In this week's podcast, it centers on the chemical industry that faces an uphill battle to transform itself quickly enough for a low carbon future. It is a battle it must win.
In another podcast, the focus is on Europe phthalic anhydride (PA) where supply tightness is easing amid healthy demand.
The US will need to expand its recycling capacity at a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 40% if it is to meet goals to produce plastic packaging containing 25% post-consumer resins (PCR) by 2025, an analyst with ICIS said.
The 25% content goal has been adopted voluntarily by several brand-owners as well as by the state of California, said Paula Leardini, senior analyst, plastics recycling, the Americas for ICIS. She made her comments during an ICIS webinar.
Meanwhile, Asian chemicals paint a mixed picture on supply and demand after the recent Dragon Boat Festival against a backdrop of slowing economic data.
Asia’s crude glycerine market is expected to remain subdued in the near term despite the re-opening of the Chinese market following a three-day holiday.
Spot buying interest in China has not picked up as expected after the country’s Dragon Boat Festival on 12-14 June.
In addition, an increasing number of refiners in China are shifting their focus from the fuels market where margins are squeezed amid ample supply, to seek better returns in the downstream petrochemicals markets for better value addition.
China’s yield rates for gasoline and gasoil combined are due to fall to an average of 38% by 2025 as more domestic refiners expand into the downstream chemicals sector, and refinery yields for chemical feedstock such as naphtha and LPG will rise as a result.
Egypt’s potential to become a northern African energy and petrochemicals hub has long been discussed, but question marks remain over whether the political will and business appetite is there to bring the idea to fruition.
The Egyptian government has greenlit a number of investments to expand transport system infrastructure, increase oil and gas capacity, and develop new industrial sites in the country.
European chemical tanker market fundamentals have remained broadly unchanged in June, with spot space length caused by sluggish interest coinciding with broadly stable Contract of Affreightment (COA) volumes on most intra-Europe, Transatlantic and Asia-bound routes.
Updated on 18 June
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distillates yield to fall as chemical
By Yu Yunfeng 18-Jun-21 11:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--An increasing number of refiners in China are shifting their focus from the fuels market where margins are squeezed amid ample supply, to seek better returns in the downstream petrochemicals markets for better value addition.
INSIGHT: US needs rapid
recycling growth to meet industry
By Al Greenwood 18-Jun-21 05:09 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US will need to expand its recycling capacity at a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 40% if it is to meet goals to produce plastic packaging containing 25% post-consumer resins (PCR) by 2025, an analyst with ICIS said.
tanker shipping market faces slow spot
By Marta Fern 18-Jun-21 00:54 LONDON (ICIS)-- European chemical tanker market fundamentals have remained broadly unchanged in June, with spot space length caused by sluggish interest coinciding with broadly stable Contract of Affreightment (COA) volumes on most intra-Europe, Transatlantic and Asia-bound routes.
PA value chain supply tightness easing amid
By ICIS Editorial 17-Jun-21 17:25 LONDON (ICIS)--The orthoxylene (OX) - phthalic anhydride (PA) - plasticizers value chain has seen a number of supply hiccups in the first half of 2021. Against a background of buoyant demand, tightness has characterised all three markets in the first quarter and the start of the second.
chemicals a mixed picture post-Dragon Boat
By Felicia Loo 17-Jun-21 15:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian chemicals paint a mixed picture on supply and demand after the recent Dragon Boat Festival against a backdrop of slowing economic data.
pins growth hopes on petchems, but questions
By Paolo Scafetta 16-Jun-21 21:38 MILAN (ICIS)--Egypt’s potential to become a northern African energy and petrochemicals hub has long been discussed, but question marks remain over whether the political will and business appetite is there to bring the idea to fruition.
glycerine to stay subdued; China demand yet to
By Helen Yan 16-Jun-21 14:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s crude glycerine market is expected to remain subdued in the near term despite the re-opening of the Chinese market following a three-day holiday.
industry rise to the challenge of a low carbon
By Will Beacham 15-Jun-21 21:26 BARCELONA (ICIS)--The chemical industry faces an uphill battle to transform itself quickly enough for a low carbon future. It is a battle it must win.
East Asia, Pacific growth to rebound to 7.7% in
2021 – World Bank
By Nurluqman Suratman 09-Jun-21 11:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Economic growth in the east Asia and Pacific region is projected to strengthen to 7.7% in 2021 from 1.2% last year, primarily reflecting the strong rebound in China, the World Bank said late on Tuesday.
