Mixed plastic waste and pyrolysis oil

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Gain a transparent view of the opaque mixed plastic waste and pyrolysis oil markets in Europe. With the growth of chemical recycling in Europe, competition for mixed plastic waste feedstock is intensifying. Pyrolysis-based plants targeting mixed plastic waste (with a focus on polyolefins) as feedstock account for ~60% (2023) of all operating chemical recycling capacity in Europe.

Remain at the forefront of this rapidly evolving market, with comprehensive pricing and market coverage of key recycling and burn-for-energy feedstocks and pyrolysis oil prices. Waste bale prices include mixed polyolefins, refuse derived fuel (RDF) bales and unsorted materials recovery facility (MRF) waste.

Pyrolysis oil pricing includes naphtha substitute, non-upgraded and tyre derived grades.
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ICIS has been covering recycled polymer and plastic waste markets since 2006 and holds multiple price benchmarks across the major recycled polymers of R-PET, R-PE and R-PP, as well as across virgin chemical markets. Our experience gives us the insight to contextualise and evaluate the latest market developments and industry trends in a trustworthy, timely and impartial manner.

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Mixed plastic waste and pyrolysis oil news

Saudi Aramco eyes stake in Hengli Petrochemical; prowls for more China investments

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi Aramco continues its quest for downstream petrochemical investments in the world’s second-biggest economy, adding Hengli Petrochemical in a list of target companies in which the global energy giant intends to acquire a strategic stake. The acquisitions in China are in line with Aramco’s Vision 2030 of expanding its downstream business. Aramco is currently in discussion to acquire a 10% stake in Hengli Petrochemical as the companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 22 April covering supply of crude and raw material, product sales and technology licensing. Hengli Petrochemical owns and operates a refinery and petrochemical complex at Liaoning province with 400,000 bbl/day of refining and 1.5 million tonnes/year ethylene capacities. The Chinese producer also operates several chemical plants in Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces. The deal "aligns with Aramco’s strategy to expand its downstream presence in key high-value markets, advance its liquids-to-chemicals program, and secure long-term crude oil supply agreements", Aramco said in a statement on 22 April. Since 2022, Aramco has embarked on major investments in China, which involved taking strategic stakes in companies with major petrochemical projects under way. Chinese companies Planned investments Date of announcement Remarks Hengli Petrochemical 10% stake 22 Apr 2024 Rongsheng Petrochemical Cross acquisition talks – Rongsheng to acquire 50% stake in Saudi Aramco Jubail Refinery Co (SASREF); Aramco to take a maximum 50% stake in Rongsheng’s Ningbo Zhongjin Petrochemical 2 Jan 2024 To jointly develop Zhongjin’s upgrading/expansion and a new advanced materials project in Zhoushan Shandong Yulong Petrochemical 10% stake 11 Oct 2023 Shandong Energy is currently building a refining and petrochemical complex in Yantai called Shandong Yulong Petrochemical – a joint venture project with Chinese conglomerate Nanshan Group Shenghong Petrochemical 10% stake 27 Sept 2023 Rongsheng Petrochemical 10% stake 27 Mar 2023 Deal completed in Jul ’23 Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Co (HAPCO) a $12 billion joint venture, Aramco holds 30% 11 Mar 2022, final investment decision made Project broke ground in Mar ’23; to come on stream in 2026 Aramco CEO Amin Nasser in late March indicated that the company intends to continue making further investments in China’s chemicals sector with local partners, noting that the country has a "vitally important" place in the company’s global investment strategy. The energy giant aims to increase its liquids-to-chemicals throughput to 4 million barrels per day by 2030, which will require a wider footprint in China, the world’s biggest chemical market, analysts said. The investments will fuel further growth in the Chinese economy, they added. Focus article by Fanny Zhang Thumbnail image: The Guoyuan Port Container Terminal in Chongqing, China, on 29 February 2024. (Costfoto/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

23-Apr-2024

Saudi Aramco eyes 10% of China’s Hengli Petrochemical

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Aramco and China’s Hengli Group have entered into discussions regarding the potential acquisition of a 10% stake in Hengli Petrochemical, the Chinese company said on Tuesday. Based on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on 22 April, the partners will also cooperate on crude and raw material supply, product sales as well as technology licensing, it said. The deal "aligns with Aramco’s strategy to expand its downstream presence in key high-value markets, advance its liquids-to-chemicals program, and secure long-term crude oil supply agreements", Aramco said in a separate statement. Hengli Petrochemical owns and operates a refinery and petrochemical complex at Liaoning province with 400,000 bbl/day of refining and 1.5 million tonnes/year ethylene capacities. The company also owns several chemical plants in Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces.

