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TOPIC PAGE: Sustainability in the fertilizers industry

Updated on 17 January. On this topic page, we gather the latest news, analysis and resources, to help you to keep track of developments in the area of sustainability in the fertilizers industry. LATEST NEWS HEADLINES India’s Reliance to invest $80bn in green energy projects By Priya Jestin 17-Jan-22 04:41 MUMBAI (ICIS)–India’s petrochemical major Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) plans to invest Indian rupees (Rs) 5.95tr ($80bn) in green energy and other projects in western Gujarat state as it aims to achieve its net zero carbon emissions target by 2035. Yara, Sweden’s Lantmannen aim to commercialise green ammonia by 2023 By Jonathan Lopez 13-Jan-22 13:43 MADRID (ICIS)–Yara and Swedish agriculture co-operative Lantmannen are aiming to commercialise ammonia produced with renewable energy by mid-2023, the Norwegian fertilizers major said on Thursday. Novatek and Uniper target Russia to Germany blue-ammonia supply chain By Richard Ewing 22-Dec-21 12:14 LONDON (ICIS)–Russia's Novatek and Germany's Uniper on Wednesday agreed a term sheet (non-binding deal) for the long-term supply of up to 1.2m tonnes/year of low-carbon (blue) ammonia, primarily for the German market. Fertz giant Yara goes green with electrification of Norwegian factory By Richard Ewing 17-Dec-2021 LONDON (ICIS)–Scandinavian fertilizer major Yara was on Friday granted the local equivalent of $32m for a green ammonia initiative at its large Herøya plant in Norway that will see hydrogen produced from renewable energy rather than liquefied fossil gas. Canada Arianne Phosphate exploring use of phosphate for hydrogen technology By Mark Milam 16-Dec-21 20:56 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Arianne Phosphate announced it is working with the University of Quebec at Three-Rivers (UQTR) to assess the use of Arianne's high-purity phosphate concentrate in electrolysers that produce hydrogen for use in hydrogen fuel cells. FAO and IFA renew MoU to promote sustainable fertilizer use By Erica Sesay 13-Dec-21 17:05 London (ICIS)–The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monday, agreeing to promote the sustainable use and management of fertilizers. Sumitomo Chemical, Yara to explore clean ammonia collaboration By Nurluqman Suratman 10-Dec-2021 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Sumitomo Chemical and Norwegian fertilizer major Yara have agreed to explore a potential tie-up to advance the use of clean ammonia, the Japanese producer said on Friday. US fertilizer producer Mosaic broadening environmental stewardship commitment By Mark Milam 09-Dec-21 21:48 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US fertilizer producer Mosaic said it is broadening its commitment to environmental stewardship by announcing targets to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Florida by 2030 and companywide by 2040. OCI and Navigator strike CO2 transportation and storage deal in Iowa By Richard Ewing 29-11-21 LONDON (ICIS)–Iowa Fertilizer Company (IFCo) facility has teamed up with Navigator CO2 Ventures to provide CO2 transportation and storage services on the latter’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) system, the Heartland Greenway, IFCo's Dutch parent OCI disclosed on Monday. Sri Lanka revokes ban on imports By Deepika Thapliyal 24-Nov-21 10:47 LONDON (ICIS)–The private sector will be permitted to import chemical fertilizers including urea, nitrates, phosphates and potash from today, Agriculture Minister Mahidananda Aluthgamage said. Fertz major Yara launches world's first electric and self-propelled container ship By Richard Ewing 19-11-21 LONDON (ICIS)–The world's first electric and self-propelled container ship – Yara Birkeland – on Friday made its maiden voyage in the Oslo fjord, Norwegian fertilizer major Yara announced. Australia's Woodside secures site for green ammonia/hydrogen project By Richard Ewing 12-Nov-21 12:11 LONDON (ICIS)–Australia's Woodside said Friday it had secured land for its proposed H2TAS hydrogen plant, as the energy producer looks to develop large-scale production of green (renewable) hydrogen and ammonia. Australia's Fortescue to convert offshore vessel to run on green ammonia By Richard Ewing 11-Nov-21 12:50 LONDON (ICIS)–Australia's Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) on Thursday announced that a high-tech vessel powered almost completely by green ammonia will hit the water in 2022. EU CARBON BORDER ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM (CBAM) EXPLAINED What is it? The risk of carbon leakage frustrates the EU’s efforts to meet climate objectives. It occurs when companies transfer production to countries that are less strict on emissions, or when EU products are replaced by more carbon-intensive imports. This new mechanism would counteract this risk by putting a carbon price on imports of certain goods from outside of the EU. How will it work? EU importers will buy carbon certificates corresponding to the carbon price that would have been paid, had the goods been produced under the EU's carbon pricing rules. Conversely, once a non-EU producer can show that they have already paid a price for the carbon used in the production of the imported goods, the corresponding cost can be fully deducted for the EU importer. This will help reduce the risk of carbon leakage by encouraging producers in non-EU countries to make their production processes greener. A reporting system will apply from 2023 with the objective of facilitating a smooth roll out and to facilitate dialogue with non-EU countries. Importers will start paying a financial adjustment in 2026. How is the fertilizer industry affected? The fertilizer industry is one of the sectors to fall under the CBAM. The more energy-intensive nitrogen fertilizers will be affected most in the sector by the mechanism. DEFRA CONSULTATIONS EXPLAINED The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) launched a consultation at the beginning of November 2020 on reducing ammonia emissions from urea fertilizers. The consultation ran until 26 January 2021. It set out three options for tackling ammonia emissions: A total ban on solid urea fertilizers A requirement to stabilise solid urea fertilizers with the addition of a urease inhibitor. A requirement to restrict the spreading of solid urea fertilizers to between 15 January and 31 March of a given year. Liquid urea is excluded from any new rules or restrictions. DEFRA is currently analysing the feedback received. Should it decide to restrict the use of urea, that would leave growers with just ammonium nitrate-based fertilizers. PREVIOUS  NEWS HEADLINES Sri Lanka encourages transition to organic fertilizer at COP 26 Tokyo scientists convert bioplastic into nitrogen fertilizer Aramco plans Saudi green hydrogen, ammonia project China announces action plan for carbon peaking & neutrality Saudi Aramco targets net zero emissions from operations by 2050 BLOG: China provides major climate hope as latest IEA report underlines that it is all about the developing world Fertiglobe goes green with Red Sea zero-carbon ammonia pro Australian fertilizer major Incitec Pivot teams up for green ammonia study Yara partners up to explore clean ammonia bunkering and distribution in Japan Fertilizer Canada concerned cutting fertilizers to meet emissions target could impact farmers Yara and Kyushu Electric Power explore clean ammonia collaboration in Japan INTERVIEW: BASF to scale up new decarbonisation tech in second half of decade – CEO Australian Minbos Resources completes bulk sample from Cabinda Phosphate project India asks fertilizer companies to speed up production of nano DAP Japan's Itochu set to receive first cargo of blue ammonia for fertilizer use Norway's Yara acquires recycled fertilizers maker Ecolan Bayer Funds US start-up aims to cut nitrogen fertilizer use by 30% ADNOC concludes fresh sale of blue ammonia from the UAE to Japan Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies selects St Louis for new Crystal Green fertilizer facility India to launch $1.35tr infra plan, enhance green hydrogen output Norway Yara partners with Aker, Statkraft to launch green ammonia firm Blue and green ammonia to advance rapidly BP: Green ammonia production in Australia feasible, but needs huge investment Origin and MOL explore shipping green ammonia from Australia India’s IFFCO seeks to export nano urea fertilizer Sri Lanka reinstates ban on import of chemical fertilizers Nutrien to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030 RESOURCES IFA – Fertilizers and climate change  TFI – Sustainability report 