Growth in China is projected to pick up to 8.5% this year, up by 0.6 percentage point from a previous projection, supported by buoyant exports and the relief of pent-up demand amid effective control of the coronavirus outbreak.
manufacturing continues recovery in May despite
By Nurluqman Suratman 2021/06/04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia's manufacturing sector continued to expand in May despite fresh restrictions imposed to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases in some economies.
raise prediction on named storms in 2021
Atlantic hurricane season
By Adam Yanelli 2021/06/03 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Hurricane researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) raised their prediction on the number of named storms expected during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, which began on Tuesday and runs through 30 November.
More than 31m
homes at risk to damage from storm surge, winds
this hurricane season -
By Adam Yanelli 03/Jun/21 HOUSTON (ICIS)--More than 31m single-family homes along the US Gulf and Atlantic coasts are at elevated risk of damage from storm surge or winds from hurricanes in the 2021 season, which began this week, according to real-estate information provider CoreLogic.
chemicals hope to make virtue out of pandemic
hit in the 2020s
By Jonathan Lopez 2021/06/03 LONDON (ICIS)--The Spanish chemicals industry is hoping for another golden decade as it prepares for the green revolution, despite a worsening political environment where paralysis and instability have become the dominant feature.
Fire-hit container ship off Sri Lanka
coast starts to sink
By Pearl Bantillo 2021/06/03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The fire-hit container ship off the coast of Sri Lanka has started to sink on Thursday, with no signs of oil or chemical spills detected so far, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said.
review and H2 2021 outlook for acetic acid
By Jady Ma 03/Jun/21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--In this episode of the ICIS Asia podcast, analyst Candy Nie speaks with analyst Jady Ma and Anna Xiang about China’s acetic acid industrial chain.
PODCAST: Do not
ignore demographics - they drive chemicals
By Will Beacham 01/Jun/21 BARCELONA (ICIS)--Chemical company leaders must take account of demographic trends because they have a strong influence on chemical demand patterns.
to hit palm oil output; oleochemicals demand
By Helen Yan 01/Jun/21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Palm oil output in Malaysia will be limited by a manpower crunch as the country goes into a nationwide lockdown for two weeks from 1 June, but demand is expected to slow down from downstream oleochemicals markets.
VIDEO: Asia PVC
momentum to slow down for
By Jonathan Chou 2021/05/28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Markets Editor Jonathan Chou discusses the demand-supply balance for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in Asia.
oil largely recovered from Colonial cyber
attack, braces for hurricane
By Ignacio Sotolongo 2021/05/27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The recent Colonial pipeline cyber attack has paved new roads into the operations of the US crude oil market. Market expert Ignacio Sotolongo discusses other potential disruptors to crude in the following podcast interview by Anna Matherne and Alex Snodgrass.
US Vertex eyes
renewable diesel, base oil functionality with
By Amanda Hay 2021/05/27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--A renewable diesel project is at the center of Vertex Energy’s purchase of Shell’s Mobile, Alabama, refinery, but the site’s base oil functionality adds upside, CEO Ben Cowart said on the transaction conference call.
VIDEO: China LDPE
market trapped in weak fundamentals in Q2'
By Joanne Wang 2021/05/27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Watch industry analyst Joanne Wang share with us the recent plunge in China’s LDPE market.
container ship on fire for days off Sri Lanka
By Pearl Bantillo 2021/05/27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--A fire has been raging for days on board a Singapore-flagged container vessel off the coast of Sri Lanka, while efforts to extinguish the blaze continued.
jet fuel export outlook bleak amid slow air
By Anita Yang 2021/05/27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s jet fuel exports will not return to pre-pandemic levels this year as global air travel is expected to stay low with border restrictions still in place in most countries.
government decision expected in
By Morgan Condon 2021/05/27 LONDON (ICIS)--UK chemicals industry officials are expecting the government to reach a decision on the nation’s post-Brexit regulations in June, the Chemical Business Association (CBA) said on Thursday.
fall in May, Q1 trade with UK erodes on
By Morgan Condon 2021/05/26 LONDON (ICIS)--International trade continues to evolve in the fallout of the pandemic, affecting the chemicals industry and related downstream markets.
