TOPIC PAGE: Automotive – impact on chemicals

Author: Morgan Condon


Updated analyst outlooks and news links

The automotive industry has an important relationship with the chemicals sector while remaining an instrumental force on the global economy as an employment-intensive sector.

In a fast-changing world, automotive manufacturing is susceptible to unique challenges. While vehicle manufacturers are impacted by material prices, trends impacting the market ripple upstream.


In October the global light vehicle market was marginally up, selling 91m units/year. However, recovery is still some way off, with global output not forecast to reach pre-pandemic global levels until Q4 2021 (Oxford Economics). Countries that have been most successful in containing the virus have had the sharpest rebound in sales. Many European countries re-imposed the national lockdown trigged by a renewed wave of coronavirus and surge in cases. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced that the ‘lockdown light’ will be extended until the 10th January 2021, although it may be subject to revision. As a result, demand could weaken as unemployment rises and working from home increases over the winter.

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, in October the US light vehicle market was down -0.5% month on month, and -3.3% year on year. April 2020 was the worst month for the US automotive sector, registering an all-time low of 8.7m units sold (as of 9 December 2020, the market has recovered approximately 86% of the loss).

After posting the first increase of the year in September, EU passenger car registrations have slipped back into negative territory by -7.8% year on year in October (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association). This is because numerous European economies have re-imposed restrictions to tackle a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Demand has been year on year substantially eroded in Spain where registrations are down -21%, followed by France (-9.5%) and Germany (-3.6%). Italy, on the other hand, is still holding up with only a slight downgrade of -0.2%. Automobile manufacturers reported mixed numbers. Fiat and Citroen recorded increases of 18%, and 16.5% year on year respectively; whereas Volkswagen and Peugeot reported decreases of -24.6% and -11.5% year on year respectively.

China is well on track for growth, and is leading the recovery in Asia. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), in October sales increased by 12.5% year on year. Commercial vehicles are leading the recovery, which is up by 30.1% year on year. India is following suit. Oxford Economics (OE) revised its earlier forecast for India upward from -27% to -1.9% in Q4 2020. This represents one of the biggest upgrades as Q3 performance far exceeded expectations.



Biden clean energy policies may boost electric vehicle adoption
By Janet Miranda 14-Jan-21 22:30 HOUSTON (ICIS)--With incoming president Joe Biden’s priorities to stimulate the economy and mitigate climate change, electric vehicle (EV) adoption could experience a boost.

INSIGHT: Asia petrochemicals can thrive but lockdowns to hit car sector anew
By Pearl Bantillo 14-Jan-21 02:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for some petrochemicals in Asia should be able to stay robust amid a new wave of coronavirus-related lockdowns in parts of the region, but the renewed restrictions will again hit the downstream automotive sector as the pandemic rages on to its second year.

US auto dealers expect uptick in new car sales in 2021
By Adam Yanelli 12-Jan-21 21:39 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US sales of new automobiles in 2021 are expected to rise by 7.2% over 2020, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) said on Tuesday, after 2020 ended with the industry experiencing its lowest full-year sales total since 2012.

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The industry consumes significant volumes of plastics, resins, rubber, and paints. Despite the slowdown of recent years, auto production is still identified as a growth area for many as the focus on sustainability and opportunities to lightweight vehicles increase.

Even ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, the global economy was already expected to slow down, acting as a drag on the market, which in turn was hampering growth in the chemicals sector.

Bearish dynamics have since been exacerbated by the spread of the coronavirus, which has had a large impact on on the automotive industry.

Quarantine measures to prevent the spread of infection across the world left global automotive production stalling.

With lockdown regulations slowly lifting, manufacturing is returning in some places, but output numbers for the year will be significantly weaker.

Visit the ICIS Coronavirus topic page for analysis of the impact on chemical markets and links to latest news.

With travel restrictions in place in many countries, weaker economic sentiment, and forecast record unemployment levels in some parts of the world, passenger vehicle sales are expected to remain well below peak levels.

When lockdowns are fully lifted, the automotive industry will be left facing some serious challenges which could diminish any resurgence in demand.

Economic forecasters consistently project a sharp downturn in global GDP this year.

With less money coming in, households and companies will funnel capital towards essential products, which for many is unlikely to include a new vehicle.

In turn, the health of the global economy could also be impacted by the global automotive sector.

According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), if automotive manufacturing where a country, it would be the sixth largest economy.

This symbiosis means that the form the world’s economic recovery will take is likely to be shaped by what is happening in the automotive sector.

This year would have been an interesting year for the automotive sector anyway, with a myriad of factors shaping the industry.

The push towards sustainability is a prominent issue concerning vehicle production and consumption.

A shift in demand towards electric vehicles does not cap the market for the entire chemicals sector, with some end-markets even identifying the automotive industry as a growth area for them.

While heat-resistant plastics will not be needed to house cooler electric engines, the increased need for fuel efficiency will drive demand for composite materials used in light-weighting vehicles.

Legislation is continuously evolving for the sector at different rates around the world presenting unique production challenges, with regulative issues surpassing environmental concerns.

As vehicles become more modern, so too do concerns about digitalisation of cars, which again provides an opportunity for those in the chemicals sector.

This means that data protection will become a concern of the sector, alongside sustainability and safety regulations.

Beyond the obvious headwinds facing the market, there are less immediate and more conceptual factors influencing the industry.

The prospect of car sharing and automated vehicles may seem far off, but these possible eventualities that manufacturers must prepare for now.

The automotive sector is at the forefront of research and development (R&D) spending, and much of the technology developed in this sector may be applied in other industries.

This was evidenced when the Mercedes Formula One team worked on a initiative with University College London to build respirators to assist coronavirus patients.


Even before most North American automotive plants were idled amid efforts to protect the employees from coronavirus, the industry was facing a slowdown.

US light-vehicle sales will not likely return to pre-coronavirus levels until the second half of 2023, according to Haig Stoddard, senior industry analyst for Wards Intelligence.

US light vehicle sales are set to be 4m units lower in 2020 and and 1.5m units lower in 2021 compared with the pre-coronavirus outlook, according to Wards.

In the US, production was halted after a United Auto Workers (UAW) union employee at a plant in Warren, Michigan, contracted the virus.

US automakers firmed restart dates for 18 May as Michigan announced phased reopening plans following coronavirus-related shutdowns.


Some vehicle manufacturers are making a slow return to production lines as quarantine restrictions begin to ease throughout Europe.

Although work is restarting, it is unlikely that output will rival pre-pandemic levels as demand is unlikely to make a sufficient recovery in the near term.

This will weigh heavily on the industry for 2020 and companies have already started reacting to lagging demand, with Nissan permanently closing its plant in Spain and cutting overall production 20%.

China took poll position as the key market for the automotive sector long before the pandemic.

Much production stalled in the first quarter but production has made a cautious return in the second quarter.

As Europe and the US may take significant time to recover productivity following lockdown, China is likely to remain important to the sector.

As global trade becomes more regionalised, and China in a better position than most for economic recovery, native demand may be crucial in providing support for the sector.


Germany’s auto production plunged 25% last year amid pandemic
By Stefan Baumgarten 12-Jan-21 19:23 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s car production fell 25% in 2020 and domestic new-car registrations fell 19% amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest data by the country's auto industry trade group VDA on Tuesday.

US PPG acquires German industrial and auto coatings specialist Worwag
By Morgan Condon 11-Jan-21 15:20 LONDON (ICIS)--PPG is set to acquire German coatings producer Worwag, with the deal set to conclude in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory approval, the US-headquartered producer announced on Monday.

INTERVIEW: US infrastructure, green stimulus plan would give boost to Hexion - CEO
By Joseph Chang 08-Jan-21 21:44 NEW YORK (ICIS)--US-based adhesives, coatings and composites producer Hexion stands to benefit from a potential new US infrastructure stimulus plan tilted towards green initiatives, its CEO said on Friday.

Canada’s light vehicles sales fell nearly 20% in pandemic-hit 2020
By Stefan Baumgarten 08-Jan-21 20:08 TORONTO (ICIS)--Sales of new light vehicles in Canada fell 19.7% to 1.54m units last year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest estimates by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC) on Friday.

North American freight railcar traffic fell 11.2% in 2020 amid pandemic, chems down 2.7%
By Stefan Baumgarten 06-Jan-21 18:56 HOUSTON (ICIS)--North American freight railcar traffic fell 11.2% in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, with chemical railcar loadings down 2.7%, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said on Wednesday.

Eurostar to boost Ascend's compounds for electronics - CEO
By Joseph Chang 05-Jan-21 14:37 NEW YORK (ICIS)--Ascend Performance Materials’ acquisition of France-based Eurostar Engineering Plastics will enhance its electrical and electronic (E&E) capabilities with a wide range of nylon 6,6, nylon 6, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and other products, its CEO said on Tuesday.

Ford Motor Co to cease auto production in Brazil
By Adam Yanelli 11-Jan-21 15:07 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Ford Motor Co will cease vehicle production in Brazil in 2021 as part of its South America restructuring plan, instead choosing to service the region from Argentina, Uruguay and other markets, the US automaker said on Monday.

German auto activity stalls in December, expectations improve
By Morgan Condon 05-Jan-21 11:28 LONDON (ICIS)--Activity in Germany's automotive industry declined in December, although expectations for the future remain buoyant, according to the latest data from the Ifo Institute on Tuesday.

INTERACTIVE: US November new auto sales fall from October as year-on-year lag widens
By ICIS Editorial 18-Dec-20 18:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US sales of new light vehicles in November fell by 4.5% from the previous month and are down by 8.4% year on year, according to seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

OUTLOOK '21: Europe automotive industry will continue to be haunted by pandemic aftermath
By Morgan Condon 29-Dec-20 13:00 LONDON (ICIS)--The automotive industry will start 2021 on rough terrain as the coronavirus pandemic continues to be the dominant factor impacting businesses.

Improvements in the automotive sector supporting cyclohexane consumption globally
By Zubair Adam 22-Dec-20 18:20 LONDON (ICIS)--The main markets for cyclohexane (CX), which include the US, Europe and Asia, have been supported by the improvements of the end user automotive markets.

EU commercial vehicle registrations at a standstill in November
By Tom Brown 22-Dec-20 11:44 LONDON (ICIS)--EU commercial vehicle registrations were broadly flat month on month in November, with new purchases driving a 0.1% year on year increase across the region after a fall in the previous month, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

OUTLOOK ‘21: Asia PBT to stay buoyant amid automotive recovery and firm feedstock
By Clive Ong 22-Dec-20 02:09 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia's polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) market put in a strong showing in the fourth quarter to end the year on a winning note, reversing its lacklustre performance in the second and third quarters.

OUTLOOK ’21: Asia SBR demand to improve as auto sector recovery gathers steam
By Helen Yan 21-Dec-20 06:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) demand should improve on the back of continued recovery in the global downstream automotive market in 2021.

Europe SBR December contracts rise by triple digits on surging feedstock costs
By Melissa Hurley 17-Dec-20 16:24 LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) December contracts increased by triple digits on the back of surging feedstock costs, limited supply and good demand.

BASF, partner mull nickel-cobalt refining project to meet demand from EV market
By Stefan Baumgarten 15-Dec-20 18:49 LONDON (ICIS)--BASF and French metallurgical group Eramet have agreed to jointly study a potential nickel and cobalt hydrometallurgical refining complex in Indonesia, they said on Tuesday.

US November manufacturing output rises 0.8%, led by autos
By Stefan Baumgarten 15-Dec-20 16:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US November manufacturing output rose 0.8% from October, led by a 5.3% increase in motor vehicles and parts, the US Federal Reserve said in a data release on Tuesday.

EU truck fleet must be fossil fuel-free by 2040 to meet carbon neutrality targets - ACEA
By Morgan Condon 15-Dec-20 14:20 LONDON (ICIS)--All trucks in Europe will need to be fossil fuel-free by 2040 to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 as set out in the EU's climate targets, vehicle manufacturers' trade group ACEA said on Tuesday.

China November vehicles sales rise to year’s new high
By Fanny Zhang 11-Dec-20 10:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s vehicles sales increased by a strong 12.6% year on year to 2.77m units in November, refreshing this year’s record, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

EU Commission's zero-emission vehicle goal 'far removed from reality' - ACEA
By Morgan Condon 10-Dec-20 13:10 LONDON (ICIS)--The European Automotive Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) lambasted the EU's executive arm for having unrealistic expectations about the future of zero-emission vehicles.

China auto industry recovery faces challenges from Europe chip shortage
By Fanny Zhang 09-Dec-20 05:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s automotive production will have to hurdle through a shortage of electronic chips from Europe well into 2021, which could derail the industry’s fragile recovery amid the pandemic.

UK chem major INEOS acquires Mercedes plant in France to produce its off-road vehicle
By Stefan Baumgarten 08-Dec-20 17:42 LONDON (ICIS)--The automotive affiliate of UK chemicals group INEOS has acquired a Mercedes-Benz plant at Hambach in northeast France to make its planned "Grenadier" 4x4 off-road vehicle, it said on Tuesday.

Germany’s 2021 auto growth won't offset 2020 decline - VDA
By Stefan Baumgarten 04-Dec-20 16:52 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s auto production is forecast to rise 20% in 2021, with domestic new-car sales also increasing notably from 2020, the country’s auto industry trade group VDA said in an estimate on Friday.

Germany's November new-car sales fall amid lockdowns, but EV sales boom
By Stefan Baumgarten 03-Dec-20 18:22 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s new-car registrations fell 3% year on year in November amid the latest lockdown measures to contain the second wave of the coronavirus, according to official data released on Thursday.

Canada November light vehicle sales fall 10.4% on renewed coronavirus lockdowns
By Stefan Baumgarten 02-Dec-20 18:06 TORONTO (ICIS)--Canadian light vehicle sales are estimated to have fallen 10.4% year on year to 128,351 units in November - mainly because of renewed lockdown measures to contain the second wave of the coronavirus, automotive consultants DesRosiers said on Wednesday.

German automotive outlook gloomy despite November uptick
By Morgan Condon 02-Dec-20 11:12 LONDON (ICIS)--German automotive manufacturers are pessimistic about the outlook in the coming months despite the improvement in the current situation, according to researchers at the Ifo Institute on Wednesday.

Germany's Audi, tech institute launch project to recycle automotive plastics
By Stefan Baumgarten 27-Nov-20 16:50 LONDON (ICIS)--German car maker Audi and the country’s Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) have teamed up on a pilot project for the chemical recycling of automotive plastics.

German industry expectations fall as second wave stalls recovery
By Morgan Condon 24-Nov-20 13:28 LONDON (ICIS)--German manufacturing business conditions remained positive in November but expectations for the coming months "turned notably less optimistic", according to the Ifo Institute on Tuesday.

EU commercial vehicles registrations down slightly in October
By Jonathan Lopez 25-Nov-20 13:29 LONDON (ICIS)--The EU’s market for commercial vehicles – those purchased by companies – continued to suffer in October, albeit more moderate falls than earlier in the year, the automotive’s industry trade group ACEA said on Wednesday.

INSIGHT: China end use markets lift chemicals as demand drivers shift
By Nigel Davis 20-Nov-20 17:24 LONDON (ICIS)--The post-coronavirus boom in China and further growth in northeast Asia continues to underpin the recovery for chemicals in the region and lift the sector globally.

SE Asia SBR demand strong as tyre factories run at optimal rates
By Helen Yan 18-Nov-20 05:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Discussions for December styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) shipments in Southeast Asia are being supported by strong demand and limited supply.

Canada’s Quebec bets on EVs, plans to ban sale of new gasoline cars
By Stefan Baumgarten 17-Nov-20 18:57 TORONTO (ICIS)--The government of Canada’s Quebec province plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars, beginning in 2035.

INTERACTIVE: US October new auto sales edge lower from September, but year-on-year lag narrows
By Adam Yanelli 13-Nov-20 17:33 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US sales of new light vehicles in October fell by 0.5% month on month and down by 3.3% year on year, according to seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

China Oct vehicles sales up 12.5% to 2.57m units
By Fanny Zhan 11-Nov-20 12:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s vehicles sales in October stood at 2.57m units, an increase of 12.5% year on year and 0.1% month on month, according to data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Germany’s October auto production, sales fall
By Stefan Baumgarten 05-Nov-20 19:14 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s auto production, exports and domestic new-car sales all fell month on month in October, and they remained down year on year for the first 10 months of 2020, according to the latest industry data by the country’s auto industry trade group VDA on Thursday.