17-Jan-2022

EPCA plans in-person annual event in October

MADRID (ICIS)–The European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) is to hold an in-person annual forum on 4-6 October in Berlin, subject to pandemic developments, the trade group said on Monday. It will be EPCA’s 56th annual event. The group’s last two annual events were held virtually due to travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The event is planned as an in-person event. The team is monitoring and will follow the latest health and safety measurements,” said the trade group’s CEO in a letter to EPCA member companies. EPCA’s financing partly depends on the annual event attendees’ fees, from which the trade group has been deprived for two consecutive years. Some of the financing also comes from companies’ membership fees. In her letter to members, Caroline Ciuciu thanked them for their “essential contribution”. “A dedicated email with the membership invoice will be sent to the billing contact in the course of January 2022," she concluded.

17-Jan-2022

Americas top stories: weekly summary

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News from the week ended 14 January. December IPEX down 6% on sharp price drops in northeast Asia, US The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) dropped by 6.2% month on month in December, tracking price declines across the main petrochemical and plastic global markets, not least in northeast Asia and the US. Domestic PE prices move lower for January in Brazil Domestic polyethylene (PE) prices for January were nominated with decreases in Brazil, according to market sources. New COVID outbreaks in new year likely to impact cargo movement – Maersk The container shipping industry is continuing to battle with congested ports and labour issues, including outbreaks of COVID-19 in the area surrounding one of China's largest ports that are making it harder to move product from region to region. US Huntsman faces activist investor shake up at AGM US investor Starboard Value has nominated four candidates to the board of directors for election at chemicals major Huntsman's next annual general meeting (AGM). Celanese lifts Americas force majeure on VAM, issues sales control US-based acetyls producer Celanese has lifted its force majeure on vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) in the Americas. Shipping container rates from China to US on rise again Rates for shipping containers from east Asia and China to both US coasts are on the rise again as US consumers’ demand for goods shows no signs of easing.

17-Jan-2022

Singapore's petrochemical exports rise by 28.4%, NODX up 18.4%

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's petrochemical exports rose by 28.4% year on year to Singapore dollar (S$) 1.6bn in December, supporting the overall rise in non-oil domestic exports (NODX) abroad, official data showed on Monday. Singapore's petrochemical exports to China rose by 18.9% year on year in December while those to Indonesia surged by 80.1%, Enterprise Singapore said in a statement. Overall NODX rose by 18.4% year on year in December, decelerating from the 24.2% expansion in November. Non-electronic NODX, which includes petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, rose by 19.9% year on year in December, slowing from the 22.6% expansion in November. Non-electronic NODX to eight out of Singapore's top 10 markets rose in December while those to South Korea and the US dropped.

