Polypropylene (PP)

Versatility shaping the plastics industry 

Discover the factors influencing polypropylene (PP) markets

With its unique properties and versatility, polypropylene (PP) is an invaluable global commodity, influencing key industries from packaging and automotive to electrical and household. Its ability to be manufactured into various end-uses such as plastic car parts and textiles has made PP an essential market to understand and navigate. Even the slightest change can have the most significant impact. This is why our experts are embedded in markets across the globe, monitoring, tracking and understanding developments affecting PP so you can make the best decisions with the right information.

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Polypropylene (PP) news

SHIPPING: Global container rates edge higher, volumes shifting to West Coast ahead of tariffs

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Global shipping container rates edged slightly higher this week as they continue to moderate after more than doubling from early-May, and rates from Shanghai to the US West Coast fell, according to supply chain advisors Drewry. Drewry’s composite World Container Index (WCI) rose by just 1% and is up by just 1.2% over the past two week, as shown in the following chart. Average rates from China to the US East Coast have continued to rise and are nearing $10,000/FEU (40-foot equivalent unit), as shown in the following chart. Drewry expects ex-China rates to hold steady next week and remain high throughout the peak season. Rates from online freight shipping marketplace and platform provider Freightos showed similar rates of increase. Judah Levine, head of research at Freightos, in noting the slower rate of increase also pointed to signs that prices may have already peaked. “Daily rates so far this week are ticking lower and major carriers have not announced surcharge increases for later this month or August,” Levine said. Levine said peak season likely started early this year as retailers ordered early to beat possible labor issues at US Gulf and East Coast ports and as consumers continued to spend on goods. Emily Stausboll, senior shipping analyst at ocean and freight rate analytics firm Xeneta, said she is seeing some carriers already lowering spot rates. “This suggests a growing level of available capacity in the market and shippers can once again start to play carriers off against each other – instead of feeling they need to pay whatever price they are offered to secure space. As the balance of negotiating power starts to swing back towards shippers, we should see spot rates start to come back down,” Stausboll said. Container ships and costs for shipping containers are relevant to the chemical industry because while most chemicals are liquids and are shipped in tankers, container ships transport polymers, such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), are shipped in pellets. They also transport liquid chemicals in isotanks. VOLUMES SHIFT TO WEST COAST The Port of Los Angeles saw a 10% increase from the previous month and a slight increase year on year in volumes, Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles said. Some retailers are rushing to import volumes ahead of the US presidential election in November as Republican nominee Donald Trump has proposed hiking tariffs, especially on goods from China. But a persistently strong economy is also supporting the rise in imports. “The US economy continues to be the primary driver of our cargo volume and I expect to see that continue in the months ahead,” Seroka said. Many importers shifted their deliveries to the US East Coast in 2022 when congestion at West Coast ports surged amid strong consumer demand coming out of the pandemic. The shift in volumes from the East Coast has not led to any congestions at the West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California (MESC). “Vessels and cargo arriving, departing, and shifting around the ports of LA and LB and continue to move normally with no labor delays and ample labor,” MESC executive director Kip Louttit said. Louttit also said the forecast for arriving container ships over the next two weeks is trending higher. LIQUID CHEM TANKER RATES Rates for liquid chemical tankers ex-US Gulf were stable to softer this week, with decreases seen on the USG-Asia and USG-Brazil trade lanes. From the USG to Asia, there has still been interest in large cargoes, but volumes overall have been slowing down. The absence of market participants has caused freight rates to stumble some, with more downward pressure on smaller parcels due to the small pockets of space readily available. From the USG to Brazil, the list of ships open in the USG continues to grow, with space still available which could lead to continued downward pressure and even lower rates. Activity typically picks up during summer months, but this is not currently being seen. PANAMA CANAL The Panama Canal will limit transits from 3-4 August because of planned maintenance. The east lane of the Miraflores locks will be out of service for concrete maintenance on the east approach wall, the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) said. The PCA began limiting transits in July 2023 because of low water levels in Gatun Lake caused by an extended drought. Restrictions have gradually eased over the past few months and are approaching the average daily transits of 36-38/day seen prior to impacts from the drought. The improved conditions at the canal are likely to improve transit times for vessels traveling between the US Gulf and Asia, as well as between Europe and west coast Latin America countries. This should benefit chemical markets that move product between regions. Wait times for non-booked southbound vessels ready for transit have been relatively steady at less than two days, according to the PCA vessel tracker. Wait times were less than a day for northbound vessels and less than two days for southbound traffic. Focus article by Adam Yanelli With additional reporting by Kevin Callahan Visit the ICIS Logistics – impact on chemicals and energy topic page.