23-Apr-2024

Latin America stories: weekly summary

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Here are some of the stories from ICIS Latin America for the week ended on 19 April. NEWS Brazil’s Petrobras, China’s CNCEC mull petchems, fertilizers joint projects Petrobras and China’s chemicals major CNCEC have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore petrochemicals and fertilizers joint projects, the Brazilian state-owned energy major said on Thursday. INSIGHT: Argentina’s petchems hit hardest by recession as country holds breath under Milei Argentina’s petrochemicals are taking a severe hit amid the recession, with falls in demand for some materials of up to 50%, but companies and the country are holding firm under the new President’s economic shock therapy. Brazil's Petrobras re-enters fertilizers sector with restart at ANSA plant Petrobras is to restart its large-scale ANSA fertilizers plant in Araucaria, state of Parana, which has been idle since 2020, the Brazilian state-owned energy major said late on Wednesday. Pemex to remain ‘fiscal challenge’ for Mexico's new administration – S&P Beleaguered finances at Pemex, the Mexican state-owned energy major, will require support from the federal budget for years to come, the analysts at S&P said this week. Argentina’s lower rates helping central bank shore up balance sheet at savers’ expense – economist Argentina’s latest cut to interest rates had more to do with shoring up the central bank’s balance sheet, possible thanks to currency controls implemented by the prior Administration, than the actual control of price rises, according to the director at Buenos Aires-based Fundacion Capital. Latin America's fiscal consolidation at risk of slippages as plans postponed – IMF Latin America’s countries high debt levels require fiscal consolidation plans which in some cases are being postponed, increasing risks for the long-term financial stability of the region, the Director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the IMF said on Friday. Chile inflation falls to 3.7% in March Chile’s annual inflation rate fell in March to 3.7%, down from 4.5% in February, according to the country’s statistics office INE. Brazil’s automotive output barely up in Q1, sales rise 9% Brazil’s petrochemicals-intensive automotive output rose by 0.4% in the first quarter, year on year, to just below 550,000 units, the country’s trade group Anfavea said on Monday. LatAm PE domestic price lower in Chile on cheaper US export offers Domestic polyethylene (PE) prices were assessed lower in Chile because of cheaper US export offers. In other Latin American (LatAm) countries, prices remained steady. Latin America’s February lube demand holds steady Lube demand in Latin America was relatively steady in February at a time of year when consumption typically falls in other markets like the US and Europe. The steady consumption coincided with lower base oils output in the region in February. LatAm PP international prices stable to up on higher freights from Asia International polypropylene (PP) prices were assessed as stable to higher because of increased freight rates from Asia to the region. However, Asian offers remain competitive compared to other origins like the Middle East and the US. Plant status: Dow Argentina shuts HDPE and LDPE plants on technical issues – sources US chemicals major Dow’s subsidiary in Argentina shut on 16 April a high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant due to a mechanical pump failure and a low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant due to technical failure, several sources said. Weather conditions starts to slightly shift PET demand in Latin America Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices remained stable in Brazil, with a slight softening in consumption coinciding with stabilized temperatures. However, demand continues to exceed expectations when compared with the corresponding period last year. Weather conditions starts to slightly shift PET demand in Latin America Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices remained stable in Brazil, with a slight softening in consumption coinciding with stabilized temperatures. However, demand continues to exceed expectations when compared with the corresponding period last year.