Japan's au Jibun Bank
flash manufacturing PMI falls to 52.5 in
By Nurluqman Suratman 2021/05/21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--au Jibun Bank’s flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for Japan dipped to 52.5 in May from 53.6 in April amid a drop in both output and new order growth, the Japanese bank said on Friday.
BLOG: We need a
global agreement that sets targets for reducing
By John Richardson 2021/05/21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. We need a global agreement that sets targets for reducing plastic rubbish in the oceans.
China's mixed aromatics tax impact on
toluene, xylene limited
By Veronica Zhang 2021/05/21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Also, watch industry analyst Veronica Zhang discuss the recent consumption tax on imported mixed-aromatics in China and its impact on the toluene and xylene markets.
petrochemical output faces disruption from
rolling blackouts, drought
By Nurluqman Suratman 2021/05/20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Petrochemical production in Taiwan faces further disruption as producers contend with rolling blackouts introduced around mid-May, while still grappling with a prolonged drought.
US faces busy
Atlantic hurricane season amid tight chem
By Janet Miranda 2021/05/20 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a 60% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year, although it does not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020, meteorologists said on Thursday.
Dow advances EDH,
e-cracking to lower carbon emissions -
By Joseph Chang 2021/05/20 NEW YORK (ICIS)--Dow is advancing ethane dehydrogenation (EDH) and electric cracking (e-cracking) technologies in a bid to dramatically lower carbon emissions from existing crackers, and to one day build the low-to-zero carbon crackers of the future, executives said.
BASF forms China
battery materials JV with
By Tom Brown 2021/05/20 LONDON (ICIS)--BASF has partnered with China-based lithium-ion battery materials supplier Hunan Shanshan Energy to form a joint venture targeting the space, the Germany-based chemicals major said on Thursday.
€450/tonne plastic tax faces further
By Matt Tudball 2021/05/20 LONDON (ICIS)--Spain’s €450/tonne plastics tax faces further delays as a new draft of the government’s bill on waste and contaminated soil is sent through parliament for debate.
Petrochemicals price inflation could switch to
By Will Beacham 2021/05/18 BARCELONA (ICIS)--Sky high petrochemical prices, which are fuelling downstream inflation, could become deflationary as China’s massive build-out of projects comes onstream.
Petrochemicals markets complexity is only going
to grow and grow
By John Richardson 2021/05/14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--If you thought global petrochemicals markets were already complicated enough, yesterday arrived with reports of the highest US inflation in 13 years.
VIDEO: China PX
prices rise amid balanced-to-tight
By Anna Xiang 2021/05/13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Watch industry analyst Anna Xiang discuss recent developments in China’s paraxylene (PX) market.
Chemicals FY2020 profit surges on better
By Pearl Bantillo 2021/05/13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Mitsui Chemicals’ net profit for the fiscal year ending March 2021 posted 70.3% growth despite lower sales, as profitability of its basic materials business benefited from better overseas markets.
Japan’s Asahi Kasei
FY2020 net profit falls on weak materials
By Pearl Bantillo 2021/05/13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asahi Kasei’s net profit for the fiscal year ending March 2021 declined by 23.2%, weighed down by weakness in its materials business, and as the company booked a one-off loss for the period.
of Mississippi river in US could impact
By Adam Yanelli 2021/05/13 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Vessel and barge traffic on the Mississippi river remains suspended because of a damaged bridge spanning the waterway, and a prolonged blockage could put additional pressure on already constrained supply chains.
Cyberattacks on pipelines pose threat to
By Al Greenwood 2021/05/13 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline represents another way that such assaults can disrupt chemical operations, which rely on pipelines for fuel and feedstocks.
tax: latest developments
By Matt Tudball 2021/05/13 LONDON (ICIS)--Italy’s €450/tonne tax on virgin plastics due to come into effect on 1 July 2021 has been postponed to January 2022, several sources in the country have said.
Norway plans to
double hydrogen funding in revised 2021
By Kaja Sillett 2021/05/12 LONDON (ICIS)-- The Norwegian government plans to double state funding for hydrogen, increasing spending to NOK 200 million (€20m), according to the revised national budget on 11 May.
By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 2021/05/11 LONDON (ICIS)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) extended gains slightly in April, rising 1.8% for the month, tracking price increases seen across most of the major petrochemical and plastics commodities, not least in Europe and the US.