19-Jul-2024

PODCAST: Europe PE, PP July outlook

LONDON (ICIS)–Europe’s run up to holiday season has been unusually busy for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets, including some spot prices reversing for the first time since March 2024. In this ICIS podcast, European PE and PP senior editors Vicky Ellis and Ben Lake pick out July’s big themes, from logistics (hurricane Beryl and still-spiked Asian freight rates) to the mismatch between how local suppliers and converters are experiencing demand this month. They also highlight what to watch for August. Editing by Damini Dabholkar

18-Jul-2024

BLOG: China petrochemicals capacity growth: A new normal of much greater uncertainty

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson: Understanding what was going to happen to petrochemicals capacity additions in China used to be easy as all you had to do was read the state-run press. I am referring to comments in the local media way back in 2014 that China was going to push much harder towards petrochemicals self-sufficiency. This helps explain why in products such as polypropylene (PP), China’s percentages of capacity over demand could this year exceed 100%. But conversations with industry sources indicate that interpreting what will happen next to China’s capacity growth has become way more complex. Let’s start with the decision to cap China’s refinery capacity at some 1 billion tonnes a year from 2027 onwards up to at least 2040. This is a huge change from 2000-2026 when capacity is forecast to increase by more than 250%. The reason for the cap on refinery capacity is that China wants 40% of its car fleet to comprise electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. It also wants all new car sales to be EVs by that year. At first glance, this indicates that China won’t have sufficient local petrochemicals feedstock to maintain its aggressive self-sufficiency push. One could thus reach the conclusion that deficits or imports will rise given the weaker economics of importing feedstocks. But local refineries may be turned into petrochemicals feedstock centers. As local transportation fuels demand declines, maintaining good refinery operating rates may hinge on China’s ability to export increasing quantities of gasoline and diesel which in a world of increasing trade tensions may be difficult. I had thought that China’s push towards peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060 would make it difficult to get approval for heavy industrial projects for start-up after 2030. Now, though, I’ve been told that the push to reduce carbon emissions is already making it hard to win approvals. Each province in China has reportedly been given a carbon budget. If a province wants to make room in its budget for a heavy industrial project, it might have to shut down an existing plant. Combine this with the small scale of some petrochemicals plants in China and we will or already are seeing closures of older plants to make way for new facilities, I’ve been told. This especially applies to the more developed provinces with high carbon output. If all of this is true, do not assume that this is automatically good news for all petrochemicals exporters to China because of the demographic-driven demand slowdown, China’s sustainability push and the country’s closer relationship with Saudi Arabia. As I’ve been stressing over the last three years, events in China point to a much more confused and blurred picture. Don’t panic and embrace confusion as this is the only sensible response. 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.

16-Jul-2024

BLOG: China 2024 PP exports could reach 2.6m tonnes as markets turn more complex

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson: China's polypropylene (PP) exports in 2024, based on the January-May trends, could reach 2.6m tonnes. That would be double the level of 2023. And as exports surge, China’s self-sufficiency in PP looks set to see a similar dramatic increase. As recently as 2019, China’s PP net imports (imports minus exports) totalled 4.8m tonnes. If the January-May 2024 again continued, we would see full-year net imports of just 900,000 tonnes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. In September 2021, the blog started to flag up the declines in Chinese PP demand growth combined with the surge in local capacity that created the very real prospect of China becoming a net exporter. And don’t assume that if China’s exports won’t remain in lower value homopolymer grades. China is said to be tripling its number of grades as it broadens its licensing of technologies. But in this ever-more muddle world, now that the Petrochemicals Supercycle is over, what is described above is just one scenario. In the short term, rising container freight rates might limit Chinese exports over the next few months. Or at the very least, we could see China’s exports focused more on southeast Asia because of higher freight rates to other destinations such as south Asia, South America and Africa. Another feature of a PP world turned upside down is that since 2020, China’s PP exports have been sent to a far wider range of destinations. We must also consider the impact of rising protectionism on China’s exports both in the short -and long-term. Confused? You should be, as this is the only sensible response. How do we see through the muddle? What recent history teaches us is that to understand petrochemicals markets, you must follow debts, demographics and geopolitics. Equally important, now that the Petrochemical Supercycle is over, are the effects of sustainability and climate change on demand and trade flows. The old ways of looking at markets no longer work. In the absence of a 100% accurate crystal ball, and with all these variables in play, the only sensible approach is broader and deeper scenario planning. 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.