German automotive improves but recovery may stall as second wave hits
By Morgan Condon 04-Nov-20 11:00 LONDON (ICIS)--The German automotive sector performed better in October but the pace of recovery could stall before the end of the year, according to data from the Ifo Institute.

Europe chems cautious on automotive as recovery may be short-lived
By Katherine Sale 30-Oct-20 11:37 LONDON (ICIS)--European chemical markets remain cautious over the recent recovery from the key automotive sector, a result mainly of industry restocking, while the pandemic’s second wave hits the region hard.

Europe's lack of charging points threatens deployment of EVs - ACEA
By Jonathan Lopez 28-Oct-20 13:36 LONDON (ICIS)--A lack of charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe threatens their deployment because just four countries account for 75% of the total, the European automotive trade group ACEA said on Wednesday.

US Sherwin-Williams auto-refinish sales see slight upturn in Q3
By Janet Miranda 27-Oct-20 20:08 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Third-quarter sales in Sherwin-Williams’s auto-refinish division rose slightly because people are driving more, the company said on Tuesday.

Further automotive sector recovery needed for adhesives, solvents rebound - Covestro
By Tom Brown 27-Oct-20 18:54 LONDON (ICIS)--Further demand recovery is needed in the automotive sector to drive a stronger rebound for Covestro’s coatings, adhesives and solvents (CAS) division, company management said on Tuesday.

INTERVIEW: Dow to focus on lower capital intensity projects, mobility - CFO
By Joseph Chang 23-Oct-20 17:36 NEW YORK (ICIS)--Dow will maintain its capital discipline, focusing on lower capex projects in formulation houses as well as investments in mobility, its chief financial officer said.

Asian petrochemicals markets on a roll as China's economy rebounds
By Felicia Loo 23-Oct-20 05:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian petrochemicals markets are on a roll this week, with demand rising and exceeding supply, as China’s economy continues to improve post-holidays (1-8 October) after staging the fastest recovery from Covid-19 as compared to other major economies.

EU car registrations in September mark first increase of 2020
By Morgan Condon 16-Oct-20 11:25 LONDON (ICIS)--EU car registrations in September rose for the first time in 2020, up 3.1% year on year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said on Friday.

Europe PC prices rise on tight supply and strong demand from the car industry
By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 15-Oct-20 14:07 LONDON (ICIS)--European polycarbonate (PC) prices rose for October and fourth-quarter contracts due to growing supply tightness and strong demand from key industries such as automotive and construction.

Recycling market failing to keep pace with annual generation of scrap tyres – USTMA
By Adam Yanelli 14-Oct-20 21:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US tyre recyclers are not keeping pace with the amount of scrap tyres that reach the end of life each year, according to a report released on Wednesday by the US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA).

China September vehicle sales grow 12.9% on year to 2.6m units
By Fanny Zhang 13-Oct-20 10:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s vehicles sales in September increased by 12.9% year on year and up 17.4% from August, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Germany’s new-car sales rise in September, but production down 11%
By Stefan Baumgarten 06-Oct-20 14:31 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s new-car registrations rose 8% year on year in September but domestic auto production was down 11%, according to data from auto industry trade group VDA on Tuesday.

Total acquires London’s largest EV battery charging network
By Stefan Baumgarten 29-Sep-20 17:27 LONDON (ICIS)--French oil and petrochemicals major Total has reached a deal to acquire “Source London”, described as London’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, with more than 1,600 on-street charge points.

US, Europe auto started recovering in August - HB Fuller
By Al Greenwood 24-Sep-20 18:11 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The automotive markets in North America and Europe started recovering in August, and the trend should continue through the end of the year, US-based adhesives producer HB Fuller said on Thursday.

EU commercial vehicle registrations slump 28.2% in January-August - ACEA
By Morgan Condon 24-Sep-20 10:58 LONDON (ICIS)--Commercial vehicles registrations fell by 28.2% in the EU between January and August, according to the latest data from the Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) on Thursday.

US Axalta names new head for transportation coatings
By Stefan Baumgarten 23-Sep-20 13:47 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Axalta Coating Systems has appointed Hadi Awada as senior vice president, Global Transportation Coatings, effective 12 October, to lead its global light vehicle and commercial vehicle coatings businesses.

Construction, automotive outlook murky for US PA in H2
By Antoinette Smith 22-Sep-20 22:38 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The H2 outlook for demand for US phthalic anhydride (PA) is hazy, with strong construction activity expected to taper with cooler weather, and automotive sales unlikely to surge in the remaining months of the year.

Canada’s Standard Lithium starts up demo plant at LANXESS US site
By Stefan Baumgarten 22-Sep-20 17:29 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Canada’s Standard Lithium has officially opened a lithium extraction demonstration plant at LANXESS' US production site in El Dorado, Arkansas.

BASF invests €16m in tech company making pyrolysis oil from waste tyres
By Morgan Condon 21-Sep-20 14:47 LONDON (ICIS)--BASF is investing €16m into technology company Pyrum Innovations as part of its ChemCycling project, the German major said on Monday.

Global auto sales in 2020 forecast to fall by 20% - credit rating agency
By Adam Yanelli 18-Sep-20 18:19 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Global light vehicle sales are expected to fall by 20% this year compared with 2019 because of sales and production disruptions related to the coronavirus, according to credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings.

South Korea's LG Chem to spin off electric vehicle battery business
By Stefan Baumgarten 18-Sep-20 17:06 LONDON (ICIS)--South Korean chemicals major LG Chem plans to spin off its growing electric vehicle (EV) battery business into a separate company.

INSIGHT: North America autos slump has hit a $51bn chemicals opportunity
By Nigel Davis 18-Sep-20 17:05 LONDON (ICIS)--The annual American Chemistry Council review of the chemicals and chemistry used in light vehicles in North America helps put the overarching impact of the coronavirus-driven slump into perspective.

EU Jan-Aug car registrations down 32% on 2019, industry set for slow recovery
By Morgan Condon 17-Sep-20 15:47 LONDON (ICIS)--Car production in the EU fell by 32.0% in the first eight months of 2020 year on year, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said on Thursday.

Europe BDO supply tightens as demand from automotive rises
By Nick Cleeve 17-Sep-20 10:40 LONDON (ICIS)--European supply of butanediol (BDO) has tightened, though sources' views remain mixed on the extent of supply limitations in the market.

VIDEO: Impact of a no-deal brexit on automotive sector would be devastating
By Morgan Condon 17-Sep-20 09:00 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe news reporter Morgan Condon outlines the challenges that a no deal Brexit would pose for the automotive industry.

Auto industry: No-deal Brexit could result in €110bn losses by 2025
By Morgan Condon 14-Sep-20 12:15 LONDON (ICIS)--European automotive industry leaders have urged the EU and UK to avoid a “no deal Brexit disaster” and reach a free-trade agreement (FTA) ahead of the end of the transition period on 31 December.

Germany's Covestro to tap automotive ‘recovery momentum’ into Q4
By Jonathan Lopez 11-Sep-20 12:21 LONDON (ICIS)--Covestro will benefit from the “recovery momentum” in the European automotive industry which set to continue into the fourth quarter, analysts at Baader Bank said on Friday.

India August total vehicle output falls 3.1% year on year
By Nurluqman Suratman 11-Sep-20 09:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India’s overall production of vehicles in August fell by 3.09% year on year, industry data showed on Friday.

US auto sales, production continue recovery
By John Donnelly 10-Sep-20 18:07 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US sales of new light vehicles rose for the second straight month in August but remain down sharply year on year as the sector shows signs of gradual recovery.

European oxos-alcohol spot prices firm, halting a six month decline
By Jane Massingham 11-Sep-20 15:38 LONDON (ICIS)--Spot prices for European oxo-alcohols have started to firm for September following an improvement in demand, and tighter supply due to a variety of production constraints.

EU chemicals output in ‘fragile recovery’ but still 9% below pre-pandemic level
By Jonathan Lopez 11-Sep-20 15:05 LONDON (ICIS)--Chemicals output across the EU is still 9% below the levels achieved before the pandemic hit the region in March, although there are tentative signs of a “fragile recovery”, Cefic said on Friday.

INSIGHT: New legislation makes no deal Brexit more likely, industry must prepare
By Will Beacham 11-Sep-20 12:13 BARCELONA (ICIS)--As the UK publishes new legislation which seeks to renege on important parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, the country's chemical sector and its trading partners need to ramp up preparations for the rising prospect of a no deal exit from the EU on 31 December, 2020.

INSIGHT: US MEG shortage reverberates globally after hurricane, maintenance
By Antoinette Smith 10-Sep-20 16:24 HOUSTON (ICIS)--A severe shortage of US monoethylene glycol (MEG) is causing issues globally, as strong demand continues in North America for downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Europe seeks volumes and peak polyester-fibre demand season begins in Asia.

US polyether polyol prices rise with increasing feedstock costs
By Zachary Moore 10-Sep-20 00:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyether polyol prices were assessed 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) higher in line with rising feedstock costs and improved demand.

US polycarbonate market stable as demand continues to improve
By Adam Yanelli 09-Sep-20 23:39 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US polycarbonate market is stable, as supply remains ample to meet gradually improving demand while the economy continues to restart after shutting down to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

US SBR outages linger, activity limited following Hurricane Laura
By Lucas Hall 09-Sep-20 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) activity is limited amid lingering production outages following Hurricane Laura.

INSIGHT: Huntsman Q3 upward guidance signals improving automotive, construction trends
By Joseph Chang 09-Sep-20 20:58 NEW YORK (ICIS)--Huntsman’s upside guidance on polyurethanes (PU) for Q3 2020 highlights improving trends in construction and automotive, two key markets for the entire chemicals sector.

US Element Solutions says auto sector faring better than expected
By Stefan Baumgarten 09-Sep-20 15:50 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US specialty chemical company Element Solutions is experiencing ”greater than expected momentum” in the automotive industry, as well as continued resilience in the electronics market, it said in an update on Wednesday.

Germany agrees to help auto industry, crisis squeezes parts suppliers
By Stefan Baumgarten 09-Sep-20 14:18 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s federal government and auto industry leaders on Wednesday agreed broad targets to help the industry manage the challenges of structural change, automation, digitalisation, and autonomous driving.

INSIGHT: China petrochemicals gain after slow start in August, on crude, strong yuan
By Yvonne Shi 08-Sep-20 11:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s petrochemical markets posted strong gains from the second half of August after a slow start to the month, as crude oil futures and the yuan strengthened.

Germany's chems output rises in July, sentiment stabilises
By Morgan Condon 07-Sep-20 14:13 LONDON (ICIS)--The German chemicals industry's output rose in July, month on month, and companies expect production in August to have been stable.

Latin American PS strong demand from essential goods, returning industrial production activities
By Renato Frimm 04-Sep-20 23:28 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Latin American polystyrene (PS) demand remains strong for essential goods related to food, hygiene and medical applications, while continuing to firm for durable goods and improving industrial activity.

EU adds lithium to critical raw materials list, removes helium
By Stefan Baumgarten 04-Sep-20 19:08 LONDON (ICIS)--The European Commission has added lithium to the EU’s list of critical raw materials, while removing helium.

Europe PC producers push for price rises, but buyers resist due to slow demand
By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 04-Sep-20 15:05 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe polycarbonate (PC) producers are separately attempting to achieve small price increases in the early stages of September and fourth-quarter negotiations, although buyers are resisting as the market is well-supplied and the return of demand in summer has been slow.

China’s July MA exports fall on domestic strengths
By Ai Teng Lim 04-Sep-20 05:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China exported 4,126 tonnes of maleic anhydride (MA) in July 2020, about 10.2% lower than June, according to data from ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

US September oxo-alcohols to see some upstream pressure
By Larry Terry 03-Sep-20 23:27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US oxo-alcohols demand remains on an uptrend after a healthy August, with price discussions barely underway, so far.

US September OX settles at increase
By Antoinette Smith 03-Sep-20 23:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US September orthoxylene (OX) contracts settled at an increase, on rebounding upstream prices.

US August formula-based domestic ACN contracts increase with higher August propylene
By Lucas Hall 03-Sep-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August formula-based domestic acrylonitrile (ACN) contracts increased, tracking higher US August propylene and September ammonia contracts.

Brazil July industrial activity up 8.0%, durable goods up 42.0% from prior month
By Renato Frimm 03-Sep-20 21:32 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil industrial activity continues recovering in July, up 8.0% month on month but still 3.0% lower year on year, the state statistical agency said on Thursday.

German auto market remained weak in August; sales down 20%, production 35% lower
By Stefan Baumgarten 03-Sep-20 15:04 LONDON (ICIS)--The German auto market remained weak in August, with new-car registrations down 20% year on year and domestic auto production down 35%, according to data from industry trade group VDA on Thursday.

INSIGHT: India’s demand for SBR may wane as coronavirus resurgence impacts tyre industry
By Helen Yan 03-Sep-20 15:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India’s demand for styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), which strengthened after lockdown restrictions were lifted in June, may soon stall and start to wane as the country grapples with rising coronavirus infections.

MIBK prices torn between feedstock pressure and weak fundamentals
By Anne-Sophie Briant-Vaghela 03-Sep-20 13:30 LONDON (ICIS)--The methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) market was divided this week. Nagging production cost constraints supporting upward momentum are co-existing with equal pressure on sellers to reduce stock and entice buyers with competitive discounts amid weak market fundamentals.

US September SBR contracts higher; plants await power restoration
By Amanda Hay 03-Sep-20 05:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US September SBR contracts settled higher, tracking firmer costs for butadiene (BD) and styrene, while spot prices rose in tandem.

US September polycarbonate prices unchanged amid steadily improving demand
By Adam Yanelli 02-Sep-20 23:35 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US September polycarbonate (PC) prices were assessed flat from August, as lengthy supply is outweighing gradually improving demand.

US Q4 glycerine contract negotiations begin, spot prices mixed
By Lucas Hall 02-Sep-20 23:34 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US Q4 refined glycerine contract negotiations began in earnest as of September. Contracts face pressure from a downward correction in refined spot prices over Q3 following historic highs in Q2 amid the onset of the coronavirus. However, security of supply continues to underpin the market amid sporadic imports from southeast Asia and expectations of tighter biodiesel production in Q4, limiting the downward pressure.

US ABS prices roll over; market eyes tightening of supply
By Adam Yanelli 02-Sep-20 23:20 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices rolled over from July, but values are facing upward pressure from tightening global supply.

Canada’s light vehicle sales in August fall 8.9% year on year
By Stefan Baumgarten 02-Sep-20 19:28 TORONTO (ICIS)--Canada’s new light vehicle sales were at an estimated 165,837 in August, down 8.9% year on year, auto industry consultants DesRosiers said on Wednesday.

PODCAST: Europe benzene, styrene September contracts settle lower
By Helena Strathearn 02-Sep-20 17:29 LONDON (ICIS)--ICIS Head of Market Reporting, Barbara Ortner, and Deputy Managing Editor, Helena Strathearn, look at the September benzene and styrene contract price settlements, along with current market dynamics.

Delayed European MEG August contract fully confirmed at €28/tonne increase
By Melissa Hurley 02-Sep-20 12:39 LONDON (ICIS)--The delayed European monoethylene glycol (MEG) August contract price has been fully confirmed at €532/tonne FD NWE, a €28/tonne increase from July. Import supply continues to be limited by US production outages.

Europe August nylon 6,6 contract slips on slow demand
By Marta Fern 02-Sep-20 11:26 LONDON (ICIS)--European nylon 6,6 contract prices for August settled with a €0.01/kg decrease on the low end and a €0.02/kg drop on the high end from July.

China BD supply to grow on start-ups; demand outlook uncertain
By Dan Lu 02-Sep-20 07:32 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Butadiene (BD) supply in China will grow with new capacities coming on stream while the outlook on demand is uncertain, with a possible decline in production at downstream synthetic rubber market.

US August barge acetone contracts increase amid higher feedstocks, tightness
By Tarun Raizada 02-Sep-20 00:10 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August barge acetone contracts increased by 1.75 cents/lb ($39/tonne) for a majority of the market, according to sources.

Demand for nylon 6,6 remains soft as growth in construction boosts nylon 6 demand
By Adam Yanelli 01-Sep-20 23:19 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US demand for nylon is showing some signs or growth from the construction sector, but the slow return of demand from the auto sector continues to create headwinds.

September increase initiatives emerge in US TDI, polyol markets
By Zachary Moore 01-Sep-20 23:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Additional September increase initiatives have emerged for 10 cents/lb ($220/tonne) in the toluene diisocyanate (TDI) market and at 7 cents/lb for polyether polyols, according to market sources.

