sectors directly affected by Brazil’s high natural gas prices. Among them, Abiquim’s head, Andre Passos, with whom ICIS will publish an interview next week. Never shy in using strong words, Abiquim said the week’s agreements in Bolivia represented a “historic step” for Brazilian chemicals which could come to partly fix its competitiveness problem. “The visit to Bolivia is in line with the objectives of the Gas Para Empregar [Gas for Jobs] program and could represent an immense short-, medium- and long-term opportunity for the natural gas market, with the possibility of even using gas from Argentina through Gasbol [pipeline connecting Bolivia’s fields with Brazil’s south and most industrialized states],” said Abiquim. “Based on the conversations held, it will now be possible to start rounds of negotiations for the contracting of Bolivian and Argentine gas without the participation of Petrobras, which will be essential to increase competition in the gas market, enabling greater liquidity, and even helping to make natural gas from the pre-salt viable.” Abiquim added that Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy was “essential in making this moment a reality” and in helping private players to make progress on being able to directly contract gas in Bolivia. In Brazil, the Ministry for Energy and Petrobras are the two decisive voices in energy policy. Abiquim’s diplomatic words thanking the ministry is just another way of saying they are pleased to see Petrobras losing the nearly full control it has had in issues related to the natural gas supply from Bolivia. This, of course, occurs as Abiquim's largest member and commanding voice is Brazilian polymers major Braskem, of which Petrobras owns 36.1%. A GIANT SEEKING GASBrazil has for several years been importing natural gas from Bolivia, via the pipeline Gasbol, which links the producer’s fields with Brazil’s southern and more industrialized states. Gasbol is the longest natural gas pipeline in South America with 3,150 kilometers (1,960 miles). According to Brazil’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, Bolivia is Brazil's main supplier of natural gas supplying two thirds of its imports. Meanwhile, natural gas represents 86% of Bolivia's exports to Brazil. Regarding natural gas, the trip this week aimed at easing access to that gas for Brazilian private sector players, until now quite constrained in what they could purchase given that natural gas bilateral trade has practically been a state-controlled affair via Petrobras. That was one of Brazil’s delegation legs, led by trade groups such Abiquim, Abrace Energia representing energy consumers, trade group for industrialists in Sao Paulo state FIESP, Abvidro representing the glass sector, and Aspacer and Anfacer, both representing the ceramics industry. Brazil’s minister for energy and mines, Alexandre Silveira, and Petrobras’ new CEO, Magda Chambriad, were also part of the delegation. While the company she now presides over may lose the upper hand in natural gas trade with Bolivia, Chambriad said – according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines’ press office – that the new natural gas production areas in Bolivia are going through the environmental licensing phase and could start up as soon as 2025. “The increase in gas supply to Brazil translates into lower prices in the country,” concluded the ministry. As it normally happens, many of the deals signed this week will be worth only the paper they are written in in some years’ time. However, they could be meaningful if just a few of them were to be implemented: the Bolivian Ministry for Hydrocarbons and Energy, in charge of all areas mentioned so far, published this week as many as 12 press releases on as many agreements. For example, and again related to Brazil’s thirst for natural gas, private companies had conversations about potential imports from Argentina but via the Bolivian Gasbol. MERCOSUR – AND MILEILula went to Bolivia after having visited Paraguay for a summit of Mercosur, the trade bloc formed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay and which this year welcomed Bolivia as a member. However, Argentina’s Javier Milei refused to participate in the summit, perhaps for the best. He has insulted Lula so many times and in so colorful manners that it may be hard to try and establish any personal relationship – the two have never met face to face. To make his preferences clear, instead of attending the Mercosur summit, Milei went to Brazil’s state of Santa Catarina for an international event of right-wing and far-right figures. “No political rift will prevent dialogue with our Argentine brothers and sisters,” said Silveira before travelling to the summit, quoted by the public news agency Agencia Brasil. But increasingly more people are wondering what Mercosur’s future will look like. Despite Lula and his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez good intentions when Spain was the holder of the EU’s rotatory presidency in 2023, both leaders were unable to push their sides to conclude the free trade deal between the two blocs, which has been in the making more than 20 years. The financial weekly The Economist also wondered this week about the bloc’s importance, highlighting Milei’s absence. In an opinion-ed article – those without byline which would represent the publication’s view – it said that the host’s rebuffs to Mile for not attending may well fall in deaf ears. “It was an especially pointed snub. Skipping the twice-yearly get-together of the presidents of Mercosur, Milei chose instead to speak to the hard right at a Conservative Political Action Conference in Brazil … The reality is that Mercosur is no longer so important. Even the host, Santiago Peña of Paraguay, admitted that ‘Mercosur is clearly not going through its best moment’,” said the article. “Milei has never formally met Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s president, whom he slags off as ‘corrupt’ and a ‘communist’ (Brazil’s supreme court quashed Lula’s conviction – and he is a socialist). But political incompatibilities go back further: Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s former leader, and Alberto Fernández, Milei’s Peronist predecessor, similarly shunned each other.” THE FIGURES In 2023, trade flows between Brazil and Bolivia totaled $3.31 billion, with a surplus of $278 million for Brazil, according to official figures. Bolivia was the 35th main destination for exports and the 30th country of origin for Brazilian imports. Brazil was the main destination for Bolivian exports and the second country of origin for its imports. The main products exported by Brazil to Bolivia were those from the steel sector (iron and steel, bars, angles, and profiles, 6.1% of the total), and passenger cars (3.8%). The main products imported by Brazil from Bolivia were natural gas (86%) and chemical fertilizers (4.8%). Insight by Jonathan Lopez