17-Jan-2022

Shipping container rates from China to US on rise again

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Rates for shipping containers from east Asia and China to both US coasts are on the rise again as US consumers’ demand for goods shows no signs of easing. The trade group National Retail Federation (NRF) said last week in its monthly Global Port Tracker, produced jointly with Hackett Associates, that volumes at the nation’s ports will remain high before returning to normal growth rates later in the year. “Even with the holiday season behind us, supply chain challenges continue,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “The huge increases in imports we’ve seen have leveled out, but volume is still at high levels.” Gold also noted that the emergence and rapid spread of the Omicron variant “is a wild card that could not only impact the supply chain workforce but once again drive more imports if consumers stay home and spend their money on retail goods rather than going out.” Judah Levine, head of research at online freight shipping marketplace and platform provider Freightos, said that restrictions aimed at containing COVID-19 outbreaks near the Chinese port of Ningbo that raised concerns last week have largely been removed. But as has often been the case during this pandemic, positive news concerning the virus in one region is being countered by the emergence of new cases in another. Levine said new measures are in place in the ports of Shenzhen and Tianjin following new detections of the virus there, though logistics operations have not yet been significantly impacted. Levine also pointed out that the congestion at US ports has not significantly improved. The Marine Exchange of Southern California (MESC) said that as of Thursday, there were 101 container ships backed up at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Of the 101, seven were at anchor or loitering within 40 miles of the ports, and 94 were slow-speed streaming or loitering outside the Safety and Air Quality Area (SAQA). The count was at 105 container ships on 6 January, which was up from before the Christmas holiday when there were 91 total container ships backed up, including 24 at anchor or loitering inside 40 miles, plus 67 in the queue. The record before the new queuing system was implemented is 116 container ships on 16 November. For context, there were 86 container ships in port on 13 October ahead of the peak-season arrivals, which was also before the new queuing system was initiated. Container ships are relevant to the chemicals industry because while most chemicals are liquids and are shipped in tankers, container ships transport polymers such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which are shipped in pellets. Focus story by Adam Yanelli Thumbnail image shows a container ship at an industrial port. Photo by Shutterstock.

17-Jan-2022

Trucking trade group lauds US Supreme Court ruling on vaccine mandates

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The American Trucking Associations called a US Supreme Court decision on Thursday that blocks the implementation of the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate “a victory on behalf of the trucking industry and workers and employers everywhere”. Chris Spear, the president and CEO of the industry trade group, said the court’s ruling validates the ATA’s claim that the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) far overstepped its authority in issuing an emergency temporary standard that would interfere with individuals’ private health care decisions. The ATA was part of a coalition of business groups that challenged the OSHA mandate that would have required companies with 100 or more employees to either get vaccinated or be regularly tested for COVID-19. The chemical sector has been coping with trucking issues – mainly a shortage of drivers – for years, and the ATA argued that a vaccine mandate would make it harder to hire and retain drivers. Full testing requirements for unvaccinated employees was set for enforcement on 9 February. “Trucking has been on the front lines throughout the pandemic – delivering PPE, medical supplies, food, clothing, fuel, and even the vaccines themselves,” Spear said. “Thanks to this ruling, our industry will continue to deliver critical goods, as our nation recovers from the pandemic, and we move our economy forward.” Earlier in the week, OSHA issued guidance clarifying that its mandate would not apply to solo truck drivers. Meanwhile, Canada will require all truck drivers entering that country from the US to be fully vaccinated beginning on 15 January.

17-Jan-2022

Europe ACN buyers more regionalised in 2022, costs a concern

LONDON (ICIS)–As Europe navigates the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the focus on regionalisation has become a trend for a segment of acrylonitrile (ACN) buyers, but increasing costs are a growing concern. Sources are trying to figure out what this will mean for their businesses and margins. The soaring freight rates from Asia and supply chain disruptions have led many buyers over the past 18 months to challenge the status quo of business agreements. While freights have come off their peak seen in December, they are still much higher than pre-pandemic levels. The likelihood of this focus on regional business being a longer-term strategy is slim for some sources at least, but it could be the trend for a proportion of the market for the first half, and possibly all, of 2022. Not just high freight rates have hampered movement of product from Asia to Europe, but some reduced output in Asia has too in Q4, some of which was a direct response to the 'dual control' policy in China. The Lunar New Year celebrations in February, the 'dual control' policy and the winter Olympics due to be held in Beijing next month all continue to impact the flow of product. No real improvement is expected on logistic woes until at least H2 this year and some say 2023. Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) buyers continue to struggle to secure material in Europe and stocks in the region remain low. There is one example of a backlog of ABS orders and that player is not expecting to see balance before mid-2022. Sources would still prefer to spread the exposure across the regions, but the lack of ABS imports and more recently acrylamide and acrylic fibre (AF) has seen stronger-than-usual order books of these ACN buyers. “We see more and more regionalisation – not sure on the timeframe, but it will get worse before it gets better as there are more restrictions on manufacturing in Q1,” one buyer said. Costs are a rising issue. Europe is currently the highest priced region for feedstock propylene and the ongoing strength in natural gas pricing is adding pressure. This is true not only via ammonia for ACN production, but via production costs for the more energy intensive production processes of ACN, such as AF. This will reduce the desire to remain regional. As one buyer said, “in the end with pricing being where it is, we will look outside [the region], not this year, but further forward.” ACN itself remains a net importer of product as can be seen in this trade flow map. – When the pandemic hit in 2020, there was talk that regionalisation would be a trend for various petrochemicals, but it was only as 2021 progressed that it gained more traction for the buyers of ACN. High freights and lack of vessel space are likely to be prohibitive for some months to come, but if costs are to climb further some question whether this would reduce run rates at production sites for both the sellers and buyers of ACN. ACN is used in the production of synthetic fibres for clothing and home furnishings, engineering plastics and elastomers. Focus story by Jane Massingham Interactive graphs by Yashas Mudumbai, trade flow data by Laura Succi

