As competition for LNG grows between buyers in Asia and Europe, timely and transparent insights on global prices are increasingly essential. Facing a complex global market, International market players forward-looking intelligence to adjust to the realities of the newly interconnected global gas industry.
Timely trusted data to back-up your decisions
The LNG landscape is being redefined. Competition from buyers in Asia and Europe is growing as new players enter the market, intensifying price volatility. ICIS supports your decision making by providing a comprehensive view of historic, current, and future global market conditions. Make confident trading and investment decisions with a range of trusted European gas price benchmarks including the ICIS TTF.
The ICIS TTF Early Day enables Asian market participants to trade with the same assurance and on the same terms as their European peers. ICIS transparent prices, now accessible at the end of the day in Asia will support market development, fostering liquidity and hedging opportunities for those operating in the LNG marketplace.
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The LNG market is dynamic and price-responsive, making data analytics crucial. ICIS provides actionable and timely data-driven insights to reduce risk, plan confidently, and invest strategically.
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Access real-time cargo tracking and historical insights to improve trade and investment decisions in volatile markets.
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Forecasts of plant outages, port supply and demand provide a glimpse into the future, allowing you to mitigate risk, plan confidently, and invest strategically.
New Price Assessment: ICIS TTF Early Day
As competition for LNG grows between buyers in Asia and Europe, timely and transparent insights on global prices are increasingly essential. Facing a complex global market, Asian companies need forward-looking intelligence to adjust to the realities of the newly interconnected international gas industry.
Now, ICIS is adding a new price assessment to make the ICIS TTF gas benchmark more reflective of Asian market trading. ICIS transparent prices, now accessible at the end of the day in Asia will support market development, fostering liquidity and hedging opportunities for those operating in the LNG marketplace.
The ICIS TTF Early Day enables Asian market participants to trade with the same assurance and on the same terms as their European peers.
Adapt to the new market realities with confidence and purpose using the ICIS TTF Early Day.
Speak to an ICIS expert to learn more.
US lifts ban on palm oil, derivative products from Malaysian Sime Darby Plantation
HOUSTON (ICIS)–US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Friday lifted a two-year ban on imports of palm oil products from Malaysia's Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP), after findings that Sime Darby, its subsidiaries, and joint ventures no longer produce palm oil and derivative products using forced labour. Effective immediately, the US will allow shipments containing Sime Darby-produced palm oil and derivatives to enter the US, provided the imports are otherwise compliant with the law. Sime Darby is the world's largest palm oil company by land size. On 28 January 2022, CBP published a finding against palm oil and derivative products produced by Sime Darby, its subsidiaries, and joint ventures, subjecting such shipments of these products to seizure by CBP personnel. The finding expanded upon a Withhold Release Order (WRO) CBP issued on 30 December 2020 blocking the import of goods produced by Sime Darby over suspected forced labour practices. In a separate statement, Sime Darby said the US CBP recognised the comprehensive process undertaken by SDP in the last two years to review, revise and – where necessary – upgrade its protocols for recruiting, managing and working with its workers. "This exercise has been hugely valuable in establishing a market-leading approach to ensure our employees feel safe, satisfied, supported and fairly treated", said Group Managing Director of Sime Darby Plantation Helmy Othman Basha. Click here to view the statement from Sime Darby, including a list of the company's renewed commitments. The announcement is welcome news to importers of palm oil and derivatives like oleochemicals, some of whom faced major logistics challenges in 2021 as a result of the ban. Fatty acids and alcohols markets faced particular challenges, given the impact of the ban on key stakeholders in the US market. Sime Darby Plantation was among eight companies in the plantation and glove manufacturing sectors subjected to a WRO on their products by the CBP over forced labour allegations. The CBP maintains an import ban on FGV Holdings Berhad, the other affected plantation group, in place since late September 2020. Thumbnail shows palm-oil fruit. Image by Adriana Adinandra/SOPA Images/Shutterstock.
GASCADE announces Baltic hydrogen pipeline
LONDON (ICIS)–A German-Danish cooperation project aims to construct the first hydrogen pipeline in the Baltic Sea with an import capacity of 10GW, German pipeline operator GASCADE announced on 2 February. The proposed 140km hydrogen pipeline, named “H2 Interconnector”, is planned to connect the Danish island of Bornholm and its surrounding offshore wind farms to the German Baltic coast near Lubmin. A feasibility study for the pipeline connection has been carried out with positive results, the 2 February announcement stated. Further, an application for European Project of Common Interest (PCI) status, a fast-track for funding and permitting, has been submitted for the project. GASCADE expects the pipeline to go into operation in 2027 and provide a capacity of up to 10GW when completed in the 2030s. It will extend the hydrogen highway FLOW – making hydrogen happen, a planned 1,100km pipeline system running through Germany to the Czech Republic with a capacity of up to 20GW. H2 Interconnector will be developed by GASCADE with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners as a potential investor and Danish transmission system operator Energinet also involved. Managing Director of GASCADE, Christoph von dem Bussche, said “In this way, we support the climate targets for 2030 and ensure that Germany and Europe can supply themselves with hydrogen produced in Europe.” ICIS Power Horizon Forecast showed that hydrogen production capacity in Germany is expected to increase from 10GW in 2023 to 29GW in 2030. Meanwhile, German cross-border interconnector capacity to increase from 3GW in 2023 to 136GW in 2030. Ensuring hydrogen transport infrastructure keeps up with hydrogen production will important be an important factor for the developing European hydrogen market.
Northwest Europe ammonia-to-hydrogen production costs dip further in early February
LONDON (ICIS)–The ICIS Northwest Europe ammonia-to-hydrogen assessment posted mild losses at the beginning of February, with the premium held over natural gas-based hydrogen production methods narrowing for a second straight week. The ammonia-to-hydrogen northwest Europe assessment came in at €7.13/kg on 3 February, a small drop of €0.06/kg on a weekly basis and the lowest value since late October 2021, ICIS data showed. Natural gas-based hydrogen production methods, conversely, posted minor increases week on week, driven higher by a slight recovery on the Dutch TTF hub in early February. Both front-month based unabated SMR and low carbon ATR hydrogen production held discounts of €2.69-3.09/kg below imported ammonia-for-hydrogen. AMMONIA MARKET The ammonia market in Europe continued to see pricing fall in value, with contracts for Europe falling at a faster rate than in other global regions. Pricing for ammonia continues to come under pressure from a combination of rising production in Europe due to the recent drop in wholesale natural gas prices and negotiations surrounding the resumption of exports out of the Togliatta pipeline in Ukraine, which has not flowed since late February last year. GAS MARKET The ICIS Dutch TTF March contract failed to move below the €55/MWh mark in late January/early February and was seen edging up towards €60/MWh by the end of the week. Nonetheless, pricing remains comfortably lower than in recent months due to the combination of broadly mild temperatures so far during the Winter 2022 delivery period and solid LNG volume deliveries limiting withdrawal requirements. Storage stocks are currently at close to record highs for the time of year, which will limit injection demand in the coming months, with ICIS data showing that stocks in Germany began the 3 February gas day at 78% capacity against the 31% from the same time last year.
PODCAST: Europe acetone, phenol and derivative chain sentiment brightens, but will it last?
LONDON (ICIS)–Europe's acetone, phenol and derivative chain has seen some small pockets of optimism in terms of January demand but challenges remain, with the economic climate still fragile and increases in new China capacity potentially upsetting global trade flows this year. Acetone spot and contract activity upturn – but operating rates still heavily reduced on sluggish phenol Growing optimism around MMA demand, although supply picture could tighten later in Q1 BPA, epoxy and PC demand reasonable, but import and macro-economic headwinds remain
TOPIC PAGE: War in Ukraine, gas crisis
Updated at 08:30 GMT on 3 February. Please scroll down to see headlines. The war in Ukraine has caused oil and especially gas price volatility, as restricted flows from Russia to Ukraine caused values to spike to record-breaking levels. Since December 2022, unseasonably mild winter weather hit demand, reversing gas prices though they remain above long-term averages. Millions of tonnes of chemical and fertilizer production are offline across Europe thanks to the elevated gas prices and poor macro-economic conditions which have impacted demand. India is facing a shortage of fertilizers and edible oil amid wide-ranging trade disruptions as the Ukraine war rages on, with financial sanctions tightening on Russia. Europe’s energy challenge is immense and put into stark relief by the response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Cutting the ties that bind EU and non-EU nations to Russian gas and oil will be extremely painful this year and in years to come. This topic page examines the impact of the Ukraine conflict on oil, gas, fertilizer and chemical markets. Image credit Vadim Ghirda/AP/Shutterstock Europe’s energy markets witnessed a year of record prices and extreme volatility in 2021. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has led to more difficult conditions for global markets in 2022. GAS SUMMARY Gas storage remains robust in Europe, winter demand has fallen thanks to mild weather Record shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe so far in 2022/23 LNG plus Norwegian, Algerian, Azerbaijani pipeline imports compensate for Russian supply shortfall Europe LNG processing operating at full capacity Nord Stream I and II pipelines damaged by explosions, zero flows to Europe EU implements voluntary 15% cut to consumption, industry may face much tougher reductions AMMONIA SUMMARY Russia supplies 20% of global seaborne ammonia market Disrupted supply has pushed up fertilizer and food prices OIL SUMMARY Friendship oil pipeline flows through Ukraine Russian oil feeds around a quarter of Europe demand Europe seeks to end reliance on Russian crude oil EU agrees ban on seaborne imports from 5 December 2022, petroleum products from 5 February 2023 From 5 December Russian crude oil cargoes will only be insured if subject to price cap CHEMICALS SUMMARY High Europe gas, electricity prices force capacity closures Volatile oil and feedstock prices dent chemical producer margins Elevated oil, gas prices dent consumer confidence and demand Prospect of recession, more cheap imports from Asia Europe is heavily reliant on Russian gas and exposed to disruptions in supply, but Russia is also an important oil exporter and a supplier of fossil fuel products, which find their way to international markets via Ukraine's ports. Sanctions and measures against Russian exports of oil and gas have sent shockwaves across the global economy, lifting the cost of living, impacting industrial and agricultural production and potentially leading to social unrest. How vulnerable are energy and energy-related Russian supplies to disruptions? Europe has historically depended for close to 40% of its annual gas consumption on Russian supplies, imported via four routes – Ukraine, Belarus-Poland as well as the Nord Stream 1 and TurkStream corridors linking Russia to Germany and Turkey via the Baltic and Black Sea, respectively. Overall Russian pipeline supplies were limited throughout 2021, and since the beginning of this year producer Gazprom has shipped only one-third of the gas that it was expected to deliver to European consumers via Ukraine as part of a five-year transit agreement. Russia has banned exports of gas to several EU countries, and the Nord Stream I and II pipelines have been damaged. European petrochemicals players face even higher gas prices as a result. Fertilizer companies – where gas can account for 80% of costs – have been forced to curtail production. Chemicals are also now affected, especially those with high exposure to gas prices through utilities or feedstocks. If the conflict escalates, Ukraine transit pipelines may come under attack but disruptions could be limited because the infrastructure has been built to grant flexibility, allowing the operator to reroute flows away from potentially damaged segments. AMMONIA IMPACT The Togliatti-Azot pipeline, the world’s longest ammonia pipeline stretching 2,471km from the Togliatti Azot plant in Russian Samara Oblast to the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Yuzhny, could be caught up in the cross-fire. Russian ammonia supplies account for around 20% of the global seaborne merchant ammonia market each month. Around two thirds of those volumes are exported via Yuzhny, with the rest reaching European and global markets via Baltic ports. Ammonia is a prime material for fertilizers, so curtailments could potentially lead to higher food prices and shortages. Ammonia market players are scrambling to cover positions and assess options as the Russian invasion of Ukraine saw loadings at the key export hub of Yuzhny halted with immediate effect. Russian nitrogen fertilizer major Togliatti confirmed the suspension of the transit of ammonia to the Black Sea port via pipeline to ensure the safety of people living in the vicinity of the lengthy conduit. OIL PIPELINES VULNERABLE Supplies on the world’s longest oil pipeline, the Friendship (Druzhba) pipeline, could be threatened if the conflict leads to tough sanctions. The pipeline carries oil from central Russia 4,000km west to Ukraine and Belarus and runs close to the Belarus-Ukraine border. Russia exports around 5m bbl/day, of which half are exported to Europe, including via this pipeline. Russian oil accounts for about a quarter of Europe’s consumption, with the Druzhba pipeline carrying close to 1m bbl/day. Should sanctions be imposed and exports hindered, Europe will need to secure alternative cargoes from the global market. Europe consumed most exports of Urals, Russia’s biggest export grade, in 2021 after Saudi Arabia boosted market share in China. Almost 10m tonnes of Urals went through Rotterdam in the first half of last year, up 2m tonnes on 2020. Germany stands most exposed because it gets 25% of its oil from Russia. CHEMICALS IMPACT Gas and electricity are important components in the production costs of many chemicals. Surging gas and feedstock prices in Europe have caused big hikes in contract and spot prices. Now millions of tonnes of fertilizer and chemical capacity are offline in Europe. ICIS has also created an interactive timeline which shows the history of the gas impact since July 2021. These products have been most badly affected by outages in Europe, with more than half of capacity offline or running at reduced rates in some cases. Analysis by the ICIS Margin Analytics team shows the products which are most exposed to energy and gas prices in Europe as a feedstock or utility. Europe is at a competitive disadvantage to other regions and some customers are seeking new sources of lower-priced supply, especially from Asia and the Middle East. The conflict in Ukraine has pushed European gas prices back up to record levels, forcing exposed chemical producers to cease production, or add further energy surcharges. Rising oil prices since late 2021 have already put chemical margins under pressure, and volatility has continued into 2022. As oil and naphtha prices soared, margins for ethylene production based on naphtha went negative for the first time ICIS record began. The are now are swinging wildy in tandem with oil price movements. Chemical producers are struggling to pass on increasing feedstock and energy costs in Europe. Elevated oil and gas prices also dent downstream consumer confidence and spending, with recession a possibility later in 2022 or 2023. What contingency plans are being put in place? Europe is preparing for a difficult winter although rising storage fullness levels, falling demand and more import capacity for liquefied natural gas (LNG) could help it get by, assuming there will not be an extensive cold spell. As of 16 January, storage facilities across Europe were more than 80% full. There are also expectations that some 30bn cubic meters of new capacity would be added between September 2022 and March 2023. The capacity includes offshore terminals in the Netherlands, Germany and Estonia/Finland. Demand has been decreasing by more than 20% in the industrial sector in north-west European countries and by 20-30% for households in Germany, according to official data. Nevertheless, there is a possibility that Russia may completely stop its gas supplies to Europe via the last two remaining routes – Ukraine and Turkey, which could lop off some 70 cubic meters of Russian gas entering Europe daily. In such a scenario, the most affected countries would be those in eastern and central Europe, which are landlocked and have been struggling to secure regasified LNG from importing countries. For oil markets, in case of an attack but no international sanctions, the worst-case scenario would be for approximately 240,000 bbl/day of lost Russian exports via Ukraine. There are other seaborne routes, including the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Gas rationing – impact on Europe petrochemicals, fertilizers Embattled European fertilizer and petrochemical producers may be the first in line to cut gas consumption if the region experiences a cold snap in the weather. As Russia, Europe’s largest gas supplier, has been limiting exports to less than a quarter of its deliveries two years ago and may stop them altogether amid its political stand-off with the EU, Brussels has now issued guidance to reduce demand by 15% between 1 August 2022 – 31 March across member states. Policymakers recommend voluntary reductions but say these would become mandatory in case of a supply emergency jeopardising the bloc’s security. DEMAND REDUCTION The EU’s largest consumers include households, accounting for 37% of total demand, electricity and heat generation covering around 30% and industrial consumption accounting for another 30%. Record high gas prices and an ongoing gas supply crunch over the least year have already been forcing industrial consumers to limit or stop production or seek import substitution globally. EU proposals for demand reduction released on 20 July indicate the industrial sector may be priority target for major reductions, with three sectors – glass, ceramics and chemicals – consuming half of the sector’s total. FERTILIZERS The fertilizer sector, one of the most gas-intensive industries, has also been one of the most affected so far as gas can account for up to 80% of production costs. Production has been cut back drastically because it is no longer economic. PETROCHEMICALS On the petrochemicals side, there are now deep production cuts for products such as methyl methacrylate (MMA) and melamine which are heavily exposed to natural gas for utilities or as a feedstock. Producers are making detailed plans for rationing, particularly in Germany, where the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry uses about 140 TWh per year, or about 15 percent of Germany's gas consumption. Gas is mainly used by petrochemicals to generate energy such as electricity and steam as well as to fire furnaces for production complexes such as crackers. Sites are able to lower operating rates significantly, but they may be forced to close if gas supplies drop so much that production becomes uneconomic or difficult from a technical perspective. Companies with flexibility are switching from natural gas to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or other sources of energy. Ukraine conflict threatens Europe oil supply, chemicals production With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, sanctions could cut supplies of crude oil through the Druzhba pipeline, threatening oil refinery operations and chemicals production at installations in Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and the former East Germany. Russian oil supplies up to a quarter of Europe’s crude imports, with refineries in central and eastern Europe, which are attached to the Druzhba pipeline, particularly reliant on these supplies. Any interruption to these supplies could force refineries to reduce operating rates unless they can find alternative supplies. Analysis of the ICIS Supply & Demand database shows that the countries Druzhba runs through, except for Germany, are reliant on Russian crude oil for more than half of their imports, led by Slovakia which obtained 96% of its supplies from Russia in 2021. Chemical production downstream of refineries in these countries could be impacted by any reduction in operating rates. The ICIS data forecast that for 2022, 2.79m tonnes of ethylene (11% of total European capacity) and 2.34m tonnes of propylene (12% of total European capacity) are reliant on refineries located along the Druzhba pipeline. While some alternative sources of crude oil could be sourced, it is unlikely normal levels of operations could be maintained. Michael Connolly, ICIS Principal Analyst Refining said: “Although many have built alternate sources, keeping full operating rates would be difficult for them as they rely on a consistent and reliable source of crude. Most refiners in Europe are aware of the risk of Russian crude and over the past 5-10 years have tried to reduce their dependence, or at least to build some capability to have an alternate supply – it doesn't mean they would be unaffected, but there should be a little bit of resilience, depending on the site.” Connolly explained that some land-locked refineries along the Druzhba pipeline have built pipelines to the coast, allowing alternative sources of crude oil to be sourced. However, these pipelines may not have capacity to feed the whole refinery. A spokesperson for Grupa LOTOS said: "The LOTOS refinery has dealt with suspended supplies by land before. Due to the contamination of Russian oil with chlorines, PERN, the state-owned operator of transmission and storage infrastructure, had to completely discontinue the transmission of crude oil from the eastern direction between 24 April and 9 June 2019." He added that scheduling of oil supplies by sea helped to secure volumes sufficient to maintain an unchanged level of throughput and maximise fuel production. UKRAINE CHEMICALS UNDER THREAT With Russian forces present in Ukraine, chemical and fertilizer facilities may be threatened by physical damage, interrupted power and gas supplies or logistics disruption. Kalush cracker closed Karpatnaftohkhim's cracker at Kalush has been closed down because of the imposition of martial law in Ukraine. It has capacity (tonnes/year) of 250,000 (ethylene); 117,000 (propylene) 110,000 (LLDPE), 300,000 (PVC), 100,000 (benzene). Black Sea export hub closed Ammonia market players have scrambled to cover positions and assess options as the Russian invasion of Ukraine saw loadings at the key export hub of Yuzhny halted with immediate effect. Russian nitrogen fertilizer major Togliatti confirmed the suspension of the transit of ammonia to the Black Sea port via pipeline to ensure the safety of people living in the vicinity of the lengthy conduit. The Samara Oblast-based giant also confirmed the shut down of four of its seven ammonia units, with the other three plants operating at reduced rates. Russia export disruptions to shift global trade flows, future capacities threatened Disruptions to Russia’s chemicals and polymers exports will change trade flows, particularly to Europe and Asia, as international sanctions, lack of logistics and even “self-sanctions” limit volumes. While Russia’s capacities are relatively small on a global scale, they can still have a significant impact on regional markets if these exports are disrupted. Key Russia exports include methanol, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), styrene and paraxylene (PX). Russia has increased exports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) in particular in 2020 and 2021 as new capacity started up from SIBUR’s ZapSibNeftekhim complex in Tobolsk in 2020. LATEST HEADLINES Italian gas PSV Q3 could shed risk, power equivalent to stay supported By David Battista 03-Feb-23 14:16 LONDON (ICIS)–Higher gas storage levels and milder temperatures are likely to weigh on the Italian PSV Q3 ’23 gas product’s risk premium ahead of delivery. China to dominate Asian BD talks as supply concerns fuel domestic rally By Ai Teng Lim 03-Feb-23 13:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Discussions for Asia’s butadiene (BD) imports are bullish this week as buying appetite in China spiked alongside a ferocious post-holiday rally in the domestic market. Singapore manufacturing remains under pressure from inflation, external headwinds By Nurluqman Suratman 03-Feb-23 11:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's manufacturing sector will continue to face pressure from weak external demand and high inflation, with data in the first month of 2023 indicating a contraction. Origin Energy: Stronger revenue despite production slip for APLNG By Yun Xie 03-Feb-23 10:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) project will continue to boost revenues on higher gas prices in FY2023, according to the latest quarterly report released by Origin Energy, Australia’s major power and gas supplier, on 31 January. Energy markets to remain dogged by uncertainty, volatility in 2023 – Shell chief By Tom Brown 02-Feb-23 23:36 LONDON (ICIS)–The volatility that has dogged energy markets is likely to persist through this year, with the current tightness of supply/demand balances meaning that small shifts on either side could have a dramatic effect on pricing, the CEO of Shell said on Thursday. European naphtha price spikes ahead of Russian sanctions By Cassandra Abolaji 02-Feb-23 23:05 LONDON (ICIS)–European naphtha open spec prices spiked in January to levels last seen in July 2022, due to upcoming EU sanctions on Russian products and an uptick in demand. INSIGHT: US Fed sees path to further easing of inflation, sparking optimism By Joseph Chang 02-Feb-23 07:28 NEW YORK (ICIS)–Financial markets are breathing a sigh of relief, even as the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by another 0.25 percentage points and signalled ongoing increases would be appropriate to bring inflation down to its target of 2%. INSIGHT: EU lays out plans to streamline net zero industry incentives and support By Nigel Davis 02-Feb-23 00:52 LONDON (ICIS)–The European Commission has responded quickly with proposals to streamline the support that might be available across the EU for net zero projects and industries in the face of a shifting international ‘green’ competition. Asia soda ash market firms on limited supply, robust China demand By Helen Lee 02-Feb-23 15:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s soda ash market has firmed on the back of limited export volumes from China, where domestic demand strengthened after the Lunar New Year holidays. US spot propylene prices fall as PDH unit returns, demand stays poor By John Donnelly 01-Feb-23 06:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US spot propylene prices have retreated from a sharp mid-January spike as supply concerns relaxed after a downed unit restarted. The first half of the year continues to look challenging as derivative demand is poor, undercut by economic fears. India to allot $4.3bn in fiscal 2023-24 budget to boost clean energy sector By Priya Jestin 01-Feb-23 19:04 MUMBAI (ICIS)–India plans to allocate rupees (Rs) 350bn ($4.3bn) in the fiscal year 2023-24 national budget for energy transition in the pursuit of the country’s net zero carbon emissions objective by 2070. China factory activity needs to grow faster to boost gas demand-traders By Yun Xie 01-Feb-23 14:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s two main manufacturing purchasing managers