11-Jul-2024

INSIGHT: After Beryl, US chems may see 11 more hurricanes

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The conditions that helped make Beryl become a hurricane before hitting Texas chemical plants will persist through the rest of the season, with meteorologists forecasting 11 more forming in the Atlantic basin. Conditions are already conducive for hurricanes even though the peak of the season does not happen until the late summer. Beryl still disrupted chemical operations even though it was a relatively weak hurricane when it made landfall in Texas. The next hurricane could disrupt global chemical markets if it damages terminals and ports on the Gulf Coast. BERYL'S KNOCKS OUT POWEREven though Beryl was a Category 1 hurricane – the weakest class – it still caused more than 2 million outages in Texas. Many of the disruptions that Beryl caused to the chemical industry were because of power outages. A roughly equal number of disruptions was caused by companies shutting down operations as a precaution. Other disruptions were attributed to bad weather. PORT DISRUPTIONSBeryl's other major effect was on ports. The ports of Corpus Christi, Freeport, Texas City and Houston had shut down. Beryl caused Freeport LNG Development to shut down its operations. CONDITIONS THAT MADE BERYL SO POWERFUL WILL PERSISTBeryl illustrates the destructive potential of a weak Category 1 hurricane that travels through parts of Texas that host critical powerlines and ports. The meteorology firm AccuWeather estimates that total damage and economic loss caused by Beryl was $28-32 billion. Beryl was remarkable because, prior to making landfall in Texas, it had become a Category 5 hurricane, the most powerful class under the Saffir-Simpson scale. It was the first time that such a powerful hurricane had formed so early in the year, something that US meteorologist attributed to exceptionally warm ocean temperatures. The surface temperatures at sea are already close to what is typical during the mid-September, the peak hurricane season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). After Beryl made landfall in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, it weakened into a tropical storm before passing over more warm water in the Gulf of Mexico. There it strengthened rapidly and became a hurricane once more before hitting Texas. The warm waters that contributed to Beryl's strength will persist and should soon be joined by La Nina, a weather phenomenon that also makes hurricanes more likely. METEOROLOGISTS RAISE HURRICANE FORECASTEarlier this week, the hurricane forecast for this year was raised by meteorologists at Colorado State University's Tropical Weather & Climate Research. The following compares the center's latest hurricane forecast to its update in June and to the average for the years 1991-2020. July June Average Named Storms 25 23 14.4 Named Storm Days 120 115 69.4 Hurricanes 12 11 7.2 Hurricane Days 50 45 27.0 Major Hurricanes 6 5 3.2 Major Hurricane Days 16 13 7.4 Source: Colorado State University Like NOAA, Colorado State University (CSU) noted that extremely warm sea surface temperatures and a possible La Nina are making it more likely for hurricanes to form and strengthen. THE NEXT HURRICANE COULD CAUSE MORE DAMAGEThe next hurricane can prove to be a bigger logistical headache for railroad companies. Beryl had caused only brief disruptions at BNSF and Union Pacific (UP). Beryl's path did not threaten US oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. The next storm could threaten those wells, causing several energy producers to shut in production. Damage to Gulf Coast oil, ethane, LPG and LNG terminals could disrupt energy markets if the outages last long enough. Texas and the neighboring state of Louisiana are home to most of the nation's LNG export capacity. Prolonged outages at LNG terminals could lead to an oversupply of natural gas in the US because producers could lose an outlet to ship out excess capacity. Prices for natural gas could consequently fall. Prices for ethane tend to follow those for natural gas, so they would also fall in the event of a supply glut. Texas ships ethane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to crackers all over the world. If the next hurricane damages those terminals and leads to a prolonged shutdown, it could have global repercussions by interrupting shipments of feedstock to crackers. In the US, it could cause prices for those products to plummet, especially for propane. US midstream companies are already trying to ship out as much LPG as possible because production has been so prolific. Over the years, US producers have exported increasing amounts of polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). If the next hurricane damages those plants, then it would have a direct effect on global petrochemical markets. Insight by Al Greenwood Thumbnail shows a distribution transformer of a power line knocked down by Beryl. Image by Reginald Mathalone/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