22-Apr-2024

Styrolution shutting Sarnia styrene plant after resident complaints

HOUSTON (ICIS)–INEOS Styrolution is temporarily shutting its styrene plant in Sarnia, Ontario, after nearby residents complained they became ill from the plant’s emissions. “At INEOS Styrolution, ensuring the health and safety of our employees and community is paramount,” the company said in a statement. “We are temporarily shutting down our facility located in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, to perform maintenance and address a mechanical issue. We will resume operations once addressed.” The plant has capacity to produce 445,000 tonnes/year of styrene and 490,000 tonnes/year of ethylbenzene (EB), according to the ICIS Supply and Demand Database. The shutdown came after the Aamjiwnaang First Nation community asked the government to close the plant when members complained of becoming sick and said that data indicated high levels of benzene in the air. Members reported having headaches, nausea and dizziness due to poor air quality. Aamjiwnaang First Nation describes itself as a community of about 2,500 Chippewa Aboriginal peoples located on the St Clair River in the city limits of Sarnia. Last week, Ontario Environment Minister Andrea Khanjin said that she expected the company to “quickly identify and reduce” emissions at the site, according to news reports. In 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks created the Sarnia Area Environmental Health Project to look into concerns that residents expressed about air pollutants and other quality-of-life impacts from living close to industrial operations in the area. The project includes regularly measuring air quality for potential health risks. The shutdown will further tighten the North American styrene market, which has experienced a number of outages that have put upward pressure on contract and spot prices. Styrolution’s Texas City, Texas, plant has been shut since mid-2023. In addition, Total remains on force majeure from its joint-venture CosMar unit in Carville, Louisiana, and LyondellBasell’s propylene oxide/styrene monomer (POSM) plant in Channelview, Texas, is undergoing maintenance. Shell recently restarted its Scotford, Alberta, styrene unit but it is not operating at full capacity, according to market sources. US styrene contract prices in April were assessed at their highest level since Q3 2023 due to the rise in spot prices, which are up approximately 50% since the beginning of the year. Styrene is a chemical used to make latex and polystyrene resins, which in turn are used to make plastic packaging, disposable cups and insulation. Major North American styrene producers include AmSty, INEOS Styrolution, LyondellBasell Chemical, Shell Chemicals Canada, Total Petrochemicals and Westlake Styrene.

22-Apr-2024

PODCAST: Production constraints keep Asian BD spot trades buoyant in Q1, demand outlook mixed

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Persistent production constraints have driven Asia’s spot prices for butadiene (BD) to near two-year-high levels, but how the rally goes from here may hinge on downstream demand conditions. Prolonged under-utilisation of regional crackers dented regional BD output Exports from China helped to plug some of these supply gaps Mixed views about downstream demand outlook In this podcast, ICIS editors Ai Teng Lim and Aviva Zhang discuss how regional supply and demand balance has evolved across different Asian outlets and how this may pan out from here for the near future.

22-Apr-2024

Europe top stories: weekly summary

LONDON (ICIS)–Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Europe for the week ended 19 April. Europe markets downbeat, crude prices subside following blasts in Iran Europe stock markets shifted onto bearish footing in morning trading on Friday in the wake of explosions in Iran that escalated fears of ever-higher tensions in the Middle East. Europe OX demand remains flat as “higher for longer” rates hinder construction activity Demand for orthoxylene (OX) in Europe remains stable at soft levels as lacklustre appetite from the key construction industry persists due to the high interest rates imposed by central banks. PVC 2024 conference attendees gloomy on demand outlook European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) demand is likely to remain weak in 2024, as early hopes for a recovery in the first half of the year have been dashed, according to sources on the side lines of PVC 2024 in Edinburgh, UK a conference for PVC market players in Europe. France Chimie calls for sector support as crisis continues and structural changes limit investments Chemicals production growth in France could be limited to 1% in 2024 as many companies prepare to implement structural cost saving measures and limit investments for growth, the trade group France Chimie said on Tuesday. Europe market jitters ease despite ongoing Middle East tensions Chemical stocks in Europe have firmed in line with the general market in midday trading on Monday, as oil prices subsided and investor unrest eased despite ongoing tensions in the Middle East. IPEX: Global spot index edges down on softer values in northwest Europe The global spot ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) edged down on the back of lower spot values in northwest Europe, where derivative production problems continue to hamper appetite for some chemicals.