17-Jan-2022

COVID 19-related work absences put pressure on Spain’s petrochemicals plants

MADRID (ICIS)–COVID-19-related work absences are putting pressure on Spanish petrochemicals plants as the country goes through the peak of the Omicron wave, sources have told to ICIS. The  nation of 47m reported on 13 January nearly 160,000 coronavirus cases; in the past two weeks, Spain has reported more than 1.6m infections. Like in many other European countries, work absences of those who must isolate are putting a strain in several economic sectors, including petrochemicals. “In many plants which are running 24 hours, there can be four workers in any given shift. In many cases, two of them can be on sick leave. One more absence in those cases could really put a strain on operations,” a source in Spain said. Many petrochemicals companies are hoping experts’ forecasts that the Omicron variant may be peaking in Spain come true. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned earlier this week half of Europeans could become infected in the coming weeks, which would undoubtedly continue to mount pressure on the workforce. A second source added "many plants" across the country were suffering the lack of personnel in January. A third source concluded: "This is the pandemic of work absenteeism." Additional reporting by Caroline Murray

17-Jan-2022

TOPIC PAGE: Coronavirus, oil price direction – impact on chemicals

Tune in to the ICIS Think Tank podcast as supply chain crisis is delaying an inevitable downturn for chemicals. Early January lockdowns in two cities which are home to some of China’s busiest container shipping ports, plus long delays at US ports, spell more trouble for global supply chains at the start of 2022. Recent coronavirus resurgences in the Ningbo region of China have disrupted the movements of both propylene imports and domestic propylene, although market sentiment is slightly mixed as regards the extent of the disruption. Northeast Asia’s acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) markets were stable, tracking subdued momentum amid feedstock support. An upbeat mood hardly prevails in Asian palm methyl ester (PME) biodiesel markets during the winter, when there is a seasonal demand lull in key export outlets Europe and China. But this year is anomalous, ipso facto, triggered by bullish feedstock crude palm oil (CPO) futures in Asia. Biodiesel prices have been on an uptrend, tracking those of CPO, according to ICIS data. Spreads between US spot styrene and benzene continue to narrow into new year on elevated upstream cost pressures and strengthening fundamentals. NYMEX WTI crude futures for February delivery finished up for the second consecutive session, settling at $82.64/bbl, up $1.42, hitting two-month highs in response to a much greater than forecast drawdown in crude oil inventories revealed by the weekly supply statistics from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Updated on 14 January with news story links On this topic page we analyse the impact of coronavirus and oil price dynamics on chemical markets and bring together the latest news reported by ICIS.  Scroll down to see the latest interactive graphics, podcasts and videos.  Click here to register for regular updates to help you navigate these challenging times. LATEST HEADLINES NE Asia ABS, SAN declines halt on feedstock support, momentum flat By Angeline Soh 14-Jan-22 13:24 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) markets were stable, tracking subdued momentum amid feedstock support. INSIGHT: Buoyant Asia biodiesel sentiment atypical on bullish palm oil futures By Felicia Loo 13-Jan-22 18:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–An upbeat mood hardly prevails in Asian palm methyl ester (PME) biodiesel markets during the winter, when there is a seasonal demand lull in key export outlets Europe and China. US spot styrene-benzene spreads narrow on stronger crude, fundamentals By Adam Burkin 13-Jan-22 06:44 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Spreads between US spot styrene and benzene continue to narrow into new year on elevated upstream cost pressures and strengthening fundamentals. US crude futures surge $1.42/bbl on tight supplies and rising demand By Ignacio Sotolongo 13-Jan-22 05:31 HOUSTON (ICIS)–NYMEX WTI crude futures for February delivery finished up for the second consecutive session, settling at $82.64/bbl, up $1.42, hitting two-month highs in response to a much greater than forecast drawdown in crude oil inventories revealed by the weekly supply statistics from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). INSIGHT: China lockdowns, US congestion threaten more trouble for global supply chains By Will Beacham 13-Jan-22 00:37 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Early January lockdowns in two cities which are home to some of China’s busiest container shipping ports, plus long delays at US ports, spell more trouble for global supply chains at the start of 2022. PODCAST: Supply chain crisis delaying inevitable downturn for chemicals By Will Beacham 11-Jan-22 22:54 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Congested global supply chains are masking a downturn in demand for chemicals, driven by China’s slowing economy, high energy prices plus falling consumer confidence and spending. New COVID outbreaks in new year likely to impact cargo movement – Maersk By Adam Yanelli 11-Jan-22 13:49 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The container shipping industry is continuing to battle with congested ports and labour issues, including outbreaks of COVID-19 in the area surrounding one of China's largest ports that are making it harder to move product from region to region. Ningbo lockdown creates C3 logistics issues By Julia Tan 11-Jan-22 12:23 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Recent coronavirus resurgences in the Ningbo region of China have disrupted the movements of both propylene imports and domestic propylene, although market sentiment is slightly mixed as regards the extent of the disruption. OUTLOOK ‘22: Asia EVA demand driven by China’s PV, supporting capacities By Helen Lee 07-Jan-22 10:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) market faces near-term headwinds on rising supply, but demand growth driven