11-Jul-2024

Houston, Freeport ports remain closed as millions lack power after Beryl

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The ports of Houston and Freeport in Texas remain mostly closed on Tuesday while millions remain without power following Hurricane Beryl's landfall at the start of the week. Port Houston said all of its terminals will remain closed on Tuesday. Port Freeport said the Freeport Harbor Channel is closed. Gates 4 and 14 are closed, while Gate 8 is opened. Freeport LNG Development had shut down its LNG operations at Freeport on July 7. It can export 15 million tonnes/year. Loadings for LNG tankers slowed considerably on 8 July due to rough seas and suspension of pilot services at Calcasieu Pass and Sabine Pass. Both are in Louisiana. The port of Corpus Christi is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday. It is the third largest oil-exporting port in the world, and it is home to Corpus Christi Liquefaction, a terminal that can export 15 million tonnes/year of liquefied natural gas (LNG). MILLIONS REMAIN WITHOUT POWERBeryl made landfall on Sunday in Matagorda, Texas, as a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained windspeeds of 80 miles/hour (130 km/hour). So far, much of its effect on chemical operations has been by interrupting power. On late Tuesday morning, Texas reported more than 2.82 million outages, according to the website poweroutage.us, which keeps track of power outages in the US. CenterPoint Energy, the main electrical transmission and distribution company in Houston, said more than 1.76 million customers remain affected by outages. Entergy, the main one for eastern Texas, said on Monday evening that 247,000 customers remained without power. Texas-New Mexico Power, which handles the areas around Freeport and Galveston said it 73,220 customers are affected by outages. BERYL CAUSED SOME CHEM SHUTDOWNSElectrical outages and precautions had caused some chemical companies and refiners to shut down units. Enterprise Products said bad weather caused a trip to a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Mont Belvieu, Texas. Marathon Petroleum reported power loss and multiple unit shutdowns at its Galveston Bay refinery. Dow shut down its operations in Seadrift, Texas, as a precaution. In Baytown, ExxonMobil said it is continuing to assess the site for possible damage as it resumes normal operations. The company anticipated minimal impact to production. Formosa Plastics shut down its Olefins 1 unit at Port Comfort, Texas. Interoceanic Corporation (IOC) said its affiliate, PCI Nitrogen, has halted ammonium sulphate (AS) and sulphuric acid production at its facility in Pasadena, Texas. Phillips 66 reported an upset at its refinery in Sweeney, Texas. The refiner did not say if it shut down any unit. Personnel had returned it to normal operations. CITGO reduced operating rates at its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. BASF Total Petrochemical's cracker in Port Arthur, Texas, produced off-spec material because of a suspected lightning strike. LIMITED RAIL DISRUPTIONSOn Monday, BNSF said its Pearland intermodal facility in Houston remained closed.  WEATHER FORECASTIn the late morning, Beryl had degraded into a post tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 30 miles/hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was in the northeastern part of the US state of Arkansas, and meteorologists expected it would continue traveling in that direction towards Canada. Thumbnail shows flooding caused by Beryl. Image by Reginald Mathalone/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

09-Jul-2024

PODCAST: US Gulf Coast chemicals must prepare for more persistent disruption

BARCELONA (ICIS)–Climate change and warming oceans mean that the US Gulf Coast chemical sector will have to adapt to more frequent weather events such as Hurricane Beryl. Gulf Coast area where Hurricane Beryl made landfall houses 13m tonnes, 29% of US ethylene production capacity Beryl is earliest Category five hurricane on record; busy season forecast Warming oceans mean there may be double the number of severe hurricanes Energy, chemical industries must adapt to cope with more weather events Move towards net zero carbon gives opportunity to relocate plants, infrastructure In this Think Tank podcast, Will Beacham interviews ICIS Business Solutions Group senior executive Nigel Davis and Paul Hodges, chairman of New Normal Consulting. Editor’s note: This podcast is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the presenter and interviewees, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS. Read the latest issue of ICIS Chemical Business. Read Paul Hodges and John Richardson's ICIS blogs.