Mexico GDP survey projects 9.9% economic contraction for 2020
By Renato Frimm 01-Sep-20 17:07 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Economists surveyed by the Bank of Mexico reveal continued economic expectations of recession.

German automotive sentiment improves in August, recovery may be short-lived
By Morgan Condon 01-Sep-20 15:13 LONDON (ICIS)--“A light has gone on in the dark cellar,” of Germany's automotive industry according to the Ifo Institute for Economic Research on Tuesday, as sentiment improved in August - although the road to recovery may remain a distant prospect.

INSIGHT: Europe demand for technical grade IPA still disappointing but higher grades continue to perform
By Anne-Sophie Briant-Vaghela 01-Sep-20 12:41 LONDON (ICIS)--While the isopropanol (IPA) molecule garnered attention from the entire petrochemical industry at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the technical grade of the solvent currently is disappointing European players.

North American PP inventories sink to 22-month low in July, sales rise year on year
By Zachary Moore 31-Aug-20 23:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)--North American polypropylene (PP) inventories sank to a 22-month low in July while total sales increased compared with July 2019, according to data recently released by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Vault Consulting.

US polyether polyol prices facing upward pressure as costs increase, demand improves
By Zachary Moore 31-Aug-20 22:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyether polyol markets are facing some upward pressure as demand has been improving while propylene feedstock costs settled higher for a second consecutive month in July.

Repairs following hurricane could add support to US BDO
By Antoinette Smith 31-Aug-20 22:11 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The construction sector - in particular increased activity as a result of damage from Hurricane Laura - is likely to add support to US butanediol (BDO) demand into the fourth quarter.

US acrylates strength slowed by weak demand from oil and gas sector
By Larry Terry 31-Aug-20 21:41 HOUSTON (ICIS)--While most US acrylates demand from adhesives and architectural coatings continues to improve, demand for glacial acrylic acid (GAA) used in water treatment, particularly at refineries, continues to struggle.

US oxo-alcohols market continues to see slower uptick in automotive segment
By Larry Terry 31-Aug-20 20:45 HOUSTON (ICIS)--While demand for US oxo-alcohols has picked up from most downstream sectors this summer, interest from the domestic automotive segment may continue to lag demand from the construction and do-it-yourself (DIY) coatings sectors.

US butac demand expected to continue Q3 uptrend in September
By Larry Terry 31-Aug-20 18:03 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butyl acetate (butac) demand is expected to continue on an uptrend in September, though the pace of recovery remains below year-ago levels, owing largely to the persistent coronavirus.

Europe September propylene contract price agreed at a rollover
By Nel Weddle 31-Aug-20 13:51 LONDON (ICIS)--The European propylene September contract reference price has been set at €732.50/tonne, a rollover from August.

North American TiO2 demand momentum likely to extend into Q4
By Larry Terry 31-Aug-20 09:36 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Demand for North American titanium dioxide (TiO2) is expected to continue gaining momentum into the fourth quarter on pent-up demand from construction.

US glycol ethers will carry some price momentum into September
By Larry Terry 31-Aug-20 07:39 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Pricing momentum is building within the US glycol ethers markets, but slowly and on upstream pressure more so than on improved demand levels.

US MEG spot prices rise on hurricane, global tightness
By Antoinette Smith 28-Aug-20 23:18 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot prices have increased, on supply constraints and strengthening demand.

US styrene spot export price rises amid shutdowns from hurricane
By Adam Yanelli 28-Aug-20 23:17 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US spot export price was assessed higher this week as supply could tighten after two producers shut down their plants ahead of Hurricane Laura.

Latin American PS demand gradually improving, still lower than last year
By Renato Frimm 28-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Latin American polystyrene (PS) demand is gradually improving amid resuming manufacturing activity, but continues lower than last year.

Latin American PP supply tight, lower feedstock availability
By Renato Frimm 28-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Latin American polypropylene (PP) supply is likely to remain tight in the short run, amid both shortened feedstocks and PP production.

US Aug EG contracts flat to higher
By Antoinette Smith 28-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August ethylene glycol (EG) prices are flat to higher, amid supply constraints and mixed demand.

US acetone supply to remain constrained despite mixed demand
By Tarun Raizada 28-Aug-20 22:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acetone supply is constrained, with the picture unlikely to change near term despite mixed downstream demand.

US melamine sees price increase nomination as some market participants expect demand to increase
By Deniz Koray 28-Aug-20 21:46 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Q4 melamine discussions have picked up more quickly than in recent quarters. On 24 August, Cornerstone Chemical, the sole US producer of melamine, introduced a price increase nomination of 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne) for Q4. The nomination was confirmed by Cornerstone.

INSIGHT: Timid spot market flattens spot premiums for Europe toluene and mixed xylenes
By Zubair Adam 28-Aug-20 15:03 LONDON (ICIS)--Toluene and mixed xylenes (MX) spot premiums over Eurobob gasoline have recently been declining reaching low levels. Furthermore, the gap between the ranges has narrowed, the main reason being a weak spot market.

Car interiors 'battleground of the future' for plastics producers – Covestro
By Morgan Condon 28-Aug-20 13:37 LONDON (ICIS)--The interior of the car will be the “battleground of the future” according to German raw materials company Covestro.

Europe BD market shows steady improvement, but sentiment cautious for Q4
By Nel Weddle 28-Aug-20 12:56 LONDON (ICIS)--After several months of very poor demand for butadiene (BD) due to the well-known impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the key end-user automotive sector, the European BD market has finally started to show some more sustained improvement.

Non-auto demand boosts Europe ABS, SAN sentiment for September
By Stephanie Wix 28-Aug-20 12:05 LONDON (ICIS)--Market sentiment is positive for September demand recovery in the European acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) markets.

Chinese MEK market stale, lacks near-term direction
By Yuanlin Koh 28-Aug-20 10:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) market saw limited fluctuations this week in a stale market.

Local PP offers for Sep in Malaysia lower tracking import trends
By Leanne Tan 28-Aug-20 09:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--September offers in the domestic Malaysian polypropylene (PP) market emerged lower month on month, keeping in line with trends in the import sector.

Indian PP copolymer demand to see uptick from September
By Veena Pathare 28-Aug-20 06:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--After close to two years of relatively lacklustre performance, demand for impact (block) copolymer in India is poised to bounce back, boosted by a recovery in the automotive sector.

Repsol’s new Spain unit to produce high impact PP for autos
By John Donnelly 27-Aug-20 23:57 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Repsol will invest €32m to install a second reactor at its Tarragona plant in Spain to produce high impact polypropylene (PP), the producer said on Thursday.

US plasticizers pricing moves higher on rising demand, some supply strain
By Larry Terry 27-Aug-20 23:55 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US diisononyl phthalate (DINP), dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) and dioctyl phthalate (DOP) pricing moved up on pressure from some tightening DINP supply and stronger July propylene.

US September BD contracts settle higher on production constraints, ongoing cost pressures
By Amanda Hay 27-Aug-20 23:28 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US September butadiene (BD) contracts settled higher against a backdrop of limited availability and ongoing cost pressures.

PODCAST: Momentum in European PX and MEG mounts, influencing mood in PET market
By ICIS Editorial 25-Aug-20 10:41 LONDON (ICIS)--Changing dynamics in monoethylene glycol (MEG) and paraxylene (PX) are impacting sentiment in downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

US September BD contract nomination up on tighter supply, ongoing cost pressures
By Amanda Hay 25-Aug-20 15:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US September butadiene (BD) contract nomination emerged higher on Tuesday.

Europe butac prices stable, automotive demand rising
By Nick Cleeve 25-Aug-20 10:54 LONDON (ICIS)--European spot prices for butyl acetate (butac) remain stable.

Tight supply, costs and demand to bolster SBR in SE Asia
By Helen Yan 25-Aug-20 10:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Limited supply of styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) in southeast (SE) Asia and cost pressures are likely to provide support for the non-oil grade 1502 SBR market in the near term.

MEGlobal tracking storm progress in US Gulf
By Antoinette Smith 24-Aug-20 20:47 HOUSTON (ICIS)--MEGlobal is monitoring two tropical storms in the US Gulf, taking routine precautions at its ethylene oxide (EO) and ethylene glycol (EG) plant in Oyster Creek, Texas.

Europe August ABS contract prices roll over to increase slightly
By Stephanie Wix 24-Aug-20 16:10 LONDON (ICIS)--August contract prices in the European acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market have settled between rollovers and increases up to €25/tonne.

Europe ABS margins see another small rise week on week
By Yashas Mudumbai 24-Aug-20 14:34 LONDON (ICIS)--Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) producers in Europe saw another small rise in contract margins in the week.

Latin America PP facing increased feedstock prices, short supply
By Renato Frimm 21-Aug-20 23:15 HOUSTON(ICIS)--Latin America polypropylene (PP) feedstock propylene availability is limited in most places, as is PP itself, affected by numerous refinery outages and reduced PP utilisation rates.

US styrene spot export price falls on long supply, soft demand
By Adam Yanelli 21-Aug-20 23:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US styrene spot export price was assessed lower this week, as long supply and steadily improving demand weighed on the market.

Latin America PE supply short as feedstocks continue trending higher
By Renato Frimm 21-Aug-20 23:03 HOUSTON(ICIS)--Latin America polyethylene (PE) is facing reduced supply availability in several countries as global markets also are tight. Benchmark US feedstock costs have risen 60% since May.

Tight Europe supply supports US MEG export prices
By Antoinette Smith 21-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Tight supply in Europe amid upcoming turnarounds has encouraged interest in monoethylene glycol (MEG) exports to the region, pushing US spot prices up.

US DEG prices flat amid moderate demand
By Antoinette Smith 21-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US diethylene glycol (DEG) prices were stable from the previous week, on curtailed supply and moderate demand from the construction sector.

European VAM contract prices rise for first time since 2019
By Peter Gerrard 21-Aug-20 19:03 LONDON (ICIS)-- European vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) contract prices turned a significant corner in August, rising by an average of €25-30/tonne, compared July, which saw the eighth successive decline.

US PP supply likely to remain limited amid production issues, improved demand
By Zachary Moore 21-Aug-20 18:27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polypropylene (PP) supplies are likely to remain limited over the coming weeks amid ongoing production issues and improved demand.

SE Asian MA import offers supported by a buoyant China but demand stays structurally soft
By Ai Teng Lim 21-Aug-20 17:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Southeast Asian maleic anhydride (MA) import offers picked up slightly this week, as sellers were motivated by the strong showing in the domestic yuan-denominated markets to hold their ground in September negotiations.

Norway’s Elkem plans battery graphite project to meet electric transport demand
By Stefan Baumgarten 21-Aug-20 15:33 LONDON (ICIS)--Norwegian silicone company Elkem is planning a battery graphite materials project and has selected a site in Heroya, southwest of Oslo, for a potential large-scale plant.

US BD September contract nomination higher on production constraints, ongoing cost pressures
By Amanda Hay 21-Aug-20 15:23 HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US September butadiene (BD) contract nomination emerged higher on Friday.

Europe SAN August contract prices settle stable to slightly higher
By Stephanie Wix 21-Aug-20 10:17 LONDON (ICIS)--Contract prices in the European styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) market have settled between rollovers and increases of €20/tonne, driven by the €4/tonne increase for upstream styrene and the €23/tonne increase for secondary feedstock acrylonitrile (ACN).

Asia MEK market on sidelines amid lackluster downstream
By Yuanlin Koh 21-Aug-20 09:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) market remained quiet amid the summer holidays in northeast Asia, and as most of Asia, heavily battered by the ongoing and resurgent coronavirus, was still struggling to recover.

Weak stearic acids demand in Asia unlikely to improve
By Jackie Wong 21-Aug-20 07:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Poor demand for the stearic acids continued to be a concern for fatty acids suppliers in Asia, especially with recent firmness in feedstock palm stearin prices. The situation is not expected to improve in the near future as downstream industrial and automotive sectors remained affected by the pandemic.

Asia BD supply to stay limited amid firm demand
By Helen Yan 21-Aug-20 07:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Limited spot butadiene (BD) availability in Asia and firm demand will likely persist in the near term but recent price spikes could curb buying appetite.

US August cumene contract prices increase 17% on stronger benzene, RGP costs
By Adam Burkin 20-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August cumene contract prices settled 17% higher over July while trade flows reversed course in June for the first time in eight months, according to ICIS market analysis.

US SBR faces cost pressures into September, but demand struggling to recover
By Amanda Hay 20-Aug-20 21:40 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices face pressure from feedstock costs heading into September, although supply is sufficient as downstream demand struggles to recover.

US PP imports plunge 43.2% in H1 2020, exports largely steady
By Zachary Moore 20-Aug-20 20:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US imports of polypropylene (PP) plunged 43.2% in the first half of 2020 compared with the first half of 2019, according to data from the ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

US BD September contract nomination higher as cost pressures continue, availability limited
By Amanda Hay 20-Aug-20 19:02 HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US September butadiene (BD) contract nomination emerged higher on Thursday.

Europe capro demand expected to improve in September
By Marta Fern 20-Aug-20 17:17 LONDON (ICIS)--The Europe caprolactam (capro) market continues to trade reduced volumes on the back of sluggish post-lockdown demand and seasonally slow summer months, but from September buying interest is expected to increase as the ongoing downstream demand recovery is finally beginning to be more noticeable upstream.

Europe PU feedstock price surge cheers producers after tough Q2
By Fergus Jensen 20-Aug-20 16:19 LONDON (ICIS)--Particularly for isocyanates, prices surged upwards in Europe’s polyurethane (PU) feedstocks markets in August, as continuing stronger-than-expected demand for rigid and flexible foams met supply limitations in conditions some anticipate will continue in September.

BASF gets German government aid for EV battery materials project
By Stefan Baumgarten 20-Aug-20 15:12 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany is granting BASF €175m in government aid for its electric vehicle (EV) battery materials project at Schwarzheide and Ludwigshafen.

Hyundai signs MoU to accelerate development of hydrogen fuel technology
By Richard Ewing 20-Aug-20 15:05 LONDON (ICIS)--Korean car giant Hyundai Motor Company on Thursday joined force with two international partners to fast track development of renewable hydrogen technology for vehicles.

Chems shipping demand buoys Odfjell amid sector uptick
By Tom Brown 20-Aug-20 14:48 LONDON (ICIS)--An improvement in chemical tanker earnings was the primary force behind a surge in profitability for Odfjell, amid an improvement in fortune for marine transport firms despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and questions over how long the rally will last.

Europe AA and acrylate esters August contracts increase
By Mathew Jolin-Beech 20-Aug-20 09:53 LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylic acid (AA) and acrylate ester contracts have settled at a low double-digit increase for August.

August, September increases emerge in US MDI, TDI, polyol markets
By Zachary Moore 19-Aug-20 23:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--September price increases have emerged in the US markets for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and polyether polyols, according to market sources.

US ABS supply length keeps ceiling on values
By Adam Yanelli 19-Aug-20 23:22 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Supply of US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) remains long, keeping values steady amid slowly improving demand.

US SBR spot prices align with August contracts; no supply issue stemming from upstream constraints
By Amanda Hay 19-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) spot prices firmed, aligning with August contract values.

US fatty acids prices face upward pressure amid bullish feedstock costs, despite slow to recover demand
By Lucas Hall 19-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US fatty acids prices face upward pressure amid bullish feedstock costs globally, despite mixed but overall slow to recover demand.

Raw material costs rising for US PC but long supply weighs on market
By Adam Yanelli 19-Aug-20 22:49 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Rising raw material costs are putting upward pressure on the US polycarbonate (PC) market, but the slow return of demand following efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) is likely to keep a ceiling on  prices.

BASF seeks September increase nylon 6, feedstock caprolactam
By Adam Yanelli 19-Aug-20 20:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)--BASF is seeking an 8 cents/lb ($176/tonne) increase on nylon 6 and feedstock caprolactam for North America, effective 1 September, or as contracts allow.

European nylon demand mixed with gradual recovery expected from September
By Marta Fern 19-Aug-20 19:51 LONDON (ICIS)--European nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 demand in August is a bit of a mixed bag so far, but there are widespread expectations of demand improvement from September onward.

Asia PBT remains under downward pressure, demand recovery uneven
By Clive Ong 19-Aug-20 09:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asia polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) market remains under downward pressure, with uneven demand recovery in the automotive sector.

Asia SBR to see support from tight supply, increasing demand
By Helen Yan 19-Aug-20 06:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market is expected to see further support on tight supply, increased demand and rising feedstock butadiene (BD) costs.