by the renewable energy and photovoltaic (PV) industry is poised to support capacity expansions longer term in 2022. OUTLOOK '22: Europe ABS supply shortage into H1, potential recovery by H2 By Stephanie Wix 07-Jan-22 00:03 LONDON (ICIS)–The supply shortage in the European acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market is expected to continue until Q2 2022 at least due to ongoing pressures including production issues and low imports amid strong demand trends. OUTLOOK ’22: Mideast polyols Q1 demand uncertain amid Omicron spread, shipping woes By Damini Dabholkar 06-Jan-22 13:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Middle East polyols market outlook is somewhat uncertain in the first quarter of 2022 as a result of raging spread of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the world and still very high freight rates making shipment costs expensive. US PET market conditions remain stable despite surge in Omicron infections By Luly Stephens 06-Jan-22 17:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market fundamentals remain strong amid robust demand and stable pricing for virgin resin while prices for recycled PET increased. OUTLOOK ’22: Asia’s FAE to see Chinese interest in early January despite Omicron concerns By Helen Yan 05-Jan-22 11:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s fatty alcohol ethoxylates (FAE) market is expected to see emerging Chinese spot interest in early January, despite concerns over the impact of the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant on the global economic recovery. OUTLOOK ’22: Middle East base oils market faces uncertain outlook By Izham Ahmad 05-Jan-22 13:35 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Middle East base oils spot market faces an uncertain outlook in 2022, with supply of most grades expected to be largely sufficient but demand expected to remain stable to soft due to sluggish economic growth and global automotive sales. CRUDE SUMMARY: Oil up as Omicron optimism offsets US demand slump By Richard Price 05-Jan-22 14:29 LONDON (ICIS)–Crude futures extended their ascent on Wednesday, as investors continued to focus on price supportive developments. US crude stockpiles fell for the sixth consecutive week on Wednesday, confirming industry reports released late on Tuesday. OUTLOOK ’22: Asia nylon shaken by pessimistic automotive projections amid Omicron fears By Angeline Soh 04-Jan-22 11:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia Nylon 6, or polyamide (PA) resins 6, is set to start the year on shaky ground, on the back of gloomy derivative automotive projections as several lockdowns have been imposed due to Omicron, the latest COVID-19 variant. OUTLOOK ’22: Europe PVC expectations driven by pandemic trends, global weakness By Chris Barker 28-Dec-21 19:00 LONDON (ICIS)–European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is expected to remain tight in 2022 on high underlying demand. Global developments, however, point in a longer direction and the impact on feedstock prices is as yet unclear. The challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic have dominated discussions since early 2020, with the market potentially reverting towards the mean if the disease recedes across Europe. OUTLOOK ’22: Omicron surge dampens Europe investor confidence but chems M&A to continue By Tom Brown 30-Dec-21 20:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Portfolio optimisation, private equity interest, and the intensifying pressure of sustainability targets are likely to continue to drive the chemicals mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, despite the battering that investor confidence took in late 2021 when the Omicron COVID-19 variant emerged. OUTLOOK ’22: US chemical equities likely to continue on upswing on strong demandBy Janet Miranda 29-Dec-21 23:12 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Chemical equities are on track to end 2021 higher, as demand in key end markets continues, the upswing may likely continue into the new year as post-pandemic demand accelerates. But several factors such as ongoing high inflation rates, the US Federal Reserve’s new monetary policy tilt, including the acceleration of the reduction of its monthly bond purchases, and the rise of the Omicron COVID-19 variant increase volatility. Not to mention the supply chain and logistics challenges that have left no sector of the economy untouched. OUTLOOK ’22: Europe PVC expectations driven by pandemic trends, global weakness By Chris Barker 28-Dec-21 19:00 LONDON (ICIS)–European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is expected to remain tight in 2022 on high underlying demand. Global developments, however, point in a longer direction and the impact on feedstock prices is as yet unclear. The challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic have dominated discussions since early 2020, with the market potentially reverting towards the mean if the disease recedes across Europe. OUTLOOK ’22: Asia ADA outlook mixed on supply cuts, slowing demand By Judith Wang 24-Dec-21 13:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The outlook for the Asian adipic acid (ADA) market is mixed in the first quarter of 2022 as producers in north China will be forced to cut operations in January and February, but slowing demand may mitigate the supply cuts. OUTLOOK '22: Seasonal demand likely for US IPA, but Omicron a caveat By Larry Terry 24-Dec-21 05:23 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Softer propylene will continue to exert downward pressure on US isopropanol (IPA) early in 2022, but the solvent is expected to see typical demand patterns next year, albeit with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus remaining a significant caveat. Feedstock costs of US glycol ethers decline in December, as Omicron variant looms By Deniz Koray 24-Dec-21 00:35 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US glycol ethers have loosened from their tightest points of 2021, back in the late winter and early spring, which followed multiple producer disruptions in the aftermath of winter storm Uri. Demand remains strong among end users, but the sudden rise of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus could test market fundamentals if cases continue to