09-Jul-2024

China EV giant BYD to invest $1 billion in Turkey production plant

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Chinese electric vehicle (EV) giant BYD has agreed to invest $1 billion to set up a manufacturing plant in Turkey which will produce up to 150,000 vehicles per year. BYD is expected to begin production at the new factory at the end of 2026, Turkey's vice President Cevdet Yılmaz said in a post on social media platform X on Tuesday. "We expect this investment to make significant contributions to our exports in the medium term and to further reduce our already falling current account deficit," Yilmaz said. BYD declined to comment on the deal when contacted by ICIS. The company has not issued a official statement on the investment. The Chinese company is the world’s leading EV producer, with annual sales of around 3 million units. The automotive industry is a major global consumer of petrochemicals, which account for more than a third of the raw material costs of an average vehicle. EVs and associated battery markets provide growth opportunity for the chemical industry, with chemical producers separately developing battery materials, as well as specialty polymers and adhesives for the environment-friendly vehicles. Turkey’s announcement of BYD’s investment comes amid a backdrop of heightened scrutiny of Chinese EV manufacturers within the EU and the US. On 4 July, the EU increased tariffs on Chinese EVs in an effort to safeguard the bloc's automotive industry. As a result, BYD now faces an additional 17.4% tariff on top of existing 10% import duty on its vehicles shipped to the EU. However, Turkey, being part of the EU's Customs Union, is exempt from this extra tariff, providing an advantage for vehicles manufactured there and exported to the bloc. Separately, Turkish state news agency Anadolu said that SWM, another Chinese automaker, also announced it was applying to build a factory in Turkey on 8 July, but no details were provided. The Chinese automaker opened a new factory in eastern Thailand's Rayong district on 4 July which can produce 150,000 vehicles per year – the automaker's first factory in southeast Asia. Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman Initial reporting by Fanny Zhang Thumbnail photo: BYD's first car carrier ''BYD Explorer 1'' is loading cars for export at Yantai Port in Yantai, Shandong province, China, on 5 July 2024. (Source: Costfoto/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

09-Jul-2024

BLOG: Hurricanes and Houthis pressure global supply chains, add to inflation risk

LONDON (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Chemicals & The Economy by Paul Hodges, which looks at the rising impact from Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and this year’s hurricane season. Editor’s note: This blog post is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS. Paul Hodges is the chairman of consultants New Normal Consulting.

08-Jul-2024

Americas top stories: weekly summary

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News from the week ended 5 July. Hurricane Beryl strengthens and shifts path, expected to hit Texas’ Corpus Christi Hurricane Beryl is expected to post a “slow re-intensification” as it heads towards the north and could potentially hit Texas’ industrial hub of Corpus Christi by Monday. Mexico’s Altamira petrochemicals players breathe sigh of relief as Beryl weakens Fears that Hurricane Beryl could cause widespread disruption to petrochemicals production in the Altamira hub, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, have now subsided as the hurricane weakens on its path through the Caribbean. Hurricane Beryl expected to weaken after hitting Mexico's Yucatan peninsula Hurricane Beryl, which until 3 July was a powerful Category 5 hurricane, weakened to Category 3 by Thursday morning as it headed towards the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan. INSIGHT: Chem shipping to get break from Panama Canal, tariff front-loading The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) is allowing more traffic to pass through the waterway, while the rush to ship goods before the start of tariffs should end soon – all of which should give chemical shippers some relief from elevated freight costs. US June auto sales fall from May on high prices, interest rates, cyber-attack, but could grow in H2 US June sales of new light vehicles fell from May, but total sales in the second quarter showed a modest improvement over Q1, according to data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Rethinking business models for resilience in a fragile world to drive M&A – DC Advisory Chemical companies are in many ways rethinking their business models to become more resilient in a fragile and volatile operating environment, potentially leading to more mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, an investment banker said. US manufacturing remains in contraction but chemicals healthy US manufacturing activity remained in contraction territory in June but output in the chemicals sector was healthy on the back of healthy new orders, the Institute of Supply Management’s (ISM's) purchasing managers’ index (PMI) survey showed on Monday.