indices (PMIs) improved in January as the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions helped ease pressure on manufacturers. South Korea Jan petrochemical exports fall 25%; overall shipments down 17% By Nurluqman Suratman 01-Feb-23 12:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea's petrochemical exports in January fell by 25% year on year to $3.8bn, with overall shipments also contracting due to a combination of high-base effect and poor global demand. INSIGHT: Europe demand for ethanol, toluene, and MX into gasoline to rise, remain stable for MTBE and ETBE By Zubair Adam 31-Jan-23 22:29 LONDON (ICIS)–Demand in Europe for gasoline blending agents has been somewhat steady recently. Some improvement is expected in the first quarter for bioethanol, toluene and mixed xylenes (MX), while requirements for methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) could remain stable. Better than expected January restocking buoys Europe PA market By Anne-Sophie Briant-Vaghela 31-Jan-23 21:46 LONDON (ICIS)–Demand for phthalic anhydride (PA) is above expectations for some players even though it is below a normal year, and some who say it is 30% below demand in January last year. India fiscal 2023-24 economic growth to fall below 7% on weak global cues By Priya Jestin 31-Jan-23 19:11 MUMBAI (ICIS)–India’s economy is projected to post a weaker growth for the next fiscal year ending March 2024 from the 7% estimate for the current year as the global slowdown is expected to continue hurting exports. Asian OX supply balanced to slightly tight, downstream poses headwind By Samuel Wong 31-Jan-23 17:08 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian orthoxylene (OX) supply is likely to stay balanced to slightly tight, amid low plant operating rates. NE Asia polyester post-holiday prices stable; players await clearer outlook By Judith Wang 31-Jan-23 13:58 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Spot polyester prices in northeast Asia were stable after the Lunar New Year holiday as most market players have adopted a wait-and-see stance to wait for a clear market outlook to emerge. China 2023 GDP growth forecast revised up to 5.2% as activity recovers – IMF By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Jan-23 11:58 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's GDP growth is projected to rebound to 5.2% in 2023 from 3.0% last year as a sudden lifting of most its pandemic-related restrictions paved the way for a rapid rebound in economic activity, according to the World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released on Tuesday. Developing Asia economic growth forecast raised to 5.3% – IMF By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Jan-23 11:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Economic growth in emerging and developing Asian economies is expected to rise in 2023 and 2024 to 5.3% and 5.2%, respectively, after the deeper-than-expected slowdown in 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday. German government to hasten renewables development By Daniel Muir 31-Jan-23 02:46 LONDON (ICIS)–Germany’s ambitious renewable power production goals of 80% of total power consumption by 2030 were boosted on Monday with the federal government’s adoption of a draft formulation aid for the implementation of the EU Emergency Regulation. Europe base oils export supply uncertain for Q1 amid severe drop in margins By Samantha Wright 31-Jan-23 01:22 LONDON (ICIS)–A sharp drop in European base oils export margins has raised some concerns for export availability for the rest of the first quarter. INSIGHT: Speed of change underscored in EU chemical industry transition pathway By Nigel Davis 31-Jan-23 00:31 LONDON (ICIS)–The European Commission’s long-awaited Transition Pathway for the Chemical Industry has been broadly welcomed by the sector in that it reflects the scale of current and future challenges for companies and institutions. Spanish chemical industry in good health, EU funds helped to alleviate crisis – trade union By Jonathan Lopez 30-Jan-23 20:04 MADRID (ICIS)–The Spanish chemical industry has resisted the onslaught caused by the energy crisis in Europe, with producers benefiting from the ‘Iberian exception’ which has lowered their input costs, according to an industry executive at the country’s main trade union CCOO. Global weekly spot IPEX up on chemical price rises across all regions By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 30-Jan-23 18:41 LONDON (ICIS)–Spot chemical prices were up by 1.2% week on week on the back of rises across all regions, according to latest figures from the weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX). China petrochemical futures, spot markets mixed post-Lunar New Year By Yvonne Shi 30-Jan-23 14:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Post-holiday price trends in China’s petrochemical futures and spot markets diverge as sentiment remained cautious despite recent optimism over recovering demand in the world’s second-biggest economy with the lifting of its zero-COVID policy. China PP market rises post-holiday amid bullish sentiment By Lucy Shuai 30-Jan-23 11:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s polypropylene (PP) prices rose after the Lunar New Year holidays on bullish sentiment after China abandoned its zero-COVID policy. INSIGHT: Pakistan rupee plunges to record low amid economic crisis, US dollar shortage By Pearl Bantillo 27-Jan-23 15:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Pakistan’s currency – the rupee – plunged to a fresh record low on Friday as its economic problems pile up amid a severe lack of US dollars to pay for imports, underscoring an immediate need for bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). US’ Eastman plans 3% cut in global workforce, closure of Europe acetate yarn site By Pearl Bantillo 27-Jan-23 12:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–US specialty chemicals producer Eastman is looking at trimming its global workforce of more than 14,000 personnel “by about 3%” as part of its $200m cost-cutting programme, a company spokesperson told ICIS. US GDP grew at 2.9% annual rate in Q4, led by inventories By Stefan Baumgarten 26-Jan-23 23:30 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US GDP grew at a 2.9% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said in a first estimate of Q4 GDP growth on Thursday. US Q1 TiO2 contract negotiations continue as demand for key end-use markets softens By Deniz Koray 27-Jan-23 05:31 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US titanium dioxide (TiO2) contract discussions are ongoing in Q1. TiO2 prices have seen less volatility than many petrochemicals in the past half-year or so. However, demand has slowed from 2021 and early 2022 levels. Polish PGE Baltica eyes 1.1GW offshore wind project By Simona Uhrinova 27-Jan-23 02:06 LONDON (ICIS)– PGE Baltica could get closer to its 6.5GW offshore wind target in the Baltic Sea by 2040 after its subsidiary Elektrownia Wiatrowa Baltica 1 was awarded on 25 January most points in the offshore wind farms location permit procedure announced by the Polish ministry of infrastructures. Europe Melamine January contracts decrease; gas prices lower but operating rates remain reduced By Melissa Hurley 27-Jan-23 01:09 LONDON (ICIS)–The European January melamine contract prices have decreased on a delta basis compared with December, depending on the starting point and the account. PODCAST: Bulgarian energy developments in doubt as country gears for new elections By Aura Sabadus 27-Jan-23 00:50 LONDON (ICIS)— In 2022, when Gazprom stopped supplies to Bulgaria, the country switched at short notice from nearly full dependence on Russian gas to complete diversification. It commissioned a new interconnector with Greece, tapped LNG imports and ramped up off-takes of Caspian gas. More recently it signed a deal for access to Turkey’s infrastructure, which could open up a new supply route to southeast Europe. INSIGHT: Upcoming US chem earnings to reflect lower margins By Al Greenwood 26-Jan-23 22:53 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US-based chemical companies have flagged several reasons why their Q4 earnings have been depressed – from weak end markets to inventory normalisation to a decline in margins. INSIGHT: Dow's targeted cuts in Europe highlight region's loss of competitive edge By Will Beacham 26-Jan-23 21:20 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Dow’s decision to target Europe for plant closures as it targets $1bn in cost savings this year highlights the structural cost disadvantage the region’s petrochemical sector suffers. South Korea Q4 GDP growth slows to 1.4% on year, contracts 0.4% on quarter By Pearl Bantillo 26-Jan-23 14:09 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea’s economy posted a slower annualized fourth-quarter 2022 growth of 1.4%, bringing its full-year pace of expansion to 2.6%, based on the government’s advance estimates released on Thursday. Philippines Q4 GDP expands 7.2%; full-year ’22 growth at 7.6% By Pearl Bantillo 26-Jan-23 13:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Philippine economy expanded at an annualized rate of 7.2% in the fourth quarter of last year, allowing it to log one of the fastest 2022 GDP growths in Asia, beating expectations. Asia naphtha market sentiment mixed; eyes on China’s recovery By Melanie Wee 26-Jan-23 12:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia naphtha markets are being kept afloat by hopes of recovering China petrochemical demand, although diminishing downstream margins are keeping demand cautious. Asia MTBE balance might shift China potential outflow By Keven Zhang 26-Jan-23 11:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia's methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) market is expected to stay amply supplied with a potential opening of China export arbitrage. France likely to remain at a discount to the UK in February By Karishma Sadanandan 26-Jan-23 01:32 LONDON (ICIS)–France is likely to remain at a discount to the UK during February delivery as nuclear availability is expected to improve while temperatures are forecast to be bearish. New strikes unlikely to hamper French power supply By Andrea Battaglia 26-Jan-23 00:47 LONDON (ICIS)–French power supply could be put to the test again on 31 January as another 24-hour national strike action has been confirmed in opposition to the French government’s pension reform project. February profitability plummets amid good fundamentals picture By David Battista 26-Jan-23 00:37 Wider supply margins in Europe, fuelled by mild temperatures and rising wind power outputs, continue to support Asian market premiums. Bullish outlook prompts trade for West African barrels By Cecilia Barreiro 25-Jan-23 22:59 LONDON (ICIS)–Nigerian and Angolan crude prices are expected to garner support in March amid robust refining margins and a favourable arbitrage window. Uncertainty, weak demand persist in Europe's oxo-alcohols chain By Nicole Simpson 25-Jan-23 20:45 LONDON (ICIS)–The European oxo-alcohols and derivatives markets continue to be defined by weak demand and uncertainty among buyers. Asia petrochemicals pin hopes on China’s post-holiday demand By Pearl Bantillo 25-Jan-23 14:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical players are largely betting on strong revival of China’s demand following lifting of most COVID-19 curbs, having built up stocks in the weeks leading to the Lunar New Year holiday. Argentina launches first LNG winter tender for 30 cargoes By Ruth Liao 25-Jan-23 12:48 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Argentina’s gas distributor IEASA, also known as Gas Energia, launched its winter buying tender for LNG cargoes, seeking 30 cargoes between March and August 2023 for its Escobar terminal. INSIGHT: Elevated Europe energy prices challenge business cases for some green projects By Tom Brown 24-Jan-23 23:31 LONDON (ICIS)–Higher energy prices in Europe are providing a challenge to the business cases of some green and decarbonisation projects compared to the competitiveness of similar investments elsewhere in the world. PODCAST: Europe MMA stirs as low gas prices reawaken petrochemicals By Will Beacham 24-Jan-23 21:27 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Europe methyl methacrylate (MMA) production is on the cusp of restarting as lower gas prices breathe life back into region’s petrochemical sector. Upcoming shutdowns in GCC to affect PP/PE price stability in Middle East By Nadim Salamoun 24-Jan-23 18:57 DUBAI (ICIS)–A series of shutdowns from GCC producers, some of which are already taking place in January, with others expected to take place between February and March, will likely curtail polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) supply to the region in the near future. Forex shortages damage buying ability of Africa PE/PP players By Ben Lake 23-Jan-23 23:01 LONDON (ICIS)–African polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) prices have shown some sign of life in recent weeks, as some exporters begin to increase their prices. Global weekly spot IPEX up on stronger northeast Asia and US Gulf By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 23-Jan-23 21:03 LONDON (ICIS)–Global spot chemical prices rose by 2.7% in the week to January 20 on the back of firmer prices in northeast Asia and US Gulf, according to latest figures from the weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX). INSIGHT: China polyester industry rebound expected after holiday By Jimmy Zhang 23-Jan-23 20:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Since China has lifted COVID-19 restriction policies, most market participants expect a demand recovery after the Lunar New Year holiday. VIDEO: China chemicals market review and outlook By Chris Qi 20-Jan-23 11:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch ICIS China information director Chris Qi review China chemical industry in 2022 and an outlook for the industry in 2023. China ethylene buyers' price ideas edge up ahead of holiday By Yeow Pei Lin 20-Jan-23 11:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia's spot ethylene prices rebounded slightly in recent days, aided by limited offers, improving prices for certain derivatives in China and strong feedstock naphtha costs. European engineering plastics demand stays sluggish in light of persistent economic uncertainty By Yashas Mudumbai 20-Jan-23 00:34 LONDON (ICIS)–The engineering plastics markets for polyacetal (POM) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) in Europe are continuing to see lower than usual demand, as macroeconomic challenges cause market players to be circumspect. INSIGHT: Chems face rough earnings season amid warnings, lower margins By Al Greenwood 20-Jan-23 00:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Chemical companies have kicked off the earnings season by waring that they could miss analysts' estimates and struggle to keep up with rising costs. OUTLOOK FOR 2023: Nordic power crucial to Baltic supply security By Calum Andrews 19-Jan-23 19:43 LONDON (ICIS)–Power imports from the Nordics are likely to continue playing a key role in ensuring security of supply across the Baltics through 2023, following halts to Russian power supplies in May 2022. Malaysia central bank maintains 2.75% key interest rate amid economic headwinds By Nurluqman Suratman 19-Jan-23 18:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Malaysia’s central bank on Thursday unexpectedly kept its key benchmark interest rate unchanged amid expectations that the country’s 2023 economic growth will moderate this year amid a global slowdown. Pakistani buyers struggle to pay Asian R-PET, R-PE cargoes By Arianne Perez 19-Jan-23 18:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–As Pakistan struggles with a financial crisis, importers of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) and recycled polyethylene (R-PE) have struggled to settle payments with suppliers. China MDI markets see active restocking spurred on by planned turnarounds By Shannen Ng 19-Jan-23 12:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–News of two major methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) producers in China planning turnarounds for February spurred restocking activity in the week ending 18 January, ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. Oil falls by more than $1/bbl on surprise build in US crude inventories By Nurluqman Suratman 19-Jan-23 12:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Oil prices fell by more than $1/bbl on Thursday after industry data showed a surprise build in US crude inventories for the second straight week, raising concerns of faltering fuel demand. Asia BDO rebounds as buyers pin hopes on renewed post-holiday demand By Clive Ong 19-Jan-23 11:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market surged this week as buying momentum for February cargoes picked up on expectations of firmer demand post-Lunar New Year. US economy poised to enter mild recession as inflation has peaked – ICIS economist By Joseph Chang 19-Jan-23 05:30 NEW YORK (ICIS)–The US economy is likely to enter a relatively mild recession in 2023, the ICIS chief economist said on Wednesday. Germany-France power Q4 ‘23 spread to tighten on rising nuclear availability By Daniel Muir 19-Jan-23 01:26 LONDON (ICIS)–The German baseload Q4 ‘23 product discount against the equivalent French product should tighten through 2023 on improving fundamentals, market participants have told ICIS. Asian coal premium to Europe shows signs of tightening By David Battista 19-Jan-23 01:26 Rotterdam coal prices moved sideways between 10 and 17 January, resisting the downwards pressure that weighed down most commodity prices, and tightening the Asia premium over Europe. INSIGHT: Poor demand, high costs stifle Europe industry despite falling gas prices By Aura Sabadus 18-Jan-23 22:56 LONDON (ICIS)–Falling gas prices could reignite some interest in European industrial output but a combination of high operating costs and sluggish demand, reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis, is likely to slow recovery this year, according to ICIS research. European phenol struggles with costs while acetone tightens, but demand remains slow By Jane Gibson 18-Jan-23 22:07 LONDON (ICIS)–The recent fall in gas prices is good news for the phenol and acetone chain. But this alone is unlikely to prompt producers to increase operating rates quite yet. Japan’s Toyota targets record '23 car output of 10.6m units, with caveat By Pearl Bantillo 18-Jan-23 13:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Global automotive giant Toyota is targeting to produce 10.6m units in 2023, subject to a possible downward adjustment of 10% if problems with supply of semiconductors persist. Bank of Japan maintains low interest rates despite rising inflation By Nurluqman Suratman 18-Jan-23 12:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Wednesday maintained its ultra-low interest rate policy despite rising inflation levels and warned that risks to the country's economic outlook remain extremely high. Asia MEC underpinned by hopes of post-Lunar New Year recovery By Keven Zhang 18-Jan-23 11:32 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia methylene chloride (MEC) was buoyed by spot demand in the last week before the Lunar New Year. Europe ECH demand muted in Q1, could improve in Q2 By Heidi Finch 18-Jan-23 00:21 LONDON (ICIS)–Europe epichlorohydrin (ECH) demand is likely to face a tough first quarter, as macroeconomic headwinds and Asian competition continue to weigh. OUTLOOK ’23: Chemical M&A stymied by rates, uncertainty but may rebound in H2 By Joseph Chang 18-Jan-23 00:00 NEW YORK (ICIS)–High interest rates, lack of available financing and economic and earnings uncertainty are holding back chemical industry mergers and acquisitions (M&A). However, activity may be poised to rebound in H2 2023 as the backlog of undone deals builds up, a clearer earnings picture emerges and especially if the financing market improves. INSIGHT: Asia petrochemicals to rebound in January amid demand recovery – ICIS analysts By Jenny Yi 17-Jan-23 21:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asia petrochemical market is expected to rebound from January in view of demand recovery in the coming months with China’s abandonment of its strict zero-COVID policy. The appreciation of Asia currencies against the US dollar should also support the outlook. PODCAST: Europe PE, PP analytical 2023 outlook By Ben Lake 17-Jan-23 19:35 LONDON (ICIS)–European polymer editors Vicky Ellis and Ben Lake are joined by analysts Emiliano Basualto and Lorenzo Meazza to discuss the year ahead in what could be a transitional 12 months for the polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets. NE Asia polyester prices stable to firm; post-holiday outlook optimistic By Judith Wang 17-Jan-23 16:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Spot polyester prices in northeast Asia were stable to firm during the week, on the back of stronger feedstock prices, while overall buying has slowed ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. China 2022 GDP growth slows to 3%; re-opening to drive 2023 recovery By Nurluqman Suratman 17-Jan-23 16:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s economy grew by 3% in 2022, marking its slowest pace of expansion in decades, highlighting the impact of the country's long-standing zero-COVID strategy. India December exports fall 12.2% amid global economic slowdown By Priya Jestin 17-Jan-23 14:21 MUMBAI (ICIS)–India’s merchandise exports in December declined by 12.2% year on year to $34.5bn, with further weakness likely in 2023 amid the global economic slowdown, with its major markets – the US and Europe – possibly facing a recession. BPA prices in China, India at more than two-year low; ample supply may linger By Li Peng Seng 17-Jan-23 11:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Import prices of bisphenol A (BPA) in China and India have slumped to their lowest levels in more than two years, weighed down by ample supply. INSIGHT: Weak, sometimes negative product margins challenged petchem players in 2022 By Nigel Davis 16-Jan-23 23:54 LONDON (ICIS)–As in the depths of the COVID-19 downturn, chemical producers, particularly those based largely in northwest Europe, remain focused on cash. Global weekly spot IPEX up on rising chemical prices across all regions By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 16-Jan-23 18:57 LONDON (ICIS)–Spot chemical prices were up 2.2% on the back of firmer values across all regions, according to latest figures from the weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Qatar's $6bn Ras Laffan project to boost Mideast PE exports, shift trade flows By Nurluqman Suratman 16-Jan-23 13:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Qatar’s $6bn joint venture Ras Laffan petrochemicals complex is expected to boost the Middle East’s polyethylene (PE) exports and could result in a major shift to global trade flows once it comes on stream, according to ICIS analysts. China re-opening bodes well for SE Asia PE, but Lunar New Year slowdowns ahead By Izham Ahmad 16-Jan-23 11:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s surprise announcement of the re-opening of its borders and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions has injected renewed vigour into the southeast Asian PE market, but the impact could be short-lived as market activity slows down for the typical Lunar New Year holiday lull. NE Asia C2 at multi-year lows on surge in Mideast, Malaysia exports By Yeow Pei Lin 13-Jan-23 13:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia's spot ethylene (C2) prices fell for a second consecutive week due to a supply glut following unexpectedly large exports from the Middle East and Malaysia. S Korea central bank hikes key interest rate; ’23 GDP growth likely below 1.7% By Nurluqman Suratman 13-Jan-23 13:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea's central bank on Friday raised its policy interest rate by 25 basis points to 3.50% to tame high inflation, with economic growth this year now forecast to be lower than 1.7%. Fourth Ratcliffe-on-Soar unit extended to September 2024 By Anna Coulson 13-Jan-23 01:40 LONDON (ICIS)–Uniper UK confirmed that the fourth 500MW coal unit at the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power plant, originally due to close 31 March 2023, will be extended until the end of September 2024 as requested by the UK Government. INSIGHT: As plastics supply balloons, demand growth is increasingly challenged By Nigel Davis 13-Jan-23 00:58 LONDON (ICIS)–Polyolefins supply is ballooning just as expectations of recession mount and longer-term prospects for demand growth look increasingly uncertain. Global operating rates are under intense pressure. Africa PE/PP volumes reduced after buyers fall into arrears By Ben Lake 12-Jan-23 21:48 LONDON (ICIS)–Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) traders and producers are restricting offers into Africa because many customers owe them payment for previous months' volumes. PODCAST: China’s MTBE export market to remain active in 2023 amid oversupply By Aviva Zhang 12-Jan-23 16:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–In this podcast, ICIS analysts Candy Nie and Aviva Zhang review developments in the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) market in 2022 and discuss its outlook for 2023. OUTLOOK FOR 2023: Less nuke risk could curb French power prices By Karishma Sadanandan 12-Jan-23 13:56 LONDON (ICIS)–In the case that French nuclear availability improves from what was witnessed in 2022, an year of historically low nuclear power capacity and generation, France could see power prices fall in comparison to last year. China petrochemical players build stocks on hopes of strong post-holiday demand By Fanny Zhang 12-Jan-23 11:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Players in China’s petrochemical markets are actively building up stocks on expectation of a strong recovery in post-Lunar New Year demand. Nuclear push unlikely to prevent Swedish power deficit By Calum Andrews 12-Jan-23 01:46 LONDON (ICIS)–Government plans for new nuclear expansion will be “unlikely to prevent a Swedish power deficit” according to ICIS Analyst Nikhil Anand, adding that “nuclear is a very time-consuming technology to bring to market”. Italy’s €210/MWh industrial cap risks lifting energy costs By Daniel Muir 12-Jan-23 01:03 LONDON (ICIS)–Italy’s Gestore dei Mercati Energetici (GME), the operator of the Italian energy exchange, announced on Wednesday the assignment of 16TWh/year to industrial power users at a price of €210/MWh. Europe epoxy prices dip on cheap imports, gas relief; demand outlook fragile By Heidi Finch 12-Jan-23 00:51 LONDON (ICIS)–Europe epoxy resins are under continued pressure into January, amid strong Asian competition and some relief in energy costs. INSIGHT: A turbulent 2020s requires near-term focus but clear, longer-term strategies By Nigel Davis 12-Jan-23 00:49 LONDON (ICIS)–The World Economic Forum (WEF) talks of a global risks landscape this year that “feels both wholly new and eerily familiar” in its Global Risks Report 2023. East Asia, Pacific 2023 growth seen at 4.3% on China rebound – World Bank By Nurluqman Suratman 11-Jan-23 15:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Economies in the east Asia and Pacific region in 2023 are expected to log an average growth of 4.3%, accelerating from the estimated 3.2% pace in 2022 but lower than the previous forecast of above 5% for the current year, the World Bank said. Global 2023 economic growth cut to 1.7% from 3.0% – World Bank By Nurluqman Suratman 11-Jan-23 13:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The World Bank cut its 2023 global GDP growth forecast to 1.7% from a previous projection of 3%, marking a sharp slowdown from the estimated 2.9% growth for 2022. Asia MIBK soars on plant closure; rising COVID-19 cases in China cap gains By Angeline Soh 11-Jan-23 13:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) prices have soared following a surprise end-December shutdown of LCY Chem’s plant in Zhenjiang, China. INSIGHT: Downward pressure on petchem and plastics prices persists globally By Nigel Davis 11-Jan-23 01:19 LONDON (ICIS)–Falling base chemical and polymer prices globally reflect the weaker and uncertain demand environment while shifted supply and demand balances have coloured spot activity at the end of 2022 and the start of 2023 for a handful of chemical commodities. Tighter German-French front-quarter spread to curb exports By Daniel Muir 11-Jan-23 00:49 LONDON (ICIS)–Tightening front-quarter spreads between German and French baseload power products are likely to result in greater oscillation of power flows between the two countries moving through 2023. Global weekly spot IPEX up on firmer prices in northeast Asia, northwest Europe By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 11-Jan-23 00:44 LONDON (ICIS)–Spot chemical prices were up by 1.2% in the week ended 6 January, driven by increases in northeast Asia and northwest Europe values, according to latest figures from the weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX). High interest rates, earnings uncertainty holding back chemicals M&A – banker By Joseph Chang 11-Jan-23 00:27 NEW YORK (ICIS)–High interest rates, lack of available financing and economic uncertainty are holding back chemical industry mergers and acquisitions (M&A). However, activity is poised to rebound after this challenging period as the backlog of deals builds up, an investment banker said. PODCAST: Lower gas prices not yet stimulating Europe chemicals, fertilizers By Will Beacham 10-Jan-23 21:54 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Falling gas prices have not yet revived Europe’s ailing fertilizer and petrochemical sectors as producers fret over recession and future gas market dynamics. Asia C3 may see more spot talks on lower 2023 term volumes By Julia Tan 10-Jan-23 15:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–2023 may see increased liquidity in the Asia propylene spot market as some market participants mull lower term volumes on the back of new capacities in Asia. China phenol oversupply to ease on likely output cuts, more exports to India By Helen Lee 10-Jan-23 14:23 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s phenol oversupply may ease as producers were expected to cut output due to mounting margin pressure, and amid possibility of more exports given an open arbitrage window to India. Spot LNG markets start with a twist in 2023 By Yun Xie 06-Jan-23 15:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The ICIS northwest Europe (NEX) spot LNG levels moved back to a discount to East Asian (EAX) spot LNG this week for the first time since mid-December. OUTLOOK '23: China’s methanol short term demand to remain tepid, long-term outlook better By Sam Liang 06-Jan-23 13:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s methanol traditional demand in the first quarter of 2023 appears to be weak – a trend continuing from the second half of 2022 – though later in the year some recovery is expected as domestic economy is expected to improve. OUTLOOK ’23: China ACN, downstream capacities to expand; oversupply challenges prevail By Candy Nie 06-Jan-23 12:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s acrylonitrile (ACN) market will continue to see a slew of capacity expansions, particularly in the first half of 2023. NE Asia ethylene falls on weak China demand, ample supply By Yeow Pei Lin 06-Jan-23 10:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia's spot ethylene market started 2023 on a soft note due to China’s raging COVID-19 outbreak, which has exacerbated the seasonal downstream demand lull ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. OUTLOOK ’23: China MEG supply increase may outpace demand growth By Cindy Qiu 06-Jan-23 09:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) market may continue running into headwinds in 2023 after a downturn in 2022, as increasing supply given multiple new plants’ start-up plans may outweigh demand growth. US paint shares fall after RPM warns of lower earnings By Al Greenwood 06-Jan-23 04:41 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Shares of RPM International fell by more than 13% midday on Thursday, dragging down the stock prices of other companies that make paints, coatings and adhesives, after the company warned that earnings for its upcoming quarter may decline year on year. OUTLOOK ’23: US ethylene exports expected to surge as region maintains competitive edge By John Donnelly 06-Jan-23 00:24 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Despite economic headwinds limiting domestic derivative demand, US ethylene producers are set to take advantage of expanded export capacity and competitive economics through the year. INSIGHT – OUTLOOK '23: Slowdowns loom for Brazil, Mexico By Al Greenwood 06-Jan-23 00:10 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Economists in Brazil and Mexico expect GDP growth will slow down sharply in 2023, with Brazil losing the benefits of a commodity rally and Mexico suffering from slower growth in the US. OUTLOOK '23: US chemical equities look to rebound from 2022 backsliding By JT Strasner 06-Jan-23 00:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Chemical equities over the past year reversed gains experienced in 2021, and will end 2022 sharply lower year on year. INSIGHT: 'Tsunami' of legislation will harm European competitiveness By Morgan Condon 05-Jan-23 22:30 LONDON (ICIS)–European chemical producers are entering the new year facing a “tsunami” of new regulations, according to the head of the European Association of Chemicals Distributors (FECC) Dorothee Arns. OUTLOOK ’23: Europe MA market could still grow in 2023 after hard winter By Anne-Sophie Briant-Vaghela 05-Jan-23 19:00 LONDON (ICIS)–European maleic anhydride (MA) players are grinding their teeth and hoping for at best a gradual recovery from the weakest activity in three years. China Dec petrochemical markets weak; better post-Lunar New Year demand eyed By Yvonne Shi 05-Jan-23 14:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s petrochemical markets stayed depressed in December despite substantial relaxation of pandemic-related lockdowns, as a consequent spike in COVID-19 infections continued to restrict logistics operations. OUTLOOK ’23: China’s acetic acid supply-demand fundamentals see expansions in industry chain By Jady Ma 05-Jan-23 12:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s acetic acid and downstream industries will continue to see new capacity coming on line in 2023, but the mismatch between their start-up dates and turnaround schedules of existing plants may lead to a temporary imbalance in the market. OUTLOOK ‘23: Asia ethanol faces uncertain future on unclear economics, tight supply By Izham Ahmad 05-Jan-23 11:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The spot import market for fuel ethanol and b-grade ethanol in Asia faces an uncertain outlook for the new year, based on the cloudy economic outlook and expectations of tighter supply from some of the main suppliers in Brazil. OUTLOOK: Higher PVC prices expected in Latin America in H1 2023 By Daniel Lopes 05-Jan-23 05:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices in Latin America are placed to follow Asia market trends in Q1 2023, as Formosa Taiwan raised its prices to all destinations last week and sold out on the same day. OUTLOOK ’23: Plant activity will tighten US propylene balance even as economy undermines demand By John Donnelly 05-Jan-23 03:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Derivative demand for US propylene will remain weak until at least Q3, but plant maintenance and a new propylene oxide/tertiary butyl alcohol (POTBA) plant will help support the market in the first half of the year. OUTLOOK '23: US PA, OX demand expected to remain weak on economic headwinds By Melissa Wheeler 05-Jan-23 02:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Demand for phthalic anhydride (PA) is expected to remain weak through the beginning of 2023 as the market continues to destock inventories. France pushes for support from energy suppliers By Karishma Sadanandan 05-Jan-23 01:26 LONDON (ICIS)– The French government announced on 4 January that energy suppliers will commit to supporting businesses and communities minimising the impact of high energy costs through various measures. German Year 2024 clean dark spreads hit 15-week low By Anna Coulson 05-Jan-23 01:09 LONDON (ICIS)–Rolling front year profit margins for German coal-fired power plants were assessed at €79.44/MWh on 3 January, their lowest value since 19 September, despite rising week-on-week fuel costs. ICIS TTF February ‘23 gas contract keeps sliding amid bearish fundamentals By Marta Del Buono 05-Jan-23 00:28 LONDON (ICIS)–A combination of ongoing bearish fundamentals is likely to keep the ICIS TTF February ‘23 contract below March ‘23 ahead of expiry. OUTLOOK '23: US MTBE export demand to remain healthy as gasoline demand recovers By Reilly Radke 05-Jan-23 00:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) exports are expected remain healthy in 2023 as the tightness in octane boosters supply continues and global gasoline demand recovers. OUTLOOK ’23: Economic woes to weigh on Turkish PE/PP demand By Samantha Wright 04-Jan-23 21:30 LONDON (ICIS)–Economic issues will continue to plague the Turkish polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets and determine the outlook for these products in the first quarter of 2023. OUTLOOK ’23: Jet kerosene demand to increase on relaxed COVID-19 restrictions By Cassandra Abolaji 04-Jan-23 20:00 LONDON (ICIS)–The outlook for the European jet kerosene market is optimistic for 2023, as the world reaches almost full recovery from COVID-19 travel restrictions. Singapore manufacturing weakness to persist on poor external demand By Nurluqman Suratman 04-Jan-23 16:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's manufacturing sector faces further downside in the near term due to faltering outlook for electronics and weaker external demand. OUTLOOK ‘23: New capacity, China’s COVID-19 surge weigh on Asia EVA market By Helen Lee 04-Jan-23 15:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s supply of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is expected to lengthen as new capacities start-up, while surging COVID-19 cases in China following easing of pandemic-related restrictions could cap demand recovery in the first quarter of 2023. OUTLOOK '23: Asia methanol ready for new demand centres; capacity expansion limited By Keven Zhang 04-Jan-23 12:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–High price volatility dominated the Asian methanol market in the first-half of 2022, but weak macroeconomic performance in China and India led to a drying up of liquidity and stagnant prices in the second-half. OUTLOOK '23: China plasticizers demand recovery seen remote By Li Peng Seng 04-Jan-23 11:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian plasticizers plants’ average utilization rates for most of first-half 2023 could stay low as poor demand in key market China is expected to linger. UK to bolster domestic nuclear fuel production, aiding nuclear power By Karishma Sadanandan 04-Jan-23 02:17 LONDON (ICIS)–The UK Energy and Climate Minister Graham Stuart announced on 2 January a new £75m fund for the development and commercialisation of domestic nuclear fuel production. OUTLOOK ‘23: US R-PE to see diverging trends on sustainability vs cost-sensitive resin demand By Emily Friedman 04-Jan-23 01:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US recycled polyethylene (R-PE) market will continue to show diverging market trends in 2023, depending on the recycled resin grade. Sustainability-driven demand for material such as post-consumer, natural coloured recycled high-density polyethylene (R-HDPE) or recycled low-density polyethylene (R-LDPE) will continue to be robust as companies make progress against regulatory and voluntary post-consumer recycled (PCR) content targets. European caustic soda prices fall in December, Q1 outlook bearish By Chris Barker 03-Jan-23 23:19 LONDON (ICIS)–European caustic soda prices have trended down strongly in December, driven by weak demand which has outweighed lower production and capacity utilisation. OUTLOOK ’23: Europe capro, nylon demand could stay low as consumer confidence slumps By Marta Fern 03-Jan-23 23:00 LONDON (ICIS)–European demand for caprolactam (capro) and nylon 6 could stay low in 2023, with automotive offtake expected to fluctuate across the year but remain subdued overall. Global weekly spot IPEX up on stronger prices in northeast Asia, US Gulf By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 03-Jan-23 22:31 LONDON (ICIS)–Spot chemical prices were up by 0.7% in the week ended 23 December, driven by increases in northeast Asia and the US Gulf values, according to latest figures from the weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX). OUTLOOK '23: China’s MTBE export market to remain active as oversupply persists By Aviva Zhang 03-Jan-23 22:24 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–In 2023, with persistent high supply of MTBE in China, the export market is expected to remain active. OUTLOOK ’23: European EO market worries over energy costs continue By Melissa Hurley 03-Jan-23 18:30 LONDON (ICIS)–Production cost uncertainty remains key for European ethylene oxide (EO) market players in 2023. OUTLOOK ’23: Europe epoxy demand stifled by macro woes, Asian competition By Heidi Finch 03-Jan-23 18:30 LONDON (ICIS)–The Europe epoxy resins demand outlook is cautious and muted for 2023, weighed down by ongoing macroeconomic headwinds and Asian competition China Dec PMI at 34-month low; recovery expected to come in Feb By Fanny Zhang 03-Jan-23 15:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) slumped to a 34-month low of 47.0 in December amid fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreaks. Caixin's Dec China manufacturing PMI falls to 49.0 on rising COVID-19 cases By Nurluqman Suratman 03-Jan-23 13:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Caixin’s China manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 49.0 in December from 49.4 in November as a rise in domestic COVID-19 cases continue to weigh on domestic output, the Chinese media firm said on Tuesday. OUTLOOK '23: Asian PTA supply ample, amid continual expansion plans By Samuel Wong 03-Jan-23 11:11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Continual expansion of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) facilities in Asia in 2023 will keep supply more than sufficient, with demand growth expected to lag. OUTLOOK '23: Asia PX pins hopes on gasoline amid bearish PTA outlook By Samuel Wong 03-Jan-23 10:58 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian paraxylene (PX) markets will ride on the hopes of a strong gasoline market, with arbitrage opportunities to the West to continue, and on the back of capacity expansions in both the PX and downstream purified terephthalic acid (PTA) markets in 2023. OUTLOOK '23: US base oil markets start sluggish but could firm By Amanda Hay 02-Jan-23 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US base oil supply is long against weak demand heading into 2023, but two major turnarounds in H1 should rebalance the markets. OUTLOOK: Lacklustre demand affecting US paraffin wax business in H1 2023 By Daniel Lopes 03-Jan-23 03:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Paraffin wax business is fiercely competing in many niche markets, including the tire, construction, packaging, candles, and food industries, as product technology, design, and price become even more important in retaining a loyal customer base related to slack and fully refined waxes. OUTLOOK '23: US fuel, industrial ethanol facing competing factors in H1 By Taylor Merrell 02-Jan-23 18:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US fuel ethanol could face pressure in the new year if there are competing forces such as a recession versus if corn prices and natural gas continue to remain slightly elevated; whereas there could be some upward pressure for industrial ethanol if production and material costs remain elevated. OUTLOOK '23: Europe methanol prepares for difficult year on energy costs, weak demand By Eashani Chavda 23-Dec-22 00:05 LONDON (ICIS)–The European methanol market is bracing for another turbulent year with Russian sanctions pending, while high energy costs and lower consumer spending drive reduced demand for key end sectors. ICIS cross-commodity podcast: How will energy crisis affect fertilizers, agriculture, chemicals in 2023? By Morgan Condon 22-Dec-22 21:20 LONDON (ICIS)–The war in Ukraine has had a profound impact on commodities across the world. In this podcast, senior reporter for Europe Morgan Condon and senior energy markets reporter Aura Sabadus talk to deputy managing editor for fertilizers Deepika Thapliyal and AgSolutions commercial products manager Scott Cogdill about what expectations look like in 2023 and highlight the parallels between the sectors. OUTLOOK ’23: Europe olefins’ demand hand-to-mouth, sustained improvements only in H2 By Nel Weddle 22-Dec-22 18:30 LONDON (ICIS)–The lack of visibility over ethylene and propylene market conditions in 2023 is unprecedented, easily surpassing the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Developing Asia 2023 GDP growth cut as recovery faces strong headwinds By Nurluqman Suratma 15-Dec-22 13:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Recurrent lockdowns in China, the ongoing Ukraine war and weak external demand given a strong likelihood of a recession hitting major industrialised economies in the west will all weigh on developing Asia's economic recovery in 2023. Eurozone chemicals collapse worsens, new EU data shows By Will Beacham 14-Dec-22 23:47 BARCELONA (ICIS)–The collapse in EU and eurozone chemical output accelerated in October, driven by a fall in most major industry locations, according to latest figures released by Eurostat. South Korea truckers vote to end weeks-long nationwide strike – report By Pearl Bantillo 09-Dec-22 13:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea’s striking cargo truckers voted on Friday to end their weeks-long nationwide protest, which had severely disrupted logistics operations and prompted the government to issue two return-to-work orders amid a mounting economic toll. Weak BD demand, ample supply shuts arbitrage window from east China to north China By Aviva Zhang 09-Dec-22 15:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The arbitrage window for butadiene (BD) products entering north China from east China has recently closed amid lukewarm downstream demand, expected new plant start-ups, and cargo-holders’ relatively firm pricing stance on cost pressure. NE Asia propylene demand likely to remain weak till 2023 By Julia Tan 09-Dec-22 13:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Demand for propylene (C3) imports in northeast Asia would likely remain subdued until mid-January as buyers continue to assume a wait-and-see stance amid adequate inventories ahead of the Lunar New Year festive season. NE Asia ethylene stable despite bearish naphtha market By Yeow Pei Lin 09-Dec-22 11:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s spot ethylene import prices held steady, with a nationwide strike by South Korean truckers and plummeting feedstock naphtha costs counterbalanced by restocking activity in China. Asia-US container rates continue to plummet amid improved transit times By Adam Yanelli 09-Dec-22 06:59 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Rates for shipping containers from east Asia and China to both US coasts continued to plummet this week as softening demand by US consumers for goods and easing congestion at US ports have improved transit times. PODCAST: China to dominate demand rebound Asia polyolefins in '23 – ICIS analysts By Morgan Condon 09-Dec-22 03:07 LONDON (ICIS)–Despite the challenges 2022 has presented the chemicals industry, more Asian polyolefins capacity is set to come online in the coming year. Oil prices to sustain bearish momentum as demand remains uncertain By Cecilia Barreiro 08-Dec-22 19:26 LONDON (ICIS)–Oil prices are likely to remain stable as bearish demand-side fundamentals become the biggest driver for the market this month. S Korea government orders steel, petrochemical truckers back to work By Pearl Bantillo 08-Dec-22 16:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The South Korean government expanded on Thursday its return-to-work order to more cargo truckers who serve the steel and petrochemical industries, amid the mounting economic cost of the truckers’ strike. PODCAST: Global ACN slows down in year-end, difficult times going into early 2023 By Angeline Soh 08-Dec-22 16:24 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–In this podcast, ICIS deputy managing editor Jane Massingham (Europe) and senior editors Lucas Hall (US) and Chng Li Li (Asia) discuss the latest developments impacting global acrylonitrile (ACN) markets. China petrochemical futures mixed; near-term demand recovery in doubt By Fanny Zhang 08-Dec-22 13:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s petrochemical futures markets were mixed on Thursday morning as demand may remain soft despite a further relaxation in the country’s COVID-19 curbs. Weather sends bullish tone through coal, hampering production By Anna Coulson 08-Dec-22 00:28 LONDON (ICIS)–Rolling front month profit margins for German coal-fired power plants rose through week 49, in line with rising week-on-week fuel costs. PODCAST: Ban on Russian refined products will hurt Europe more than oil restrictions By Will Beacham 07-Dec-22 22:31 BARCELONA (ICIS)–The ban on Russian refined products such as naphtha from February 2023 will be more disruptive to the European chemical markets than this week’s EU restrictions on oil. Asia naphtha tumbles on crude oil losses, feeble demand By Melanie Wee 07-Dec-22 18:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia naphtha prices fell alongside losses in global crude oil futures, while tepid demand for petrochemicals exerted downward pressure on market sentiment. India central bank hikes policy rates anew; cuts GDP growth forecast to 6.8% By Priya Jestin 07-Dec-22 17:41 MUMBAI (ICIS)–India’s central bank hiked its benchmark interest rate for the fifth time since April as it continues to battle high inflation, prompting a cut in GDP growth projection for the fiscal year ending March 2023 to 6.8% from 7.0%. INSIGHT: EU energy crisis-hit chemicals sector under shifting demand pressure By Nigel Davis 07-Dec-22 01:36 LONDON (ICIS)–Two charts from the latest of Cefic’s regular reports on chemicals sector trends highlight the pressure that has been put on chemical producers in Europe for the past year from extraordinarily high energy costs. Saudi Aramco cuts Arab Light OSP for Asian buyers to lowest in 10 months on demand worries By James Dennis 06-Dec-22 23:20 LONDON (ICIS)–Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest crude exporter, issued its January Official Selling Prices (OSP). The Saudi state oil company set its benchmark Arab Light grade at Oman/Dubai average plus $3.25/bbl, the lowest level for customers in Asia since March 2022. Global weekly spot IPEX down on price falls across all regions By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 06-Dec-22 19:09 LONDON (ICIS)–The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) dropped 1.4% in the week, driven by falls across all regions. S Korea truckers’ strike disrupts $2.6bn worth of shipments over 12 days By Pearl Bantillo 06-Dec-22 17:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea has so far tallied won (W) 3.5tr ($2.6bn) worth of shipments disrupted by an ongoing truckers’ strike now on its second week, prompting output cuts from petrochemical producers. GPCA ’22: Petchems oil demand to remain robust in net zero scenario – Aramco chief By Tom Brown 06-Dec-22 17:08 RIYADH (ICIS)–The petrochemicals sector is likely to remain a substantial driver of crude oil demand even in a net zero emissions scenario, with a focus on decarbonising building block materials key to meeting carbon-reduction targets, CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin Nasser, said on Tuesday. GPCA ’22: GCC chemicals needs to leverage on strengths amid cyclical headwinds – GPCA chairman By Nurluqman Suratman 06-Dec-22 16:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Arabian Gulf’s chemical industry will need to leverage on its unique strengths to counter short-term cyclical macroeconomic headwinds impacting its profitability, the acting CEO of SABIC said on Tuesday. China Nov petrochemical markets weak; players cautious on re-opening By Yvonne Shi 06-Dec-22 13:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s domestic petrochemical markets weakened in November due to poor demand, with sentiment weighed down by the government’s zero-COVID strategy. Global oil outlook: five factors to watch in Week 49 By Cecilia Barreiro 05-Dec-22 20:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Oil prices edged higher after OPEC+ decided to maintain current oil production targets, as agreed in October. Meanwhile, the EU's embargo on seaborne Russian oil imports and the G7 price cap kicks off today, and Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter, said it would not sell its oil to countries that have enforced the price cap. OPEC+ agreed to maintain existing oil production policy By Cecilia Barreiro 05-Dec-22 18:08 LONDON (ICIS)–OPEC+ has agreed to keep its oil production targets unchanged at its meeting on Sunday. The decision means the group will continue to observe its 2m bbl/day production cut, as agreed in October. Crude rises as OPEC+ keeps target, China COVID curbs ease, Russia oil ban enforced By James Dennis 05-Dec-22 16:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Crude prices rose on Monday on news that OPEC and its allies (OPEC+) had agreed to maintain their present output target and that China has further eased its strict zero-COVID measures. Meanwhile, the EU/G7 Russia crude ban and price cap also came into effect. China re-opening hopes buoy up petrochemical futures markets By Fanny Zhang 05-Dec-22 13:24 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s easing COVID-19 restrictions are buoying up sentiment in most petrochemical futures markets on Monday, as these could translate to better demand in the coming weeks. GPCA '22: Collaboration key for GCC chemicals net zero ambitions By Nurluqman Suratman 05-Dec-22 12:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Collaboration will be key for the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) chemicals industry if it were to meet the region’s net zero emissions target by 2050 while meeting demand for conventional energy resources, the secretary general of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) said. Asia acetic acid market seasonally quiet, economic concerns linger By Josh Quah 02-Dec-22 13:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s acetic acid market have been quiet on the spot front after India's Diwali festival in October, amid a seasonal lull, although economic concerns weighed on players’ minds while the recent trucker strikes in South Korea could cloud the outlook further. Deep-sea cargoes create arbitrage opportunities in Asia capro market By Josh Quah 02-Dec-22 12:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s caprolactam (capro) market dynamics have in the past few weeks been impacted by a supply influx from deep-sea origins and the year-end clearing out of inventories from some sellers, in what has been a largely challenging year for capro and its nylon 6 derivative, and are expected to continue in the near term. Asian R-LDPE producers turn to deep-sea origins for feedstock By Arianne Perez 02-Dec-22 12:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian producers of recycled low-density polyethylene (R-LDPE) will continue to turn to deep-sea sources of feedstock as availability in the region was drained by lower manufacturing rates. NE Asia ethylene little changed; China sees high January spot demand By Yeow Pei Lin 02-Dec-22 11:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s spot ethylene import prices were broadly stable, as the emergence of more competitive offers for December-arrival cargoes was offset by high spot demand for January amid limited 2023 term offers. INSIGHT: Chlorum sees US as next market for its small chlor-alkali plant By Al Greenwood 02-Dec-22 01:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The chlor-alkali firm Chlorum Solutions sees the US as the next market where it can bring its model of developing small regional chlor-alkali plants to serve customers eager to avoid the trouble and expense of shipping chlorine over long distances. INSIGHT: Europe EV uptake changing fuels landscape, US moving fast By Man Yiu Tse 01-Dec-22 20:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Electric vehicles (EVs) will make up 80% of Europe’s car fleet by 2050 while take up of low emission vehicles in the US rises and an estimated 30% of the country’s light duty vehicles (LDVs) are electric by that date, new data from ICIS show. South Korea truckers' strike results in $1.2bn of shipment disruptions in November By Pearl Bantillo 01-Dec-22 20:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The ongoing truckers' strike in South Korea has caused won (W) 1.6tr ($1.2bn) worth of shipment disruptions in November across all industries, with some petrochemical companies now looking to reduce production this week. Asia naphtha prices buoyed by crude oil; defies low petchem demand By Melanie Wee 01-Dec-22 15:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia naphtha prices are riding on the coattails of elevated crude oil prices amid choppy trade, even as petrochemical demand is subdued. India fiscal Q2 GDP growth slows to 6.3% on high inflation, weak exports By Priya Jestin 01-Dec-22 14:32 MUMBAI (ICIS)–India's economic growth slowed down to a 6.3% in its fiscal second quarter ending September 2022, dragged down by contractions in the manufacturing and mining sectors amid high inflation and weak exports. S Korea Nov petrochemical exports fall 