rapidly increase. PODCAST: Europe oxo-alcohols, acrylates and butac markets stable despite production limitations By ICIS Editorial 24-Dec-21 00:21 LONDON (ICIS)–The European oxo-alcohols chain is largely quiet due to seasonal low demand, although Arkema and INEOS declared force majeures during December. Butyl acetate (butac) report editor Nick Cleeve examines the impact of these limitations with oxo-alcohols editor Nicole Simpson and acrylate esters editor Mat Jolin-Beech. PODCAST: UAN market eyes 2022 with high prices and US import duty concerns By Sylvia Traganida 23-Dec-21 19:22 LONDON (ICIS)–The UAN market in 2021 had it all – from high nitrogen and natural gas prices to tight supply and countervailing duties in the US. It has certainly been a bumpy year. Senior UAN editors Sylvia Traganida and Mark Milam discuss the factors affecting the market this year and look ahead to what to expect in 2022. PODCAST: China benzene in downtrend amid gradually increasing inventories By Sam Liang 23-Dec-21 14:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Listen to ICIS analyst Jady Ma and Sam Liang discuss the current state and outlook of China's benzene market. INSIGHT: Omicron, China slowdown, supply chains and energy prices pose 2022 chems demand risks By Will Beacham 22-Dec-21 22:16 BARCELONA (ICIS)–The rampant spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, a slowdown in the world’s largest chemical market China, continued supply chain disruption and elevated energy prices add risks to economic growth and demand for chemicals in 2022. OUTLOOK ’22: Global oil braced for tighter supply and demand balance By Cecilia Barreiro 22-Dec-21 18:15 LONDON (ICIS)–Global crude oil markets face a new faster-spreading coronavirus variant and increasing output, while geopolitics could take centre stage next year. VIDEO: China PE faces ample supply, weak demand in Q1 2022 By Joanne Wang 16-Dec-21 17:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch industry analyst Joanne Wang discuss the polyethylene (PE) market in China which is currently weakening. Asia biodiesel offers fall on CPO losses, thin demand By Felicia Loo 16-Dec-21 13:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Selling indications for palm methyl ester (PME) biodiesel continued to decline, tracking persistent losses in feedstock crude palm oil (CPO) futures at a time of weak demand and market uncertainty. INSIGHT: Logistics woes intensify as Omicron variant rocks Europe By Tom Brown 16-Dec-21 00:11 LONDON (ICIS)–The supply chain pressures that have dogged the European chemicals sector since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic are hitting harder than ever in the run-up to the holiday season, as governments respond to rising infection rates. Zhejiang COVID-19 outbreak hits east China petrochemical logistics By Fanny Zhang 14-Dec-21 15:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Tightening restrictions at factories and ports in Zhejiang following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak are causing delays in transportation of petrochemicals in China’s eastern province. PODCAST: Economy, chemicals may switch from inflation to deflation in 2022 By Will Beacham 14-Dec-21 21:54 BARCELONA (ICIS)–The global economy may reverse from price inflation to deflation next year as supply chains unblock amid tepid underlying demand. VIDEO: China BG sentiment may remain weak; import supply to tighten By Bonnie Yin 14-Dec-21 12:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch ICIS editor Bonnie Yin discuss China's butyl glycol (BG) market developments and outlook. INSIGHT: Omicron variant is driving deterioration in business sentiment By Nigel Davis 13-Dec-21 22:49 LONDON (ICIS)–The fear of rising infections from the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is grabbing news headlines this week as governments react by raising coronavirus risk levels. Some further national lockdowns might be expected for early next year as the fast spread of the variant causes greater concern. Additional travel restrictions are already being introduced. OPEC revises down 2021 global GDP estimates, Omicron hits Q4 crude demand By Tom Brown 13-Dec-21 23:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Q4 crude oil demand is likely to be weaker than expected as a result of European countries’ response to the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, OPEC said on Monday, while full-year GDP growth is also likely to come in below forecasts. Indian SBR, PBR import trades under pressure on slowing demand By Ai Teng Lim 09-Dec-21 10:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Softer demand is taking a toll on discussions this week on India-bound import cargoes of synthetic rubber grades like styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) and polybutadiene rubber (PBR). PODCAST: GCC eyes stronger PP demand in 2022 By Jasmine Khoo 09-Dec-21 12:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s polypropylene (PP) market has had a volatile run in 2021, with vast contrasts and swings in PP prices rendering buyers unclear on what 2022 is set to bring. VIDEO: Asia benzene rebounds; volatile SM may extend into 2022 By Angeline Soh 08-Dec-21 18:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch pricing editors Angeline Soh and Trixie Yap discuss current developments and outlook for Asia’s benzene and styrene monomer (SM) markets. China November petrochemical markets slump as supply disruptions ease By Yvonne Shi 07-Dec-21 14:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's petrochemical markets slumped in November following a sharp surge in the previous month, as energy consumption curbs that caused heavy production disruptions have eased. PODCAST: As China moves to PP self-sufficiency, expect scramble for global market share By Will Beacham 07-Dec-21 22:05 BARCELONA (ICIS)–China may become self-sufficient in polypropylene (PP) from 2022, raising the prospect of a scramble for market share globally and a possible price war. Europe glycerine supply to remain tight until year-end despite easing feedstock pressures By Samantha Wright 06-Dec-21 23:38 LONDON (ICIS)–European glycerine availability is expected to remain very short for the rest of the year, despite improvements in upstream biodiesel production. INSIGHT: Europe PP 2022 contracts discussed as security of supply vies with new output By Linda Naylor 06-Dec-21 23:50 LONDON (ICIS)–Many polypropylene (PP) buyers in Europe are still discussing 2022 volume and pricing contracts, mindful of product shortages in 2021, but also of the swathe of new capacity coming on-stream next year. Crude rises more than $1/bbl on demand optimism after Saudi price hike By James Dennis 06-Dec-21 16:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Benchmark crude prices rallied on Monday, rising by more than $1/bbl or over 2% on the previous close, amid a more optimistic demand outlook after Saudi Arabia raised its January Official Selling Prices (OSP) for customers in Asia. Crude prices rise further following OPEC+ decision By James Dennis 03-Dec-21 16:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Benchmark crude prices rose by more than $1/bbl on Friday following on from gains made in the previous session, OPEC and its allies (OPEC+) announced that they will maintain plans to raise production by 400,000 bbl/day in January 2022. Global chemical sentiment bearish on Omicron spread By Felicia Loo 03-Dec-21 13:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Global chemical sentiment has become bearish amid the rise of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with buyers sidelined at a time of uncertainty and as several countries undertook imposed travel restrictions and temporary border closures. INSIGHT: SE Asian IPA Q1 market sentiment weak on shipping woes By Julia Tan 03-Dec-21 11:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Southeast Asian isopropanol (IPA) markets are expected to see bearish sentiment in the first quarter of 2022, as upstream acetone and propylene are unlikely to provide significant support to a market that is already struggling with weak seasonal demand and supply chain disruptions. US crude futures finish up 93 cents/bbl on rollercoaster action By Ignacio Sotolongo 03-Dec-21 06:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)–NYMEX WTI crude futures experienced another wild intra-day low/high swing of $5.00/bbl before showing a preference for the upside and settling at $66.50/bbl for January delivery. It was a day of headline trading, with concerns that the Omicron coronavirus variant would result in lockdowns and travel restrictions adversely impacting global economic growth. US Q1 glycerine contract negotiations ongoing amid major cost pressures By Lucas Hall 03-Dec-21 07:50 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US Q1 glycerine contract negotiations are ongoing. Most major contracts are finalised, with freely negotiated settlements largely heard at least 15-20% higher from their Q4 levels. Northeast Asian C3 bearish despite healthier margins By Julia Tan 02-Dec-21 20:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Despite healthier margins amid falling feedstock prices, bearish sentiment continues in the northeast Asian propylene spot markets, with participants anticipating limited support from derivative sectors. INSIGHT: Omicron variant may further erode US PE margins By Al Greenwood 02-Dec-21 09:09 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The Omicron variant of the coronavirus could further erode US margins for polyethylene (PE) if travel restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the disease lead to a sustained decline in oil prices. INSIGHT: Energy crisis in Europe intensifies as weather takes its grip By Nigel Davis 01-Dec-21 23:23 LONDON (ICIS)–The uncertainties surrounding energy price direction in December and through the winter months in northern Europe weigh heavily on regional petrochemical producers. Influx of US ethylene supply on the way as demand remains strong By Michael Sims 01-Dec-21 07:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US ethylene supply is set to loosen as the year comes to a close, with plant turnaround completions and two new steam cracker start-ups approaching. Europe capro demand weaker in December on downstream slowdown By Marta Fern 30-Nov-21 22:35 LONDON (ICIS)–The European caprolactam (capro) market faces weaker buying interest for December, ample supply and ongoing pressure from high production costs. INSIGHT: Omicron variant, Fed’s hawkish tilt point to slower US and global economic growth By Joseph Chang 30-Nov-21 16:25 NEW YORK (ICIS)–The emergence of the Omicron variant and the US Federal Reserve’s new hawkish tilt point to slower US and global economic growth going forward, putting pressure on the outlook for economically sensitive sectors such as chemicals. US crude futures plunge $3.77/bbl on vaccine effectiveness By Ignacio Sotolongo 30-Nov-21 15:44 HOUSTON (ICIS)–NYMEX WTI crude futures experienced another round of length liquidation, settling at $66.18, down $3.77, for January delivery on concerns that COVID-19 vaccines may not be as effective against the Omicron variant. PODCAST: Omicron risks further chemicals supply chain and demand disruption By Will Beacham 30-Nov-21 09:22 BARCELONA (ICIS)–The Omicron coronavirus variant may further disrupt supply chains while impacting demand for chemical markets around the world. VIDEO: China toluene flips into backwardation as prompt prices rise By Veronica Zhang 30-Nov-21 16:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch industry analyst Veronica discuss China's toluene which is currently in backwardation amid unusually buoyant prompt prices. INSIGHT: New coronavirus variant concerns slam oil, raise new woes By Nigel Davis 27-Nov-21 00:42 LONDON (ICIS)–A concerted effort by major consuming nations to cap the run up in crude oil prices this week, on the face of it, failed miserably – prices rose after the US, China, India, South Korea, Japan, and the UK agreed to release reserves. Concerns over fuel and energy price inflation are pitted against the reluctance of the OPEC+ producing nations to pump significantly more crude. Crude falls sharply amid oversupply fears and new coronavirus threat concerns By James Dennis 26-Nov-21 17:08 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Crude fell sharply during Asian trading with ICE Brent futures falling by close to 5% amid heightened concerns of a potential oversupply of crude in first quarter of 2022 resulting from US-led inventory release