22-Apr-2024

Asia top stories – weekly summary

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 19 April 2024. Asia petrochemical shares tumble on Mideast concerns; oil pares gains By Nurluqman Suratman 19-Apr-24 15:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Shares of petrochemical companies in Asia slumped on Friday, while oil prices surged amid escalating tensions in the Middle East following reported explosions in Iran, Syria and Iraq. Oil gains on fresh Venezuela sanctions, Iran concerns By Nurluqman Suratman 18-Apr-24 12:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Oil prices rose on Thursday, reversing sharp losses in the previous session, after the US re-instated oil sanctions on Venezuela, and amid discussions by the EU about implementing new restrictions on Iran. INSIGHT: Bullish and bearish sentiment intertwines in April Asia chemical prices outlook – ICIS analysts By Joey Zhou 17-Apr-24 18:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–There is a mixed outlook for petrochemical prices in Asia in April. Upward support comes from stronger crude oil price forecasts. The supply of some chemicals is relatively tight on plant turnarounds and operating rate cuts. PODCAST: Asia recycled polymers slow in 2023; legislation, waste management to shape future By Damini Dabholkar 17-Apr-24 18:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia recycled polymers markets were sluggish for the most part in 2023. In early 2024 too, challenges that dim the short-term outlook persist. Singapore March petrochemical exports fall 3.6%; NODX slumps 20.7% By Nurluqman Suratman 17-Apr-24 13:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's petrochemical shipments in March fell by 3.6% year on year to Singapore dollar (S$) 1.16 billion ($853 million), extending the 2% contraction in the previous month and weighing on overall non-oil domestic exports (NODX), official data showed on Wednesday. China's recovery gains pace after Q1 GDP growth; property, trade headwinds remain major hurdles By Nurluqman Suratman 16-Apr-24 13:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's economy grew stronger-than-expected in the first quarter of this year, expanding by 5.3%, but ongoing challenges in the real estate sector, slowing exports and persistent deflationary pressures remain as major risks to its recovery. Oil eases despite Iran attacks on Israel; Asian bourses rattled By Nurluqman Suratman 15-Apr-24 12:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Oil prices eased on Monday as Iran’s attacks on Israel over the weekend were largely priced in by the market, according to analysts, but Asian equities tumbled amid concerns over recent escalation of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

22-Apr-2024

CDI Economic Summary: US manufacturing turning the corner

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (ICIS)–The US remains an outlier among advanced nations and continues to power forward. Inflation has moderated and central banks are eyeing rate cuts later this year. Global manufacturing has stabilized and is recovering in most major economies. Output is strongest in emerging economies. There are signs that China’s recovery has re-engaged and that Europe’s economy may be stabilizing, with recovery later this year. The US economy is outperforming most other developed countries, keeping the dollar strong. Based on a string of hotter-than-expected readings on inflation, it appears that interest rates will be higher for longer. The headline March Consumer Price Index (CPI) was up 3.5% year on year and core CPI (excluding food and energy) was up 3.8% year on year. Progress on disinflation appears to be stabilizing. Economists expect inflation to average 3.1% this year, down from 4.1% in 2023 and 8.0% in 2022. This is above the US Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. Inflation is forecast to soften to 2.3% in 2025. As a result, interest rate futures are now moving towards fewer cuts. The case is even being made for no cuts. US MANUFACTURING FINALLY IN EXPANSIONTurning to the production side of the economy, the March ISM US Manufacturing PMI came in at 50.3, up 2.5 points from February and above expectations. This expansionary reading ends 16 months of contraction in US manufacturing. Production moved back into expansion, as did new orders. Order backlogs contracted at the same pace. Inventories contracted at a slower pace, which could provide a floor for output. The long and deep destocking cycle could be ending, with the possibility for restocking later this year. Nine of the 18 industries expanded and demand remains in the initial stages of recovery, with obvious signs of improving conditions. The ISM US Services PMI fell 1.2 points to 51.4, a reading indicating slower expansion. The Manufacturing PMI for Canada remained in contraction during March while that for Mexico expanded for the sixth month. Brazil’s manufacturing PMI expanded for a third month. Eurozone manufacturing has been in contraction for 21 months. However, the region appears to be skirting recession. China’s manufacturing PMI was above breakeven levels for the fifth month. Other Asian PMIs were mixed. AUTOMOTIVE AND HOUSING HOLDING UPTurning to the demand side of the economy, light vehicle sales eased in March, and although inventories have moved up, they still remain low. Economists see light vehicle sales of 15.8 million this year, before improving to 16.3 million in 2025. The latest cyclical peak was 17.2 million in 2018. Pent-up demand continues to provide support for this market. Homebuilder confidence is guardedly optimistic. Housing activity peaked in spring 2022 before sharply falling by July 2022. From then and into mid-2023, housing reports were mixed. ICIS expects that housing starts will average 1.45 million in 2024 and 1.50 million in 2025. We are above the consensus among economists. Demographic factors are supporting housing activity during this cycle. There is significant pent-up demand for housing and a shortage of inventory. But mortgage interest rates have moved back up in recent weeks and will hinder affordability and, thus, demand. US RETAIL SALES, EMPLOYMENT STRONGNominal retail sales made another solid gain in March. Sales growth was marked across most segments. Sales at food services and drinking establishments also advanced. Spending for services is holding up, but the overall pace may be slowing. Job creation continues at a solid pace, and the unemployment rate is still at low levels. There are 1.4 vacancies per unemployed worker, off from a year ago but at a historically elevated level. This is still fostering wage pressures in services. Incomes are still holding up for consumers. Our ICIS leading barometer of the US business cycle has been providing signals that the “rolling recession” scenario in manufacturing and transportation may be ending. The services sector continues to expand, albeit at a slower pace. Real GDP rose 5.8% in 2021 and then slowed to a 2.5% gain in 2022. The much-anticipated recession failed to emerge and in 2023, the economy expanded by 2.5% again. US economic growth is slowing from the rapid pace in the third and fourth quarters, but those gains will aid 2024 performance of an expected  2.4% increase. The slowdown in quarterly economic activity suggests that in 2025, the economy should rise by 1.8% over average 2024 levels.