05-Jul-2024

Brazil’s Braskem still facing logistical woes at Triunfo facilities

RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)–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. Braskem was forced to shut down its Triunfo facilities after the severe flooding which affected the state in May. By the beginning of June, the producer said it hoped its operations would return to normality in a few days, according to a spokesperson in a written response to ICIS. However, according to the letter to customers, dated 28 June, Braskem’s operations at Triunfo are yet to return to normality, mostly due to logistical woes as many roads and key port operations at the Brazilian state were hit by the aftermath of the floods. “Specific challenges resulting from force majeure still persist in some logistics modes, leading to the partial receipt of inputs for the production of products derived from ethanol and green ethylene,” said the letter. “At the moment, there is no risk of interruption in the supply of these products, and we are implementing alternatives to return availability to normal levels.” At the end of June, an analyst said to ICIS most of the roads in Rio do Grande do Sul had reopened, although some of them were operating at reduced capacity. The Port of Porto Alegre, the largest city in the state and close to the Triunfo petrochemicals hub, only reopened in mid-June. TRIUNFO KEY FOR PLASTICS Braskem is Brazil’s sole manufacturer of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), the most widely used polymers. Its market share in 2023 for PE stood at 56% and for PP at 70%, according to figures from the ICIS Supply & Demand database. The Triunfo complex, meanwhile, is key for the country’s polymers supply chain, accounting for nearly 37% of Brazil’s PP capacity and 40% of PE capacity. Brazil’s total PP production capacity is nearly 2 million tonnes/year. PE capacity is about 3 million tonnes/year, with 41% being high-density polyethylene (HDPE), 33% being linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and 26% being low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Braskem’s Triunfo complex can produce 740,000 tonnes/year of PP, 550,000 tonnes/year of HDPE, 385,000 tonnes/year of LDPE and 300,000 tonnes/year of LLDPE. Additional reporting by Jonathan Lopez 

03-Jul-2024

BLOG: China’s Third Plenum later this month: Implications for petchem markets

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. China’s petrochemical markets might well respond positively to any new economic stimulus measures announced during the delayed Third Plenum government meeting that takes place on 15-18 July. But the scale of economic reforms required are such that I believe the more likely outcome is China remaining stuck with lower growth than during the 1992-2021 Petrochemicals Supercycle. Sourabh Gupta – Senior Fellow at the Institute for China-America Studies in Washington, DC – wrote in an article for the East Asia Forum that reforms needed include: Progressively lifting Hukou restrictions to make public services more equitable. Building a unified and portable social security net more in line with advanced economies. A shift from indirect to direct taxes. Individual income tax revenues comprised 33% of total revenues in OECD countries compared to 9% in China. The tax base must expand as four out of five Chinese households do not pay personal income tax. He cautioned that reform would not be easy in a country that preferred top-down capital-intensive approaches and was disdainful of high welfare spending. China appears to have doubled-down on its capital-intensive approach since the end of the property bubble through investing in export-focused manufacturing. This raises the issue of geopolitical threats to its GDP growth, such as the US and the EU recently raising tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles and batteries. “If China is to maintain growth rates of 4-5% per year, it can only do so if the rest of the world agrees to reduce its own investment and manufacturing levels to less than half the Chinese level” wrote Michael Pettis, Professor of Finance at Peking University, in an article for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Economist reported that as reshoring accelerated, governments had adopted over 1,500 policies to promote specific industries in both 2021 and 2022. This compared with almost none in the early 2010s. But this latest Third Plenum could be as significant as the ones cited by Reuters in 1978 and 1993. The 1978 Plenum opened China up to foreign investment. In 1993, the Plenum liberalised trading in the Yuan and launched “socialist market” reforms following Deng Xiaoping’s Southern Tour a year earlier. How will we know the outcomes? If China’s polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) price spreads return to their Supercycle levels over the six-to-12-months.  If this doesn’t happen, more reforms will be needed as too much supply will continue to chase too little demand. Despite recent rebounds in spreads, China CFR high-density PE (HDPE) spreads over CFR Japan naphtha costs remain 116% lower than during the Supercycle with low-density (LDPE) spreads 46% lower and linear-low density (LLDPE) spreads 80% lower. The story is very similar in China PP spreads over naphtha. 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.