US Group II base oil export prices edge higher on strong demand
By Amanda Hay 19-Aug-20 00:05 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US Group II base oil export prices rose as demand continues to be strong outside of domestic markets.

US EPS demand continues to improve, participants tracking feedstock costs for pricing indicationsBy Zachary Moore 18-Aug-20 23:28 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Demand for expandable polystyrene (EPS) in the US continues to incrementally improve while participants are tracking the direction of feedstock markets to get a sense of the market direction.

US Eastman nominates MEG higher for September
By Antoinette Smith 18-Aug-20 22:32 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Eastman Chemical has nominated US September monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices higher by 2 cents/lb, according to a customer letter.

Demand for US nylon continues to improve, but supply overhang caps values
By Adam Yanelli 18-Aug-20 22:09 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US demand for nylon continues to show gradual improvement, but long supply and a sputtering restart of the economy are keeping a ceiling on prices even as upstream costs are trending higher.

Europe August epoxy demand buoyed by downstream recovery
By Heidi Finch 18-Aug-20 18:11 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe August epoxy resins demand is similar, if not better than expected compared to the typical summer lull at this time of year.

Asia ABS spot import prices continue to firm on strong demand and tight supply
By Julia Tan 18-Aug-20 13:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asian acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) market saw firmer prices in the week ended 14 August on stronger demand and tighter supply.

Japan R&D investments to stay resilient despite recession amid pandemic
By Pearl Bantillo 18-Aug-20 05:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s investments in research and development (R&D) are expected to stay resilient despite a deep economic recession induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sentiment shifts in US TDI market as supply tightens, demand improves
By Zachary Moore 17-Aug-20 22:40 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Sentiment is shifting in the US toluene diisocyanate (TDI) market as supply tightens even as demand has begun to improve.

US benzene reverses on trade flows in June
By Adam Burkin 17-Aug-20 20:44 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US benzene trade flows shifted in June 2020 amid arbitrage windows opening with key market regions, per the ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

 Stable to firm expectations for August PVC as downstream demand rises
By Chris Barker 14-Aug-20 11:10 LONDON (ICIS)--European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) demand has risen in the third quarter after steadily increasing from its second quarter low point.

BASF enhances R&D capabilities with acquisition of Solvay PA business
By Fanny Zhang 14-Aug-20 09:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--BASF said on Friday that it has enhanced its research and development (R&D) capabilities in Asia Pacific with new technologies, technical expertise, and upgraded material and part testing services through the acquisition of the Solvay polyamide (PA) business.

MEGlobal nominates US September MEG at increase
By Antoinette Smith 14-Aug-20 00:02 HOUSTON (ICIS)--MEGlobal has nominated US September ethylene glycol (EG) prices at an increase, on supply constraints, according to a company source.

Recent surge of US MEG exports to China unlikely to last through Q4
By Antoinette Smith 13-Aug-20 21:38 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US monoethylene glycol (MEG) exports to China surged to record highs in June, but this demand is unlikely to be sustained through the end of the year.

ExxonMobil seeks September price increase on US PP
By Zachary Moore 13-Aug-20 19:38 HOUSTON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil is seeking a price increase of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) on all non-metallocene grades of polypropylene (PP) effective 1 September separately from any changes in propylene monomer prices, according to a Thursday customer letter.

Europe refined glycerine price ranges narrow on increased supply
By Samantha Wright 13-Aug-20 17:41 LONDON (ICIS)--European refined glycerine price ranges narrowed this week on the back of continually improving availability.

Indorama adds US MEG capacity
By Antoinette Smith 13-Aug-20 17:28 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Indorama Ventures has added 60,000 tonnes/year of US monoethylene glycol (MEG) capacity by debottlenecking, the company said in its Q2 earnings release.

PODCAST: Feedstock cost pressure continues for Europe oxo-alcohols and derivatives in August
By Eashani Chavda 13-Aug-20 15:06 LONDON (ICIS)--After a third consecutive increase in propylene and ethylene contract prices, editors Nick Cleeve, Mathew Jolin-Beech and Eashani Chavda discuss the impacts on the European oxo-alcohols, butyl acetate (butac), acrylate esters and glycol ethers markets.

INSIGHT: Northeast Asia ABS prices surge on tight supply, improved demand
By Julia Tan 13-Aug-20 14:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Northeast Asia acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices have surged, a positive development for the market as a whole as values drop to historic lows in the pandemic.

LANXESS to sell leather chems business, maintains earnings guidance for 2020
By Tom Brown 13-Aug-20 12:34 LONDON (ICIS)--LANXESS has agreed to sell its organic leather chemicals business to TFL Ledertechnik for up to €115m as the Germany-based chemicals firm maintains its earnings guidance for 2020.

Asia BDO stable, while rising US-China tensions weigh on sentiment
By Clive Ong 13-Aug-20 05:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asia butanediol (BDO) market held steady amid thin trade while participants remain cautious as tensions between the US and China continued to rise.

Brazil Oxiteno Q2 operating income rises on higher sales
By Al Greenwood 13-Aug-20 02:55 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazilian surfactants producer Oxiteno reported on Wednesday a second-quarter operating income versus a loss from the same period in 2019 because sales rose faster than costs.

US polyether polyol prices increase on stronger feedstock costs, improving demand
By Zachary Moore 12-Aug-20 23:54 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyether polyol prices were assessed 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) higher, with stronger feedstock costs and improving demand.

US TDI prices rise on tightening supply, improving demand
By Zachary Moore 12-Aug-20 23:31 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US prices for toluene diisocyanate (TDI) were assessed 6 cents/lb ($132/tonne) higher, in line with tightening supply and improving demand.

US fatty alcohols supply overhang weighing on market despite volatile feedstock costs
By Lucas Hal 12-Aug-20 23:28 HOUSTON (ICIS)--A Q2 supply overhang is beginning to weigh on the US fatty alcohols market, despite volatile feedstock costs across the oil palm complex, as demand in key end markets outside the cleaning sector is slow to recover from the coronavirus.

US ABS supply ample to meet gradually improving demand
By Adam Yanelli 12-Aug-20 23:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US supply of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) is ample to meet gradually improving demand, which is slowly recovering following mitigation efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

September increase initiatives emerge in US MDI market
By Zachary Moore 12-Aug-20 22:52 HOUSTON (ICIS)--September price increase initiatives ranging from 8-12 cents/lb ($176-265/tonne) have emerged in the US methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) market.

US PC stable amid gradually improving demand
By Adam Yanelli 12-Aug-20 22:16 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US polycarbonate (PC) market is stable as supply is ample to meet gradually improving demand.

Mitsui Chem affiliate acquires sheet moulding compound business in Japan
By Stefan Baumgarten 12-Aug-20 18:50 LONDON (ICIS)--Mitsui Chemicals’ joint venture affiliate, Japan Composite, has acquired the sheet moulding compound (SMC) and moulding operation of DIC Kako in Japan.

Plastics machinery maker Sumitomo Demag reports jump in H1 orders despite coronavirus crisis
By Stefan Baumgarten 12-Aug-20 17:53 LONDON (ICIS)--Japanese-German injection moulding machine manufacturer Sumitomo Demag saw H1 orders for machines produced in Germany and China rise nearly 25% year on year, despite the coronavirus health crisis, it said on Wednesday.

INSIGHT: China’s PO prices keep rising on spiking demand, limited supply
By Claire Gao 12-Aug-20 03:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s propylene oxide (PO) prices have been on an uptrend on the back of bullish supply and demand fundamentals; the situation is likely to persist.

Fitch lowers US's Eastman's rating to one notch above junk
By Al Greenwood 11-Aug-20 23:21 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Fitch Ratings lowered on Tuesday its rating for Eastman to one notch above speculative grade or junk status.

US nylon 6 demand improves as manufacturing expands
By Adam Yanelli 11-Aug-20 23:17 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US demand for nylon 6 continues to improve, supported by growth in the manufacturing sector, as the economy continues to recover from mitigation efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

US Sep PA prices fall with feedstock
By Antoinette Smith 11-Aug-20 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US September phthalic anhydride (PA) prices have fallen on a lower August feedstock settlement.

US PA supply to remain sufficient amid US, Italy maintenance
By Antoinette Smith 11-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Planned maintenance in late August at a key European producer for US phthalic anhydride (PA) imports is unlikely to affect US supply.

Firm costs maintain pressure on US base oil prices; India shows strong demand pull
By Amanda Hay 11-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil and Paulsboro Refining Company (PRC) separately announced price increases of 15-30 cents/gal that take effect this week.

INSIGHT: PPG Q3 upside and investor-sentiment shift lifts chemicals stocks
By Joseph Chang 11-Aug-20 21:47 NEW YORK (ICIS)--A clear shift in investor sentiment and rotation into industrial stocks is lifting the chemicals sector, a typical early economic cycle outperformer. US-based coatings producer PPG’s announcement of better-than-expected Q3 volume trends is adding fuel to the fire.

US July new auto sales rises from June
By Tracy Dang 11-Aug-20 17:32 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US sales of new light vehicles in July rose by 14% month on month but remain down by 11% year on year, according to seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Europe butac prices stable, seasonal low demand
By Nick Cleeve 11-Aug-20 17:11 LONDON (ICIS)--European spot prices for butyl acetate (butac) continue to be stable, despite increased propylene costs for August

Europe ABS margins see big drop week on week
By Yashas Mudumbai 11-Aug-20 14:43 LONDON (ICIS) -- European producers of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) saw a big drop in their margins week on week.

Hopes for ‘speedy’ recovery rise in Germany but financial services cause concern - Zew
By Jonathan Lopez 11-Aug-20 12:48 LONDON (ICIS)--German financial analysts are growing in confidence that the recovery in the country could be faster than expected, but the banking and insurance sectors could put a drag on the economy as they deal with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, research institute Zew said on Tuesday.

India July total vehicle output falls 29% year on year
By Nurluqman Suratman 11-Aug-20 11:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India's overall production of vehicles in July fell by 29.4% year on year to 1.72m units in July, industry data showed on Tuesday.

PODCAST: Markets punish big, diversified chemical companies much more than specialties
By Will Beacham 11-Aug-20 10:57 BARCELONA (ICIS)--Large, diversified chemical companies are being punished much more by stock market investors than their specialty, solution-based peers, new research shows.

China ECH prices rise as domestic supplies tighten; outlook clouded
By Ai Teng Lim 11-Aug-20 08:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic prices for epichlorohydrin (ECH) recovered some lost grounds this week as domestic supplies bucked earlier anticipations to turn tighter, instead of lengthening further.

China July vehicles sales grow 16.4% on year; production up 21.9%
By Fanny Zhang 11-Aug-20 06:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s vehicles sales in July increased 16.4% year on year to 2.1m units as stimulus measures from the government continued to drive broad recoveries in consumption and market vitality, industry data showed.

Asia nylon demand recovery unlikely amid weak downstream run rates
By Leanne Tan 11-Aug-20 05:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Hopes of an August demand recovery in Asia’s nylon market are fading, as downstream manufacturing run rates remain curtailed amid slow end-use consumption.

US base oil H1 exports, imports lower year on year because of coronavirus demand dent
By Amanda Hay 10-Aug-20 20:17 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US base oil export volumes are down by 21% and import volumes are down by 10% year on year through the first half of the year compared with 2019, according to the ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

Formosa declares force majeure from US Texas PP plant
By Zachary Moore 10-Aug-20 15:55 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Formosa Plastics Corporation USA has declared force majeure on Formolene polypropylene (PP) products from its plant in Point Comfort, Texas, as of 8 August, according to a customer letter.

Northeast Asia ABS prices surge on tight supply
By Julia Tan 10-Aug-20 02:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Northeast Asia's acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices surged in the week ended 7 August, with selling indications rising towards the end of the week.

US BD spot prices rise in line with contract values amid limited prompt availability
By Amanda Hay 08-Aug-20 00:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butadiene (BD) domestic spot prices firmed, tracking stronger August contract values and factoring in snug prompt availability.

Latin America PE August prices are up on higher feedstocks, strong demand
By Renato Frimm 07-Aug-20 23:54 HOUSTON(ICIS)--Latin America polyethylene (PE) August prices are rising in several markets as feedstock costs in US benchmark market have increased over the past three months and regional currencies have devalued. Demand has been strong, especially for food and medicine end uses, with recent increase for agricultural applications.

US MEG export spot prices rise on supply constraints
By Antoinette Smith 07-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot export prices continued to rise, due to ongoing supply constraints.

US domestic MEG prices rise, co-products steady to lower
By Antoinette Smith 07-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US domestic monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot prices have risen on continuing supply constraints.

Latin America PP August prices are rising on shortened feedstocks, demand improving
By Renato Frimm 07-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON(ICIS)--Latin America polypropylene (PP) August price increases for several markets are taking hold amid limited propylene supply and increased feedstock costs. Demand for durable goods improved significantly in June but continues lower than last year, while food and medicine applications remain strong.

North American polyether polyol sales jump 73% month on month in June, remain lower year on year
By Zachary Moore 07-Aug-20 15:27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--North American sales of polyether polyols jumped by 73% month on month in June after sales plummeted in April and May, according to data recently released by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Vault Consulting.

North American MDI sales jump 31% month on month in June, year-on-year sales down 8.1%
By Zachary Moore 07-Aug-20 15:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)--North American sales of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) jumped more than 31% month on month in June while sales were down by 8.1% year on year, according to data recently released by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Vault Consulting.

INSIGHT: Hopes of V-shaped recovery fade as pandemic resurges
By Will Beacham 07-Aug-20 15:01 BARCELONA (ICIS)--With the second half of the year now fully underway, there are signs of an economic rebound from very depressed levels.

Russia's SIBUR bullish on H2 despite pandemic eroding demand
By Morgan Condon 07-Aug-20 09:06 LONDON (ICIS)--SIBUR’s outlook for its petrochemicals business is bullish for the second half of the year if a second wave of coronavirus infections is avoided, the Russian producer said this week.

US July formula-based domestic ACN contracts increase with higher July propylene
By Lucas Hall 07-Aug-20 00:07 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July formula-based domestic acrylonitrile (ACN) contracts increased, tracking higher US July propylene contracts.

US August OX contracts settle lower
By Antoinette Smith 06-Aug-20 21:36 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August orthoxylene (OX) contracts settled lower, amid stable feedstock spot prices and subdued demand.

INSIGHT: Argentine debt deal provides confidence boost, avoids larger collapse
By Al Greenwood 06-Aug-20 20:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The restructuring agreement that the Argentine government reached with bond holders should provide a short-term boost in confidence while avoiding a larger collapse in the economy.

US Olin to continue idling capacities, Texas closure on track for end 2020
By Stefan Baumgarten 06-Aug-20 17:23 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Olin will continue idling plants as it adapts to weakness in demand, the CEO of the US-based producer of chlorine and caustic soda, vinyls, epoxies, chlorinated organics, bleach and hydrochloric acid said in an update on Thursday.

Europe PE price ideas emerge for August in uncertain market
By Linda Naylor 06-Aug-20 15:24 LONDON (ICIS)--August polyethylene (PE) price ideas in Europe have begun to emerge as many players are about to go on holiday, with little in the way of what they can expect for September on their return.

Germany’s June manufacturing orders rise from May, but are still down 11.3% year on year
By Stefan Baumgarten 06-Aug-20 14:27 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s manufacturing orders rose month on month in June, with all major sectors recording improvements - but orders were still down sharply from their pre-coronavirus levels, according to the latest official data released on Thursday.

Malaysia PP demand for food packaging stays strong, other segments weaker
By Leanne Tan 06-Aug-20 11:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand in Malaysia for polypropylene (PP) used in the manufacture of takeaway containers remains healthy in the week, though downstream consumption in most other segments was significantly weaker.

Europe PBT prices impacted by fragile demand from the automotive sector
By Zubair Adam 06-Aug-20 11:29 LONDON (ICIS)--Consumption of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) has been low in 2020, primarily due to its main end user, the automotive industry, having been severely impacted by the pandemic.

POM demand slowly improving, driven by the automotive sector
By Zubair Adam 06-Aug-20 10:57 LONDON (ICIS)--After the coronavirus crippled the global automotive sector, there have been some recent positive signs for the polyacetal (POM) market.

Borealis Q2 sales, profits sag on inventory charges, fire at Sweden cracker
By Jonathan Lopez 06-Aug-20 09:00 LONDON (ICIS)--Borealis second-quarter net profit fell 80% and sales by more than a quarter as the lockdown impact was compounded by an outage at its cracker in Sweden and falling crude oil prices, the Austrian polymers and fertilizers major said on Thursday.