19-Apr-2024

Green shoots spring in eastern Europe, strong interest in PPG’s architectural division – CEO

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Amid Europe’s industrial crisis, green shots have started to appear in eastern countries, giving hopes the downturn in the region has bottomed out, the CEO at US paints and coatings major PPG said on Friday. Tim Knavish added after PPG announced it was seeking to divest its US and Canada architectural operations, it has recorded more interest from potential buyers than expected, but “no numbers have hit our desk yet". Late on Thursday, PPG said its sales fell in the first quarter as European demand continued to be in the doldrums, but its earnings surged as input costs had fallen considerably. The company expects an overall improvement in industrial production globally in the second half of 2024. “We just have to get through the second quarter,” the CEO said, speaking to reporters and chemical equity analysts on Friday. As a paints and coatings producer, PPG's operations are petrochemicals-intensive. Among many others, one of its key raw materials is titanium dioxide (TiO2). COMING OUT OF THE DOWNTURNWhile Europe’s industrial downturn has been the steepest as the region took the largest hit from sharply higher natural gas prices after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US performance has been lacklustre. Amid overall economic growth, manufacturing has been the sick man of the mix for many months. That may have started to turn in March, with official and private bodies’ statistics showing growth in US manufacturing at last, and manufacturers optimistic for the months ahead. “We expect our sales volumes to continue recovering for the remainder of 2024…. We are only 19 days into the month, that’s only a sixth of the second quarter, but we are comfortable with the order book and shipments so far this quarter,” said Knavish. “We have been speaking to our key end-users in the past weeks and they are all saying the same thing about Q1 and Q2, but we are all expecting a return to more normal growth rates in H2 – we just have to get through Q2.” In Europe, however, some key markets such as France and the Nordics have yet to start any meaningful recovery, with sales there slower than the company was expecting, the CEO said. Despite this, in the eastern economies – with more emerging markets characteristics than the European western economies – there has been a notable improvement. “We are seeing green shoots in the east, where we have a strong position, so that gives optimism. We are also seeing that the deco [decorating] segment in those hard-hit countries [in Europe] is also bouncing back from the bottom, so we don’t expect it to get worse,” said Knavish. “The recoveries in the east, they are not the largest individually but when you add them together, they are an important part of our portfolio, countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary or Czechia: we do see some green shots there.” However, he added that they were not “naive enough” to believe there will be a V shape recovery in Europe. ARCHITECTURAL DIVESTMENTAt the end of February, PPG announced it was seeking alternatives for its US and Canada architectural coatings business, which has been a drag on profits and sales volumes. The company said at the time it would study whether the division could be divested, be set as a standalone entity, or be part of a joint venture. The CEO did not give much away on Friday, saying it was early on, but the company was positively surprised with the level of interest, adding there had been “minimal if any” disruption to the daily operations of the division since the announcement. “There is a lot of chatter [about this]. But we are engaging key customers, employees, and engaging our owners. We expected strong interest, because of the strength of the brands and assets … The interest has been even higher than what we expected. We feel good right now,” said Knavish. “Until the numbers start coming in, and we can look at what is best for shareholder value creation, it is difficult to say [what the likely outcome will be]. We’ll have a much better view in another quarter or so.” INDIA TAKING OFFKnavish ended with an interesting reflection about India. Indians are about to start what is famously the largest democratic process in the world, which will end in June. Current Prime Minister Narendra Modi is widely expected to win a resounding third term in the general election, despite many analysts warning about increasing tensions between Hindus and Muslims, who are India’s largest minority, with 175 million people. But the key to Modi’s expected victory may well be all about the economy. “I have been going to India for 25 years. There has always been the talk of higher civil engineering works, higher industrial production [but it never seemed to come to fruition],” said the CEO. “Now, all that is happening, and the development is very noticeable for someone who has been going there regularly.” Front page picture: PPG's headquarters in Pittsburgh, in the US state of Pennsylvania Source: PPG Additional reporting by Deniz Koray