03-Jul-2024

Automotive majors switch focus on EVs as consumers’ concerns remain – Chevron

RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)–In just a few years, global automotive majors have switched their focus from an all-electric production to a more hybrid model, an executive at US crude oil major Chevron said on Tuesday. Chris Castanien, global industry liaison at Chevron and lubricant additive expert, said that most automotive majors who had set up targets to go all-electric or nearly all-electric by 2030 have dropped those plans as intake among consumers remains slow. This has happened even after authorities in North America or Europe have poured “tremendous amounts of money in trying to force everyone” into the energy transition. Castanien was speaking to delegates at the 14th International Summit with the South American Market 2024 organized by specialized publication Lubes em Focus, which focuses on base oils. ICIS is a partner in the event. BILLIONS – BUT THE JUMP IS NOT HAPPENINGAnyone in the lubricants industry would be pleased to see the initially quick transition to electric mobility some authorities had planned is not happening. At the end of the day, they are an interested party which would lose out much if ICE engines – combustion engines – went out of the market. Therefore, Castanien was somehow pleased to list the many plans in the EU and the US which had planned for a quick electric vehicles (EVs) implementation, including the US’ $1 trillion New Green Deal in 2021 or the consequent $67 billion investments contemplated in the CHIPS Act or the $369 billion of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). “The US’ EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] had forced a ruling that by 2032 around two thirds of cars should be EVs; the EU issued a ban on ICE engines by 2035 – well, I think those targets will not happen,” said Catanien. “Moreover, now we are seeing a lot of protectionist tariffs against Chinese EVs: we want people to make and use EVs, but we don’t want the Chinese to make them.” The Chevron executive went on to say that the US is still a “long way” to meet its own targets on charging points, for instance, which, added to the considerably higher cost of EVs, would be putting off consumers. And this consumers’ reluctance, he went on to say, is even happening when many jurisdictions are implementing fiscal incentives and rebates for EVs. “In the US, you even get the case of California, where HOVs [high occupancy vehicle lanes] are now allowing EVs even if it’s only the driver inside the car…” he said. Thus, the initial change planned by automotive majors – even with thousands of redundancies of ICE engines engineers – is giving way to a slower implementation of the EV push. Castanien mentioned the case of Germany’s major Mercedes. “Only a few years ago, Mercedes said they would be making all vehicles electric by 2030 – they don’t say that anymore. Their updated target is aiming to make 50% of its fleet electrical by that year,” he said. “[US major] Ford has said it is losing $64,000 every time they sell an EV. Tesla was planning a gigafactory in Mexico: they have dropped those plans. The shift towards more hybrid vehicles and not purely EVs is happening – this is a big change.” The automotive industry is a major global consumer of petrochemicals, which make up more than one-third of the raw material costs of an average vehicle. The automotive sector drives demand for chemicals such as polypropylene (PP), along with nylon, polystyrene (PS), styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), polyurethane (PU), methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Base oils, also called lubricants, are used to produce finished lubes and greases for automobiles and other machinery. The 14th International Summit with the South American Market 2024 runs in Rio de Janeiro on 2-3 July.