plans by leading consumers, and heightened demand worries following the emergence of new coronavirus variant. NE Asia C2 supply to rise in Dec/early ‘22 on increased S Korea output By Yeow Pei Lin 26-Nov-21 12:58 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s spot ethylene (C2) supply is expected to rise in December and January on the back of increased output and weak downstream conditions in South Korea. PODCAST: Europe oxo-alcohols chain stabilises in November By Eashani Chavda 26-Nov-21 00:53 LONDON (ICIS)–European oxo-alcohols availability has improved in Q4 following the lifting of force majeures by BASF and OQ. ICIS Editors Eashani Chavda, Nicole Simpson, Nick Cleeve and Mathew Jolin-Beech discuss the latest for the oxo-alcohols chain including; glycol ethers, butyl acetate (butac) and acrylate esters. Arbitrage window opens slightly for Asia and Europe propylene By Julia Tan 25-Nov-21 19:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The arbitrage window has opened slightly between Asia and Europe for propylene, with some Asian suppliers hoping to send cargoes to European buyers with better netbacks. US glycerine markets to remain bullish into Q1 as demand outpaces supply By Lucas Hall 25-Nov-21 07:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US glycerine markets are expected to remain bullish well into Q1 as demand continues to outpace supply because of ongoing disruptions globally. PODCAST: China’s dual control policy – what now? By Jasmine Khoo 25-Nov-21 12:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China has pledged to achieve peak carbon emission by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, and the dual control policy is part of this movement towards an environmentally-friendly future. In this episode of the ICIS Podcast, Markets Editor Julia Tan speaks with Jimmy Zhang, ICIS analyst to delve into the policy; looking at what it is, how it has broadly affected the markets, and how long its effects can be expected to last. High US TEG prices attract Europe imports; DEG stabilising By Antoinette Smith 24-Nov-21 08:51 HOUSTON (ICIS)–High US triethylene glycol (TEG) spot prices have attracted imports from Europe, as domestic demand continues to significantly outpace supply. US ABS faces continued tight supply through year-end By John Donnelly 22-Nov-21 22:50 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) supplies will remain tight through the end of the year but the resumption of two plants and falling auto demand could offer relief in Q1. PODCAST: Latest global ACN supply improved but costs a concern for US and Europe By ICIS Editorial 24-Nov-21 19:06 LONDON (ICIS)–The global acrylonitrile (ACN) markets are calmer than in recent months but there are many factors still to take into account. In this podcast, ICIS pricing editors Jane Massingham (Europe), Lucas Hall (US) and Li Li Chng (Asia) discuss the latest developments in the market and what can be expected in the short-term. German states urged to adopt compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations, US warns against travel By Stefan Baumgarten 23-Nov-21 11:38 LONDON (ICIS)–Germany’s state governments must consider compulsory vaccination to contain the unrelenting rise in infections from the coronavirus' fourth wave, the head of the country’s prosperous Baden-Wurttemberg state said on Tuesday. Europe methanol downtrend pauses on firmer demand in late Q4 By Eashani Chavda 22-Nov-21 19:13 LONDON (ICIS)–European methanol demand is expected to remain robust heading into December, supporting spot prices after a rapid decline. US MA slightly less firm as supply-and-demand balance improves By Tarun Raizada 19-Nov-21 07:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US maleic anhydride (MA) is trending up in November, but is a little less firm than the previous few months as the supply-and-demand balance has improved. US benzene receiving support from crude going into December while demand weakens By Adam Burkin 19-Nov-21 05:50 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US benzene continues to receive support from rising crude costs despite weakening downstream demand. China’s VAM supply tightness to persist, demand mixed By Zimeng Li 18-Nov-21 17:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) market is expected to remain in short supply in the near term despite a slight ease in tightness amid import inflows, while performance in downstream demand will likely remain mixed. EU’s definitive ADD measures may further weigh on Asia MEG discussions By Judith Wang 18-Nov-21 14:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The definitive antidumping (ADD) measures for US and Saudi Arabia imports to Europe may further weigh on Asia's monoethylene glycol (MEG) market, which has been plagued by rising new supply and dwindling demand. VIDEO: Asian melamine set to remain bearish amid slow demand By Joson Ng 18-Nov-21 11:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch ICIS editor Joson Ng discuss the latest developments in the Asian melamine market. VIDEO: China’s PP exports may increase on weak domestic market By Lucy Shuai 17-Nov-21 14:06 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–In this video, ICIS industry analyst Lucy Shuai shares her insight thoughts on China's polypropylene market, which heavily swung this year. Europe November epoxy resins firm on growing costs, snug supply By Heidi Finch 17-Nov-21 23:38 LONDON (ICIS)–Escalating costs and largely snug Europe epoxy resins supply have led to firmer talks for domestic product in November. PODCAST: Asia ABS gains capped by sluggish demand for Q4 By Jasmine Khoo 16-Nov-21 16:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices did not climb to earlier highs during the traditional peak of October and November, reflecting comparatively softer demand. In this podcast, Jasmine Khoo speaks with editor Angeline Soh about recent developments in the Asian ABS market. Strong demand, feedstock costs continue to pressure US etac By Anna Matherne 16-Nov-21 05:36 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US ethyl acetate (etac) spot prices continue to see pressure from high upstream acetic acid prices, heading into the year's end. ANALYSIS AND RESOURCES

17-Jan-2022

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