27%; Q4 GDP to contract on truckers' strike By Nurluqman Suratman 01-Dec-22 13:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea's petrochemical exports in November fell by 26.5% year on year to $3.55bn due to weaker overall demand from primary market China and amid logistics disruptions late in the month caused by the nationwide truckers’ strike. US ethylene run rates low amid weak demand By John Donnelly 01-Dec-22 07:13 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The ethylene market continues to see weak derivative demand and ample inventories. Exports have slowed this month because of a lack of ship availability, which is pressuring domestic pricing. US propylene market sees weak demand, good supply into next year By John Donnelly 01-Dec-22 06:19 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US propylene contract prices rose in November, halting a two-month slide, but the market remains long amid weak demand and sufficient inventory. Europe domestic Group I base oils demand eases for Dec as supply grows By Eashani Chavda 01-Dec-22 05:43 LONDON (ICIS)–European domestic Group I base oils demand weakens for December while supply levels rise. Prices continue their downtrend, driving some suppliers to optimise diesel production. Wide Spanish discount to support natural gas exports to France By Daniela Miccoli 01-Dec-22 03:44 LONDON (ICIS)–Spain is likely to continue exporting natural gas to France via the VIP Pirineos interconnection in December on the back of a wide PVB front-month discount to France, ICIS price assessments showed. Energy crisis to be eased by French power measures this winter By Karishma Sadanandan 01-Dec-22 01:21 LONDON (ICIS)–With France likely to face a tight winter, specific measures have to be followed to ease tension for power supply. Ukraine scrambles to cover power peak deficit By Valeriia Gutsalo 01-Dec-22 01:09 ARLSRUHE, Germany (ICIS)– Ukraine is forced to continue emergency blackouts across the country as its supply deficit stands at 18% during peak hours, according to ICIS analysis. Asia ethylene dichloride demand may stay muted amid cloudy downstream view By Jonathan Chou 30-Nov-22 17:44 SINGAPORE(ICIS)–Asia's spot demand for ethylene dichloride (EDC) is likely to be capped in the near-term, due to main derivative polyvinyl chloride’s (PVC) poor performance, while spot supply could remain healthy from deep-sea suppliers. Asia spot PX trade to slow amid market uncertainties By Samuel Wong 30-Nov-22 15:35 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Trade for spot physical cargoes for paraxylene (PX) in Asia is expected to slow amid market uncertainties and ongoing negotiations for 2023 term contracts. China MEG 2023 import contract talks ongoing; bid-offer gap wide By Judith Wang 30-Nov-22 12:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Negotiations for China’s 2023 monoethylene glycol (MEG) import contracts are under way, with market players having difficulty in reconciling bids and offers. North American TiO2 demand weakens in Q4, still stronger than European, Asian demand By Deniz Koray 30-Nov-22 07:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)–After seeing robust demand for much of 2021 and H1 2022, demand for titanium dioxide (TiO2) end-users has softened in Q4 2022. PODCAST: High gas prices, shortages here to stay, Europe chemicals must adapt By Will Beacham 29-Nov-22 22:04 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Europe gas prices will remain high and shortages will persist for 2-3 years with major risks for winter 2023, according to a scenario analysis by ICIS. South Korea government orders striking truckers in cement industry back to work By Nurluqman Suratman 29-Nov-22 12:19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea's government issued on Tuesday an executive order to force protesting unionised truckers serving the cement industry to return to work, taking into account a huge number of halted construction projects because of the nationwide strike. INSIGHT: Asia BDO entrenched in downtrend, a reversal to prior year’s bull-run By Clive Ong 28-Nov-22 20:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The downtrend in Asia’s 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market appears to have become entrenched with a further slump seen as we head towards year end. South Korea’s construction projects halted as truckers’ strike hits fifth day By Pearl Bantillo 28-Nov-22 18:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–A huge number of construction projects in South Korea have had to be halted as the unionised truckers’ strike in the country has been hampering deliveries of cement and steel deliveries over the past five days. Global weekly spot IPEX down with northwest Europe leading regional declines By Yashas Mudumbai 28-Nov-22 18:32 LONDON (ICIS)–The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) fell 2.5% in the week, dragged down by large fall in northwest Europe and declines in Asia and the US Gulf. Crude falls more than $2/bbl on China COVID-19 unrest, wiping out Ukraine war gains By James Dennis 28-Nov-22 16:59 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Crude prices fell by more than $2/bbl on Monday on heightened demand concerns following an outbreak of unrest in China. Crude falls by $2/bbl, Asia petrochemical shares dip on China COVID-19 protests By Pearl Bantillo 28-Nov-22 13:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Crude prices slumped on Monday, tumbling by more than $2/bbl, while shares of petrochemical companies in Asia took a beating on demand concerns amid growing protests in China against strict pandemic curbs. INSIGHT: Under margin pressure, China’s SM producers look to expand downstream By Tina Zhang 28-Nov-22 11:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s styrene monomer (SM) producers are eying development downstream to help ease margin pressure from oversupply following the rapid capacity expansion of recent years. NE Asia ethylene output to remain weak up to at least H1 2023 By Yeow Pei Lin 25-Nov-22 11:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s ethylene production is expected to be constricted by heavy cracker turnarounds, poor margins and weak downstream demand up to at least the first half of 2023. UK price cap to have minimal impact on consumers, hedging By Jack Grant 25-Nov-22 01:45 LONDON (ICIS)–Energy regulator Ofgem announced a further increase to the level of the default tariff cap to £4,279 from 1 January 2023 with impact to consumers and suppliers remaining minimal amid the current energy price guarantee. INSIGHT: Poor demand plagues MX, PX and OX value chain in Europe By Zubair Adam 24-Nov-22 22:42 LONDON (ICIS)–Sluggish consumption is widespread among mixed xylenes (MX) and downstream products paraxylene (PX) and orthoxylene (OX), with no significant recovery expected in the near term. Malaysian shares rally as Anwar appointed as new prime minister By Nurluqman Suratman 24-Nov-22 17:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Malaysian shares rallied on Thursday following news that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was appointed as the country's new prime minister, ending a five-day political impasse. SE Asia PE market dazed by China stop-start demand By Izham Ahmad 24-Nov-22 16:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Initial spot import offers for December shipments of polyethylene (PE) in southeast Asia were announced in the same range as the previous week’s assessment or softer this week, with market players baffled by the stop-start nature of China’s demand for PE. S Korea unionised truckers' strike begins; may disrupt petrochemical ops anew By Nurluqman Suratman 24-Nov-22 13:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea's unionised cargo truck drivers began a nationwide strike on Thursday, potentially disrupting petrochemical production and logistics operations across the country. INSIGHT: A third US cracker wave would crest much lower By Joseph Chang 24-Nov-22 05:42 NEW YORK (ICIS)–Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) and partner QatarEnergy’s announcement on a final investment decision (FID) for their $8.5bn integrated cracker project in Orange, Texas will kick off speculation on whether the US will see a new or third wave of new cracker projects. CDI Economic Summary: All eyes on US inflation and the Fed By Joseph Chang 24-Nov-22 05:16 NEW YORK (ICIS)–Inflation and the Fed – all eyes are on this key metric and the central bank’s response which will drive the U.S. economy heading into 2023. On a slightly weaker-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) print, both Treasury and equity markets rallied hard on hopes that the Federal Reserve may finally be ready to ease the pace of rate increases after four consecutive jumbo hikes of 0.75 percentage points. CP Chem, partner working towards Qatar cracker project FID for 2023 – CEO By Joseph Chang 24-Nov-22 01:52 NEW YORK (ICIS)–Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) and joint venture partner QatarEnergy are working towards a potential final investment decision (FID) on an integrated cracker and polyethylene (PE) complex in Qatar in 2023, said CP Chem’s CEO. German energy caps to maintain demand pressure By Daniel Muir 24-Nov-22 01:25 LONDON (ICIS)–German domestic power and gas price cap proposals should be sufficient to support domestic energy reductions in the face of a tight supply outlook, according to ICIS analysis. Rising fuel costs cap coal plant margins gains By David Battista 23-Nov-22 23:57 LONDON (ICIS)–European coal prices climbed on cooler temperatures and supply issues, as winter power demand picked up following a mild start to November. INSIGHT: Gasoline blending dynamics driving Asia MX and toluene By Jun Kai Heng 23-Nov-22 23:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Mixed xylenes (MX) and toluene prices in the second half of 2022 have notably become decoupled from, or even defied, the dynamics of theIr downstream counterparts and moved more in line with gasoline blending economics. IMF urges China to further recalibrate COVID-19 strategy By Nurluqman Suratman 23-Nov-22 18:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged China to further recalibrate its COVID-19 strategy and provide additional support to its beleaguered property sector to mitigate risks from a global economic slowdown. INSIGHT: Sustainability a double-edged sword for China’s petrochemical industry By Yvonne Shi 23-Nov-22 17:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s accelerating sustainability drive opens doors of opportunity for the chemicals sector as well as posing challenges. China’s EVA market sentiment sluggish, supply exceeds demand By Joanne Wang 23-Nov-22 16:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Supply outstripped demand amid downbeat sentiment owing to a combination of strict zero-COVID measures and ample supply from home and abroad. South Korea bracing for another truckers' strike from 24 November By Nurluqman Suratman 23-Nov-22 12:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea's unionised cargo truck drivers are planning to stage an indefinite nationwide strike for the second time this year starting 24 November, potentially causing manufacturing and supply chain disruptions at major petrochemical sites. Singapore 2023 GDP growth to ease to 0.5-2.5% on weaker external demand By Nurluqman Suratman 23-Nov-22 11:19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's economy is projected to grow by 0.5% to 2.5% in 2023, slowing down from the expected growth of around 3.5% this year, on the back of worsening external demand, official data showed on Wednesday. INSIGHT: China’s new property market policy expected to drive longer-term demand recovery By Lina Xu 22-Nov-22 23:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–On 11 November, the People’s Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission jointly issued a notice to financial institutions laying out plans to ensure the “stable and healthy development” of the property sector. PODCAST: China chemicals demand outlook poor on scheduled shutdowns, pandemic policies By Morgan Condon 22-Nov-22 22:13 LONDON (ICIS)–Global holidays loom large, with Thanksgiving taking place this week, Christmas a month away and the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations on the horizon, taking place at the end of January 2023. Falling crude, feedstocks weigh on NE Asia polyester; outlook bearish By Judith Wang 22-Nov-22 12:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The recent declines in crude and feedstock prices have weighed on the spot polyester export market in northeast Asia, with the year-end outlook bearish. China plans CNY200bn refinancing to help delivery of pre-sold homes By Fanny Zhang 22-Nov-22 12:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s central bank is planning to provide yuan (CNY) 200bn interest-free refinancing to commercial banks to encourage them to support delivery of unfinished homes, the official Xinhua news outlet reported. INSIGHT: A warm November, easing costs, benefit Europe’s cracker operators By Nigel Davis 22-Nov-22 01:03 LONDON (ICIS)–Gas-driven energy costs in Europe have come off spectacular highs but petrochemical producers in the region are still contending with the exceptionally difficult operating environment. VIDEO: European power outlook for Winter 2022 By Laura Mendes 21-Nov-22 21:02 LONDON (ICIS)–The ICIS Power team presents the key drivers for the remaining of Q4 '22 and for Q1 '23 in the main Global weekly spot IPEX little changed as gains in NE Asia offsets losses in NW Europe, US Gulf By Yashas Mudumbai 21-Nov-22 18:42 LONDON (ICIS)–The weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) was barely changed in the week, rising by 0.1% as gains in northeast Asia offset declines in northwest Europe and the US Gulf. Asian currency appreciation attracts limited PE pipe grade import buying interest By Hazel Goh 21-Nov-22 17:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Limited Asia PE black 100 pipe grade import buying interest emerged from the appreciation of Asian currencies against the US dollar. Crude, China petrochemical futures, shares tumble on demand concerns By Pearl Bantillo 21-Nov-22 17:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Crude prices were extending their losses on Monday, with declines in China equities and petrochemical futures markets, due to demand concerns amid continued lockdowns in the world's second-biggest economy caused by rising COVID-19 cases. Yansab to shut Saudi complex for 53 days in '23 amid poor global demand By Pearl Bantillo 21-Nov-22 14:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Yanbu National Petrochemical Company (Yansab) plans to shut its complex in Saudi Arabia at the start of 2023, for nearly two months of turnaround amid weakening global demand. India faces further LNG import decline in 2023 on greater spot exposure, domestic supply growth By Joachim Moxon 21-Nov-22 10:55 SINGAPORE(ICIS)–Indian LNG imports are tumbling to the weakest levels since 2017 and could fall again in 2023 as the disruption in a long-term contract has opened up a significant supply gap. Asia fatty alcohol ethoxylates to remain sluggish on weak macro conditions By Helen Yan 18-Nov-22 16:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s fatty alcohol ethoxylates (FAEs) spot market is expected to remain sluggish till the end of the year due to prevailing weak macroeconomic conditions and the global downturn. China’s phenol faces headwinds from poor demand, new capacities By Yoyo Liu 18-Nov-22 15:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s phenol prices are expected to fluctuate downwards in the short term as a result of intensive start-ups of new capacities and muted downstream demand, said most market participants. China C2 spot buying supported up to year-end; '23 term talks see slow start By Yeow Pei Lin 18-Nov-22 10:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s spot ethylene (C2) buying is expected to remain healthy until at least the end of the year due to the uncertain term supply for 2023, downstream capacity growth and weak domestic methanol-based output. Asia-US container rates continue to slide despite increase in blank sailings By Adam Yanelli 18-Nov-22 06:44 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Rates for shipping containers from east Asia and China to both US coasts fell this week as waning US consumer demand for goods has outweighed reduced capacity along the trade lane. Production cuts to continue in European P-series glycol ethers market By Cameron Birch 17-Nov-22 23:33 LONDON (ICIS)–Production curtailments on P-series glycol ethers already in place for some time are to continue for the foreseeable future, with the European market set to see persistent weakness at the end of the year. Bulgaria's Maritsa East 2's power selling activity to continue in the near-term By Luka Dimitrov 17-Nov-22 21:23 LONDON (ICIS)–Bulgarian coal producer Maritsa East 2 (ME2) is set to continue selling forward power futures on local exchange IBEX in the near term as Bulgarian spot price remains high, according to local market sources. INSIGHT: Lacklustre demand from various outlets impacting polyols, TDI and toluene By Zubair Adam 17-Nov-22 21:03 LONDON (ICIS)–Weaker activity from the automotive and flexible foam industries is impacting the consumption of polyols and toluene diisocyanate (TDI), with some additional impacts from the latter on feedstock toluene due to lower production. No short term demand recovery is envisaged for the whole value chain. Saudi Aramco to build $7bn Shaheen petrochemical project in South Korea By Nurluqman Suratman 17-Nov-22 13:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi Aramco, through its subsidiary S-Oil, will build a won (W) 9.3tr ($7bn) petrochemical project in Ulsan, South Korea which would include a 1.8m tonne/year mixed-feed cracking facility. Rail strike could fuel recession; US Congress must act to prevent it – ACC By Adam Yanelli 17-Nov-22 01:38 HOUSTON (ICIS)–With the possibility of a rail worker strike looming, the American Chemistry Council is urging Congress to take action to prevent it or risk pushing the US economy closer to a recession. Coal prices climb on mounting supply fears By Jack Grant 17-Nov-22 00:29 LONDON (ICIS)–Profit margins for German coal-fired power plants continued to fall in week 46, with front-year margins reaching their lowest level since July 25 as global supply risks mounted. Tight nuclear in France likely to support Q1 '23 delivery By Karishma Sadanandan 17-Nov-22 00:06 LONDON (ICIS)–French power supply margins are likely to tighten significantly in Q1 ‘23 if, as is likely, further nuclear maintenance and outages endure into the first quarter. PODCAST: Macroeconomics prove challenging for global chems in 2023, although some bright spots remain By Morgan Condon 16-Nov-22 22:50 LONDON (ICIS)–After several challenging years in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, volatile geopolitical conditions and a tough macroeconomic backdrop mean that things are unlikely to turn a corner for global chemicals producers heading into the new year. INSIGHT: China’s property rescue plan to boost some petrochemicals By Fanny Zhang 16-Nov-22 20:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s latest measures to rescue the stressed property sector are expected to lift some petrochemicals, although they are unlikely to reverse bearish sentiment on the sluggish property market, according to economists and analysts. Europe epoxy under pressure in Nov; further Dec operational actions likely By Heidi Finch 16-Nov-22 19:03 LONDON (ICIS)–Europe epoxy resins prices are generally under downward pressure in November, due to the recent easing in gas and raw material costs, depressed demand and very competitively priced Asian product. China outlook dims further on fresh COVID-19 surge, real estate slump By Nurluqman Suratman 16-Nov-22 13:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s economic outlook just turned dimmer amid downbeat October data, with surging domestic COVID-19 infections and slumping real estate market threatening to aggravate weak petrochemical demand. INSIGHT: US refiners prioritise diesel, limiting base oil output By Amanda Hay 16-Nov-22 02:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Several US refiners are maximizing distillate (diesel and fuel oils) production to address global shortages and strong demand for these products – a move that limits base oil output. Weak demand outweighs refined COVID-19 policy, capping China PP price rise By Zhibo Xiao 15-Nov-22 16:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s polypropylene (PP) futures surged following the release of the refined COVID-19 policy on 11 November, but the market may still face pressure toward the year-end amid tepid demand recovery, intensive arrivals of competitively-priced imports and expected new plant start-ups. Prompt prices to support Dutch power exports to Germany By Daniel Muir 15-Nov-22 01:53 LONDON (ICIS)–Volatile prompt prices and power production uncertainty in France are likely to continue to support German imports of Dutch power throughout winter 2022. APLA '22: INTERVIEW: Indorama expects surfactants demand growth in ag, oil By Al Greenwood 14-Nov-22 21:00 CANCUN (ICIS)–Indorama expects surfactants demand in South America will continue to grow in the agricultural and energy markets, an executive said. Global weekly spot IPEX ticks higher after gains in all regions By Yashas Mudumbai 14-Nov-22 20:05 LONDON (ICIS)–The weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) rose by 0.8% on the back of gains in all three main regions. INSIGHT: Chemicals specialisation, focus on sustainability paying dividends in tough operating environment By Nigel Davis 14-Nov-22 19:44 LONDON (ICIS)–Specialisation and a focus on higher added value chemicals and services provided some shelter from the storm for certain producers in Europe in the third quarter. Asia butyl acetate slides to two-year low on tepid demand By Melanie Wee 14-Nov-22 17:11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia butyl acetate (butac) market fundamentals were undermined by lacklustre demand, sending spot prices to a two-year low, although some pick-up in sentiment may be seen towards year-end. China PC import price at over two-year low; demand outlook poor By Li Peng Seng 14-Nov-22 09:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's average import price of moulding grade polycarbonate (PC) slumped to more than a two-year low as poor demand lingered while supply stayed plentiful. APLA '22: LatAm PE supply to remain sufficient to good By Bruno Menini 13-Nov-22 22:00 CANCUN, Mexico (ICIS)–Latin America polyethylene (PE) fourth-quarter supply is expected to remain sufficient to good for most regional markets amid normal plant operations and improving US export availability as logistic challenges eased, heading into this year’s annual meeting of the Latin America Petrochemical Association (APLA). PODCAST: China's EVA producers overhaul plants amid price routs By Joanne Wang 11-Nov-22 13:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–ICIS analysts Jady Ma and Joanne Wang discuss the recent developments in China's Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) market. Asia ethylene little changed as players await direction from '23 term talks By Yeow Pei Lin 11-Nov-22 11:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s ethylene spot import prices for December-arrival cargoes were broadly stable this week, as the weak downstream margins and strong US arrivals continued to be counterbalanced by limited regional supply. Bearish sentiment dominates Asia November petrochemical markets By Amy Yu 11-Nov-22 10:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Bearish sentiment in Asian petrochemical markets has risen due to weak demand from late October, and we expect prices of most products in the region to remain on a downward trend in November. German Cal ’23 facing downward revision on bearish fundamentals By Daniel Muir 11-Nov-22 00:47 LONDON (ICIS)– The German power front-year baseload contract looks set to continue its downward revision towards expiry on bearish winter ’22 fundamentals. Europe capro and nylon 6 demand to stay weak By Marta Fern 10-Nov-22 23:58 LONDON (ICIS)–Europe caprolactam (capro) and nylon 6 demand is expected to stay subdued in November and December and output curtailed, limiting overproduction. INSIGHT: Imminent US slowdown piles up problems for Mexican chems By Al Greenwood 10-Nov-22 23:16 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The imminent downturn in the US economy will slow growth in Mexico, lowering demand for plastics and chemicals in an industry that can't get enough feedstock. Europe’s energy-intensive chemicals could reach ‘point of no return’: Brenntag CEO By Will Beacham 10-Nov-22 22:50 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Europe’s energy-intensive chemical sector and value chains could reach the “point of no return” as they operate at an increasing cost disadvantage to other regions, according to the CEO of Brenntag, the world’s largest distributor of chemicals. Brenntag to double M&A war chest, expand digital focus By Will Beacham 10-Nov-22 22:11 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Brenntag has doubled its annual mergers & acquisitions (M&A) budget with an eye to investing beyond the chemicals distribution space to enhance its data and technology offering. Saudi Arabia H1 2022 PE exports increase year on year By Nadim Salamoun 10-Nov-22 16:07 DUBAI (ICIS)–Latest available data on the ICIS Supply and Demand Database showed that Saudi Arabia’s polyethylene (PE) exports during the first half of 2022 increased year on year by 5.6% from a total of 4,584,012 tonnes to a total of 4,842,267 tonnes. VIDEO: China faces strong gasoil demand, gasoline demand softening By Floria Dai 10-Nov-22 15:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch industry analyst Floria Dai discuss China's gasoline and gasoil market which have seen varying trends in wholesale prices. Asia naphtha slumps on poor downstream margins, maintenance shutdowns By Melanie Wee 10-Nov-22 15:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia naphtha markets could remain undermined by bearish conditions, generating downward pressure on spot prices. Asia BDO retreats on poor demand, weak domestic China market By Clive Ong 10-Nov-22 11:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asian 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market trended lower as demand in the region dissipated amid a poor economic outlook. Some participants believe that demand in the region, in particular China, could remain weak until after the Lunar New Year in late January. China, India ethanolamines markets under downward pressure as demand wanes By Clive Ong 10-Nov-22 14:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The ethanolamines markets in China and India remain under downward pressure amid prevailing weak demand and ample supply. British industrial demand to remain below previous years By ICIS Editorial 10-Nov-22 01:05 LONDON (ICIS)–Despite recent pressure to NBP Day-ahead and front month gas prices, a return to high levels of industrial offtake in Britain is unlikely, ICIS analysis shows. INSIGHT: Some recent energy cost relief for Europe but demand outlook poor By Nigel Davis 10-Nov-22 00:35 LONDON (ICIS)–ICIS price-based indexes have tracked down in the second half of the year with significant falls pushing year on year comparison deeply negative. INTERVIEW: Chemical industry must attract talent to tackle world’s big challenges – Dow CEO By Joseph Chang 09-Nov-22 23:42 NEW YORK (ICIS)–The chemical industry needs to attract qualified people to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges such as decarbonisation, the CEO of Dow said. German front year clean darks hit 3-month low By Jack Grant 09-Nov-22 23:16 LONDON (ICIS)–Front year profit margins for German coal-fired power plants continued to fall going into week 45, reaching the lowest level since July, despite fuel costs falling and becoming less expensive relative to revenue. PODCAST: European companies resume imports and gas injections in Ukraine By Aura Sabadus 09-Nov-22 21:14 LONDON (ICIS)– Ukrainian energy companies are facing one of their toughest winters ever, scrambling to repair infrastructure damaged by ongoing Russian missile attacks ahead of winter and secure financial resources to keep the energy system running. Despite the risks, European companies are importing and injecting gas in storage, taking advantage of falling gas prices and Ukraine’s large available capacity. Thailand’s PTTGC swings to Q3 net loss amid weaker petchem margins By Nurluqman Suratman 09-Nov-22 16:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) swung to a net loss of Thai baht (Bt) 13.4bn in the third quarter amid weaker petrochemical spreads, the Thai producer said on Wednesday. Asia petrochemical markets mixed amid high inflation By Felicia Loo 09-Nov-22 14:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical markets were mixed amid economic headwinds and dampening consumption in China amid a