02-Jul-2024

BLOG: China’s ever-more sophisticated chemicals markets could entirely serve itself

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. China's chemicals producers are said to be focusing on being “nimble and agile” in response to weaker demand growth, ample local supply of intermediate chemicals and increasingly sophisticated end-use markets. This involves producing everything up and down the value chains only when it makes economic sense and increasing the differentiation of grades for a broader range of more sophisticated applications. Local producers are reported to be tripling their range of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyurethane (PU) grades as they broaden their licensing of technologies. A lot of this differentiation is aimed at supplying chemicals and polymers for higher-value downstream industries such as electric vehicles and batteries. There are said to be plenty of intermediate chemicals available locally that can compete with opportunistic imports. Local producers of intermediates are also reported to be able to make better domestic netbacks than selling overseas. Customers of the local intermediate producers increasingly value reliable suppliers who can provide a wider range of grades, technical services and local currency deals, I’ve been told. The ability of chemicals importers to compete on price alone seems to be under challenge as a sustainable business model. Future winners in China could be the Tier 1 suppliers. These suppliers would make all the grades necessary to serve ever-more sophisticated local end-use markets, which would require constantly successful R&D and good technical services. This points towards China becoming a vast continent-sized market that largely serves itself in speciality chemicals and composites, as well as commodity chemicals. I earlier discussed how self-sufficiency is increasing in commodity chemicals resulting in a pivot by “overseas-based” producers to specialities and composites. China could become just about entirely self-sufficient in commodity grades of PP, polyethylene (PE) and in paraxylene (PX) and ethylene glycols (EG) by 2030. The latter two chemicals are of course pure commodities. Note the above phrase “overseas-based” rather than overseas, as the foreign investors in China are in strong positions to take advantage of this vas and rapidly maturing market. For reasons discussed today, I don’t believe that the pivot by overseas-based producers to specialities and composites will work if it is based on exporting to China. What should the overseas-based producers do? Pretty much forget China as an opportunity as they focus on the rest of the world. And here's the link: https://www.icis.com/asian-chemical-connections/2024/06/chinas-ever-more-sophisticated-chemicals-markets-could-entirely-serve-itself/ 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.