19-Apr-2024

Europe markets downbeat, crude prices subside following blasts in Iran

LONDON (ICIS)–Europe stock markets shifted onto bearish footing in morning trading on Friday in the wake of explosions in Iran that escalated fears of ever-higher tensions in the Middle East. Oil prices settled after the initial shock. Explosions in Iran overnight sent crude pricing surging more than $3/barrel during the Asia trading window. Iran state media reported explosions near air bases close to the city of Isfahan, which also operates nuclear facilities. Watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that there has been no damage to any nuclear facility, but urged caution. “IAEA can confirm that there is no damage to Iran’s nuclear sites. Director General  Rafael Mariano Grossi continues to call for extreme restraint from everybody and reiterates that nuclear facilities should never be a target in military conflicts,” the agency said in a statement. Reports have also emerged in the media of explosions in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at a G7 briefing in Capri, Italy, this morning, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken declined to comment on the developments beyond disavowing US involvement. “I’m not going to speak to that, except to say that the US has not been involved in any offensive operations,” he said. No parties have officially taken responsibility for the blasts, but the incident is the latest in a volatile week in the Middle East, which began in the wake of Iran’s drone strikes in Israel on 13 April, which the Israel Defence Force (IDF) confirmed had struck the Nevatim air base. Crude oil pricing has whipsawed in the face of the market unrest, breaching the psychological $90/barrel mark before receding, before surging close to that watermark again when news of the blasts in Iran broke. With no reprisals currently threatened, oil futures pricing quickly receded, dropping from $89.42/barrel for Brent at 3:17 BST to well under $87 in midday trading. A build in crude stocks also weighed on sentiment, while diminishing expectations for imminent central bank rate cuts in the face of stubborn inflation has also slowed the pulse of the global economy. Crude demand growth has been subdued this year but substantial downward shifts to supply could substantially tighten conditions, according to crude analysts at ING. "If these reports [of explosions] turn out to be true, fears over further escalation will only grow, as well as concerns that we are potentially moving closer towards a situation where oil supply risks lead to actual supply disruptions," the bank said in a note on Friday morning. European public markets were also subdued, with Germany’s CAC 40 and the UK’s FTSE 100 indices trading down 0.65% and 0.45% respectively as of 13:30 GMT. Europe chemicals stocks also weakened in early trading at a more modest level relative to general markets. The STOXX 600 chemicals index clumped 0.15% compared to Thursday’s close, with shares in seven of the 30 component companies down at least 1-2%. The weakest performer on Friday so far was Solvay, which saw shares shed 3.39% of their value as of 13:17 BST. Thumbnail photo: The city of Isfahan, Iran. Source: Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

19-Apr-2024

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