US base oil output at multi-year lows amid coronavirus demand declines
By Amanda Hay 06-Aug-20 02:35 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US May total refinery net production of lubricants fell by 18.5% year on year and by 8.7% month on month, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Sentiment improves in US PC market on positive manufacturing data
By Adam Yanelli 05-Aug-20 23:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Demand for US polycarbonate (PC) continues to show gradual improvement, and market sentiment has turned more optimistic amid increased domestic and global manufacturing activity.

August increase initiatives emerge in US MDI market
By Zachary Moore 05-Aug-20 23:12 HOUSTON (ICIS)--August increase initiatives of 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne) have emerged in the US methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) market.

US SBR August contracts rise on firmer feedstock costs while demand improves
By Amanda Hay 05-Aug-20 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) contracts rose on firming costs for feedstocks butadiene (BD) and styrene.

US August tallow-based, C16 palmitic acids mixed amid mixed feedstock costs
By Lucas Hall 05-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August and July fatty acids prices were mixed, amid mixed feedstock costs and demand in July.

September increase initiatives emerge in US polyol market
By Zachary Moore 05-Aug-20 22:17 HOUSTON (ICIS)--September price increase initiatives of 2.5 cents/lb ($55/tonne) have been announced in the US polyether polyol market, according to market sources.

US July ABS prices flat as rising costs counterbalanced by ample supply, slowly improving demand
By Adam Yanelli 05-Aug-20 22:16 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices were assessed at a rollover this week, as ample supply and slowly improving demand counterbalanced increased production costs.

US July EO contracts rise with feedstock
By Antoinette Smith 05-Aug-20 21:23 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July ethylene oxide (EO) contracts have risen on an increase in same-month feedstock ethylene contracts.

Europe POM Q3 contracts roll over, PBT softens
By Zubair Adam 05-Aug-20 18:28 LONDON (ICIS)—Q3 European contract prices for polyacetal (POM) have settled at a rollover, while polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) pricing was slightly reduced.

Canada July light vehicle sales rise 6.2% from June
By Stefan Baumgarten 05-Aug-20 16:20 TORONTO (ICIS)--Sales of new light vehicles in Canada rose 6.2% last month from June to an estimated 165,200 units, DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said on Wednesday.

Germany July auto output still down year on year, domestic new-car sales falter
By Stefan Baumgarten 05-Aug-20 15:47 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s auto market improved in July, from June, but domestic new-car sales, production and exports were all still down year on year, according to the latest data by German auto industry trade group VDA on Wednesday.

Asia BDO may potentially turn higher as Chinese market firms
By Clive Ong 05-Aug-20 09:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asia butanediol market held steady while the domestic Chinese sector was firmer after several weeks of stabilisation.

Clariant eyes grim Q3 but keeps focus on cash flow to pull through pandemic - CEO
By Morgan Condon 05-Aug-20 09:00 LONDON (ICIS)--Although Clariant managed to maintain profitability in the first half of 2020, the company is bracing for the economic damage from the pandemic to hit in the third quarter, its CEO said to ICIS.

Strong demand for India SBR from replacement, two-wheelers and off-the-road sectors
By Helen Yan 05-Aug-20 07:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for SBR is likely to remain strong on re-stocking activities, while offers are also poised to rise higher in the near term on feedstock cost pressures.

US July nylon formula prices tick higher on rising feedstocks
By Adam Yanelli 04-Aug-20 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Formula prices for US nylon rose by 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne) on higher upstream benzene costs, but real market values continue to face headwinds amid overall soft demand and ample supply.

US paraffinic base oil market prices steady to firm on higher offer levels, improving demand
By Amanda Hay 04-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US paraffinic base oil market prices are steady to firm.

US naphthenic base oil prices steady but face pressure amid increases
By Amanda Hay 04-Aug-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US naphthenic base oil market prices remain steady as of early August, although they face pressure on firm costs.

INSIGHT: Global manufacturing PMIs jump but headwinds hinder full chemicals recovery
By Joseph Chang 04-Aug-20 21:04 NEW YORK (ICIS)--Global manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) are finally in expansion territory, coinciding with volume recovery in some key chemicals markets in early Q3. Yet major headwinds persist and will hamper any full recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession.

Future uncertainty impedes Europe chems demand recovery
By Tom Brown 04-Aug-20 16:23 LONDON (ICIS)--Consumer and industrial consumption is starting to rebound from the historic lows seen in April and May, but continued uncertainty about future demand has left the trajectory of recovery for some chemicals difficult to gauge.

Brazil June industrial activity up 8.9%, durable goods up 82.2% from prior month
By Renato Frimm 04-Aug-20 16:16 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil industrial activity recovered in June, up 8.9% month on month but remains 9.0% lower year on year, the state statistical agency said on Tuesday.

German automotive industry sentiment increases in July, although employment still weak
By Morgan Condon 04-Aug-20 12:27 LONDON (ICIS)--The German automotive industry showed signs of gaining strength for the second consecutive month in July, according to the latest data from the ifo Institute business survey on Tuesday.

Dutch DSM H1 sales, earnings dragged down by sharp falls in Materials division
By Jonathan Lopez 04-Aug-20 09:54 LONDON (ICIS)--Sharp falls in DSM’s Materials division sales and earnings dragged down its overall financial in the first half of 2020 but Nutrition in part offset the falls, the Dutch chemicals producer said on Tuesday.

China's petrochemical prices consolidate in July, demand largely stable
By Yvonne Shi 04-Aug-20 09:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's petrochemical market fluctuated within a narrow range in July. The prices of most chemical products saw limited changes. Overall demand appeared to be generally stable, whereas supply pressure differed from product to product.

Germany’s Evonik Q2 net income falls by 50% amid weaker demand
By Nurluqman Suratman 04-Aug-20 06:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Evonik’s net income fell in the second quarter, weighed by the global economic slowdown arising from the coronavirus pandemic and production cutbacks by customers, the German specialty chemicals firm said on Tuesday.

European MEG spot prices maintain uptrend on limited supply
By Melissa Hurley 03-Aug-20 17:58 LONDON (ICIS)--European monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot prices have continued on an upward trajectory as sellers remain bullish for August on limited bulk supply.

Mexican PA could fill US supply gaps as demand rebounds in 2021
By Antoinette Smith 03-Aug-20 16:30 HOUSTON (ICIS)--As US run rates for phthalic anhydride (PA) are projected to remain around 90% - leaving little room for additional production - Mexican imports could well meet increased demand in 2021.

INSIGHT: Aerospace demand lags as industry struggles back to life
By Tom Brown 03-Aug-20 16:26 LONDON (ICIS)--European industrial production is slowly starting to return to  growth, but the aerospace sector continues to lag the wider pace of recovery, with some of the lost demand for chemicals players potentially never returning.

Europe etac and butac prices close to decade lows
By Nick Cleeve 03-Aug-20 16:24 LONDON (ICIS)--European spot prices for ethyl acetate (etac) and butyl acetate (butac) remain close to the lowest levels seen in a decade.

Europe ABS margins see big increase again week on week
By Yashas Mudumbai 03-Aug-20 15:15 LONDON (ICIS)--European producers of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) saw another big increase in their margins week on week.

au Jibun Bank's July Japan manufacturing PMI rises to 45.2
By Nurluqman Suratman 03-Aug-20 04:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The au Jibun Bank Japan manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for July rose to 45.2 in July from 40.1 in June after production volumes dropped at the slowest pace for five months, the Japanese bank said on Monday.

South Korea July manufacturing PMI rises to 46.9 in July
By Nurluqman Suratman 03-Aug-20 04:24 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The headline South Korea manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 46.9 in July, up from 43.4 in June as new orders fell at a slower pace, financial information services provider IHS Markit said on Monday.

US plasticizers demand in H2 2020 may be hindered by weaker auto sector
By Larry Terry 01-Aug-20 00:07 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US plasticizers demand will continue to gain momentum in the second half of 2020, after a slow July uptick in buying interest from downstream construction applications.

Dow nominates increase for August TEG
By Antoinette Smith 01-Aug-20 00:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dow has nominated a price increase for triethylene glycol (TEG), effective 15 August.

US July PS contracts increase on higher feedstocks, improving demand
By Tarun Raizada 31-Jul-20 23:49 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July polystyrene (PS) contracts increased by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne), tracking higher feedstock costs and improved demand.

US acetone facing upward pressure amid tight supply
By Tarun Raizada 31-Jul-20 23:48 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acetone supply is expected to remain tight, but demand recovery is difficult to forecast due to faltering consumer confidence amid rising coronavirus cases.

US July PP contracts increase with higher feedstock costs
By Lucas Hall 31-Jul-20 23:38 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July polypropylene (PP) contracts increased 6 cents/lb ($130/tonne) from the previous month, tracking higher feedstock July propylene contracts.

US July PE contracts settle higher on tight supply, better-than-anticipated demand
By Amanda Hay 31-Jul-20 23:22 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July polyethylene (PE) contracts rose as production issues have tightened supply and demand is stronger than anticipated.

US fatty acids supply likely to remain sufficient to meet slow H2 demand recovery
By Lucas Hall 31-Jul-20 23:22 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US fatty acids supply is likely to remain ample to meet H2 demand. A slower-than-expected demand recovery and volatile feedstock costs globally will continue to weigh on the market in the second half of the year.

US July EG contracts roll over on ample supply, slowly improving demand
By Antoinette Smith 31-Jul-20 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July freely negotiated ethylene glycol (EG) contracts are assessed at a rollover, as supply is sufficient to meet lower-than-normal demand.

US MEG spot export prices rise on curtailed supply
By Antoinette Smith 31-Jul-20 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot export prices rose, on curtailed supply through August.

Europe styrene outlook positive but fragile
By Helena Strathearn 31-Jul-20 23:00 LONDON (ICIS)--Demand for styrene and its derivatives took a hit over March, April and May as a result of the coronavirus and its associated lockdowns. Consumer confidence remains frail but activity has picked up, and the outlook is positive but only very cautiously so.

Europe SAN and ABS August outlook mixed, non-automotive demand performing better
By Stephanie Wix 31-Jul-20 22:56 LONDON (ICIS)--Downstream non-automotive applications for both acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) have seen increased demand for July compared to previous months.

US glycol ethers will continue to gain momentum in H2 2020
By Larry Terry 31-Jul-20 22:40 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US glycol ethers market will continue to see mixed near-term demand. Tthe automobile sector struggles as construction coatings gain momentum, and cleansers and disinfectants remain strong as coronavirus cases escalate in many US states.

Europe Phenol contracts increase €6; remain well below early 2020 levels
By Fergus Jensen 31-Jul-20 22:35 LONDON (ICIS)--The Europe August phenol contract range climbed by €6/tonne, tracking gains in upstream benzene costs.

Constrained US propylene supply likely sufficient to meet sluggish H2 demand
By Michael Sims 31-Jul-20 22:28 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Although US propylene supply faces a few short- to medium-term production constraints, it is likely to be sufficient to meet slowly recovering demand in the latter half of 2020.

Chem firms see signs of recovery in auto demand
By Al Greenwood 31-Jul-20 22:16 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical companies are seeing signs that demand from the automobile sector is recovering following widespread shutdowns earlier this year.

Phillips 66 sees strong demand on chemical side, weak-to-improving margins
By Alex Snodgrass 31-Jul-20 20:22 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Phillips 66 is seeing strong chemical demand for consumer goods with weak-to-improving margins, company executives said at an earnings presentation.

Nylon demand outlook remains ‘challenging’ - AdvanSix
By Stefan Baumgarten 31-Jul-20 18:09 HOUSTON (ICIS)--AdvanSix expects the near-term outlook for nylon demand to remain “challenging”, the top executives of the US-based integrated nylon 6 producer said in an update on Friday.

PODCAST: ICIS acquisition of CDI strengthens North America position – ICIS & CDI executives
By Will Beacham 31-Jul-20 18:04 BARCELONA (ICIS)--The acquisition of polymer data and analytics provider Chemical Data (CDI) by ICIS strengthens its position in North America while giving CDI a new global platform.

US acrylates demand expected to see slow upswing in H2 2020
By Larry Terry 31-Jul-20 17:20 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US demand for glacial acrylic acid (GAA) and the acrylate esters will remain uneven for the near term, but buying interest is moving slowly in the right direction, market participants say.

Europe MMA July prices increase as oversupply eases, feedstocks firm
By Katherine Sale 31-Jul-20 17:16 LONDON (ICIS)--European methyl methacrylate (MMA) July contracts increased €30/tonne, rebounding after 27 months of consecutive price declines.

US oxo-alcohols market generally upbeat despite virus, auto-sector concerns
By Larry Terry 31-Jul-20 17:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--In the US oxo-alcohols market, positive sentiment about the second half of 2020 is rising slowly, along with current volumes.

European ACN market continues to feel pinch on costs, spot business stalemate
By Jane Massingham 31-Jul-20 14:36 LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylonitrile (ACN) players are awaiting news of the August feedstock settlement, which is experiencing further upwards pressure.

LyondellBasell Q2 net profit down 69% at $314m, sees demand improving
By Nigel Davis 31-Jul-20 12:42 LONDON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell reported sharply lower second quarter profits on Friday but said it believed that the pandemic-driven decline in demand had bottomed out.

Turkey August PE/PP outlook complicated by rising upstream, supply
By Ben Lake 31-Jul-20 12:21 LONDON (ICIS)--The outlook for Turkish polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) for August has been complicated by a range of competing factors.

Europe R-PP prices rollover in July as rebounding demand counterbalanced by holiday closures
By Mark Victory 31-Jul-20 12:05 LONDON (ICIS)--Rising recycled polypropylene (R-PP) demand has been counterbalanced by traditional holiday closures and ongoing automotive weakness, resulting in a rollover in July values.

Asia adipic acid trade to remain slow on weak end-demand
By Zhi Xuan Ho 31-Jul-20 11:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asian adipic acid (ADA) markets saw weak trades in July amid lacklustre demand in the key downstream thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) sectors, and are expected to remain weak through August.

Europe capro, nylon demand slowly picks up but uncertainty prevails
By Marta Fern 31-Jul-20 09:26 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe caprolactam (capro), nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 markets are expected to continue trading reduced volumes for quite some time, as downstream demand recovery is likely to be prolonged and slow.

Focus: China MMA under pressure from weak supply-demand, falling acetone costs
By Olivia Dai 31-Jul-20 08:32 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s methyl methacrylate (MMA) market may face headwinds from weak supply-demand fundamentals and falling feedstock acetone costs, although units’ shutdowns in late July have led to slight price rallies.

Q3 methanol prices, production to be similar to Q2 - Methanex
By Anna Matherne 30-Jul-20 23:21 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Despite a recent increase in global methanol pricing, not much change is expected overall from Q2, as the outlook on Q3 remains uncertain, Methanex’s CEO said on Thursday.

US July oxo-alcohols settle flat, new August effort emerges from Dow
By Larry Terry 30-Jul-20 23:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July oxo-alcohols contract ranges settled flat for July amid largely improved but uneven demand.

European HCl tightens on low upstream availability, production issues
By Chris Barker 30-Jul-20 22:46 LONDON (ICIS)--European hydrochloric acid (HCl) availability has tightened and spot prices have increased in NWE (northwest Europe) because of production issues, according to market sources.

US DuPont expects idled polymer capacity to stay down in Q3
By Al Greenwood 30-Jul-20 20:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--DuPont expects most of the polymer capacity that it idled in response to the automobile slowdown will remain down in the third quarter, the company said on Thursday.

Europe glycerine prices stable on minimal activity
By Samantha Wright 30-Jul-20 17:34 LONDON (ICIS)--European glycerine prices are unchanged this week amid subdued market activity.

Latin America PE demand stronger than other plastic resins
By Renato Frimm 30-Jul-20 16:21 HOUSTON(ICIS)--Latin America polyethylene (PE) demand has outperformed other resins through the pandemic as food and medicine packaging films continue close to normal levels and have fared better than durable goods.

Latin America PP markets face lack of feedstocks, lower production and upward price pressure
By Renato Frimm 30-Jul-20 16:21 HOUSTON(ICIS)--Latin America polypropylene (PP) markets are facing shortened supply of propylene feedstocks amid reduced refinery rates and several outages affecting supply within the region.