slowing economy, with no let-up on its harsh zero COVID-19 policy, dampening consumption. SE Asia MTBE supply shortage keeps export window for China open By Keven Zhang 09-Nov-22 12:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Supply of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) tightened in Asia due to low production and plant issues, keeping China’s export window to the region wide open. Dull outlook for India synthetic rubbers import talks amid declining offers By Ai Teng Lim 09-Nov-22 11:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Discussions for Indian imports of various synthetic rubbers, from styrene-butadiene-rubber (SBR) to polybutadiene rubber (PBR), may stay under pressure in the near term, as import offers are softening amid stiffer competition for market share. INSIGHT: ICIS price indexes continue extended downtrend on demand concerns By Nigel Davis 09-Nov-22 01:18 LONDON (ICIS)–ICIS petrochemical indexes started to turn down in mid year, with the NE Asia IPEX taking a lead on coronavirus lockdowns and deepening concern about China’s rate of economic growth. PODCAST: Asia IPA tight despite weak demand also seen in Europe and US By ICIS Editorial 08-Nov-22 19:58 LONDON (ICIS)–Demand for isopropanol (IPA) is globally soft, though tight supply in Asia has contributed to continued limited exports to Europe. Philippines' Petron Jan-Sept net profit surges; to build coco-methyl ester plant By Pearl Bantillo 08-Nov-22 15:08 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Petron Corp posted a 64% year-on-year increase in nine-month net profit on the back of higher fuel demand even as recession fears drove down oil prices in the third quarter, the Philippine refiner said on Tuesday. Supply uncertainty drives risk premium towards Dutch TTF gas curve and away from the prompt By Rob Dalton 08-Nov-22 00:06 LONDON (ICIS)–Since the outbreak of conflict between Russia and Ukraine, much of the risk premium which was attached to the Dutch TTF gas prompt has shifted to the curve in the second half of the year amid supply uncertainty to the continent. HYDRO MONTHLY: Less rain across continental Europe to limit hydro stocks levels By Laura Mendes 07-Nov-22 23:18 LONDON (ICIS)–Lower precipitation levels than previously anticipated throughout continental Europe is set to decrease hydropower supply in the region during November. This could provide some upside for wholesale electricity prompt prices in the near term, particularly if supply margins tighten elsewhere. PODCAST: India's PVC market sees bearish sentiment, weak demand By Damini Dabholkar 07-Nov-22 22:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–India’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market has been on a steady downtrend over the last year. In this podcast, PVC editor Damini Dabholkar discusses recent developments and what lies ahead for PVC. Germany’s gas-thirsty chemicals still at risk of shutdowns – analysts By Jonathan Lopez 07-Nov-22 20:09 MADRID (ICIS)–Risks of shutdowns in German chemicals plants dependent on natural gas for electricity production during the winter remain, despite storage levels at highs and gas prices in Europe easing, according to analysts at Oxford Economics. Global weekly spot IPEX down on decreases across regions By Yashas Mudumbai 07-Nov-22 18:14 LONDON (ICIS)–The weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) fell by 2.3% on the back of declines across all regions. Asia ethyl acetate markets face bearish times, demand sluggish By Melanie Wee 07-Nov-22 16:33 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia ethyl acetate (etac) markets could see a downbeat demand scenario in the coming days, faced with waning economic conditions. NE Asia C2 sellers seek higher prices for spot Dec cargoes; buyers hesitant By Yeow Pei Lin 04-Nov-22 13:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Spot ethylene (C2) buyers in China and Taiwan headed for the sidelines due to higher selling price indications for December-arrival cargoes and falling downstream margins. China BD import discussions stall on domestic market losses; outlook mixed By Ai Teng Lim 04-Nov-22 11:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Discussions in China for butadiene (BD) imports stalled after domestic prices in the country plummeted early in the week. UK power divergence to NBP dynamics likely to subside By Jack Grant 04-Nov-22 01:46 LONDON (ICIS)–Price signals and fundamental indicators suggest that the previous divergence between UK power and equivalent NBP contracts has likely subsided despite supply risks in the first quarter of 2023. INSIGHT: Greater commitment needed to move climate dial further By Nigel Davis 04-Nov-22 01:33 LONDON (ICIS)–The world is nearing ‘peak oil’ and, indeed, the peak of demand for all fossil fuels as the drive to abate rampant climate change continues. PODCAST: Weak MEK demand across Europe and Asia, previous short supply supports US demand By Nick Cleeve 04-Nov-22 00:59 LONDON (ICIS)–Demand for MEK is weak in Europe amid softer natural gas and energy pricing, while China's ongoing zero-Covid policy is limiting activity in Asia. Profitability and prices slide further, supply concerns mount By Jack Grant 03-Nov-22 00:23 LONDON (ICIS)–Rolling front-month profit margins for German coal-fired power plants plummeted going into week 44, reaching the lowest level since 9 June, before resurging into the opening of November. K FAIR '22 PODCAST: "Less gloomy" than expected but pessimism clear for Europe's PE, PP, EVA, PET markets By Vicky Ellis 03-Nov-22 20:52 LONDON (ICIS)–After two long years in the shadow of COVID-19, many will have felt things are back to normal as they returned to meetings in person in October at K, the plastics and rubber trade fair that filled the halls of Dusseldorf’s Messe. INSIGHT: Asia October PMIs point to broadening export downturn By Nurluqman Suratman 02-Nov-22 17:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Amid falling new orders and inventory build-up, Asia’s export downturn is broadening with the latest data pointing to further weakness in factory activity across the region. Asia glycerine suppliers target China amid oversupply, Europe demand slump By Helen Yan 03-Nov-22 13:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s glycerine suppliers are targeting the Chinese market amid an oversupply from increased biodiesel output and slumping demand in Europe. INSIGHT: More pain for chemicals as US Federal Reserve has ‘a ways to go’ on rate hikes By Joseph Chang 03-Nov-22 06:25 NEW YORK (ICIS)–US and global chemical producers will likely see more pain ahead as the US Federal Reserve still has a “ways to go” in its tightening cycle to bring inflation down to its 2% target. It’s not pausing or pivoting, and not budging from its target. Asian recyclers seek balance between feedstock security, storage constraints By Arianne Perez 02-Nov-22 17:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian producers of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) and recycled polyethylene (R-PE) require a delicate balance between continuous purchases of feedstock while avoiding full storage capacities at plants. China’s Oct petchem market falls on oversupply, poor confidence By Yvonne Shi 02-Nov-22 12:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s petrochemical market fell significantly in October. As of October 31, the ICIS China Petrochemical Price Index (which tracks 17 commodities) dropped 5.4% from September 30 to close at 1220.11 points. POWER MONTHLY INDICES: Winter supply risk subsides amid bearish weather signals By Jack Grant 01-Nov-22 23:56 LONDON (ICIS)—Fading supply risk across European wholesale electricity markets, underpinned by bearish weather forecasts, resulted in the majority of November ’22 indices outturning below their October ’22 counterparts. INSIGHT: New prospects for China's petrochemical industry following 20th Party Congress By Joey Zhou 01-Nov-22 19:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China aims to shift its economy from “high-speed” growth” towards “high quality” growth, president Xi Jinping said in a report at the opening session of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on 16 October. The report lays out the country’s development objectives for 2035, with the goal of “significantly increasing economic strength, scientific and technological capabilities, and composite national strength”. INSIGHT: Weak global demand to continue dampening China PE market confidence By Joanne Wang 01-Nov-22 11:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Bearish domestic and overseas demand may continue to dampen confidence in China’s polyethylene (PE) market in the fourth quarter, or even in 2023. NE Asia propylene tumbles on poor demand, upstream in focus By Julia Tan 01-Nov-22 17:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The average price for spot propylene (C3) imports in northeast Asia fell in the week ended 28 October, tracking losses in the Chinese domestic spot markets. US caustic soda likely to remain in tight supply through Q4 and into 2023 By Bill Bowen 01-Nov-22 06:41 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Two separate factors appear likely to keep the US liquid caustic soda market tightly supplied for the coming months, according to an emerging market consensus. INSIGHT: Crashing gas spurs fertilizer ramp up, petchems still shuttered By Deepika Thapliyal 01-Nov-22 01:07 LONDON (ICIS)–Around a third of European ammonia production which shut down over the summer has reportedly ramped up in October, although overall gas demand remained subdued, ICIS research shows. Asia’s caustic soda spot supply to improve as arbitrage demand cools By Jonathan Chou 31-Oct-22 17:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Slowing arbitrage demand from Europe for Asian spot material of liquid caustic soda may lead to improved supply in Asia, while near-term spot demand in Asia is likely to be capped amid macroeconomic challenges. Saudi Arabia's SABIC Q3 net profit falls 67.1% amid higher costs By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Oct-22 11:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi petrochemicals major SABIC posted a 67.1% year-on-year drop in its third quarter net profit on the back of higher costs despite an increase in sales volumes. Asia MEG prices plunge to a two-year low; outlook bearish By Judith Wang 28-Oct-22 15:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) weekly prices plunged to a two-year low during the week amid weak downstream performance, while the market outlook is expected to remain bearish amid rising supply and low year-end demand. China to continue facing strong gasoil demand, soft gasoline demand in near term By Floria Dai 28-Oct-22 12:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China is likely to continue facing robust gasoil demand and weak gasoline demand in the near-term, which has seen divergent trends in wholesale prices for gasoil and gasoline despite the upward adjustment in retail ceiling prices on 25 October. China C2 import appetite strong despite weak downstream margins By Yeow Pei Lin 28-Oct-22 12:06 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s spot ethylene (C2) import prices were underpinned by restocking demand in China even as the country’s domestic downstream prices suffered further declines this week. INSIGHT: A new world for Asia olefins as capacity surges, demand remains uncertain By Amy Yu 28-Oct-22 12:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asia olefins industry is witnessing a new world of significantly squeezed margins for all producers, with incremental capacity addtions set against the backdrop of weak demand. High inventories, weak demand weigh on US propylene By John Donnelly 28-Oct-22 01:29 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US propylene market continues to be well-supplied and is looking at continued weak derivative demand through Q4. European acrylate esters continue to see destocking amid wider uncertainties By Mathew Jolin-Beech 28-Oct-22 01:20 LONDON (ICIS)–The European acrylate ester markets are expected to see destocking continue while the wider macro-economic uncertainties continue. Low prices may limit future German onshore subscriptions By Daniel Muir 28-Oct-22 01:07 LONDON (ICIS)–Concerns amongst onshore wind power project participants suggest that the current environment for project development could see future German onshore wind auctions be significantly undersubscribed. INSIGHT: M&A to be big part of chem's shift to sustainability By Al Greenwood 28-Oct-22 00:18 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will play a big part in what Deloitte Consultancy sees as a pivotal moment in the chemical industry, which will increasingly focus on sustainability and securing supply chains. European LNG sendout to remain elevated early November By Christopher Rene 27-Oct-22 21:21 LONDON (ICIS)–Persistently high LNG sendout is forecast from the start of November with unseasonably high regasification volumes contributing to the erosion of supply risk from shorter-dated European gas contracts late-October. K Fair ‘22: Cost saving key for Europe TiO2 players in challenging climate By Heidi Finch 27-Oct-22 18:59 LONDON (ICIS)–Cost saving is vital in the fourth quarter and into 2023 in the Europe titanium dioxide (TiO2) market, as demand is falling and economic conditions are worsening, as discussed by players at K Fair. INSIGHT: China PP export outlook – 1, trending to be a major, global exporter By Lucy Shuai 27-Oct-22 18:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China is trending to be a major, global exporter of polypropene (PP) in view of massive domestic capacity start-ups and supply pressure that needs to find export outlets. Asia Group II base oils supply to be reduced until year-end By Matthew Chong 27-Oct-22 15:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s Group II base oils spot supply is expected to shrink until at least the year-end, after having been in relative abundance from June to September earlier this year. Global fossil fuel demand approaching peak – IEA By Tom Brown 27-Oct-22 12:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Global demand may be approaching a peak or plateau for all fossil fuels based on current government policy frameworks, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday, with consumption potentially set to recede in the decades ahead. S Korea Q3 GDP grows by 3.1% on household consumption, construction growth By Nurluqman Suratman 27-Oct-22 10:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea’s economy grew by 3.1% year on year in the third quarter on the back of stronger household consumption and a recovery in the construction sector, preliminary official data showed on Thursday. Weak derivative markets pulling down US ethylene By John Donnelly 27-Oct-22 04:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The ethylene market continues to be long with ample supply and spot prices near ethane cracking costs. This is likely to continue through at least the first part of Q4. Spanish power discount to France to maintain exports By Daniel Muir 27-Oct-22 01:05 LONDON (ICIS)–Large discounts between the Spanish and French Q1 products are likely to continue to support Spanish power exports through the winter. INSIGHT: BASF expecting extremely volatile markets and further uncertainty By Nigel Davis 26-Oct-22 23:54 LONDON (ICIS)–BASF is sticking with its 2022 financial forecasts and is targeting earnings at the upper end of its €6.8-7.2bn range for earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), a steep fall on last year, but is having to be creative in the way it handles the energy crisis in Europe and the wider global economic downturn. Some EU firms resume Ukraine storage injections to clear supply overhang By Aura Sabadus 26-Oct-22 23:49 LONDON (ICIS)–Some EU-based companies have resumed gas injections in Ukrainian storage as hub prices have been falling and markets are facing a supply overhang, several traders told ICIS. Asia PVC likely to see muted demand, healthy supply in the short term By Jonathan Chou 26-Oct-22 16:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Regional spot demand for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in Asia is likely to remain muted on the back of recession fears and rising inflation, while availability is expected to stay healthy in the short term. Asia EDC demand to stay weak while deep-sea supply grows By Jonathan Chou 26-Oct-22 12:57 SINGAPORE(ICIS)–Asia’s spot ethylene dichloride (EDC) demand is being weighed down by sluggish downstream polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market, while spot availability of the intermediate chemical is likely to improve toward the end of the year. US epoxy resins softening as market tries to gauge 2023 demand By Tarun Raizada 26-Oct-22 06:14 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US epoxy resins continued to be pressured in October due to aggressively-priced imports and slowing demand tied to seasonal and economic headwinds. Extension of UK nuclear fleet would cut gas, import reliance By Jack Grant 26-Oct-22 00:55 LONDON (ICIS)–EDF Energy recently announced it was considering extending the life of two of the UK’s nuclear plants, with a combined capacity of 2.4GW, given the severity of the energy crisis that has developed over the last 12 months. PODCAST: Global chemicals loses China as engine of demand growth By Will Beacham 25-Oct-22 22:10 BARCELONA (ICIS)–China’s economic growth will continue at low levels, removing a major source of expanding demand for the global chemical sector. NE Asia polyester extends losses on lower feedstock cost, sluggish demand By Judith Wang 25-Oct-22 12:35 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Spot polyester prices in northeast Asia weakened further, weighed down by lower feedstock cost and an overall sluggish demand for downstream textiles. Singapore eyes hydrogen developments to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 – minister By Nurluqman Suratman 25-Oct-22 11:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore is aiming to develop hydrogen to supply up to half of its power needs by 2050 in a bid to accelerate its ambitions for net zero emissions, a senior government official said on Tuesday. INSIGHT: Asia C3 to face headwinds in fourth quarter By Julia Tan 25-Oct-22 10:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asian propylene market is facing headwinds as it steps into the fourth quarter as demand looks likely to remain weak until the end of the year on poor derivative margins. Europe methanol storage terminals at capacity, lengthy market conditions for November By Eashani Chavda 25-Oct-22 00:53 LONDON (ICIS)–European methanol storage terminals are full in late October, driving lengthy market conditions heading into November. K Fair ‘22: Europe BPA Q4 demand low, cautious support for early 2023 By Heidi Finch 24-Oct-22 22:38 LONDON (ICIS)–Europe bisphenol A (BPA) demand is downbeat in the fourth quarter, on macroeconomic woes, the low season and residual energy cost impacts. INSIGHT: Europe readies for winter without Russian gas, chemicals may avoid rationing By Will Beacham 24-Oct-22 19:00 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Europe’s chemical sector may not suffer mandatory cuts to natural gas consumption this winter, unless exceptionally cold weather boosts domestic heating demand significantly. K Fair '22: Solvay materials unit spared from downturn on healthy aerospace, defence sectors By Jonathan Lopez 24-Oct-22 15:56 DUSSELDORF, Germany (ICIS)–Solvay’s Materials division has so far been spared from a downturn on the back of healthy order books from the aerospace and defence industries, according to an executive of the Belgium-headquartered chemicals major. Some EU firms resume Ukraine storage injections to clear supply overhang By Aura Sabadus 26-Oct-22 16:49 LONDON (ICIS)–Some EU-based companies have resumed gas injections in Ukrainian storage as hub prices have been falling and markets are facing a supply overhang, several traders told ICIS. October European LNG imports could be second highest ever By Christopher Rene 20-Oct-22 22:39 LONDON (ICIS)–European LNG imports are in line to hit a seven-month high for October, narrowly missing out on the all-time monthly high of 11m tonnes recorded in April this year. K Fair ‘22: Europe TiO2 market and downstream hope adapting to challenges will bring stability By Heidi Finch 20-Oct-22 20:44 DUSSELDORF (ICIS)–Strict operational and supply management in the Europe titanium dioxide (TiO2) and downstream markets is vital, amid a challenging cost and demand environment, as players long for much needed stability in these areas, according to sources at the K Fair. Germany manufacturing input shortages could last beyond mid-term shocks – ifo By Tom Brown 18-Oct-22 16:05 LONDON (ICIS)–Material shortages for Germany’s manufacturing sector could last beyond current disruptions, a researcher at economics institute ifo said on Tuesday, with structural changes set to persist and production potentially set to decline. Input shortages that have dogged the manufacturing sector in the country are likely to last beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, according to ifo researcher Joachim Ragnitz. K Fair ‘22: Europe R-PET market faces tough and unpredictable Q4 By Matt Tudball 18-Oct-22 14:00 LONDON (ICIS)–The European recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) market has entered one of the most turbulent periods in its history as industry veterans and newcomers alike struggle to predict the outlook as they meet at the K Plastics Fair. In a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’, the R-PET market has gone from tight supply and record-high prices in the first half of the year to massive oversupply, slow demand, and record-breaking price drops in October. US LNG surpasses Russian natural gas flows to Europe for the first time By Edward Cox 17-Oct-22 16:27 LONDON (ICIS)–US LNG supply to Europe exceeded combined Russian gas and LNG for the first time in September, with the trend likely to continue based on forward market price spreads. US LNG provided 5.3 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in September, with total Russian supply at 3.7bcm. Asia FAE market to remain sluggish in Q4 on economic slowdown and uncertainties By Helen Yan 14-Oct-22 16:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s fatty alcohols ethoxylates (FAE) market is expected to remain sluggish in the fourth quarter amid a global economic slowdown and gloomy macroeconomic outlook. INSIGHT: Europe chemicals pressured by costs, challenged by demand By Nigel Davis 14-Oct-22 16:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Chemical producers in Europe know they are facing a tough winter given exceptionally high natural gas and electricity prices and high oil-based feedstock costs but the collapse in demand in late summer gives them even greater cause for concern. Singapore Q4 GDP growth slows to 4.4%, monetary policy tightened By Nurluqman Suratman 14-Oct-22 11:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's central bank on Friday tightened its monetary policy to dampen persistent price pressures which has slowed its economy to a year-on-year growth of 4.4% in the fourth quarter. NE Asia C2 rebounds; China MTO output cuts boost post-holiday import demand By Yeow Pei Lin 14-Oct-22 10:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s spot ethylene (C2) import prices rose for the first time in five weeks, aided by post-holiday restocking demand in China, limited spot offers for November and the rising cost of US supply. INSIGHT: Demography to determine chemical demand – prepare for a slower growth world By Kevin Swift 14-Oct-22 03:25 CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (ICIS)–From a demand side, population determines the size of markets. It is why companies have been attracted to China and all those consumers. Moreover, the age composition of the population, incomes, and the development of downstream durable and non-durable end-use markets, and other factors also impact plastic resin demand. Norway power production tax risks investment By Daniel Muir 14-Oct-22 00:23 LONDON (ICIS)– Norway’s proposed power price tax could have contrasting impacts on project investment across the country’s bidding zones, producers have told ICIS. Increasing Dutch LNG supply helps cover domestic gas demand By Marta Del Buono 13-Oct-22 18:19 LONDON (ICIS)–Dutch LNG sendout in the country’s supply mix, as well as at European level, will represent a greater share going forward as Russian flows to the continent have been dropping over the past months. 2023 refinery solvents demand to reverse 2022 pattern By Jane Gibson 13-Oct-22 17:41 LONDON (ICIS)–Refinery solvents markets will see a year of two halves in 2023, with the second half expected to see a more positive outlook, reversing the trend seen in 2022. However, natural gas costs, downstream demand and volatile feedstocks will remain on the watchlist all year. INSIGHT: Wall Street turns more negative on TiO2 outlook on weakness in Europe and China By Joseph Chang 13-Oct-22 03:59 NEW YORK (ICIS)–Wall Street analysts are turning more negative on the outlook for titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer earnings as demand weakens, especially in Europe and China. While pricing has held up in the US and Europe thus far, downward pressure is building. US Plug mulls green ammonia shipments to Europe By Al Greenwood 13-Oct-22 03:28 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US green hydrogen company Plug is thinking about some type of project that could develop plants in Europe that would extract hydrogen from green ammonia shipped from the US, the CEO said on Wednesday. EU adds NPK, MOP, nitrates to Russian export sanctions list By Andy Hemphill 12-Oct-22 23:50 LONDON (ICIS)–The European Commission's (EC) latest list of products sanctioned for export from Russia to the EU has been extended to include phosphate fertilizers, alongside muriate of potash (MOP), nitrates, and nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK) blends. UK facing two-hour daily peak demand window with less French import potential By Anna Coulson 12-Oct-22 23:37 LONDON (ICIS)–French power grid operator RTE’s assertion that France should be able to export power during peak times this winter to the UK may not apply to some evening peak hours. Canada chemicals monitor fallout from China slowdown, Ukraine war – exec By Stefan Baumgarten 12-Oct-22 23:21 TORONTO (ICIS)–Canada’s chemical industry is “carefully watching” as the slowdown in China and economic weakness elsewhere in Asia have created pricing pressures on some chemical commodities, the CEO at the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) said to ICIS. IMF trims developing Asia growth outlook on China weakness By Nurluqman Suratman 12-Oct-22 12:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has trimmed its economic growth forecast for emerging and developing Asian economies on account of China's slowdown. S Korea raises benchmark interest rate to 10-year high of 3% By Nurluqman Suratman 12-Oct-22 12:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea's central bank on Wednesday raised its key interest rate by half a percentage point to a 10-year high of 3% as inflationary pressures, fuelled by a strong US dollar, continue to weigh on its economy. INSIGHT: Petchems dealing with bottom of cycle conditions, challenged to the core by sustainability By Nigel Davis 11-Oct-22 23:12 LONDON (ICIS)–Petrochemical producers globally are having to deal with bottom of the cycle conditions alongside the distortion primarily created by Russia’s war in Ukraine. It has, therefore, been very much a question of managing through the trough and streamlining costs to more effectively match customer demand. NE Asia C3 short-term demand outlook bleak By Julia Tan 11-Oct-22 19:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Spot prices for northeast Asian propylene imports firmed on Tuesday on recent upstream gains and firmer derivative futures, but market participants underlined that the short-term demand outlook for the market remains bleak. China September petrochemical markets up; demand outlook still bleak By Yvonne Shi 11-Oct-22 14:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s petrochemical markets were mostly higher in September on supply tightness in some products and aided by pre-holiday restocking, but overall demand is not expected to improve by much in the coming months. Tight supply persists for SE Asian solvent-grade MX By Jun Kai Heng 11-Oct-22 12:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Supply tightness in southeast Asia for solvent-grade mixed xylenes (MX) brought about by low regional production levels and a lack of feasible import options continued to plague buyers. EPCA '22: Bearish outlook for Europe styrene market for Q4, at least By Fergus Jensen 11-Oct-22 06:10 LONDON (ICIS)–Heightened bearish sentiment has dominated the European styrene market in recent months and threatens to continue to overshadow consumption through to the end of 2022, as the broader market