Petrochemical buyers, after a very difficult
pandemic, can gain from China-driven
By John Richardson 2021/05/07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Petrochemical buyers have had a very difficult pandemic. Converters and brand owners expected demand to collapse but it did the exact opposite. It boomed.
shortage slowing down industrial
By Priya Jestin 2021/05/06 MUMBAI (ICIS)--As India diverts industrial oxygen for medical requirements to battle the second COVID-19 surge, industries including some petrochemical plants dependent on industrial oxygen are facing a slowdown, or are shutting down facilities in some cases.
economic recovery to remain moderate on slow
By Nurluqman Suratman 2021/05/06 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Indonesia's economic recovery is expected to continue in the second quarter as low base effects kick in but the growth will likely only be moderate as the country struggles to achieve its COVID-19 vaccination targets.
feedstock post-consumer bottle supply snug to
By Felicia Loo 2021/05/06 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Global supply of post-consumer bottle (PCB) – the feedstock for the recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) market - was snug to extremely tight particularly in the West.
Russia PVC producers seek May hikes on record-high global pricesBy Sergey Karaichentsev 2021/05/06 MOSCOW (MRC)--Russian polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producers are seeking substantial price hikes for May shipments on the back of record-high global prices impacting the country’s domestic market.
chemicals industry faces €1.5bn carbon
By Florian Rothenberg 2021/05/06 KARLSRUHE, GERMANY (ICIS)--In 2021, EU chemicals producers under the EU’s cap and trade system could face a carbon bill of €1.5bn - more than double the €600m charged last year - due to a fall in the amount of free handouts and a rise in the price of emission allowances.
Chip shortage to
hit US auto production hard in Q2, with
improvement likely in H2
By Adam Yanelli 2021/05/06 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US automakers are expecting to feel the brunt of production cuts related to the global shortage of semiconductors in the second quarter, with one major producer saying it expects total production to fall by 50% in Q2.
raw material inflation, declining exports from
By Deniz Koray 2021/05/06 HOUSTON (ICIS)--During the company's Q1 earnings call, Venator President and CEO Simon Turner expressed optimism for the company's prospects in Q2 and for the second half of the year
Martinez refinery on track to produce renewable
fuels in H2 2022
By Adam Yanelli 2021/05/04 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US refiner Marathon Petroleum is on track to reach its Phase 1 target of producing 17,000 bbl/day of renewable diesel from its converted Martinez, California, refinery by the second half of 2022, executives said on Tuesday during an earnings conference call.
13th state to enact ‘advanced recycling’
By Janet Miranda 2021/05/04 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Arkansas has become the 13th US state to enact legislation to enable greater adoption of chemical recycling, described in the legislation as advanced recycling, to help end plastic waste.
India’s economy to rebound to 11% in FY2021 -
Asian Development Bank
Author: Nurluqman Suratman 2021/04/28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday said that it expects India’s GDP growth to rebound to 11.0% in fiscal year (FY) 2021 ending on 31 March 2022 due to continued economic recovery boosted by increased public investment, vaccine rollout, and a surge in domestic demand.
India petrochemical demand crumbles amid second
By Felicia Loo 2021/04/28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Facing possibly its worst humanitarian disaster, coronavirus-ravaged India is racing against time to contain a second wave of deadly infections, with effects rippling through its petrochemical industry.
BLOG: Petrochemical market confusion set to
continue as China deflation
By John Richardson 2021/04/28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. Petrochemical markets have probably never been as opaque with no clarity over what happens next. And as the charts in today’s blog post underlines, market conditions are nothing short of freakish.
PODCAST: SIBUR, TAIF merger would create global
leader, rejuvenate Russia
By Will Beacham 2021/04/27 BARCELONA (ICIS)--The merger of Russia’s SIBUR and TAIF would create a top 10 global player in ethylene, rubber and plastics, and could help inject new life into the country’s petrochemical sector.
Unknown how many chemicals in global
circulation – Swedish
By Tom Brown 2021/04/27 LONDON (ICIS)--The problem of ensuring safe management of chemicals is made more complicated by lack of shared knowledge and proper enforcement as well as the growth of e-commerce turning many consumers into importers, according to the director of Swedish chemicals watchdog Kemi.
US Axalta expects most auto production
shortfalls to be made up in H2
By Adam Yanelli 2021/04/27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Executives at US-based auto paint producer Axalta Coating Systems are anticipating strong demand from the auto industry in the second half of the year on expectations that most of the lost production due to the global microchip shortage will be made up by the end of the year.