Weaker demand due to coronavirus to weigh on H2 business - Kraton
By Lucas Hall 30-Jul-20 16:13 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Kraton Corporation expects weaker demand related to the coronavirus and other factors including lower planned operating rates, the timing of turnarounds and maintenance activities as well as the absence of its H1 Cariflex business prior to the Q1 2020 sale to have an adverse impact on its H2 financial results, the company said in its quarterly earnings presentation.

Black Sea Q3 soda ash contracts fall
By Cameron Birch 30-Jul-20 15:48 LONDON (ICIS)--Free on board (FOB) soda ash contract prices in the Black Sea market have fallen on the back of the significant impact the coronavirus has had on certain key areas of end-user demand. The most serious impact was felt by buyers of soda ash from the flat and container glass manufacturing sectors which accounts for approximately one-half of all soda ash demand in Europe.

DuPont hit hard in second quarter by automotive market decline
By Nigel Davis 30-Jul-20 13:34 LONDON (CIS)--A significant non-cash impairment charge related to near-term weakness in the automotive industry hit DuPont’s earnings in the second quarter, the company said on Thursday.

Wacker sees Q2 profits tumble on weak demand from automotive and textiles
By Nigel Davis 30-Jul-20 11:42 LONDON (ICIS)--Second quarter 2020 profits were sharply lower for Wacker Chemie, on sales down 15.5% at €1,072m, the German-headquartered specialty chemicals group said on Thursday.

Eni's chemicals operation posts €131m operating loss in H1
By Morgan Condon 30-Jul-20 10:41 LONDON (ICIS)--Eni’s chemicals outfit Versalis made an operating loss of €131m in the first half of 2020, 77% lower year-on-year as the coronavirus pandemic flattened demand, the Italian oil major said on Thursday.

Malaysia local PP offers firm, talks muted on holiday-shortened week
By Leanne Tan 30-Jul-20 07:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polypropylene (PP) offers in the domestic Malaysian market rose for a third consecutive month, although discussions were muted amid a holiday-shortened week.

India NBR offers rise on BD surge; demand driven by agricultural sector
By Helen Yan 30-Jul-20 04:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Offers for acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) in India rose on the back of surging cost of feedstock butadiene (BD) and improved demand from the agricultural sector.

China’s June MA exports rise 30.5% month on month
By Ai Teng Lim 30-Jul-20 01:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China exported 4,593 tonnes of maleic anhydride (MA) in June 2020, 30.5% higher than May, according to data from ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

US August PC prices roll over as weak demand persists
By Adam Yanelli 29-Jul-20 23:21 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Despite pressure from rising upstream costs, US August polycarbonate (PC) prices were assessed at a rollover, as gradually improving demand and ample supply kept a ceiling on values.

US SBR spot prices edge higher; August contracts face upward pressure
By Amanda Hay 29-Jul-20 23:03 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US styrene butadiene spot prices edged higher, tracking firmer prices in Asia and higher costs.

US Trinseo reports Q2 net loss on lower sales
By Al Greenwood 29-Jul-20 22:51 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based styrenics producer Trinseo reported on Wednesday a Q2 net loss because sales fell faster than costs.

US ABS costs rising, but slow demand growth creates headwinds
By Adam Yanelli 29-Jul-20 21:55 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Upstream costs for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) are trending higher, but the market faces headwinds from slow demand growth as the country restarts its economy following the coronavirus (Covid-19).

US BD August contracts rise on cost pressures while demand slowly improves
By Amanda Hay 29-Jul-20 20:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butadiene (BD) August contracts settled higher, as cost pressures have mounted.

Moody’s lifts North American, EMEA chemicals outlook to ‘stable’ on tentative recovery
By Joseph Chang 29-Jul-20 19:54 NEW YORK (ICIS)--Credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday upgraded its outlook on the North American and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) chemicals sectors to “stable” from “negative”, based on a tentative recovery from a Q2 trough.

US Axalta guides to Q3 sales decline of up to 20%, but is ‘encouraged’ as demand improves month on month - CEO
By Stefan Baumgarten 29-Jul-20 19:39 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Axalta Coating Systems expects sales in Q3 to fall 15-20% year on year, but that guidance is on the conservative side.

Europe AA prices firm on healthier demand
By Mathew Jolin-Beech 29-Jul-20 17:33 LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylic acid (AA) spot prices have increased this week as a result of an uptick in demand.

Europe July capro contract prices rise, driven by benzene increase
By Marta Fern 29-Jul-20 17:24 LONDON (ICIS)--European caprolactam (capro) July prices have settled at a €25/tonne increase to the low end of the quoted range, compared with June.

Solvay manages to weather severe headwinds in downstream markets
By Morgan Condon 29-Jul-20 16:00 LONDON (ICIS)--Despite its position as a specialty chemical producer, Solvay is not far-enough removed from the global economic storm to come away unscathed.

US-Canada PP production, sales decline in H1 2020
By Zachary Moore 29-Jul-20 15:39 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Production and sales of polypropylene (PP) in the US and Canada declined in the first six months of 2020 when compared with the same period of the prior year, according to data recently released by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Vault Consulting.

INSIGHT: BASF remains cautious in face of limited order visibility
By Nigel Davis 29-Jul-20 15:35 LONDON (ICIS)--BASF’s comments on Wednesday on visibility and the third quarter show how cautious the German chemicals major is in the face of the uncertain recovery this July and August from coronavirus lockdowns.

US July barge acetone contracts increase amid tightness
By Tarun Raizada 29-Jul-20 15:26 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July barge acetone contracts increased by 2.25 cents/lb ($50/tonne), according to sources.

US base oil markets face higher costs, balanced-to-snug supplies as demand recovery begins
By Amanda Hay 29-Jul-20 15:24 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US base oil market players entered the second half of 2020 facing upward price pressure from firm costs and balanced-to-snug supplies - bullish factors that were offset by ongoing demand weakness downstream.

PODCAST: PE, PP diverging in supply, demand outlook
By Zachary Moore 29-Jul-20 14:47 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Zachary Moore, deputy managing editor covering polyolefins at ICIS, and Brian Pruett, senior vice president covering polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) at CDI, discuss key market fundamentals.

BASF mulls impairments on new normal lower demand, China on V-shaped recovery - CEO
By Jonathan Lopez 29-Jul-20 13:06 LONDON (ICIS)--The “extreme scenario” caused by the pandemic makes even short-term forecasts impossible, but petrochemicals demand may decrease in the long-term in the new normal and BASF is mulling impairment charges on its assets, the CEO at the German chemicals major said on Wednesday.

OMV petrochemical profits down 47% in second quarter as Borealis share drops 74%
By Nigel Davis 29-Jul-20 11:43 LONDON (ICIS)--Petrochemical profits for Austrian oil group OMV were down 47% in the second quarter at €41m, it said on Wednesday, with profits from its Borealis chemicals and polymers venture down 74% at €54m.

Europe Q3 BDO contracts settle at €50/tonne decrease
By Nick Cleeve 29-Jul-20 11:30 LONDON (ICIS)--European contract prices for butanediol (BDO) have settled at decreases of €50/tonne for the third quarter amid lengthy supply and weak demand.

Europe R-PET August demand increases 10-20% from the sheet industry on virgin rebound
By Mark Victory 29-Jul-20 10:06 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) clear northwest Europe end-use flake demand from the sheet and textile industries is increasing moving in to August on the back of a rebound in upstream virgin values since June, and the easing of lockdown restrictions in much of Europe that has seen the retail industry restart.

Asia PBT stagnant as demand wobbles; US-China tensions weigh on sentiment
By Clive Ong 29-Jul-20 05:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Activity in Asia’s polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) market remained tepid as recent escalation in tensions between the US and China dampened sentiment.

China’s demand for EPDM to remain stable in August amid seasonal lull
By Helen Yan 29-Jul-20 05:11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s demand for ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is expected to remain stable in August due to a seasonal lull in production during the hot summer month.

US paraffinic base oil prices steady to firm amid higher selling indications
By Amanda Hay 29-Jul-20 00:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US paraffinic base oil market prices are steady to firm, as remaining TVAs have been removed, and spot availability is more snug.

Price increase initiative for US nylon 6,6 struggles to gain traction
By Adam Yanelli 28-Jul-20 23:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--An increase initiative for nylon 6,6 is struggling to gain traction amid persistent soft demand as the country continues attempts to restart the economy after shutting down to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

US naphthenic base oil price increases separately emerge amid cost pressures
By Amanda Hay 28-Jul-20 23:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Separately announced US naphthenic oil price increases have emerged amid higher crude costs.

US Celanese Q2 earnings fall on lower sales
By Al Greenwood 28-Jul-20 23:27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based acetyls and polymers producer Celanese reported a decline in second-quarter net income because sales fell faster than costs.

US July butac nominally weakens
By Larry Terry 28-Jul-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butyl acetate (butac) spot and contract prices settled nominally weaker for July on competitive pressure, ample supply and some destocking of lower priced inventory.

Soft demand, steady supply expected in H2 for US Melamine
By Deniz Koray 28-Jul-20 21:45 HOUSTON (ICIS)--After settling down 3.0-3.5 cents/lb ($66-77/tonne) in Q3 contract negotiations, US melamine is likely to continue to face a soft market in H2.

Europe July nylon 6 slightly up, nylon 6,6 rolls over as demand gradually picks-up
By Marta Fern 28-Jul-20 19:15 LONDON (ICIS)--European nylon 6 contract prices for July have finalised with a €0.02/kg increase from June values at the low end, and a rollover at the high end of the range, with the virgin polymer spot FD NWE assessed at €1.70-1.73/kg.

Polyurethanes demand improving, but not yet back to pre-crisis levels - Huntsman
By Zachary Moore 28-Jul-20 18:59 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Demand for polyurethanes improved later in the second quarter compared with earlier in the quarter, although demand is not yet back to pre-crisis levels, Huntsman executives said during a Tuesday earnings call.

Ciech Pianki PU foams producer back to full production after peak of coronavirus crisis
By Will Conroy 28-Jul-20 17:42 LONDON (ICIS)--Ciech said on Tuesday that its Ciech Pianki polyurethane (PU) foams unit has returned to full production with demand for its output in the European furniture-making and mattress production segments rebounding to a high level as industry recovers from impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Europe EG imports decreased in April at height of lockdown measures
By Melissa Hurley 28-Jul-20 16:59 LONDON (ICIS)--Ethylene glycol imports decreased by around 30% year on year in April, according to data from the ICIS Supply and Demand database.

EU butadiene exports surge in April as producers act to mitigate poor demand
By Nel Weddle 28-Jul-20 13:04 LONDON (ICIS)--Butadiene (BD) exports from the EU surged in April as producers battled to offset oversupply following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the key downstream automotive sector, according to data from the ICIS Supply and Demand database.

Asia NBA demand recovering; widened price gap with 2-EH may remain
By Jude Chan 28-Jul-20 05:19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for n-butanol (NBA) in Asia is recovering gradually from a trough in the first quarter at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. But a rebound in its prices is unlikely to catch up with the gains of fellow oxo-alcohol 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) anytime soon.

Europe-bound acetone trade seen growing as arbitrage window widens
By Fergus Jensen 27-Jul-20 18:50 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe spot acetone prices are at a three-year high, and material is increasingly being offered from Asian suppliers to take advantage of a wider west-bound arbitrage. Demand for co-product phenol remains depressed, keeping a lid on domestic operating rates and maintaining upward pressure on the domestic acetone market.

Europe July ABS contract price increases driven by styrene
By Stephanie Wix 27-Jul-20 17:44 LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) contract prices for July have finalised with increases of between €60-70/tonne, mostly driven by the €86/tonne hike for upstream styrene.

Europe ABS margins see large weekly increase
By Yashas Mudumbai 27-Jul-20 17:10 LONDON (ICIS)--Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) producers in Europe enjoyed a large increase in margins week on week.

INSIGHT: Chemical producers need to understand the consequences of industrial recovery
By Nigel Davis 27-Jul-20 17:04 LONDON (ICIS)--The major chemical companies need a stronger industrial recovery to make real headway in the second half of the year.

Europe glycol ethers sellers seek increases amid hopes of a limited, seasonal lull in demand
By Eashani Chavda 27-Jul-20 16:19 LONDON (ICIS)--The European glycol ethers market is preparing for the summer, with producers hoping for healthy demand for paints and coatings used in home decorating and construction.

Europe PE, PP slow as players wait for new monomer contracts
By Linda Naylor 27-Jul-20 15:46 LONDON (ICIS)--Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) buyers are standing on the sidelines waiting for upstream ethylene and propylene contracts to settle before committing to new volumes.

Q3 a ‘turning point’ in Europe MMA market after lengthy slide
By Fergus Jensen 27-Jul-20 13:32 LONDON (ICIS)--A string of approaching plant turnarounds, limitations on domestic and imported volumes, higher raw material costs and sturdy demand for clear plastic sheets, resins and coatings, are supporting views that a downtrend in the Europe methyl methacrylate (MMA) market that began in early 2018 may be over.

July Latin America PE prices rise amid additional August nomination hikes
By Renato Frimm 24-Jul-20 23:29 HOUSTON(ICIS)--Latin America polyethylene (PE) prices are facing upward pressure, as ethylene feedstocks stabilise at higher levels amid producer price increases implemented in July - with new nominations for August increases surfacing.

Latin American PP prices rising on shorter propylene supply, higher feedstock costs
By Renato Frimm 24-Jul-20 23:00 HOUSTON(ICIS)--Latin American polypropylene (PP) prices are rising in some countries amid several outages and reduced refinery rates affecting feedstock supply.

US MEG spot prices rise on supply constraints
By Antoinette Smith 24-Jul-20 22:35 HOUSTON (ICIS) --US monoethylene glycol (MEG) supply has tightened amid production issues and upcoming supply constraints.

Europe stocks end week down as dim outlook offsets green shoots
By Jonathan Lopez 24-Jul-20 21:30 LONDON (ICIS)--European chemicals stocks and major indices closed the week in the red as sporadic green shoots could not hide the severe hit to the economy brought about by the coronavirus, with unemployment across the region expected to rise beyond the summer.

US acetone to face tight supply, uneven demand recovery
By Tarun Raizada 24-Jul-20 21:17 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acetone supply is tight, with prices mostly holding steady, but demand recovery is likely to be uneven across segments.

BASF declares force majeure from US TDI plant
By Zachary Moore 24-Jul-20 20:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)--BASF has declared force majeure from its toluene diisocyanate (TDI) plant in Geismar, Louisiana, a company spokesperson confirmed on Friday.

PVC contract prices stable to firm against feedstocks, H2 2020 outlook uncertain
By Chris Barker 24-Jul-20 19:04 LONDON (ICIS)--European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) contract prices are under discussion for July, with negotiations centring on increases equivalent to, or above, the cost increase from feedstock ethylene as availability has tightened.

Europe oleochemicals Q3 contract prices mixed, demand outlook unclear
By Samantha Wright 24-Jul-20 18:58 LONDON (ICIS)--European oleochemicals third-quarter contracts settled in diverging directions amid varying levels of availability and demand.

INSIGHT: EU recovery funds to boost Spain chems as push for decarbonisation powers ahead
By Jonathan Lopez 24-Jul-20 16:23 LONDON (ICIS)--Spanish chemicals got a confidence shot this week after the EU agreed a €750bn recovery package to soften the pandemic-induced downturn focused on decarbonisation, the CEO at trade group FEIQUE told ICIS.

European plasticizers supply/demand balances shift to support some higher spot prices
By Jane Massingham 24-Jul-20 15:32 LONDON (ICIS)--The European plasticizer markets have seen spot prices increase further in July, with support arising from a gradual demand improvement and reduced supplies.

Q2 proves unsatisfactory for Covestro, but volumes on the rise – CFO
By Tom Brown 24-Jul-20 15:10 LONDON (ICIS)--The second quarter of 2020 was not a strong one for Covestro, with a slump in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic exacerbating bearish trends for polyurethane (PU) pricing, although it has gradually improved from April to June and beyond, according to the company’s CFO.

EU commercial vehicles slump in June, but France bucks trend
By Morgan Condon 24-Jul-20 13:59 LONDON (ICIS)--France saw an increase in commercial vehicle registrations in June, bucking the trend of continued declines elsewhere in the continent, according to the European Automotive Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

Versalis completes Finproject stake purchase to expand specialty polymers footprint
By Tom Brown 24-Jul-20 13:24 LONDON (ICIS)—Veralis has completed the purchase of a 40% stake in compounder Finproject to expand its speciality polymers footprint and create an integrated Italian supply chain provider for the materials, the producer said on Friday.