grapples with high inflation, spiking energy costs and expectations of a recession in several regions. EPCA '22: European MEG supply could be limited in Q4 on imports, local cuts; demand remains uncertain By Melissa Hurley 11-Oct-22 01:56 LONDON (ICIS)–European monoethylene glycol (MEG) market players have faced a challenging 2022 and there are mixed expectations for the end of the year and beyond. Global weekly spot IPEX slightly up on rises in NE Asia, NW Europe By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 10-Oct-22 23:34 LONDON (ICIS)–The weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) rose by 0.1%, supported by a rise in northeast Asia and northwest Europe spot prices. EPCA '22: Europe polyol demand stymied by TDI shortages, demand forecast weaker in ‘23 By Zubair Adam 10-Oct-22 23:27 LONDON (ICIS)–Demand for polyether polyols is currently somewhat hindered by the shortage of supply of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in Europe, with some projections for overall consumption to be weaker in 2023. ICE Futures US to trade ICIS-linked Europe ethylene monthly contracts By Nel Weddle 10-Oct-22 20:24 LONDON (ICIS)–The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has launched its first Europe ethylene futures contracts. EPCA 22: INSIGHT: Europe BDO costs bite and demand concerns grip the market By Katherine Sale 10-Oct-22 17:00 BERLIN (ICIS)–Uncertainty reigns in the European butanediol (BDO) market, with local sellers hit by potential market changing costs, and demand looking to fall off a cliff from November. Asia PP import appetite marred by weak local currencies, possible supply lengthening By Jackie Wong 07-Oct-22 15:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Southeast Asia's import appetite for polypropylene (PP) continues to be marred by soft domestic currencies against the US dollar, and the possible lengthening of supply from October onwards would likely pile on the pressure. Asia BD stays under pressure; demand outlook hazy By Ai Teng Lim 07-Oct-22 11:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s spot discussions for butadiene (BD) were muted this week with many regional outlets inactive amid various holidays, including a week-long closure in China from 1-7 October. US labour market to remain tight even as economy heads into recession – ICIS economist By Joseph Chang 07-Oct-22 04:28 NEW YORK (ICIS)–The US labour market will continue to be relatively tight, even with the economy likely heading into a recession, according to the ICIS senior economist. INSIGHT: So far, chem earnings highlight drag from Europe, Asia, energy By Al Greenwood 06-Oct-22 23:27 HOUSTON (ICIS)–A surge in profit warnings from chemical companies has cited high energy prices as well as weakness in Europe and Asia as the main reasons why producers cut their guidance for the third quarter and for the full year. EPCA ’22: Europe olefins preparing for the worst, production cuts key By Nel Weddle 06-Oct-22 21:47 BERLIN (ICIS)–Every conversation on the sidelines of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting has been the same – anyone hoping to find some positives or even just some clarity among all the pessimism over the months ahead will likely not have been too successful. Thailand's SCG Chemicals IPO gets SEC nod; eyes listing in 2023 By Pearl Bantillo 06-Oct-22 17:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–SCG Chemicals’ (SCGC) planned initial public offering (IPO) has secured approval from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but its launch may not happen this year, its parent firm Siam Cement Group (SCG) said on Thursday. EPCA ’22: Lack of visibility prompts Europe ACN players to prepare for the worst By Jane Massingham 06-Oct-22 16:20 BERLIN (ICIS)–The most common phrase heard from many European acrylonitrile (ACN) buyers is no-one knows what will happen and as such players are having to prepare worst case scenarios to try and find a way to survive the coming quarters. Asia Q4 petrochemical demand faces headwinds as global economy slows By Felicia Loo 06-Oct-22 14:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Petrochemical demand in Asia will be largely undermined because regional factories face continued weakness in export demand in the fourth quarter. Asia naphtha gathers ground on crude oil gains, supply driven By Melanie Wee 06-Oct-22 13:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia naphtha markets are buoyed by crude oil gains on potential supply curbs and improved spot demand, lifting the product’s crack spread. Global merchandise trade growth to slow to 1% in 2023 – WTO By Nurluqman Suratman 06-Oct-22 12:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–World trade is expected to lose momentum in the second half of 2022 and remain subdued in 2023 as multiple shocks weigh on the global economy, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said late on Wednesday. EPCA '22: HELM Asia, Europe sales hit by downturn, US stable By Will Beacham 06-Oct-22 01:24 BERLIN (ICIS)–Poor economic conditions around the world, especially in Europe, have hit the revenues of Germany’s HELM, a major distributor and marketer of bulk and intermediate chemicals. German front-year clean dark spread hits two-month low By Jack Grant 06-Oct-22 00:20 LONDON (ICIS)—Potential front-year profit margins for German coal-fired electricity generation reached €259.02/MWh on 4 October, the lowest level since 10 August. Later-dated German clean dark spreads have trended downwards since 26 August, with fuel costs becoming more expensive relative to revenue. EPCA ’22: INSIGHT: European Commission cautious on energy as chems sector faces the winter By Tom Brown 05-Oct-22 19:42 BERLIN (ICIS)–The European Commission is treading carefully with respect to its energy policy response, with policymakers trying to walk a line between mitigation of high costs and preservation of hard-won stocks as industry faces up to a difficult winter. EPCA '22: Europe melamine production crippled by gas costs, imports and poor demand By Melissa Hurley 05-Oct-22 17:00 LONDON (ICIS)–European melamine market conditions remain fraught with difficulties, as poor demand continues to clash with high production costs in Europe. Asia manufacturing faces Q4 gloom; export demand may weaken further By Nurluqman Suratman 05-Oct-22 13:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia's factories will likely face continued weakness in export demand in the fourth quarter as European and the US economies may be looking at a sharp slowdown. US Sept auto sales rise, but headwinds persist from higher interest rates, economic slowdown By Adam Yanelli 05-Oct-22 04:17 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US September sales of new light vehicles rose from the previous month and are up by double digits year on year, but higher interest rates and waning economic fundamentals are eroding consumer purchasing plans. EPCA ’22: ‘Time to survive’ for the European chemical industry By Katherine Sale 04-Oct-22 23:19 BERLIN (ICIS)–Survival has been a key theme of this year’s European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) annual meeting, with emphasis on making it through the winter. EPCA ’22: EU energy crisis points to ‘major’ role for fossil fuels, need for staggered regulations – EPCA pres By Tom Brown 04-Oct-22 20:14 BERLIN (ICIS)–The reinvention of the EU’s energy mix in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war is likely to keep fossil fuels as a key energy source and raw materials until the late 2030s and should prompt a re-examination of new chemicals legislation, according to the president of the European Petrochemicals Association (EPCA). EPCA '22: ‘Two parallel worlds’ for European chemicals – Brenntag CEO By Will Beacham 04-Oct-22 17:38 BERLIN (ICIS)–Europe’s chemical markets are moving in two different directions, with declining downstream demand hurting some value chains, but others suffering from extreme tightness caused by energy-related outages, according to the CEO of Germany’s Brenntag, the world’s largest chemical distributor. Singapore Sept manufacturing shrinks for first time since 2020 as outlook dims By Nurluqman Suratman 04-Oct-22 13:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's factory activity in September contracted for the first time in more than two years, as external demand continued to be weighed down by the impact of high inflation and interest rates hikes. CRUDE OUTLOOK: Demand concerns to outweigh tight supply, at least for now By Eloise Radley 03-Oct-22 23:24 LONDON (ICIS)–As global recession looms, oil prices may be in for a bumpy decline for the rest of October amid prospects of lower oil demand as central banks tighten monetary conditions. Global weekly spot IPEX falls on declines in northeast Asia, US Gulf By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 03-Oct-22 19:20 LONDON (ICIS)–The weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) dropped by 1.9% week on week, on the back of price declines in northeast Asia and the US Gulf. INSIGHT: Plant operations and profitability in Europe suffer as costs mount By Nigel Davis 03-Oct-22 17:05 LONDON (ICIS)–EU energy ministers meeting on Friday approved most of a proposed energy crisis package to cut energy usage across the bloc, cap excess revenues from power plants that don’t use gas, and impose a levy on the exceptional profits made in 2022 by oil and gas companies. Oil prices rise by more than $2/bbl as OPEC+ eyes huge output cut By Nurluqman Suratman 03-Oct-22 11:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Oil prices jumped more than $2/bbl on Monday, fueled by expectations that oil cartel OPEC and its allies (OPEC+) would introduce a hefty production cut to bolster the market. NE Asia C2 stays on downward trajectory on strong US exports By Yeow Pei Lin 30-Sep-22 10:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s ethylene (C2) import prices slumped as sellers lowered offers in a bid to re-ignite buyer interest ahead of a long holiday in China. INSIGHT: Trends converging to create Q4 glut in US plastics By Al Greenwood 30-Sep-22 05:21 HOUSTON (ICIS)–North American polymer markets are facing a growing glut because of weakening demand, expanding capacity and rising inventories. Lignite power generation to bolster German power supplies By Daniel Muir 30-Sep-22 01:23 LONDON (ICIS)–The German federal ministry for economic affairs and climate action (BMWK) announcement that five lignite-fired power plants can return to the market from reserve capacity from 1 October 2022 could see hard coal and lignite-fired power generation climb through 2023 and into 2024, according to ICIS analysis. FRENCH POWER MONTHLY: Winter risks may keep October prompt prices supported By Karishma Sadanandan 30-Sep-22 00:18 LONDON (ICIS)–The French October is likely to remain supported into delivery as demand rises with colder temperatures and uncertainty remains over nuclear availability. Europe economic sentiment dropping as Germany on brink of recession By Morgan Condon 29-Sep-22 23:13 LONDON (ICIS)–European economic sentiment continued falling in September, for both the EU and the eurozone, and the German economy is heading towards a recession, as sentiment is shaped by sustained high energy prices. PODCAST: Oxo-alcohol chain developments, demand and energy cost concerns By Cameron Birch 29-Sep-22 21:18 LONDON (ICIS)–The European oxo-alcohol and its derivative markets continue to face problems with high energy costs and demand. There are growing fears that energy costs will spike again in Q4 and demand will come under further pressure as macroeconomic headwinds pick up. Lockdowns, property crisis to slow China 2022 GDP growth to 2.8% – World Bank By Nurluqman Suratman 29-Sep-22 13:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China, the world’s second-biggest economy, is projected to grow at a much slower pace of 2.8% this year compared with an earlier forecast of 5.0%, according to the World Bank, amid the country’s zero-COVID policy and ongoing property crisis. US EDC leads the global trend downward By Bill Bowen 29-Sep-22 06:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Ethylene dichloride (EDC) in the US and globally is facing shrinking demand and collapsing prices as its downstream derivative polyvinyl chloride (PVC) slumps worldwide. Europe EVA Q4 sentiment bearish on lukewarm demand By Samantha Wright 28-Sep-22 22:44 LONDON (ICIS)–European ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) market sentiment is softening for the fourth quarter as demand erodes from some applications. Coal margins retreat despite escalation in European energy conflict By Raymond Shi 28-Sep-22 22:43 LONDON (ICIS)–European coal profitability continued to retreat across the previous seven-day period, despite a late surge in fuel prices following an escalation in Europe’s energy conflict with Russia. East Asia's 2-EH price at 11-week high, but demand slow By Li Peng Seng 28-Sep-22 18:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–East Asia’s import prices of 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) hit an 11-week high while cash margins reached the highest since June as run rate cuts have overturned weak spot demand in China, Asia’s largest importer of the chemical. Asia petrochemical shares, oil slump on recession fears, strong US dollar By Pearl Bantillo 28-Sep-22 14:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Shares of petrochemical companies in Asia were trading lower early Wednesday afternoon, with oil prices down by more than 1%, on demand concerns amid growing adverse global economic ramifications of a strong US dollar. Mideast petchems a mixed picture on supply and demand By Felicia Loo 28-Sep-22 11:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Middle eastern petrochemicals is facing a mixed picture on demand and supply, with bad economic situations engulfing both Jordan and Lebanon when it comes to products like polyethylene (PE). US Q4 epoxy resins to be pressured by slower demand, cheaper imports By Tarun Raizada 28-Sep-22 07:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US epoxy resins continued to be pressured in September as the sizable gap between domestic and import prices provided leverage in some places. INSIGHT: ‘King Dollar’ poses growing threat to US chems, global economy By Joseph Chang 28-Sep-22 01:21 NEW YORK (ICIS)–The relentless surge in the US dollar to record or multi-decade highs against European and Asian currencies will be a greater headwind for US-based chemical company earnings going forward. INSIGHT: Exceptionally high utility costs and historically low consumer confidence – a toxic mix By Nigel Davis 27-Sep-22 23:59 LONDON (ICIS)–Chemical prices have been falling with the cost of oil, although it is rising inflation and weaker demand that is of greatest current concern. PODCAST: China polymer markets ‘worst in 25 years' By Will Beacham 27-Sep-22 22:57 BARCELONA (ICIS)–China’s polymers are in bad shape as demand collapses amid a big uptick in capacity additions; global markets beware. Asia fatty acids buyers retreat on decline in upstream CPO and recession fears By Helen Yan 27-Sep-22 15:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s fatty acids buyers are retreating to the sidelines following the decline in the upstream crude palm oil (CPO) price earlier this week amid mounting fears of a global recession. Asia’s caustic soda may continue seeing export opportunities to Europe in Q4 By Jonathan Chou 27-Sep-22 14:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Demand for spot liquid caustic soda in Asia is likely to be supported by arbitrage trade to Europe in the near term. INSIGHT: High cost threatens Asia petrochemical output as regional currencies tumble By Pearl Bantillo 27-Sep-22 12:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical production is at risk of shrinking further as imported raw materials get more expensive each day that Asian currencies tumble to new lows. INSIGHT: Russia-Ukraine war, surging inflation continue to dim growth expectations By Tom Brown 27-Sep-22 00:17 LONDON (ICIS)–The outlook for global growth is continuing to darken as the economy loses momentum in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, with fresh economic projections pointing to a substantial deterioration in prospects from 2023 even relative to a few months ago. Global weekly spot IPEX down on declines across regions By Yashas Mudumbai 26-Sep-22 17:27 LONDON (ICIS)–The weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) was down last week, with indices across regions declining. Asia naphtha market falters on feeble demand, weak macroeconomics By Melanie Wee 26-Sep-22 14:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s naphtha markets are being pressured by waning demand caused by poor downstream margins, compounded by falling regional currencies against the strong US dollar. NE Asia ethylene weakens; November outlook bleak on deep-sea influx By Yeow Pei Lin 23-Sep-22 12:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s ethylene prices fell on concerns about a looming supply overhang in November, as an influx of deep-sea cargoes will coincide with South Korean cracker restarts and regional capacity expansion. Asia BD import market slows on soft demand By Ai Teng Lim 23-Sep-22 11:24SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Spot discussions for Asian butadiene (BD) imports are limited this week as regional buyers retreated deeper into the sidelines amid uncertainties in the global macroeconomic outlook. Federal Court suspends Barossa gas project’s drilling permit By Yun Xie 23-Sep-22 12:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–An Australian Federal Court has ordered the gas producer Santos to suspend drilling and completion activities at its Barossa gas project on 21 September. US HB Fuller sees rebound in Asia, slowdown in Europe By Al Greenwood 23-Sep-22 05:43 HOUSTON (ICIS)–HB Fuller began to see a rebound in Asian demand during its fiscal third quarter because China is reopening from its COVID-19 lockdowns, the US-based adhesives producer said on Thursday, a trend that other chemical producers have yet to see. Weak demand, high costs could keep Europe capro, nylon 6 output low By Marta Fern 23-Sep-22 04:03 LONDON (ICIS)–European caprolactam (capro) and downstream nylon 6 supply could stay curtailed in the near-term as challenging market fundamentals, which have led to further output reductions during August and September, continue. French Q4 '22 premium to hold over UK despite supply support By Jack Grant 23-Sep-22 01:02 LONDON (ICIS)–A widening French power premium over UK equivalents on quarterly contracts this winter suggests French spot prices are set to deliver higher than the UK during the high-demand season for the first time in recent history. Spain confirms 1.5bcm increase gas export capacity to France By Andrea Battaglia 22-Sep-22 23:48 LONDON (ICIS)–As Spain is set to increase by 1.5billion cubic metres (bcm)/year its gas exports capacity towards France, this could potentially offer some help to the European gas supply this gas winter. Asia MEG market under pressure as downstream cuts operation to ease high inventories By Judith Wang 22-Sep-22 18:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) market has been under pressure during the week as downstream polyester sector initiated another round of operation cuts in a bid to relieve inventory pressure. Japan bucks global monetary tightening trend; yen slumps to new 24-year low By Nurluqman Suratman 22-Sep-22 17:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Japan’s central bank decided on Thursday to keep its ultra-low interest rates unchanged, bucking the global monetary policy tightening trend in the fight against rising inflation, causing the yen to slump to a fresh 24-year low. Asia Group II base oils supply to lengthen on increased output By Matthew Chong 22-Sep-22 13:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s Group II base oils spot supply is expected to increase as several northeast Asian refiners have already or are about to resume full production. Asian petrochemicals shares tumble after US Fed interest rate hike By Nurluqman Suratman 22-Sep-22 11:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian petrochemical shares fell on Thursday as fears of a global recession grew after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates by 75 basis points (bps) to the highest level since early 2008. INSIGHT: Widespread demand reduction makes a tough quarter tougher By Nigel Davis 21-Sep-22 23:49 LONDON (ICIS)–It has been a tough third quarter for most upstream producers of chemicals and others as weaker demand and rising costs have combined to hit earnings and shift guidance. Developing Asia GDP growth forecast cut to 4.3% amid higher inflation – ADB By Nurluqman Suratman 21-Sep-22 11:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday cut its economic growth forecast for developing Asian economies to 4.3% this year from a previous projection of a 5.2% expansion amid the continued rise in inflation in the region. PODCAST: Europe chemicals could benefit from lower gas prices By Will Beacham 20-Sep-22 21:20 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Natural gas prices could fall significantly in the next 2-3 years, relieving pressure on Europe’s beleaguered petrochemical sector. Global weekly spot IPEX stable despite declines in NW Europe, US Gulf By Yashas Mudumbai 20-Sep-22 16:52 LONDON (ICIS)–The weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) was stable week on week, despite a small decline in northwest Europe and the US Gulf. INSIGHT: Changes on China polyolefins trade flows By Joey Zhou 19-Sep-22 18:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China polyolefins continue to see decreasing imports and increasing exports in 2022 amid its fundamental changes. China’s moulding grade PC import price at eight-week high, but demand seen sluggish By Li Peng Seng 19-Sep-22 11:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Chinese import prices for moulding grade polycarbonate (PC) rose for the first time since March to reach an eight-week high, as sellers raised prices to combat poor margins. Asia’s benzene projections cautious on upcoming additions By Angeline Soh 19-Sep-22 16:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s benzene market players are cautious about Q4 given the five upcoming additions in China, though some pessimism was balanced out by the scheduled derivative additions. Asia petrochemical export opportunities to Europe growing amid energy crisis By Nurluqman Suratman 16-Sep-22 11:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian petrochemical markets could find new pockets of opportunities to export to the EU in the coming months as European producers continues to struggle with high production costs amid record energy prices. S Korea Oct C2 output falls on turnarounds; NE Asia supply outlook mixed By Yeow Pei Lin 09-Sep-22 12:09 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Ethylene (C2) output in South Korea, Asia's largest exporter, will decline in October due to cracker turnarounds but supplies in northeast Asia may not necessarily fall short of demand. INSIGHT: Oil falls to pre-war levels, pushing down chem prices By Al Greenwood 09-Sep-22 00:07 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Brent futures contract prices fell below $90/bbl this week, reaching levels not seen since before Russia's invasion of Ukraine and adding more downward pressure on chemical markets that are already contending with weaker demand. Further interest rate hikes ahead for eurozone – Lagarde By Tom Brown 08-Sep-22 23:53 LONDON (ICIS)–The 75 basis point increase to the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) key interest rate is expected to be followed by several more hikes over the next few months, on persistent high inflation expectations, President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday. ICIS VIEW: Why are British NBP gas prices so high? By Rob Dalton 08-Sep-22 23:33 LONDON (ICIS)–Despite Britain’s diverse range of gas supplies and its reduced dependence on Russian gas, British NBP prices continue to soar as Russian deliveries to Europe drop further. Rising interest rates, low inventories weigh on US auto sales, slight uptick in Q4 expected By Adam Yanelli 08-Sep-22 23:31 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US auto industry continues to face headwinds from tight dealer inventories and rising interest rates, but sales could improve in the fourth quarter amid strong employment and persistent consumer demand. Energy costs to push Germany into recession next year – institutes By Stefan Baumgarten 08-Sep-22 23:02 LONDON (ICIS)–High energy costs will push Germany into recession next year, two economic research institutes said in forecasts on Thursday. VTP front-quarter premium to PSV widens on Russian pipeline supply risk By Ed Martin 08-Sep-22 20:29 LONDON (ICIS)-The Austrian gas VTP front-quarter contract looks likely to remain at a premium to its Italian PSV counterpart into delivery on the back of Russian pipeline supply fears. Germany proposes to cap electricity revenues for inframarginal technologies By Stefan Konstantinov 08-Sep-22 16:59 LONDON (ICIS)–The German government announced on Sunday 4 September that it would impose a windfall tax on some electricity producers. It would use the resulting proceeds to finance a new €65bn energy relief package designed to support consumers and mitigate the impact of high inflation and energy bills. This new package brings the total cost of the aid measures Germany has enacted this year to €95bn. Asia naphtha market in limbo on thin demand, ample supply By Melanie Wee 08-Sep-22 13:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s naphtha prices are being weighed down by thin demand and ample supply, with its forward market structure languishing at parity. Japan upgrades Q2 GDP growth to 3.5% on stronger consumer spending By Nurluqman Suratman 08-Sep-22 12:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Japan's economy in the second quarter grew at an annualized rate of 3.5%, up from the initial estimate of 2.2% as domestic spending improved more than expected, official data showed on Thursday. Supply concerns galvanise UK power bulls, but delivery uncertain By Jack Grant 07-Sep-22 21:48 LONDON (ICIS)–As Europe braces for this winter’s perfect storm, market opinion is split on the delivery of UK power prices through September and into the fourth quarter. Demand still robust for Europe’s chemical distributors By Will Beacham 07-Sep-22 19:34 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Europe’s chemical distributors have not yet suffered the downturn in demand and torrid market conditions suffered by chemical producers across the region, according to delegates at the European Association of Chemical Distributors (Fecc) annual congress in Sitges near Barcelona. Saudi Arabia Q2 economic growth revised up to 12.2% year on year By Pearl Bantillo 07-Sep-22 19:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi Arabia’s economy posted a revised second-quarter annualized growth rate of 12.2%, the highest in nearly 11 years, on the back of oil price spikes, official data showed on Wednesday. Russian oil faces fresh G7 sanctions By Eloise Radley 07-Sep-22 18:17 LONDON (ICIS)–G7 financial ministers met on Friday last week when a decision was made to impose a price cap on Russian oil. Although details have yet to be announced, it could be set at a level of around half the current Brent oil price. The move is aimed at hacking away at Russia’s war fund and curbing rising energy prices. PODCAST: Sliding fundamentals could reshape global chemicals production By Morgan Condon 07-Sep-22 02:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Although summer in the northern hemisphere draws to a close, the typical swing in seasonal demand has not returned for September, and the global chemicals industry faces a challenging close of 2022. INSIGHT: Strong oil boosts Saudi Arabia coffers for future growth By Pearl Bantillo 06-Sep-22 17:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi Arabia looks set to stand among the strongest-growing economies in the world in 2022, reaping strong benefits from elevated energy prices – an unwelcome offshoot of the Russia-Ukraine war. European farmers ditch nitrate fertilizers as prices soar By Manuja Pandey 06-Sep-22 17:27 LONDON (ICIS)–The price of nitrate fertilizers has soared on the back of reduced supply after a fresh round of production outages was announced by European chemical and fertilizer producers. LNG charter rates soar in the Pacific basin By Roman Kazmin 06-Sep-22 16:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The charter rates in the Pacific basin have seen a drastic hike on the back of extreme shortage of tonnage, Singapore-based shipbrokers said. INSIGHT: Lengthy supply, weak demand reflect extremely difficult September in Europe By Nigel Davis 05-Sep-22 23:41 LONDON (ICIS)–Market players in Europe usually expect to return from summer breaks with something of a spring in their step. The quietest days of August give way to a busier September and often a relatively strong fourth quarter. OPEC+ drop production levels for October By Eloise Radley 05-Sep-22 23:23 LONDON (ICIS)–OPEC+ members met on Monday and agreed to cut production quotas by 0.1m bbl/day in October. UK power exports fall during August, net flows to France set to persist By Jack Grant 05-Sep-22 21:45 LONDON (ICIS)–Discounts on UK baseload power prompt products compared with equivalent contracts on European markets suggests the UK will maintain its net export position to Europe through delivery in September. Global weekly spot IPEX down on declines in NW Europe, US Gulf By Yashas Mudumbai 05-Sep-22 17:00 LONDON (ICIS)–The weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) dropped by 1% as declines in northwest Europe and the US Gulf offset the slight uptick seen in northeast Asia. Singapore industries face demand headwinds; Aug PMI slips to 50 By Nurluqman Suratman 05-Sep-22 13:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's manufacturing sector is expected to face further demand headwinds following a marginal drop in its key purchasing managers' index (PMI) in August as new export orders slow down. Oil rises $1/bbl on possible OPEC supply cuts; China lockdowns cap gains By Nurluqman Suratman 05-Sep-22 11:19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Oil prices rose by more than $1/bbl on Monday morning as investors fret over a possible production cut by OPEC and its allies later in the day to support the market. SE Asia palm biodiesel market stays afloat in strong demand By Keven Zhang 02-Sep-22 10:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Southeast Asian palm methyl ester (PME) biodiesel was supported by buying activities from EU, betting against the consensus of a weakening demand as winter approached. NE Asia C2 surges on limited Sept supply; outlook for Oct mixed By Yeow Pei Lin 02-Sep-22 11:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia's spot import prices for September ethylene (C2) rose at an accelerated pace on limited supply but the near-term outlook was clouded by the ailing downstream sectors. Europe chems stocks dip on growing economic fears By Tom Brown 02-Sep-22 00:21 LONDON (ICIS)–European chemicals company stocks slumped on Thursday in line with wider markets as fresh negative manufacturing sector data drove increasingly bearish economic growth expectations. INSIGHT: Global chemicals must ‘prepare for pain’ as central banks press ahead to quash inflation By Joseph Chang 01-Sep-22 23:45 NEW YORK (ICIS)–‘Pain and sacrifice’ – those are the words coming from the head of the world’s largest central bank – the US Federal Reserve – and the European Central Bank (ECB) on what looms on the horizon. Stamping out inflation is job number one, and they will do whatever it takes, even if it means recession and higher unemployment. INSIGHT: New Ecovyst CEO eyes growth in petroleum and renewable energy By Al Greenwood 01-Sep-22 23:35 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Ecovyst's new CEO expects demand to remain resilient for its sulphuric acid and catalysts, which are used to make petroleum based-fuels and polyethylene (PE) as well as renewable fuels and mining metals needed to make lithium-ion batteries and copper wiring. Gas uncertainty could cause German power spot prices to rise in Q4 delivery By Karishma Sadanandan 01-Sep-22 23:18 LONDON (ICIS)–German Q4 spot prices are likely to rise above the current forward contract, should cold spells, low winds, and rising gas prices combine to support prices in delivery. European LNG sendout to remain elevated early September By Christopher Rene 01-Sep-22 23:10 LONDON (ICIS)–Above-average European LNG sendout will persist in the first half of September, continuing the trend observed throughout 2022 amid ongoing supply tightness and elevated regional hub prices. India economy posts 13.5% fiscal Q1 growth; outlook dims By Pearl Bantillo 01-Sep-22 17:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–India posted a 13.5% annualized GDP growth in April-June 2022, the first quarter of its current fiscal year, marking the strongest pace of increase recorded in a year on a combination of low base effects and strong growth in private consumption. NE Asia August factory activities weaken amid slowing global economy By Nurluqman Suratman 01-Sep-22 13:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Factory activities across northeast Asia weakened in August on poor overseas demand amid slowing global economic growth. US PE offers in China stoke fears of extended oversupply in SE Asia By Izham Ahmad 01-Sep-22 09:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The appearance of offers for US polyethylene imports in China earlier in August has driven fears of worsening oversupply conditions in southeast Asia amid an ongoing slump in downstream demand. Demand returns to European refinery solvents markets but costs a concern By Jane Gibson 01-Sep-22 01:33 LONDON (ICIS)–European refinery solvents markets pricing is likely to remain volatile in September as feedstocks and energy prices impact price targets amid some regional tightness and cautious September demand. EU considering “emergency intervention” into power markets: Proposals and likely outcomes By Matthew Jones 31-Aug-22 19:38 European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated this week that the electricity market requires “emergency intervention” in order to reduce the skyrocketing prices of power across the bloc. China’s PVC exports could be capped but rising deep-sea supply may affect Asia By Jonathan Chou 31-Aug-22 16:59 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Despite exports from China having fallen in recent weeks, producers in Asia are likely to continue seeing competition in the form of deep-sea cargo at competitive prices. China industries contract in August amid power cuts, COVID-19 curbs By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Aug-22 14:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's manufacturing activity continued to contract as the country grapples with power outages caused by record heatwave and drought in August, with fresh COVID-19 curbs hampering overall industrial output and consumption. Asia fatty acids likely to remain flat near term on slowing global demand By Helen Yan 31-Aug-22 10:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia's fatty acids market is likely to remain flat in the near term, as a strong US dollar versus local currencies curbs spot interest amid softening upstream crude palm oil (CPO) prices. European PMMA to remain gripped by high costs and weak demand By Mathew Jolin-Beech 31-Aug-22 00:06 LONDON (ICIS)–The European polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) market is expected to remain gripped by a combination of high energy costs and soft demand. Global weekly spot IPEX down on falls in northwest Europe, US Gulf By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 30-Aug-22 23:16 LONDON (ICIS)–The spot chemicals index dropped by 0.2% as falls across northwest Europe and the US Gulf outweighed the slight increase in prices seen in northeast Asia, according to the latest figures from the weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX). PODCAST: Chemicals must stay on low carbon track despite current crises By Will Beacham 30-Aug-22 22:41 BARCELONA (ICIS)–The global chemical industry must remain committed to the net zero agenda, and not be distracted by current macroeconomic and geopolitical crises. INSIGHT: Impact of power restrictions on China petrochemicals likely to be limited amid weak demand By Jenny Yi 30-Aug-22 21:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Power supply restrictions in many parts of China have been exacerbated this year by prolonged heatwaves in Sichuan, Chongqing, Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Hubei. Record high temperatures have prompted petrochemical plant operating rate cuts and shut downs. Global oil outlook: Five factors to watch in Week 35 By Eloise Radley 30-Aug-22 19:43 LONDON (ICIS)–Crude rebounded last week, with Brent climbing to over $100/bbl. Supply concerns intensified as OPEC+ threatened to cut production quotas and the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve was at its lowest level in decades. Asia refiners cut Group II base oils output on negative margins By Whitney Shi 30-Aug-22 17:08 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–While Asian refiners had cut export prices for Group II base oils in July-August due to weak demand, they have also recently reduced output. PP demand to slow down in East Med as region enters low-demand season By Nadim Salamoun 30-Aug-22 05:32 DUBAI (ICIS)–Despite the summer season being traditionally a high-demand season in the region, the economic crisis coupled with the high unemployment rates and soaring inflation Jordan and Lebanon are facing have taken a toll on the purchasing power of the population. Demand has been low during the season. China’s Sinopec H1 net profit up 10.5%; chemical earnings slump 94% By Fanny Zhang 29-Aug-22 14:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec reported a 10.5% year-on-year increase in first-half 2022 net profit on the back of strong crude, even as its chemical earnings shrunk 94% as demand collapsed amid COVID-19 curbs. China’s PE market may remain under pressure from rising supply, weak demand By Sijia Li 29-Aug-22 10:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s polyethylene (PE) market may face further pressure from rising supply and weak demand amid high global inflation and tepid recovery in end-use consumption, curbed by power rationing policies on rising temperatures. Asia naphtha crack sinks in negative zone, poor margins dent demand By Melanie Wee 26-Aug-22 13:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia naphtha markets are under pressure from feeble demand as a result of poor downstream margins, sending the product’s crack spread into deeper negative terrain. Asia MEG market falls into a narrow band; outlook mixed By Judith Wang 26-Aug-22 13:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) market discussions have fallen into a narrow band during the week as market participants were weighing higher upstream cost against rising supply and slowing demand, while the outlook is mixed in the absence of clear market indicators. Asia SM eyes downstream recovery potential in Sep as suppliers limit rates By Trixie Yap 26-Aug-22 12:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia's styrene monomer (SM) discussion levels will hinge on downstream market activity and recovery entering September as supply fundamentals continue to tighten with makers remaining adamant on production cuts amid volatile SM margins. Indonesia’s extended waiver on palm oil export levy to have limited impact on oleo market By Helen Yan 26-Aug-22 11:59 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Indonesia’s extension of its waiver on its export levy on palm oil till the end of October is unlikely to have any significant impact on the oleochemicals market in southeast Asia. NE Asia C2 spot demand for September rises as output cuts bite By Yeow Pei Lin 26-Aug-22 10:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Buying enquiries for September spot ethylene (C2) imports increased in northeast Asia due to reduced domestic supply caused by output cuts, which were largely in response to poor margins and high propylene inventory. INSIGHT: Dow PE operating rate cut highlights global weakness, overcapacity and logistics constraints By Joseph Chang 26-Aug-22 04:37 NEW YORK (ICIS)–Dow’s announcement on slashing polyethylene (PE) operating rates is a clear sign of weakening global demand and oversupply of the polymer, along with persistent logistics constraints. European local melamine production heavily reduced on soaring gas prices; affordability concerns grow By Melissa Hurley 26-Aug-22 01:03 LONDON (ICIS)–European melamine market players are faced with record level gas prices, leading to more shutdowns and reduced run rates. Concerns over affordability are mounting as costs drift further away from market dynamics. US LNG to Europe to remain at elevated level By Christopher Rene 25-Aug-22 22:49 LONDON (ICIS)–US LNG exports to Europe are set to be twice as large as 2021 volumes by the end of September, with demand driven by the current energy crisis, ICIS data shows. INSIGHT: Downside uncertainty hits Europe refined products market but tightness remains By Tom Brown 25-Aug-22 22:19 LONDON (ICIS)–Pricing for some refined products has started to ease from the highs during the summer as the peak demand season comes to a close and macroeconomic pressure intensifies, but structural tightness in the sector continues to buffer pricing and galvanise future demand upticks. CDI Economic Summary: US macro challenges build amid labour resilience By Joseph Chang 25-Aug-22 05:00 NEW YORK (ICIS)–US GDP is expected to slow further but labour and manufacturing are showing resilience while inflation may have peaked. Mideast TDI market sees cautious optimism after FM announcement in Europe By Damini Dabholkar 25-Aug-22 17:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Middle East market saw more activity and producers heard more enquiries from customers this week on expectations of lower supply. Asia OX supply to tighten further; wide buy-sell gap persists By Samuel Wong 25-Aug-22 14:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian supply of orthoxylene (OX) is expected to stay tight, especially in China, on the back of several planned maintenance shutdowns. South Korea hikes key interest rate to 2.5% amid soaring inflation By Nurluqman Suratman 25-Aug-22 10:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea’s central bank on Thursday raised its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 2.5% in a move to contain soaring inflation, which it expects to remain at a high level for a considerable period of time. INSIGHT: Falling demand expectations cut into crude outlook By Tom Brown 24-Aug-22 23:17 LONDON (ICIS)–Crude demand and pricing has remained firm through the summer, but the imminent end of the peak driving season and rapidly-deteriorating macroeconomic picture are driving down price and demand expectations for the rest of 2022. Europe PE/PP players agree to exit 2022 contracts to cut costs By Ben Lake 24-Aug-22 17:00 LONDON (ICIS)–European polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) players, desperately looking for ways to trim costs, have resorted to agreeing to mutually abandon parts or the entirety of their 2022 contract agreements – and the relationship between buyers and sellers is likely to remain in flux for the rest of the year. French power spot on track to deliver above UK in Q4 if nuclear woes persist By Jack Grant and Karishma Sadanandan LONDON (ICIS)–A widening French power premium over UK equivalents on quarterly contracts this winter suggests French spot prices are likely to deliver higher than the UK during the high-demand season for the first time in recent history, if nuclear uncertainty continues to cause concerns for winter supply. Soaring European gas prices force 13.5m tonnes of fertilizers, chemicals offline or cut By Deepika Thapliyal 23-Aug-22 23:23 LONDON, BARCELONA (ICIS)–Soaring natural gas prices in Europe have led to at least 13.5m tonnes of fertilizer and chemical capacity being shut down or run at reduced rates, representing up to 63% of regional capacity for the worst-affected products. Russia’s Sakhalin-2 faces difficulties on spot LNG sales By Roman Kazmin 23-Aug-22 15:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Russia’s Sakhalin-2 project is experiencing difficulties to find participants for spot tenders, a source close to Russia’s incumbent Gazprom told ICIS. Europe caustic soda tightens on production issues, lower utilisation rates By Chris Barker 22-Aug-22 22:04 LONDON (ICIS)–European caustic soda players expect the market to tighten in the fourth quarter of 2022, as production of chlorine and caustic soda has decreased and force majeures and maintenance have rocked the market. Malaysia's PCG Q2 net profit rises 0.5%; warns of waning demand By Nurluqman Suratman 22-Aug-22 14:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–PETRONAS Chemicals Group (PCG) on Monday reported a marginal year-on-year increase in its second-quarter net profit thanks to higher product prices, but the Malaysian producer warned of weaker demand in the second half of 2022. Supply chain, freight transportation problems plague chem manufacturers – ACC survey By Adam Yanelli 19-Aug-22 02:31 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Chemical manufacturers in the US have continued to be plagued by major supply chain and transportation issues that have led to 97% of respondents modifying operations, according to the results of an American Chemistry Council member survey. New Sakhalin-2 operator says contracts stay in place By Ed Lane 19-Aug-22 07:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The new operator of the Sakhalin-2 project, LLC Sakhalin Energy, was announced in a press statement on 19 August as several offtakers from the project confirmed it has offered the same purchasing terms for clients, but with payment to Gazprombank JSC. Germany’s chem R&D stalls on impacts from Ukraine war, pandemic By Stefan Baumgarten 18-Aug-22 23:54 LONDON (ICIS)–Investment on research and development (R&D) in Germany’s chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry has stalled, according to chemical producers’ trade group VCI. Europe chemicals buyers shift from contractual volumes to spot market on crest of falling demand By Morgan Condon 18-Aug-22 19:19 LONDON (ICIS)–As economic indicators continue to warn of a downturn towards the end of 2022, Europe’s chemicals markets are adjusting buying habits in a bid to shelter from the crash. Eurozone construction output slips in June on widespread fall in demand By Tom Brown 18-Aug-22 18:53 LONDON (ICIS)–Construction output in the eurozone fell 1.3% month on month in June on the back of substantial declines in civil engineering and building productivity in the region, according to data from Eurostat on Thursday. Philippine central bank hikes key interest rates anew to tame inflation By Pearl Bantillo 18-Aug-22 18:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced on Thursday a 50 basis point (bps) hike in its key interest rates, with further monetary tightening possible as average inflation this year is expected to exceed its 2.0-4.0% target. INSIGHT: Asia petrochemical margins shrink amid price slump, poor demand By Nurluqman Suratman 18-Aug-22 13:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical margins are being eroded by sharp price declines, high feedstock costs and tepid downstream demand, with market sentiment weighed down by economic uncertainties in China and fears of a global recession. Challenges to mount in Europe ECH market in autumn on imports vs energy By Heidi Finch 18-Aug-22 01:35 LONDON (ICIS)–The Europe epichlorohydrin (ECH) market could face various challenges in the autumn, amid a flurry of competitive imports, gathering macro-economic clouds and a slow derivative epoxy market on the one hand, and heightened energy cost/supply concerns on the other. Germany's order backlog hits new high, chem backlog eases By Stefan Baumgarten 18-Aug-22 01:00 LONDON (ICIS)–The backlog of unfilled manufacturing orders in Germany reached yet another record high in June amid the ongoing supply chain issues and raw material shortages, according to the latest statistical data on Wednesday. Asia petrochemicals bottoming out; concerns on demand recovery, margins remain By Joey Zhou 17-Aug-22 16:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian petrochemical market is expected to bottom out and start rebounding in August, while most products still see lower average prices than July. India’s GAIL runs Pata complex at reduced rates on LNG supply issue – sources By Priya Jestin 17-Aug-22 14:33 MUMBAI (ICIS)–State-owned Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) will continue operating petrochemical plants at its Pata complex in Uttar Pradesh at reduced capacity to ensure adequate gas supply to its customers, a company official said on Tuesday. INSIGHT: High inflation, global economic uncertainty weigh on China PE market By Amy Yu 17-Aug-22 11:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Rising inflation and concerns over the global economic outlook are likely to weigh on China’s polyethylene (PE) demand growth in the second half of the year. INSIGHT: IPEX downturn points to difficult time to come By Nigel Davis 15-Aug-22 23:39 LONDON (ICIS)–Petrochemical price falls across the board in northeast Asia and a sharp price downturn in northwest Europe point either to a feedstock correction from earlier highs or building pressure on demand. Saudi Aramco posts record Q2 net profit on higher oil prices By Nurluqman Suratman 15-Aug-22 11:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi Aramco's second-quarter net profit surged to a record riyal (SR) 181.6bn ($48bn), on the back of higher crude oil prices and sales volumes. Malaysia’s Q2 GDP expands 8.9%, growth to moderate on global uncertainties By Nurluqman Suratman 12-Aug-22 15:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Malaysia’s economy grew by 8.9% year on year in the second quarter of this year on improving domestic demand, but heightened global uncertainties are expected to weigh on its growth outlook, the central bank said on Friday. High production costs erode Asian R-HDPE margins By Arianne Perez 12-Aug-22 13:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–As production costs of recycled high-density polyethylene (R-HDPE) blow moulding pellets remain high in Asia while demand stays lacklustre, sellers’ margins will continue to narrow in the weeks ahead. PODCAST: Asian olefins producers challenged to preserve margins in H2 – ICIS analysts By Morgan Condon 12-Aug-22 05:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Asian olefins capacity is set to increase in the coming months, but against the prospect of a global recession and challenging demand it is unclear how this will develop for producers. Trade data show US base oil export availability has not returned to pre-pandemic levels By Amanda Hay 12-Aug-22 03:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)–ICIS trade data reveal that the US has not yet returned to pre-pandemic export levels of base oils as supply constraints, shifting trade flows and high prices have curbed export activity. Gas-fired generation drives German power Cal ’23 By Anne Petersen 12-Aug-22 00:45 LONDON (ICIS)–The price of gas remains the main driver for the German power Cal ’23, despite the German government’s focus on limiting the use of gas for power production. OPEC revises crude demand forecast down on slowing global economy By Jonathan Lopez 11-Aug-22 22:40 MADRID (ICIS)–While crude oil demand continued its “strong recovery” to pre-pandemic levels, economic growth showed signs of a slowdown in July and, with it, crude demand also took a hit, producing cartel OPEC said on Thursday. UK to face increased competition for LNG in fourth quarter By Hector Falconer 11-Aug-22 19:20 LONDON (ICIS)–Britain is likely to face increased competition for LNG supply in the fourth quarter of 2022 amid uncertainty over Russian piped supply to mainland Europe, supporting NBP winter contracts especially in the case of cold weather. Oil prices exposed to opposing fundamentals, extreme volatility By Cecilia Barreiro 11-Aug-22 18:58 LONDON (ICIS)–The August outlook for oil prices is subject to increased uncertainty resulting from a number of bullish and bearish factors. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will continue to be a central driving force and keep oil markets volatile while rising global inflation is expected to keep a lid on demand. Singapore trims 2022 GDP growth forecast to 3-4% on global headwinds By Nurluqman Suratman 11-Aug-22 11:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore on Thursday trimmed its 2022 GDP growth forecast to 3-4%, from the previous estimate of 3-5%, due to the deteriorating global economic environment. SE Asia palm biodiesel to see record export volumes, healthy demand By Keven Zhang 11-Aug-22 11:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Southeast Asia's palm methyl ester (PME) export volumes are likely to climb to record highs in July and August, as several bullish factors boost buying interest. PODCAST: Global chemical prices collapse, Europe prepares for dry summer, tough winter By Will Beacham 10-Aug-22 22:43 BARCELONA (ICIS)–Global chemical prices are falling just as Europe braces itself for more summer heatwaves, drought and a winter of gas rationing. Thai PTTGC Q2 net profit falls sharply amid lower chem margins By Nurluqman Suratman 10-Aug-22 15:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–PTT Global Chemical’s (PTTGC) net profit fell by 83.9% year on year in the second quarter, weighed partly by lower margins across all of its chemicals businesses, the Thailand-based producer said on Wednesday. Saudi SABIC Q2 net profit up 3.8%; H2 margins to stay under pressure By Nurluqman Suratman 10-Aug-22 12:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi petrochemicals major SABIC posted a 3.8% year-on-year increase in second-quarter net profit, while it expects margins to remain under pressure in the second half of 2022. INSIGHT: Indonesia economy surprises in Q2; prospects dim in H2 By Pearl Bantillo 10-Aug-22 21:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Indonesia’s growth momentum is expected to weaken for the rest of the year and into 2023, as high inflation hits overall domestic consumption. External demand is being threatened by a possible global recession. Saudi SABIC Q2 net profit up 3.8%; H2 margins to stay under pressure By Nurluqman Suratman 10-Aug-22 12:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi petrochemicals major SABIC posted a 3.8% year-on-year increase in second-quarter net profit, while it expects margins to remain under pressure in the second half of 2022. China July petrochemical markets slump; outlook stays bearish By Yvonne Shi 09-Aug-22 08:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's petrochemical markets fell across the board in July on weak demand, which persists into August while supply is projected to grow for the rest of the year. Asia BDO extends losses as demand at a low ebb By Clive Ong 04-Aug-22 16:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asian butanediol (BDO) market extended losses with the downtrend still firmly entrenched. Market participants expect further downside potential in the near term as the decline that started in April does not appear to have run its course. PODCAST: LPG substitution of higher-priced LNG limited in China By Yan Wang 04-Aug-22 15:37 GUANGZHOU (ICIS)–ICIS analysts Wang Yan and Xu Fei discuss with Asia deputy news editor Pearl Bantillo why China is not aggressively using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as substitute for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in fuel applications in industries despite global supply concerns and soaring LNG prices. Asian import offers for NBR fall with weak demand, outlook bleak By Ai Teng Lim 04-Aug-22 10:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian spot import offers for acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) have slipped lower as sellers widened discounts to chase deals in a low-demand market. India July exports slip; trade deficit widens to record $31bn By Priya Jestin 03-Aug-22 14:43 MUMBAI (ICIS)–India’s merchandise exports in July dipped for the first time in over a year, while increased imports of crude oil and coal bloated the country’s trade deficit to a record $31bn. Asia butac, etac slump; demand tepid on weak regional currencies By Melanie Wee 02-Aug-22 17:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s butyl acetate (butac) markets are being weighed down by tepid demand as continued weakness of currencies in the region continues to undermine imports. Asia July industries – a mixed bag as battle with inflation continues By Nurluqman Suratman 02-Aug-22 13:59 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia's manufacturing sector in July presented a mixed performance, with major economies in the northeast showing a marked slowdown in activity, as the region continues to contend with high input costs and weak demand. OUTLOOK: Asia epoxy resins to stay sluggish; price competition may intensify By Luffy Wu 02-Aug-22 13:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Uncertain end-demand outlook and recession fears continue to haunt Asia’s epoxy resins market, with aggressive exports from China forcing some regional suppliers to lower offer. South Korea July inflation nears 24-year high at 6.3% By Nurluqman Suratman 02-Aug-22 12:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea's consumer price index (CPI) rose by 6.3% year on year in July, accelerating from 6.0% in the previous month and the fastest rate recorded in nearly 24 years. Will Beacham contributed to this topic page. Topic Page by Aura Sabadus and Will Beacham. Additional reporting by Richard Ewing and Sophie Udubasceanu. Maps and graphs by Yashas Mudumbai.