Second Russian pipelayer starts building Nord
Stream 2 gas pipeline
By Diane Elijah 2021/04/27 LONDON (ICIS)--A second Russian pipelayer started laying Nord Stream 2 pipes on Tuesday, the project promoters said. The direct pipeline between Russia and Germany is 95% built with 121km left to lay in Danish and German waters.
The project was initially expected to be finished in late 2019, but US sanctions forced the Swiss and Italian pipelayers initially contracted to withdraw from the project.
Demand for surfactants into cleaners to shift
focus as pandemic eases -
By Antoinette Smith 2021/04/27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based Stepan anticipates continued Covid-related demand for surfactants into cleaners and disinfectants, even as the pandemic is expected to recede in coming months.
Sherwin-Williams ups raw material inflation
guidance due to supply chain
By Janet Miranda 2021/04/27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Sherwin-Williams expects raw material inflation for 2021 to be in a high-single digit to low double-digit range, up from its earlier guidance in January, CEO John Morikis said in the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call.
US GDP rose at 6.4% annual rate in Q1 amid
continued pandemic recovery
US real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 6.4% in Q1, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said in a first “advance” estimate of Q1 GDP growth on Thursday.
Demand for surfactants into cleaners to shift
focus as pandemic eases -
US-based Stepan anticipates continued Covid-related demand for surfactants into cleaners and disinfectants, even as the pandemic is expected to recede in coming months.
acetic acid near-term outlook mixed as tight
global supply eases
By Helen Lee 2021/04/23 In Asian acetic market, Senior Editor Helen Lee discusses price volatility amid delicate supply-demand balance in China; easing tight global supply that lends bearish tone; and suppliers remaining cautious.
surge supported by stronger crude,
By Ran Cheng 2021/04/22 Watch industry analyst Ran Cheng discuss the recent bullishness in the East China benzene market.
Top US biofuel
advocates endorse Biden’s CO2 reduction
By Janet Miranda 2021/04/22 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Top US biofuel advocates reacted positively to President Joe Biden’s announcement on Thursday to reduce CO2 emissions in the US by 50-52% below their 2005 levels by 2030.
New US, Canada
emission goals may raise chem demand from EVs,
By Al Greenwood 2021/04/22 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Ambitious emission targets announced by the US and Canada could increase demand for plastics and chemicals used in renewable energy, efficient buildings and electric vehicles.
Zymergen aims to
accelerate biopolymers development and scale-up
By Joseph Chang 2021/04/22 NEW YORK (ICIS)--US-based bio-based technology start-up Zymergen plans to speed up new product development in biopolymers and other materials for the electronics, consumer care and other sectors with superior characteristics, its chief science officer and co-founder said on Thursday.
Malaysia’s PCG to
fully start up PIC petrochemical units by H2
By Nurluqman Suratman 2021/04/22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--PETRONAS Chemicals Group (PCG) aims to start full operations at its petrochemical units at the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in southern Johor, Malaysia by the second half of 2021, but they are not expected to achieve full production capacity this year, according to senior company executives.
flow of PET to see limited relief from
logistics chaos over coming
By Caroline Murray 2021/04/22 Tune in to the podcast on global flow of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that is expected to see limited relief from logistics chaos over coming weeks.
sulphuric acid buyers 'in a panic' as INEOS
By Andy Hemphill 2021/04/22 LONDON (ICIS)--The UK’s sulphuric acid market is in disarray in the wake of international chemicals major INEOS’ decision to permanently close its Runcorn sulphuric acid plant, according to market sources this week.
margins break records as logistics, supply
By Will Beacham 2021/04/21 This week's podcast centered on record-breaking chemical margins owing to logistical and supply crisis and strong downstream demand.
bunkering becomes international
By Clare Pennington 2021/04/21 LONDON (ICIS)--Tune in to the podcast on the latest shenanigans on the LNG bunkering market that is growing quickly on the back of new infrastructure and bunkering vessels in Europe and Asia.
exports surge 51% in March; NODX up
By Nurluqman Suratman 2021/04/16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore's petrochemical exports surged by 51.4% year on year to Singapore dollar ($) 1.59bn in March, supporting the increase in overall non-oil domestic exports (NODX), Enterprise Singapore said in a statement.
government focus changes to reigning in credit,
By ICIS Editorial 2021/04/16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. China appears to be refocusing on controlling debts as concerns over commodity-price inflation reach senior government levels.
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