18-Jun-2024

Latin America stories: weekly summary

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Here are some of the stories from ICIS Latin America for the week ended on 14 June. NEWS  INSIGHT: Brazil, Mexico currencies take a hit, energy policy under Sheinbaum remains in spotlight The Mexican peso continued sliding this week as the new President Elect Claudia Sheinbaum’s Morena party achieved the "super-majority" investors feared, which could open the door to one-party constitutional reforms, while her energy policy remains on the spotlight. Argentina’s inflation down to 276% in May, first fall in 10 months Argentina’s annual rate of inflation fell in May to 276.4%, down from April’s 289.4%, the country’s statistical office, Indec said, the first fall since July 2023 and six months after President Javier Milei took office. Higher import tariffs one leg of wider plan to save Brazil’s besieged chemicals producers – Abiquim Proposals to sharply increase chemicals import tariffs are only one of the three aspects Brazil’s chemicals producers have proposed to the government to save their "besieged” operations, according to the CEO at trade group Abiquim. Mexico’s petchems supply flowing despite Altamira disruption, but industry crisis could continue The drought affecting the Altamira petrochemicals hub in Mexico’s state of Tamaulipas is not yet affecting the supply of chemicals, but the water restrictions for industrial players could continue, sources said this week. Brazilian pulp producer Suzano to acquire 15% stake in Austria’s Lenzing Brazilian pulp producer Suzano has agreed to acquire a 15% stake in Austrian cellulosic fibres company Lenzing for €230 million, paying €39.70/share, officials said on Wednesday. Brazil fertilizers interactive trade flow map January-May 2024 The Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade for Brazil has released fertilizer trade figures for January-May 2024. Future disruption to Panama Canal will depend on El Nino intensity – expert Despite arrangements put in place to make the Panama Canal fit for a changing climate, future disruption at the Americas key shipping route will depend on a variable no-one can predict: the intensity of future El Niño weather phenomenon, according to an expert at maritime services provider CB Fenton on Tuesday. Mexico’s chemicals output up 7.2% in April, manufacturing up nearly 4.0% Mexico’s chemicals output rose by 7.2% in April, year on year, well above the 3.8% increase in overall manufacturing activity, the country’s statistical office Inegi said on Tuesday. Chemical tanker prices rise as much as 75% since 2020 on lack of liquidity – expert Chemicals tanker prices have risen globally 30-75% in the past four years on a lack of liquidity, an expert at Chile-headquartered chemicals bulk operator Ultratank said on Tuesday. Brazil’s inflation up to 3.93% in May; prices rise sharply in floods-hit state Brazil’s annual rate of inflation rose in May to 3.93%, up from 3.69% in April, with notable price rises registered in food products, especially in the floods-hit state of Rio Grande do Sul, the country’s statistical office IBGE said on Tuesday. Closures of high-cost assets to accelerate in Europe, northeast Asia – ICIS Announcements of closures for high-cost assets, especially in Europe and northeast Asia, are likely to accelerate in coming quarters as the global petrochemicals industry is forced to rationalize, according to an ICIS analyst on Tuesday. Venezuela’s Pequiven, Turkey’s Yildirim mull petchems, ammonia facilities Venezuelan state-owned petrochemicals producer Pequiven has signed an agreement with Turkey’s conglomerate Yildirim to consider building petrochemicals and ammonia facilities in the country, according to the Venezuelan Ministry of Economy. Chile’s Petroquim navigating better than peers pressure from Asian material – exec Polypropylene (PP) producer Petroquim is also facing pressure from lower-priced material sent from Asia, but the company’s “dedicated” service to customers has kept its sales spared from a larger hit, according to the commercial manager at the Chilean company. PRICINGLatAm PP international prices steady to higher on squeezed margins, higher freight rates International polypropylene (PP) prices were assessed as stable to higher across Latin American countries because of higher freight costs and squeezed margins. LatAm PE international prices steady to up on higher offers from abroad International polyethylene (PE) prices were assessed as steady to higher across the region on the back of higher offers from abroad. Plant status: Alpek Polyester’s Altamira plants ceases operations due to water scarcity in Mexico Mexico’s chemicals producer Alpek has declared force majeure for purified terephthalate acid (PTA) out of its 1 million tonnes/year facilities in Altamira, state of Tamaulipas, on the back of the severe drought which has restricted water supplies to industrial companies. Stable PET prices in Mexico prevail amid supply challenges Throughout this week, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices have remained stable in Mexico, as per market observations. However, industry participants believe that this stability might not last long.

17-Jun-2024

Americas top stories: weekly summary

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News from the week ended 14 June. Higher import tariffs one leg of wider plan to save Brazil’s besieged chemicals producers – Abiquim Proposals to sharply increase chemicals import tariffs are only one of the three aspects Brazil’s chemicals producers have proposed to the government to save their "besieged” operations, according to the CEO at trade group Abiquim. INSIGHT: Chem M&A outlook brightens amid surge of deal announcements Chemical companies have started the first half of 2024 announcing potential sales and separations of several businesses, which could lead up to busy cycle for mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Mexico’s petchems supply flowing despite Altamira disruption, but industry crisis could continue The drought affecting the Altamira petrochemicals hub in Mexico’s state of Tamaulipas is not yet affecting the supply of chemicals, but the water restrictions for industrial players could continue, sources said this week. US Fed expects only one cut in 2024, keeps rates steady The Federal Reserve lowered its forecast for rate cuts in 2024 to just one from three as it voted on Wednesday to keep its benchmark interest rate steady at 5.25-5.5%. Canada rail labor union to hold new strike ballot Canadian rail labor union Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) will hold a new strike vote because an earlier mandate for industrial action will expire on 30 June, it said in an update. Styrolution to permanently shut Sarnia styrene plant in Canada INEOS Styrolution will close its 445,000 tonnes/year styrene production plant in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, by June 2026, the company announced Tuesday. IPEX: Global spot index edges down on lower values across all regions The global spot ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) fell by 0.7% in the week ending 7 June on losses across all regions, not least northwest Europe. Chile’s Petroquim navigating better than peers pressure from Asian material – exec Polypropylene (PP) producer Petroquim is also facing pressure from lower-priced material sent from Asia, but the company’s “dedicated” service to customers has kept its sales spared from a larger hit, according to the commercial manager at the Chilean company.

17-Jun-2024

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