Europe July PP offers raised by some sellers, buyers hesitant
By Linda Naylor 24-Jul-20 13:19 LONDON (ICIS)--Polypropylene (PP) views were mixed this week as larger sellers stopped sales at earlier levels for July and increased offers for new business, while some smaller sellers are still seeing poor volumes.

Europe SAN July contract prices rise double digits
By Stephanie Wix 24-Jul-20 09:56 LONDON (ICIS)--July contract prices in the European styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) market have finalised at increases of €70-80/tonne, driven by the €86/tonne increase for styrene.

SE Asia SBR demand up as tyre makers raise run rates ahead of US duties
By Helen Yan 24-Jul-20 07:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) has risen in southeast Asia as the downstream tyre factories increase their purchasing volumes in anticipation of US anti-dumping duties on passenger car tyres from Thailand and Vietnam.

US August oxo-alcohols price efforts driven partly by expected upstream pressure
By Larry Terry 23-Jul-20 23:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August oxo-alcohols price-increase initiatives have emerged on an anticipated increase in the upstream July propylene contract and persistent margin pressure.

US Dow sees first signs of recovery in durable goods
By Al Greenwood 23-Jul-20 20:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dow is seeing the initial signs of a recovery in durable goods, an end market pummelled by the effects of the coronavirus, the CEO said on Thursday.

Polyurethanes demand to improve in H2, pre-crisis levels expected by 2022 - Dow
By Zachary Moore 23-Jul-20 17:07 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Demand for polyurethanes (PU) is expected to improve in the second half of the year after significant reductions in volumes in the second quarter, with full recovery to pre-crisis levels expected around 2022, Dow executives stated during a Thursday earnings call.

PP demand in Indonesia wanes, local offers remain competitive
By Leanne Tan 23-Jul-20 16:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polypropylene (PP) demand in Indonesia has weakened noticeably compared with early July, and buying interest in imports could remain muted amid competitive local prices.

Thai suppliers cut local PP offers amid bearish sentiment abroad
By Leanne Tan 23-Jul-20 16:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polypropylene (PP) producers in Thailand have cut domestic offers in the hope of spurring cargo off-take amid brewing bearish sentiment abroad.

China PO prices rise to yearly high on delayed import arrivals, strong demand
By Claire Gao 23-Jul-20 16:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic propylene oxide (PO) prices have risen to the highest level so far in 2020, on the back of delayed import arrivals and strong demand for downstream polyether polyols.

Automotive market may not recover this year – AkzoNobel
By Tom Brown 23-Jul-20 13:03 LONDON (ICIS)--The automotive and aerospace sectors may not recover fully this year or even next, while decorative paints demand rebounded faster than companies had expected in parts of the world during the second quarter of the year, the CEO of AkzoNobel said on Thursday.

European SBR July contracts increase on upward feedstock pressure
By Melissa Hurley 23-Jul-20 12:35 LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) July contract prices increased by varying double-digits depending on account and starting point, due to higher feedstock costs this month.

Europe extrusion PC July prices fall for third month on weak demand, ample availability
By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 23-Jul-20 11:32 LONDON (ICIS)--Contract prices for extrusion grade polycarbonate (PC) have fallen slightly for the third consecutive month in July amid weak demand and ample supply.

Asia BD to face upward pressure from high naphtha costs and limited spot supply
By Helen Yan 23-Jul-20 07:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia butadiene (BD) prices may continue to face further upward pressure because of limited spot availability and negative margins from naphtha costs.

Covestro swings to Q2 net loss amid lower sales volumes
By Nurluqman Suratman 23-Jul-20 06:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Covestro posted a second-quarter net loss of €52m in the second quarter of this year following a massive drop in demand in all key customer industries, the Germany-based polymers major said on Thursday.

SE Asia tyre makers ramp up ops ahead of US duty; PBR demand up
By Helen Yan 23-Jul-20 06:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for polybutadiene rubber (PBR) has increased in Southeast Asia as the downstream tyre factories ramp up their operating rates ahead of the anticipated US anti-dumping duties on light truck tyres from Thailand and Vietnam.

Further US August glycol ethers price efforts surface
By Larry Terry 22-Jul-20 23:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Additional separate US August increase initiatives emerged for butyl glycol (BG), butyl di-glycol (BDG), propylene glycol methyl ether (PM) and propylene glycol methyl ether acetate (PMA), also on likely stronger July feedstock propylene.

Upstream costs rising for US ABS as demand is slow to return
By Adam Yanelli 22-Jul-20 23:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Feedstock costs in the US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market are rising, but demand remains soft from the auto industry, slowed by a sputtering US economy as it attempts to restart following stay-at-home orders to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

US August acrylates price-hike initiatives emerge
By Larry Terry 22-Jul-20 23:11 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August glacial acrylic acid (GAA) and acrylate esters price-hike initiatives emerged on an anticipated increase in the upstream July propylene contract.

US fatty acids markets face mixed feedstock pressures; overall demand choppy
By Lucas Hall 22-Jul-20 23:03 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US fatty acids prices were held steady following this month's assessments.

US TDI demand gradually improving as automotive, furniture demand pick up
By Zachary Moore 22-Jul-20 23:02 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Demand for toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is gradually improving from the low points seen during April and May, in line with improving economic activity.

US PC demand strong from medical sector but lagging in others as raw material costs rise
By Adam Yanelli 22-Jul-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US polycarbonate (PC) market is facing upward pressure from rising raw material costs, but despite new end-uses for the engineered plastic related to the coronavirus overall demand is soft and is likely to keep a ceiling on values in the near term.

US August butac price initiatives usher in a mixed H2 2020
By Larry Terry 22-Jul-20 22:29 HOUSTON (ICIS)--As this year's first US butyl acetate (butac) price-hike initiatives in nine months emerged for August on a likely increase in July propylene, the market is experiencing mixed results.

US spot propylene nears nine-month high amid outages, rising feedstocks
By Michael Sims 22-Jul-20 22:29 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July polymer-grade propylene (PGP) on Wednesday was traded at 34 cents/lb ($529/tonne), its highest mark in nearly nine months.

US aromatic, aliphatic solvents expected to continue gradual demand rebound in H2
By Deniz Koray 22-Jul-20 19:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)--After experiencing steeply declining prices in April and May 2020 due to declining crude oil prices and falling demand, aromatic and aliphatic solvents have begun to gradually rebound across all products.  As a result, there is some optimism for H2 among market participants, despite soft demand for solvents, especially compared with previous years.

Feedstock benzene rally triggers price rises for downstream products
By Zubair Adam 22-Jul-20 17:53 LONDON (ICIS)--The recent resurgence in Europe benzene prices following higher crude oil values has lifted downstream cyclohexane (CX) and styrene prices.

US Avient CEO hails Asia sales rise as ‘positive signs’ amid uncertainty
By Stefan Baumgarten 22-Jul-20 16:15 HOUSTON (ICIS)--While Avient’s overall Q2 sales fell 18.6% year on year, hurt by the coronavirus outbreak, sales in Asia rose 13%, Robert Patterson, CEO of the US-based polymer and materials company, said on Wednesday.

European July ethanolamines prices stable to soft as buyers resist increases
By Jane Gibson 22-Jul-20 15:30 LONDON (ICIS)--European ethanolamines contracts have settled for July at rollovers or small decreases.

Coronavirus dents US Avient’s Q2 sales, profit as consumers retreat
By Stefan Baumgarten 22-Jul-20 13:27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Avient's Q2 sales and profit fell year on year amid weak automotive and consumer discretionary demand because of the coronavirus pandemic, the US-based polymer and materials company, formerly known as PolyOne, reported on Wednesday.

INSIGHT: Plastics 'winning on every front of the materials game' – analyst
By Morgan Condon 22-Jul-20 10:43 LONDON (ICIS)--Despite the bad publicity in recent years “plastics are winning on every front of the materials game”, according to the principle director of global resources research at professional services company Accenture.

Dutch AkzoNobel Q2 net income amid lower sales volumes
By Nurluqman Suratman 22-Jul-20 06:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--AkzoNobel’s net income fell in the second quarter of this year amid lower sales volumes, the Dutch paints and coatings firm said on Wednesday.

Asia BDO holds steady while demand recovery uneven
By Clive Ong 22-Jul-20 05:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia butanediol prices held steady in the week, while market participants continued to await a fuller return of demand.

Asia PBT weakens further as demand outlook uncertain
By Clive Ong 22-Jul-20 04:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asia polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) market weakened further this week with demand showing limited pick-up and the outlook remaining uncertain.

US nylon 6,6 faces upward pressure on rising feedstocks, tighter supply
By Adam Yanelli 21-Jul-20 23:09 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US nylon 6,6 market is facing upward pressure from higher upstream feedstock costs, although demand remains subdued from the auto industry as it recovers from demand erosion associated with the coronavirus.

Firm feedstock costs continue to pressure US base oil prices
By Amanda Hay 21-Jul-20 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Firm feedstock costs have squeezed producer margins, supporting higher US base oil prices despite slow demand recovery in downstream markets.

US acetone price increases emerge for August
By Tarun Raizada 21-Jul-20 18:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Two August price increases have emerged for US acetone.

INSIGHT: Margin data show how tough Q2 was for ethylene players in Europe
By Nigel Davis 21-Jul-20 17:36 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe’s ethylene players lost ground in the second quarter as profitability was hit hard at the cracker and in glycols. Those players integrated to polyethylene will have fared better, as margins for high density and low density PE were held or increased on an annual basis.

US cumene supply expected to meet demand in 2H amid shift in trade, weak downstream markets
By Adam Burkin 21-Jul-20 16:28 HOUSTON(ICIS)--US Cumene supplies are expected to meet market demand going into the second half of this year amid drastic drops in exports and weakened downstream demand.

BASF partners on US aliphatic isocyanate supplies
By Stefan Baumgarten 21-Jul-20 15:02 HOUSTON (ICIS)--BASF has agreed to partner Vertrauen Chemie Solutions (VCS) to streamline its US aliphatic isocyanate supply chain.

Asian MMA sentiment weakens on softer China market
By Li Li Chng 21-Jul-20 08:09 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s methyl methacrylate (MMA) market sentiment is weakened with the rapid decline in China domestic prices, but supply tightness and higher cost pressure at some producers could lend support.

China chemicals sector revenue revised 5-10% lower - Moody's
By Nurluqman Suratman 21-Jul-20 04:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Ratings firm Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday lowered its revenue projections for rated Chinese firms in chemicals, construction and engineering as well as manufacturing sectors by 5%-10% due to slowing economic growth and weaker demand.

SAN imports into China stable despite weaker ABS market
By Julia Tan 21-Jul-20 04:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The price of styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) imports into China remained stable in the week ended 17 July.

European MEG spot stable-to-firm on limited supply; August outlook more relaxed
By Melissa Hurley 20-Jul-20 17:34 LONDON (ICIS)--European monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot bulk prices remain on the firmer side due to limited import supply in July. Consumer bids for August material are lower as availability is expected to ease next month.

US BD demand challenged through H2 while producers face cost pressures
By Amanda Hay 20-Jul-20 16:30 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butadiene (BD) demand will continue to face challenges in the second half of 2020 as downstream sectors recover from the coronavirus closures of Q2, although firmer crude prices are expected to pressure producer margins.

INSIGHT: Cyclohexane prices rise despite weak demand
By Zubair Adam 20-Jul-20 16:25 LONDON (ICIS)--The cyclohexane (CX) market continues to be pressured by weak demand, mainly from the downstream automotive sector.

Europe polyurethane feedstock recovery begins as demand climbs
By Fergus Jensen 20-Jul-20 16:24 LONDON (ICIS)--Prices of polyurethane feedstocks isocyanates and polyols in Europe have begun to recover from record low levels hit last month, as demand has improved and in some cases supply remains limited.

PODCAST: Petrochemicals now driven by geopolitics more than economics
By Will Beacham 20-Jul-20 14:12 BARCELONA (ICIS)--China’s new plan to accelerate a huge investment in Iran’s energy and petrochemicals shows how geopolitics is now driving petrochemical investments rather than economics.

Europe butac prices stable, continued low demand
By Nick Cleeve 20-Jul-20 13:13 LONDON (ICIS)--European butyl acetate (butac) prices remain stable.

Latin America PE prices facing upward pressure amid higher feedstock costs
By Renato Frimm 18-Jul-20 00:13 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Latin America polyethylene (PE) prices are facing upward pressure as ethylene feedstocks are higher amid producer price increase initiatives taking hold.

US Q3 phenol unlikely to see major recovery amid auto, virus headwinds
By Tarun Raizada 17-Jul-20 23:47 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The demand picture for US Q3 phenol is not looking strong, especially as sentiment continues to be impacted by the surge in US coronavirus cases and as the auto sector is unlikely to make a major recovery this year.

US BD spot prices firm in line with contracts amid limited spot availability, but demand challenged
By Amanda Hay 17-Jul-20 23:43 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butadiene (BD) spot prices firmed in line with contract values amid limited availability beyond contract volumes.

US EG margins remain favourable despite months of pressure
By Antoinette Smith 17-Jul-20 23:34 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene glycol (EG) margins have fallen by nearly 50% from pre-coronavirus levels, but remain favourable globally, according to ICIS Analytics.

Latin America PP prices facing upward pressure amid reduced feedstock supply, increasing costs
By Renato Frimm 17-Jul-20 23:26 HOUSTON(ICIS)--Latin America polypropylene (PP) prices are facing upward pressure, as feedstock propylene is rising amid several outages and reduced refinery rates affecting supply.

US ACN supply expected to remain ample to meet H2 demand
By Lucas Hall 17-Jul-20 23:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylonitrile (ACN) supply is expected to remain ample to meet H2 demand, with a light turnaround schedule, slower than expected demand recovery and rising feedstock costs globally expected to continue to weigh on the US domestic and export market in the second-half of the year.

US MEG export prices rise on Europe demand
By Antoinette Smith 17-Jul-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot export prices are higher, on improving demand from Europe.

INEOS seeks August price increase on US PP
By Zachary Moore 17-Jul-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--INEOS Olefins and Polymers USA is seeking a price increase of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) on US polypropylene (PP) resins in addition to any change in polymer grade propylene (PGP) prices between the months of July and August.

US DEG, TEG spot prices flat
By Antoinette Smith 17-Jul-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US diethylene glycol (DEG) and triethylene glycol (TEG) spot prices are flat on consistently low demand.

US SBR faces demand-recovery challenges through H2 amid rising costs
By Amanda Hay 17-Jul-20 19:51 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) markets will gradually recover from the demand destruction of Q2's widespread coronavirus closures well into 2021.

US refined glycerine markets expected to moderate in H2, but supply concerns linger
By Lucas Hall 17-Jul-20 19:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US refined glycerine markets are largely expected to moderate in H2 as demand eases, but lingering supply concerns are expected to underpin relatively firm pricing through the end of the year.

Europe PMMA Q3 contracts decrease amid mixed demand and loose supply
By Mathew Jolin-Beech 17-Jul-20 17:46 LONDON (ICIS)--European polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) third-quarter contracts settled at a decrease driven by mixed demand and loose supply.

Small improvements in Europe butadiene fundamentals, all eyes on Asia price uptick
By Nel Weddle 17-Jul-20 14:33 LONDON (ICIS)—Small improvements in domestic European butadiene (BD) demand have been witnessed this month but producers continue to tailor output to suit, leaving limited availability for spot exports.

R-HDPE natural injection moulding pellet values below virgin for first time since November
By Mark Victory 17-Jul-20 13:54 LONDON (ICIS)--European recycled high density polyethylene (R-HDPE) natural injection moulding grade pellet prices have fallen below virgin HDPE values for the first time since November, amid a recovery in virgin values.

INSIGHT: Nylon market in Europe will continue to be deeply impacted by automotive woes
By Valentina Cherubin 17-Jul-20 12:00 LONDON (ICIS)--The collapse of the nylon market in Europe is expected to continue until the end of the year, due to the negative pressure on its main end-use sector, automotive.

Europe highest priced region for acetone spot as rally continues on short supply
By Heidi Finch 17-Jul-20 11:59 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe acetone spot prices continue to spike this week, lifting prices to the highest level globally, on the back of limited spot supply and short covering needs.

India Q1 polymer demand drops 50%; industry expects demand resurgence
By Priya Jestin 17-Jul-20 08:19 MUMBAI (ICIS)--India's plastics industry expects to see resurgence in demand after first quarter sales crashed over 50% due to coronavirus pandemic induced countrywide lockdown.