08-Jul-2024

Latin America stories: weekly summary

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Here are some of the stories from ICIS Latin America for the week ended on 5 July. NEWS Mexico’s Altamira petrochemicals players breathe sigh of relief as Beryl weakens Fears that Hurricane Beryl could cause widespread disruption to petrochemicals production in the Altamira hub, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, have now subsided as the hurricane weakens on its path through the Caribbean. Brazil’s Braskem still facing logistical woes at Triunfo facilities Brazil’s polymers major Braskem is still facing some logistical challenges at its facilities in Triunfo, in the floods-hit state of Rio Grande do Sul, according to a letter to customers seen by ICIS. Brazil’s automotive 2024 output expected lower as ‘uncontrolled’ imports keep rising Brazil’s automotive trade group Anfavea this week downgraded its forecasts for production in 2024 due to ever-rising vehicle imports – mostly from China, with several producers signing a letter to the government asking for higher import tariffs on cars. US dominates base oils exports to Brazil with around 75% market share The US remains the largest exporter to the Brazilian base oils market, with the country’s lead widening in 2024, according to an expert on Tuesday. INSIGHT: Chem shipping to get break from Panama Canal, tariff front-loading The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) is allowing more traffic to pass through the waterway, while the rush to ship goods before the start of tariffs should end soon – all of which should give chemical shippers some relief from elevated freight costs. Brazil's manufacturing recovers but faces pressure on currency depreciation Sales growth in Brazil's manufacturing is being dented by challenging economic conditions, currency depreciation and order postponements after the floods crisis, analysts at S&P Global said on Monday. Mexico’s manufacturing expands in June but new export orders, job creation fall Mexico’s manufacturing expanded in June and remained practically stable from May on the back of factory orders rising, which kept production healthy, analysts at S&P Global said on Monday. Colombia's manufacturing remains in contraction in June Colombia’s manufacturing sectors remained in contraction territory in June as a further decline in new orders led to reduced output, analysts at S&P Global said on Tuesday. Colombia’s fiscal plans based on ‘rosy’ growth assumptions – analysts Plans presented by the Colombian government to reduce its fiscal deficit are based on “rosy” assumptions for growth and are likely to be missed, according to analysts. PRICING Higher hydrous ethanol prices reflect strong sales performance Hydrous ethanol prices rose this week, reflecting ongoing strong sales performance in the market. Surging PET prices in Brazil and Mexico for July Prices for PET in Brazil experienced an upward trend during the first week of July, driven by the ongoing rise in international freight rates. This increase reflects the continued influence of escalating global shipping costs on the local market for PET resin. Innova amends July PS price increase in Brazil Innova amended a price increase to Brazilian real (R) 1,200/tonne ($218/tonne), excluding local taxes, on all grades of polystyrene (PS) sold in Brazil, effective 4 July, up from previously announced R750, according to a customer letter.

08-Jul-2024

Europe top stories: weekly summary

LONDON (ICIS)–Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Europe for the week ended 5 July. Shell to post up to $2 billion in impairments in Q2 results Energy major Shell on Friday said that it expects to book $2 billion in post-tax impairments following the sale of its Singapore assets and the suspension of construction at its biofuels plant in the Netherlands. European Commission imposes China EV tariffs citing ‘unfair’ subsidies The European Commission is to move forward with proposed plans to impose tariffs of nearly 40% in some cases to China-manufactured battery electric vehicles (BEVs), citing a level of state subsidy it terms as “unfair”. Global phenol demand expected to rise, driven by downstream growth Global phenol demand is expected to increase by about 1.9% in 2024 after a weak 2023, supported by growth in the key downstream bisphenol A (BPA) market. Europe cracker margins down on firmer naphtha, LPG costs Europe cracker margins went down week on week on the back of firmer feedstock costs, ICIS margin analysis showed on Tuesday. Eurozone manufacturing momentum ebbs in June as demand deteriorates Eurozone manufacturing sector activity slipped further into contraction in June as demand slowed in most of the bloc’s largest economies, while conditions improved in the UK.

08-Jul-2024

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