SE Asian MA import offer eases further on weak buying
By Ai Teng Lim 17-Jul-20 02:58 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Southeast Asian maleic anhydride (MA) import offers are softening, as sellers chased deals.

Demand for US ACN improving but rising feedstocks weigh on activity
By Lucas Hall 16-Jul-20 23:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US domestic acrylonitrile (ACN) demand is recovering in July after bottoming out in May and June.

August increase initiatives emerge in US TDI, polyol markets
By Zachary Moore 16-Jul-20 23:02 HOUSTON (ICIS)--August price increase initiatives have emerged seeking increases of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) on both toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and polyether polyols, according to customer letters.

Production issues, improved demand limiting prompt PP supplies in US
By Zachary Moore 16-Jul-20 22:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Prompt availability in the US polypropylene (PP) market is facing some limitations as several plants are experiencing production issues while demand is beginning to improve.

US PPG Q2 earnings fall sharply on lower sales
By Al Greenwood 16-Jul-20 22:50 HOUSTON (ICIS)--PPG's second-quarter earnings fell sharply because of a decline in sales and a one-time charge, the US paints and coatings producer said on Thursday.

US H2 MEG production to remain ample despite upcoming supply constraints
By Antoinette Smith 16-Jul-20 22:15 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Production of monoethylene glycol (MEG) is likely to remain sufficient to meet demand in H2, despite a reduction in available North American supply from August.

US polyol demand expected to improve in H2, full recovery not expected until 2022
By Zachary Moore 16-Jul-20 19:53 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Demand for polyether polyols and downstream polyurethane systems is expected to pick up in the second half of the year, although a recovery to 2019 demand levels is not expected until 2022.

DOMO Chemicals forms 3D printing partnership
By Stefan Baumgarten 16-Jul-20 15:54 LONDON (ICIS)--DOMO Chemicals has formed a partnership with Austrian 3D printing product developer RPD Rapid Product Development, to focus on Sinterline polyamide 6 (PA6) selective laser sintering (SLS) powders, the Germany-based international PA producer said on Thursday.

INSIGHT: Private equity seeks chemicals deals amid tighter credit
By Al Greenwood 16-Jul-20 15:50 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Private-equity firms see the current market for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as an opportunity to acquire businesses from chemical companies eager to raise cash and fine-tune their portfolios, an investment banker said.

Europe fatty acids Q3 contracts fall on subdued activity
By Samantha Wright 16-Jul-20 15:02 LONDON (ICIS)--European fatty acids third-quarter contract prices decreased in the main on the back of very muted market activity and fluctuating feedstock values.

EU first-half car sales down 38%, France up in June after rescue package brings hope
By Jonathan Lopez 16-Jul-20 11:23 LONDON (ICIS)--EU consumers are returning to car dealerships, with sales in June approaching 1m units, but the impact from lockdowns led to a drop of 38% during the first half of 2020, according to trade group ACEA.

India bent on seeking alternative to China for petrochemical imports
By Pearl Bantillo 16-Jul-20 09:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Indian petrochemical importers are seeking alternative sources of cargoes to China, on what appears to be a government-led campaign to reduce heavy reliance on imports from the northeast Asian economic giant.

Asia PBT declines on soft demand and ample stocks
By Clive Ong 16-Jul-20 03:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) prices declined as some suppliers accepted lower numbers in a bid to engage buyers.

Asia BDO slips after recent consolidation as soft demand weighs
By Clive Ong 16-Jul-20 03:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s butanediol (BDO) prices slipped in the week, amid persistently weak demand in the region, which is expected to continue for the remainder of the third quarter.

US polyester polyol prices decline on weaker feedstock costs
By Zachary Moore 15-Jul-20 23:37 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyester polyol prices were assessed 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne) lower as key feedstock costs continue to trend lower.

US acrylates price weakness emerges amid July negotiations
By Larry Terry 15-Jul-20 23:19 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July glacial acrylic acid (GAA) and acrylate esters free-market price negotiations continue to be mostly range bound for July, but some price weakness emerged on mixed demand and no discernible pressure from June propylene.

US ABS market stable amid gradual return of demand
By Adam Yanelli 15-Jul-20 23:11 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market is stable, with supply ample to meet slowly-improving demand as the US continues to restart its economy following stay-at-home orders used to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

US polycarbonate supply ample to meet slowly improving demand
By Adam Yanelli 15-Jul-20 22:13 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US supply of polycarbonate (PC) is ample to meet slowly improving demand, as the US continues to restart its economy following stay-at-home orders used to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

US Ascend Performance Materials seeks immediate increase for nylon 6,6 and intermediates
By Adam Yanelli 15-Jul-20 20:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US nylon producer Ascend Performance Materials is seeking an increase of 6 cents/lb ($130/tonne) for nylon 6,6 and 8 cents/lb for intermediate chemicals hexamethylene diamine (HMD) and adiponitrile (ADN), effective immediately, the company announced on Wednesday.

INSIGHT: Global recycling markets can rally despite pandemic-related challenges – Part I, Europe
By Mark Victory 15-Jul-20 17:05 LONDON (ICIS)--2020 was supposed to be the year of growth in the recycling markets, with the likes of recycled high density polyethylene (R-HDPE), recycled polypropylene (R-PP) and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) expecting a sharp increase in demand from the packaging and preform sectors.

LANXESS launches e-mobility initiative
By Stefan Baumgarten 15-Jul-20 15:26 LONDON (ICIS)--German chemicals producer LANXESS has launched an “e-mobility initiative” to further exploit the market potential for e-mobility and battery technology.

India PBR market may see more competition following 10% safeguard duty on Korean imports
By Helen Yan 15-Jul-20 05:33 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India’s polybutadiene rubber (PBR) market may see more suppliers competing for market share in the subcontinent, following the imposition of a 10% safeguard duty on Korean PBR imports.

Europe SBR June contracts roll over on BD stability; spot prices stable-to-firm
By Melissa Hurley 18-Jun-20 19:04 LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) June contracts have rolled over on the back of stable upstream butadiene (BD) costs.

Spain automotive rescue package ‘very positive’ for chems, certain optimism returns
By Jonathan Lopez 17-Jun-20 14:12 LONDON (ICIS)--Spain’s rescue package for the automotive industry surpassing €1.0bn was higher than expected and has “created a lot of confidence” that the downturn this year, set to hit chemicals hard, may not be as severe as initially expected, the CEO of the country’s chemicals trade group FEIQUE told ICIS.

US PolyOne expects Q2 sales to fall 20% led by automotive
By Stefan Baumgarten 16-Jun-20 15:52 HOUSTON (ICIS)--PolyOne expects a 20% year-on-year decline in second-quarter sales as the coronavirus pandemic slashed demand for its products, Robert Patterson, CEO of the US-based international polymer materials company said in an update on Tuesday.

BASF on track to build EV battery production sites in Finland and Germany
By Morgan Condon 15-Jun-20 11:54 LONDON (ICIS)--BASF has started construction of its battery materials plant in Harjavalta, Finland, the German major announced on Monday.

DOMO Chemicals to close biaxally orientated PA line on global nylon oversupply
By Morgan Condon 12-Jun-20 13:41 LONDON (ICIS)--DOMO Chemicals will close its third line of biaxally oriented phthalic anhydride (PA) production at its site in Leuna, Germany due to global overcapacity the German-headquartered producer announced on Friday.

Europe capro, nylon faces tough conditions on weak auto demand outlook
By Marta Fern 10-Jun-20 15:31 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe caprolactam (capro), nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 markets will continue to face challenging trading conditions in the coming months, as key derivative automotive demand will remain weak.

German auto production, sales remain weak through May
By Stefan Baumgarten 05-Jun-20 16:43 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s auto industry remained weak throughout May - with production down 66% year on year and new car registrations 50% lower, according to the latest data on Friday.

Automotive, houseware segments weakest links in Malaysia PP market
By Leanne Tan 05-Jun-20 05:09 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Downstream demand from the automotive and houseware segments is currently among the weakest in Malaysia’s polypropylene (PP) market.

Weak auto sector and slow recovery potential likely to weigh on Europe PC Q3 sentiment
By Heidi Finch 04-Jun-20 16:29 LONDON (ICIS)--The coronavirus-weakened automotive sector and slow recovery potential is likely to weigh on sentiment for Q3 Europe moulding grade polycarbonate (PC), despite higher bisphenol A (BPA) feedstock costs.

UK May car sales collapse by 89% to 1952 levels as lockdown devastates industry
By Will Beacham 04-Jun-20 12:39 BARCELONA (ICIS)--UK new car sales collapsed by 89% year on year in May to levels not seen since 1952 as the coronavirus shutdowns and closure of most automotive production devastated the country’s market.

INSIGHT: Electrification in automotive industry could generate recovery
By Morgan Condon 03-Jun-20 16:10 LONDON (ICIS)--The European automotive industry is unlikely to restart smoothly despite the continued rollback of lockdown restrictions, which could lead to demand in many chemicals markets seizing up.

Brazil industrial activity plunges 27%, durable goods down 80% in April
By Renato Frimm 03-Jun-20 16:13 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil industrial activity in April plunged 27.2% year on year, the state statistical agency said on Wednesday.

Asia’s spot demand for EPDM to remain subdued amid weak global auto industry
By Helen Yan 03-Jun-20 09:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot demand for ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) in Asia is likely to remain subdued as the automotive plants were still mostly running at reduced rates despite the reopening of economies in several countries.

INTERVIEW: US construction outlook far more positive than automotive - Huntsman CEO
By Joseph Chang 02-Jun-20 23:56 NEW YORK (ICIS)--The US building and construction market is recovering and proving far more resilient than the automotive sector, the CEO of Huntsman Corp said on Tuesday.

Moody's assigns B1 rating to new US Axalta debt
By Juhi Varma 01-Jun-20 23:44 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Moody’s assigned a B1 rating to the unsecured debt that two subsidiaries of Axalta Coating Systems plan to issue, the US ratings agency said on Monday.

European MEG spot market breaks downward price spiral
By Melissa Hurley 01-Jun-20 15:48 LONDON (ICIS)--The European monoethylene glycol (MEG) market hit a turning point as May drew to a close, after rising feedstock costs bolstered sellers and reignited buying interest.

US May MEG contracts assessed flat to lower
By Antoinette Smith 29-May-20 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US May monoethylene glycol (MEG) pricing was assessed flat to lower, on steady demand from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging as well as for export, amid sufficient supply.

US automaker General Motors to increase production rates; Ford temporarily pauses two lines
By Adam Yanelli 29-May-20 22:37 HOUSTON (ICIS)--North American automaker General Motors Co will increase production rates at multiple plants in the US and Canada on Monday, one week after restarting plants that had been idled because of the coronavirus since mid-March.

Japan April industrial production falls led by motor vehicles
By Pearl Bantillo 29-May-20 06:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s industrial production in April declined, led by motor vehicles, with further contraction expected in May as the world’s third-biggest economy is in the throes of a pandemic-induced recession.

India’s antidumping probe into NBR imports to have limited impact
By Helen Yan 28-May-20 09:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The impact of anti-dumping investigations into acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) imports into India will be limited as overall demand has shrunk due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies still committed to switching from fossil fuels - Deloitte
By Juhi Varma 27-May-20 21:35 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Industry and energy executives remain committed to using less fossil fuel despite coronavirus-related setbacks, indicates a study by Deloitte released on Wednesday.

Slow automotive recovery to maintain weak conditions for US SBR in H2
By Amanda Hay 27-May-20 21:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) markets appear set for a sluggish second half of the year as recovery from coronavirus begins at a slow pace.

Asia PBT demand in the doldrums amid auto weakness
By Clive Ong 27-May-20 08:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin demand remained lacklustre, with limited improvement expected in the near term.

Demand for US nylon likely to improve, but long supply could weigh on market
By Adam Yanelli 26-May-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US demand for nylon is likely to improve amid efforts to restart the economy following coronavirus mitigation policies, but long supply and existing inventory could keep a ceiling on prices.

European nylon 6, nylon 6,6 May contract prices fall on low automotive demand
By Marta Fern 26-May-20 20:29 LONDON (ICIS)--European nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 contract prices finalised at decreases for May, driven by low demand and despite the increase in the May feedstock benzene price.

Europe ABS May contract prices fall double digits on weak automotive, feedstocks
By Stephanie Wix 25-May-20 17:01 LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) May contract prices have fallen €50-60/tonne driven by the €13/tonne decrease for feedstock styrene, ongoing automobile weak demand, and the €200/tonne decrease for secondary feedstock butadiene (BD).

Stalled automotive sector puts hopes on China, decrease in air travel
By Morgan Condon 25-May-20 11:04 LONDON (ICIS)--The pandemic has left the automotive industry on cinder blocks, thwarting any expectation of recovery from an already-slower 2019.

US antifreeze-grade MEG prices rise amid bumpy restart to auto production
By Antoinette Smith 22-May-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US auto production restarted this week, lifting antifreeze-grade monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices, but obstacles remain on the road ahead.

Europe May SBR contracts hit fresh lows on upstream losses
By Melissa Hurley 21-May-20 12:30 LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) contract prices for May have slumped by various triple-digit decreases depending on starting point and account, to new historic lows.

INSIGHT: US MEG production remains high amid lower demand, falling margins
By Antoinette Smith 20-May-20 15:37 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethane-based monoethylene glycol (MEG) margins have fallen by nearly 30% in less than three months, while margins globally have improved significantly, but this has yet to cause a reduction in domestic production rates.

US BDO to see demand slowly return after auto restart
By Antoinette Smith 20-May-20 14:40 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Typical demand levels for butanediol (BDO) will be slow to return even as the key US downstream automobile sector restarts production.

Demand for US nylon improves amid efforts to restart economy
By Adam Yanelli 19-May-20 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Demand for US nylon 6,6 is likely to improve now that North American automakers have restarted idled plants that were shuttered because of the coronavirus, but with lengthy supply chains and existing inventory, it remains unclear how quickly the market will recover.

India's ailing auto industry needs long-term reforms for revival
By Priya Jestin 18-May-20 04:11 MUMBAI (ICIS)--While the Indian government’s recent move to infuse liquidity into the economy through a $266bn fiscal stimulus package could help the domestic auto industry, the sector will require long-term reforms to revive it, said industry experts.

Early May SBR contracts fall significantly on upstream BD losses and tyre demand woes
By Melissa Hurley 16-May-20 01:04 LONDON (ICIS)--Early European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) contracts have been agreed at significant decreases month on month, due to large losses seen this month in the upstream butadiene contract price.

INSIGHT: Pandemic woes to drive down Europe PP demand in 2020
By Fabrizio Galie 14-May-20 11:00 Vergiate, ITALY (ICIS)--Lockdowns, production stoppages and demand falls are all likely to weigh on Europe polypropylene (PP) consumption this year, despite resilience for some packaging and pharmaceutical end markets.

China’s spot interest for SBR may pick up as car sales rise
By Helen Yan 14-May-20 07:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market may see an increase in spot interest following the latest April car sales data, which showed a reversal in the year-on-year downtrend for the first time in 21 months.

US PC demand to improve as North American automakers restart idled plants
By Adam Yanelli 13-May-20 23:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Demand for US polycarbonate (PC) is set to improve now that North American automakers are restarting idled plants that were shuttered because of the coronavirus.

EU passenger car sales fall 76% in April
By Tom Brown 19-May-20 11:28 LONDON (ICIS)--EU passenger car sales fell 76.3% year on year in April, the sharpest fall since records began, as the automotive industry suffered the lockdowns across the 27-country bloc, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said on Tuesday.

US nylon market participants eye restart of N American auto production
By Adam Yanelli 13-May-20 00:31 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US nylon demand is likely to improve as North American auto production is set to restart after most plants were idled because of concerns over the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

China's April vehicle sales up 43.5% month on month
By Fanny Zhang 12-May-20 08:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s vehicle sales in April reached 2.07m units, an increase of 4.4% year on year and 43.5% month on month, according to data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

US April new auto sales fall amid coronavirus impacts
By Tracy Dang 11-May-20 21:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US sales of new light vehicles in April fell by nearly 25% month on month and was down by nearly 48% year on year, according to seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Restart of auto production bullish for US antifreeze-grade MEG
By Antoinette Smith 08-May-20 23:23 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US automakers have set restart dates for 18 May, which will significantly improve demand for US antifreeze-grade monoethylene glycol (MEG).

Michigan reopening prompts firm dates for Big 3 automaker restarts
By Amanda Hay 08-May-20 16:49 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US automakers firmed restart dates for 18 May as Michigan announced phased reopening plans following coronavirus-related shutdowns.