TOPIC PAGE: Coronavirus, oil price direction – impact on chemicals
Post-holiday price trends in China’s petrochemical futures and spot markets diverge as sentiment remained cautious despite recent optimism over recovering demand in the world’s second-biggest economy with the lifting of its zero-COVID policy. Chinese markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday on 21-27 January. Asia’s petrochemical players are largely betting on strong revival of China’s demand following lifting of most COVID-19 curbs, having built up stocks in the weeks leading to the Lunar New Year holiday. China's GDP growth is projected to rebound to 5.2% in 2023 from 3.0% last year as a sudden lifting of most its pandemic-related restrictions paved the way for a rapid rebound in economic activity, according to the World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The 2023 growth forecast for the world’s second-biggest economy was revised up from the IMF's previous estimate of 4.4%. In its World Economic Outlook (WEO), the IMF slightly adjusted its 2023 and 2024 global GDP forecasts, expecting global growth to slow from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.9% in 2023, then rebound to 3.1% in 2024. The IMF said the outlook is less downbeat than in its October forecast and could represent a turning point, with growth bottoming out and inflation declining. Updated on 3 February 2023 On this topic page we analyse the impact of coronavirus and oil price dynamics on chemical markets and bring together the latest news reported by ICIS. Scroll down to see the latest interactive graphics, podcasts and videos. Click here to register for regular updates to help you navigate these challenging times. LATEST HEADLINES (Last updated at 05:00 GMT on 3 February 2023) Asia BDO extends post-Lunar New Year gains amid snug availability By Clive Ong 03-Feb-23 11:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia's butanediol (BDO) market extended gains after the Lunar New Year holidays, while snug availability and renewed demand in the region fuelled talk of further potential strength in the market. Asia soda ash market firms on limited supply, robust China demand By Helen Lee 02-Feb-23 15:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s soda ash market has firmed on the back of limited export volumes from China, where domestic demand strengthened after the Lunar New Year holidays. China post-holiday demand key indicator for oleochemical trade flows By Lucas Hall 02-Feb-23 02:48 ORLANDO (ICIS)–Chinese demand following the end of Lunar New Year will be the key indicator in determining oleochemical trade flows in 1H 2023, according to sources on the sidelines of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) annual meeting and industry convention. US styrene market stabilises after plants return to production By John Donnelly 31-Jan-23 22:55 HOUSTON (ICIS)–After several plant outages that boosted spot prices, the US styrene market has stabilised with units back in operation although running at reduced rates. Soft demand and rising feedstock costs promise to pressure margins through Q1. China official Jan manufacturing PMI swings to expansion mode at 50.1 By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Jan-23 12:33 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's official manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) crossed to expansionary territory in January at 50.1, from a 34-month low of 47.0 in the previous month as the country relaxed its zero-COVID policy, official data showed on Tuesday. China 2023 GDP growth forecast revised up to 5.2% as activity recovers – IMF By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Jan-23 11:58 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's GDP growth is projected to rebound to 5.2% in 2023 from 3.0% last year as a sudden lifting of most its pandemic-related restrictions paved the way for a rapid rebound in economic activity, according to the World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released on Tuesday. Developing Asia economic growth forecast raised to 5.3% – IMF By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Jan-23 11:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Economic growth in emerging and developing Asian economies is expected to rise in 2023 and 2024 to 5.3% and 5.2%, respectively, after the deeper-than-expected slowdown in 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday. Dow expects Chinese stimulus, reopening to boost demand By Al Greenwood 27-Jan-23 03:37 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Dow is seeing signs that China's reopening from COVID-19 lockdowns is progressing, and that should increase demand for its products, along with government stimulus, the CEO said on Thursday. "We're seeing China opening up. We're not seeing issues with people coming to work," said Jim Fitterling, CEO. He made his comments during an earnings conference call. Other CEOs have also remarked that employees are returning to work, according to Fitterling. Right now, Dow is not seeing any COVID-19 outbreaks that China cannot manage, he said. Asia naphtha market sentiment mixed; eyes on China’s recovery By Melanie Wee 26-Jan-23 12:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia naphtha markets are being kept afloat by hopes of recovering China petrochemical demand, although diminishing downstream margins are keeping demand cautious. Spot naphtha CFR (cost and freight) Japan indicative prices averaged at $715.50/tonne for first-half March delivery at midday session on Thursday, holding on to the previous day’s Asia close. Prices have climbed by some 10% compared with month-earlier levels, fluctuating with volatile crude oil futures, ICIS data shows. CRUDE SUMMARY: Oil prices steady as market awaits OPEC+ panel meeting By Eloise Radley 26-Jan-23 04:27 LONDON (ICIS) – Crude prices remained relatively steady on Wednesday, staying within $1/bbl of Tuesday’s settlement price. Hopes of increased demand in China balanced builds in US crude and gasoline stocks.Weekly data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that US crude stocks saw a marginal build of 0.53m bbl last week. Despite this build, the rise was over six times smaller than the anticipated 3.4m bbl. This applied slight upwards pressure to prices in afternoon trading. However, gasoline stock increased by 1.76m bbl, over double the expected 0.62m bbl. US distillate stocks fell by 0.51m bbl, less than the predicted 1.90m bbl drop. Asia petrochemicals pin hopes on China’s post-holiday demand By Pearl Bantillo 25-Jan-23 14:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical players are largely betting on strong revival of China’s demand following lifting of most COVID-19 curbs, having built up stocks in the weeks leading to the Lunar New Year holiday. At midday, naphtha, as well as aromatics products benzene and toluene, were trading higher on the back of crude gains, which were being driven up by optimism over China’s economic prospects after the world’s second-biggest economy abandoned its zero-COVID policy. China is on holiday the whole week for the Lunar New Year festivities. Most other countries in northeast Asia and southeast Asia also observed the holiday at the start of the week. VIDEO: China chemicals market review and outlook By Chris Qi 20-Jan-23 11:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch ICIS China information director Chris Qi review China chemical industry in 2022 and an outlook for the industry in 2023. China ethylene buyers' price ideas edge up ahead of holiday By Yeow Pei Lin 20-Jan-23 11:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia's spot ethylene prices rebounded slightly in recent days, aided by limited offers, improving prices for certain derivatives in China and strong feedstock naphtha costs. European engineering plastics demand stays sluggish in light of persistent economic uncertainty By Yashas Mudumbai 20-Jan-23 00:34 LONDON (ICIS)–The engineering plastics markets for polyacetal (POM) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) in Europe are continuing to see lower than usual demand, as macroeconomic challenges cause market players to be circumspect. INSIGHT: Chems face rough earnings season amid warnings, lower margins By Al Greenwood 20-Jan-23 00:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Chemical companies have kicked off the earnings season by waring that they could miss analysts' estimates and struggle to keep up with rising costs. Malaysia central bank maintains 2.75% key interest rate amid economic headwinds By Nurluqman Suratman 19-Jan-23 18:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Malaysia’s central bank on Thursday unexpectedly kept its key benchmark interest rate unchanged amid expectations that the country’s 2023 economic growth will moderate this year amid a global slowdown. Pakistani buyers struggle to pay Asian R-PET, R-PE cargoes By Arianne Perez 19-Jan-23 18:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–As Pakistan struggles with a financial crisis, importers of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) and recycled polyethylene (R-PE) have struggled to settle payments with suppliers. China MDI markets see active restocking spurred on by planned turnarounds By Shannen Ng 19-Jan-23 12:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–News of two major methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) producers in China planning turnarounds for February spurred restocking activity in the week ending 18 January, ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. Oil falls by more than $1/bbl on surprise build in US crude inventories By Nurluqman Suratman 19-Jan-23 12:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Oil prices fell by more than $1/bbl on Thursday after industry data showed a surprise build in US crude inventories for the second straight week, raising concerns of faltering fuel demand. Asia BDO rebounds as buyers pin hopes on renewed post-holiday demand By Clive Ong 19-Jan-23 11:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market surged this week as buying momentum for February cargoes picked up on expectations of firmer demand post-Lunar New Year. US economy poised to enter mild recession as inflation has peaked – ICIS economist By Joseph Chang 19-Jan-23 05:30 NEW YORK (ICIS)–The US economy is likely to enter a relatively mild recession in 2023, the ICIS chief economist said on Wednesday. INSIGHT: Poor demand, high costs stifle Europe industry despite falling gas prices By Aura Sabadus 18-Jan-23 22:56 LONDON (ICIS)–Falling gas prices could reignite some interest in European industrial output but a combination of high operating costs and sluggish demand, reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis, is likely to slow recovery this year, according to ICIS research. European phenol struggles with costs while acetone tightens, but demand remains slow By Jane Gibson 18-Jan-23 22:07 LONDON (ICIS)–The recent fall in gas prices is good news for the phenol and acetone chain. But this alone is unlikely to prompt producers to increase operating rates quite yet. Japan’s Toyota targets record '23 car output of 10.6m units, with caveat By Pearl Bantillo 18-Jan-23 13:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Global automotive giant Toyota is targeting to produce 10.6m units in 2023, subject to a possible downward adjustment of 10% if problems with supply of semiconductors persist. Bank of Japan maintains low interest rates despite rising inflation By Nurluqman Suratman 18-Jan-23 12:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Wednesday maintained its ultra-low interest rate policy despite rising inflation levels and warned that risks to the country's economic outlook remain extremely high. Asia MEC underpinned by hopes of post-Lunar New Year recovery By Keven Zhang 18-Jan-23 11:32 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia methylene chloride (MEC) was buoyed by spot demand in the last week before the Lunar New Year. Europe ECH demand muted in Q1, could improve in Q2 By Heidi Finch 18-Jan-23 00:21 LONDON (ICIS)–Europe epichlorohydrin (ECH) demand is likely to face a tough first quarter, as macroeconomic headwinds and Asian competition continue to weigh. OUTLOOK ’23: Chemical M&A stymied by rates, uncertainty but may rebound in H2 By Joseph Chang 18-Jan-23 00:00 NEW YORK (ICIS)–High interest rates, lack of available financing and economic and earnings uncertainty are holding back chemical industry mergers and acquisitions (M&A). However, activity may be poised to rebound in H2 2023 as the backlog of undone deals builds up, a clearer earnings picture emerges and especially if the financing market improves. INSIGHT: Asia petrochemicals to rebound in January amid demand recovery – ICIS analysts By Jenny Yi 17-Jan-23 21:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asia petrochemical market is expected to rebound from January in view of demand recovery in the coming months with China’s abandonment of its strict zero-COVID policy. The appreciation of Asia currencies against the US dollar should also support the outlook. PODCAST: Europe PE, PP analytical 2023 outlook By Ben Lake 17-Jan-23 19:35 LONDON (ICIS)–European polymer editors Vicky Ellis and Ben Lake are joined by analysts Emiliano Basualto and Lorenzo Meazza to discuss the year ahead in what could be a transitional 12 months for the polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets. NE Asia polyester prices stable to firm; post-holiday outlook optimistic By Judith Wang 17-Jan-23 16:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Spot polyester prices in northeast Asia were stable to firm during the week, on the back of stronger feedstock prices, while overall buying has slowed ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. China 2022 GDP growth slows to 3%; re-opening to drive 2023 recovery By Nurluqman Suratman 17-Jan-23 16:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s economy grew by 3% in 2022, marking its slowest pace of expansion in decades, highlighting the impact of the country's long-standing zero-COVID strategy. India December exports fall 12.2% amid global economic slowdown By Priya Jestin 17-Jan-23 14:21 MUMBAI (ICIS)–India’s merchandise exports in December declined by 12.2% year on year to $34.5bn, with further weakness likely in 2023 amid the global economic slowdown, with its major markets – the US and Europe – possibly facing a recession. BPA prices in China, India at more than two-year low; ample supply may linger By Li Peng Seng 17-Jan-23 11:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Import prices of bisphenol A (BPA) in China and India have slumped to their lowest levels in more than two years, weighed down by ample supply. INSIGHT: Weak, sometimes negative product margins challenged petchem players in 2022 By Nigel Davis 16-Jan-23 23:54 LONDON (ICIS)–As in the depths of the COVID-19 downturn, chemical producers, particularly those based largely in northwest Europe, remain focused on cash. Global weekly spot IPEX up on rising chemical prices across all regions By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 16-Jan-23 18:57 LONDON (ICIS)–Spot chemical prices were up 2.2% on the back of firmer values across all regions, according to latest figures from the weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Qatar's $6bn Ras Laffan project to boost Mideast PE exports, shift trade flows By Nurluqman Suratman 16-Jan-23 13:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Qatar’s $6bn joint venture Ras Laffan petrochemicals complex is expected to boost the Middle East’s polyethylene (PE) exports and could result in a major shift to global trade flows once it comes on stream, according to ICIS analysts. China re-opening bodes well for SE Asia PE, but Lunar New Year slowdowns ahead By Izham Ahmad 16-Jan-23 11:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s surprise announcement of the re-opening of its borders and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions has injected renewed vigour into the southeast Asian PE market, but the impact could be short-lived as market activity slows down for the typical Lunar New Year holiday lull. INSIGHT: A turbulent 2020s requires near-term focus but clear, longer-term strategies By Nigel Davis 12-Jan-23 00:49 LONDON (ICIS)–The World Economic Forum (WEF) talks of a global risks landscape this year that “feels both wholly new and eerily familiar” in its Global Risks Report 2023. INSIGHT: Downward pressure on petchem and plastics prices persists globally By Nigel Davis 11-Jan-23 01:19 LONDON (ICIS)–Falling base chemical and polymer prices globally reflect the weaker and uncertain demand environment while shifted supply and demand balances have coloured spot activity at the end of 2022 and the start of 2023 for a handful of chemical commodities. The ICIS Petrochemical Index tracked down further in December with the focus on the US Gulf basket of prices: the 12 commodities and polymers collated for the index. China petrochemical players build stocks on hopes of strong post-holiday demand By Fanny Zhang 12-Jan-23 11:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Players in China’s petrochemical markets are actively building up stocks on expectation of a strong recovery in post-Lunar New Year demand. East Asia, Pacific 2023 growth seen at 4.3% on China rebound – World Bank By Nurluqman Suratman 11-Jan-23 15:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Economies in the east Asia and Pacific region in 2023 are expected to log an average growth of 4.3%, accelerating from the estimated 3.2% pace in 2022 but lower than the previous forecast of above 5% for the current year, the World Bank said. NE Asia ethylene falls on weak China demand, ample supply By Yeow Pei Lin 06-Jan-23 10:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia's spot ethylene market started 2023 on a soft note due to China’s raging COVID-19 outbreak, which has exacerbated the seasonal downstream demand lull ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. China Dec petrochemical markets weak; better post-Lunar New Year demand eyed By Yvonne Shi 05-Jan-23 14:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s petrochemical markets stayed depressed in December despite substantial relaxation of pandemic-related lockdowns, as a consequent spike in COVID-19 infections continued to restrict logistics operations. Any recovery in demand is unlikely until after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday on 21-27 January. OUTLOOK '23: US PVC and vinyls chain face new year of weakened demand By Bill Bowen 05-Jan-23 04:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) enters 2023 with mixed outlook: nominations for price increases for January and an economic outlook that runs counter to those separately proposed increases. OUTLOOK ’23: China ACN, downstream capacities to expand; oversupply challenges prevail By Candy Nie 06-Jan-23 12:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s acrylonitrile (ACN) market will continue to see a slew of capacity expansions, particularly in the first half of 2023. Downstream demand is also expected to rise with new downstream units coming online and some COVID-19 restrictions gradually easing since end-2022. OUTLOOK ’23: Plant activity will tighten US propylene balance even as economy undermines demand By John Donnelly 05-Jan-23 03:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Derivative demand for US propylene will remain weak until at least Q3, but plant maintenance and a new propylene oxide/tertiary butyl alcohol (POTBA) plant will help support the market in the first half of the year. OUTLOOK ’23: Weak demand, import pressure to persist in Europe MPG market By Nicole Simpson 05-Jan-23 18:30 LONDON (ICIS)–Demand in the European mono propylene glycol (MPG) market is expected to remain lacklustre, especially in Q1, as macroeconomic headwinds and pressure from Asian imports persist. OUTLOOK ’23: Jet kerosene demand to increase on relaxed COVID-19 restrictions By Cassandra Abolaji 04-Jan-23 20:00 LONDON (ICIS)–The outlook for the European jet kerosene market is optimistic for 2023, as the world reaches almost full recovery from COVID-19 travel restrictions. OUTLOOK ‘23: New capacity, China’s COVID-19 surge weigh on Asia EVA market By Helen Lee 04-Jan-23 15:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s supply of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is expected to lengthen as new capacities start-up, while surging COVID-19 cases in China following easing of pandemic-related restrictions could cap demand recovery in the first quarter of 2023. China Dec PMI at 34-month low; recovery expected to come in Feb By Fanny Zhang 03-Jan-23 15:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) slumped to a 34-month low of 47.0 in December amid fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreaks. Recovery is expected to happen in February when factories come back on stream from the Lunar New Year holiday break. OUTLOOK '23: Mid East, South Asia PS markets to hinge on SM trend, China’s recovery By Damini Dabholkar 29-Dec-22 10:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Q1 2023 outlook for polystyrene (PS) markets in the Middle East and South Asia remains uncertain and will largely be dependent on the availability and prices of upstream commodities. The market is not expected show any strong signs of recovery, however, at least until end January, which is when many countries in Asia celebrate the Lunar New Year. Post Lunar New Year, demand is likely to see an uptick, as has been observed historically. OUTLOOK '23: Automotive sector hits the brakes for growth prospects By Morgan Condon 28-Dec-22 22:30 LONDON (ICIS)–Conditions have been challenging for the automotive industry in recent years, and no immediate reprieve is expected in the near term against a backdrop of geopolitical volatility. Growth expectations for 2022 were not fulfilled and the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February stifled any post-pandemic macroeconomic recovery. This trend looks set to continue in the industry in 2023. China downgrades COVID, stops quarantine for inbound travellers By Fanny Zhang 27-Dec-22 11:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China will downgrade COVID-19 to a more common infectious disease, manage it at Category B instead of the top-level Category A and scrap quarantine for inbound travellers from 8 January, the National Health Commission (NHC) announced late on Monday. Currently, COVID-19 is classified as Category B but managed as Category A that applies to diseases like plague and cholera in China. OUTLOOK ’23: Europe naphtha demand to improve, Russian sanctions to tighten supply By Cassandra Abolaji 23-Dec-22 00:30 LONDON (ICIS)–The Europe naphtha market ended 2022 on a volatile note and will remain volatile at the start of 2023. This after months of weakening feedstock demand partially caused by China's absence from the market due to lingering COVID-19 restrictions and high oil prices. OUTLOOK ’23: Europe MX to lag behind pre-COVID-19 levels despite improved consumption By Zubair Adam 23-Dec-22 00:30 LONDON (ICIS)–2022 has been a rough year for mixed xylenes (MX) in Europe mainly due to issues with gasoline and global events impacting chemical demand with no significant recovery prior to pre-pandemic levels. OUTLOOK 23’: China toluene market may face oversupply and trade flow change China toluene market pivoted from net import to net export in 2022 amid Russia-Ukraine war, but in 2023 the domestic market might face increased supply whereas demand weakness may persist putting pressure on the export market. OUTLOOK '23: Asia PP's potential oversupply may outweigh China's demand recoveryPossible oversupply in Asia's polypropylene (PP) market may outweigh the impact of demand recovery in China in 2023. OUTLOOK ’23: Asia BDO to struggle with long supply while awaiting demand rebound The Asian 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market continues to be mired in weakness, while the malaise could extend into the new year given the slow market conditions amid the yearend lull and the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays in the second half of January. OUTLOOK ’23: Asia IPA to see poor demand, ample supply in H1 2023 Asian isopropanol (IPA) spot markets will likely face headwinds in the first half of 2023 on poor demand and ample supply. OUTLOOK ’23: Asian PET to face headwinds as supply likely to outstrip demand Asia’s polyethylene terephthalate (PET) supply will likely outstrip demand in 2023 on the back of new capacities scheduled to come online in the upcoming year. OUTLOOK '23: Asia adipic acid supply to increase amid demand concerns Asia’s adipic acid market will see an increase in overall production capacity in 2023, however, the bigger question for the industry is whether its downstream derivatives are growing at a pace quick enough to support it. OUTLOOK ‘23: China’s MX to face further uncertainty from downstream PX China’s mixed xylene (MX) prices surged to a decade-high level on soaring crude oil prices in the first half of 2022, before fluctuating downwards in the second half of 2022. In 2023, the market may see support from the launch of some downstream paraxylene (PX) units, but this could depend on the profitability of the PX industry. OUTLOOK ’23: East, south Asia ethanolamines to face supply headwind The ethanolamines market in east and south Asia remains under downward pressure towards the end of the year. Tepid demand appears entrenched with limited signs of any significant rebound in the near term. OUTLOOK '23: East and South Asia LAB mired in weakness although optimism remains The linear alkylbenzene (LAB) markets in east and south Asia continue to be mired in weakness with demand in a low ebb. Buyers remain mostly unhurried with supply ample in most regions. Asia petrochemicals sector to bottom out in December By Jimmy Zhang 16-Dec-22 12:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Although bullish sentiment has started to develop in Asian petrochemical markets from early December amid China’s easing of pandemic curbs, concerns are still in place amid the global economic headwinds and slowing of trading activity ahead of year-end holidays. China petchems demand recovery unlikely before Q2 2023 despite easing COVID restrictions By Jenny Yi 14-Dec-22 23:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's zero-COVID strategy has been eased since early December. ICIS analysts expect, however, that demand for most commodity petrochemicals will not improve significantly in the short term, and that large-scale recovery may only begin in the second quarter of 2023. Asia fatty acids near-term demand tepid; may pick up after Lunar New Year By Helen Yan 14-Dec-22 12:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s fatty acids demand will remain tepid in the near term amid the year-end holiday lull but will likely pick up after the Lunar New Year holidays next year. INSIGHT: Chemicals output falls as industrial activity contracts globally, 2023 expected weak By Nigel Davis 14-Dec-22 00:23 LONDON (ICIS)–It is not so much a question of how low will it go but how slow will it be – and for how long? Capacity utilisation data show that the chemicals sector globally has geared down in the face of current headwinds. And there are many of those. China petrochemical futures mixed; near-term demand recovery in doubt By Fanny Zhang 08-Dec-22 13:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s petrochemical futures markets were mixed on Thursday morning as demand may remain soft despite a further relaxation in the country’s COVID-19 curbs. “We don’t see any strong demand recovery for commodities in the short term,” said Zhang Junfeng, an analyst at brokerage China Merchant Securities. “Consumer confidence still needs time to rebuild,” Zhang said. Late on 7 December, the Chinese government announced 10 measures to optimise its COVID-19 policy, including allowing people with mild or no symptoms to quarantine at home, and cancelling of testing requirements for domestic travelers. GPCA ’22: Supply chain localisation could help reduce logistics pressure – Saudi society By Tom Brown 07-Dec-22 23:15 RIYADH (ICIS)–Supply chain operators should shift further towards localised operations and away from globalisation to build resilience and adapt to the volatility that has strained logistics for several years, the chairman of the board for the Saudi Supply Chain and Procurement Society said. The current state of extreme stress on global trade links that has been seen since the COVID-19 pandemic decoupled movement along traditional supply routes is unlikely to be a temporary phase, and further localisation of supply chains could be a solution, according to Supply and Procurement Association board chair Saleh Ibrahim Al-Shabnan. INSIGHT: Easing in supply chains could signal further problems for Europe's chems sector ahead By Morgan Condon 02-Dec-22 20:46 LONDON (ICIS)–Easing supply chain disruption has given petrochemical producers in Europe some respite in the wake of recent crashing demand. But the smoother flow of product could lead to further destabilising of market fundamentals, rather than providing balance to the market. As new orders in Europe have subsided, this has given room for producers to catch up with backlogs, smoothing out extended lead times, and allowing congested bottlenecks to dissipate. While this has been some help in the short-term, the likelihood is that diminished appetite for materials could eventually disrupt logistics, as deliveries slow down to match need. US manufacturing contracts for first time in 30 months By Stefan Baumgarten 02-Dec-22 01:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell by 1.2 points from 50.2 in October to 49.0 in November – pushing the index into contraction territory, last seen in May 2020 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, ICIS senior economist Kevin Swift said. He was commenting on the November PMI report by Institute for Supply Management (ISM), released earlier on Thursday, which showed the first contraction in manufacturing after 29 consecutive expansions. Caixin's Nov China manufacturing PMI rises to 49.4 By Nurluqman Suratman 01-Dec-22 10:33 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Caixin’s China manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 49.4 in November from 49.2 in October but remained in contractionary territory as ongoing COVID-19 containment measures continued to weigh on the sector, the Chinese media firm said on Thursday. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing economy, while a lower number denotes contraction. Manufacturers in China registered a further fall in output, with the rate of contraction picking up slightly from October, amid a sustained reduction in sales, Caixin said in a statement. Companies frequently linked the decline to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on operations and customer demand," Caixin said. UK manufacturing woes continue as output, new orders and employment fall By Jonathan Lopez 01-Dec-22 20:45 MADRID (ICIS)–The UK’s manufacturing sectors remained in contraction territory in November because of lower output, shrinking orders, and reduced employment levels, analysts at S&P Global said on Thursday. The UK’s PMI index came in at 46.5 points in November, a slight improvement from October’s 46.2 points, but any reading below the 50.0 points mark shows contraction. “The intermediate goods sector fared especially poorly, while downturns also continued at consumer and investment goods producers,” said the analysts. INSIGHT: Preparing for a difficult winter in Europe and a tougher 2023/24 By Nigel Davis 26-Nov-22 00:56 LONDON (ICIS)–A mild autumn has alleviated some of the tension in Europe’s energy markets and the pressure on natural gas availability. But colder weather beckons and gas usage will rise putting, as it does in normal years, upward pressure on gas prices. The filling of storage tanks across the continent has provided a buffer against the worst damage that the Russia-Ukraine war can do to Europe’s energy supply, while reduced demand by industry has made a significant contribution. What is not clear is how energy availability to industry, and the costs of that gas and power, change moving into 2023. NE Asia ethylene output to remain weak up to at least H1 2023 By Yeow Pei Lin 25-Nov-22 11:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s ethylene production is expected to be constricted by heavy cracker turnarounds, poor margins and weak downstream demand up to at least the first half of 2023. China’s weak phenol imports to prompt deeper output cuts in Asia By Helen Lee 25-Nov-22 16:06 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s phenol imports are being weighed down by a combination of ample domestic supply, rising COVID-19 caseloads, easing upstream markets, and the absence of restocking ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in late January. SE Asia PE market dazed by China stop-start demand By Izham Ahmad 24-Nov-22 16:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Initial spot import offers for December shipments of polyethylene (PE) in southeast Asia were announced in the same range as the previous week’s assessment or softer this week, with market players baffled by the stop-start nature of China’s demand for PE. German manufacturers increase warehouse capacity post-pandemic By Morgan Condon 23-Nov-22 20:40 LONDON (ICIS)–German industrial players have expanded warehouse capacity and focus more on supply chains in the wake of the pandemic, according to the latest data released by the Ifo Institute on Wednesday. Results of the study from the economic research group found that 68% of companies surveyed increased warehouse sizing, with 65% seeking additional suppliers since 2020, and 54% of firms now monitor their supply chains more closely. The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 initially caused a slowdown in manufacturing, as regions applied lockdowns, and implemented restrictions at ports and borders to contain the spread of the virus. IMF urges China to further recalibrate COVID-19 strategy By Nurluqman Suratman 23-Nov-22 18:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged China to further recalibrate its COVID-19 strategy and provide additional support to its beleaguered property sector to mitigate risks from a global economic slowdown. Following the recovery from the initial impact of the pandemic, the world’s second-biggest economy remains under pressure, with growth projected to slow to 3.2% in 2022, from an 8.1% pace last year, before improving to 4.4% in 2023 and 2024, the IMF stated on 22 November following a review of China’s economic conditions. PODCAST: Sustainable development may create new growth space for petrochemical industry By Yvonne Shi 18-Nov-22 11:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–ICIS analysts Jady Ma and Yvonne Shi discuss how sustainable development is working on the petrochemical industry and subsequent reactions. PODCAST: Macroeconomics prove challenging for global chems in 2023, although some bright spots remain By Morgan Condon 16-Nov-22 22:50 LONDON (ICIS)–After several challenging years in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, volatile geopolitical conditions and a tough macroeconomic backdrop mean that things are unlikely to turn a corner for global chemicals producers heading into the new year. Senior economist for global chemicals Kevin Swift talks to senior reporter for Europe Morgan Condon about the outlook for the coming year, and the key features for the market in 2023. INSIGHT: Lacklustre demand from various outlets impacting polyols, TDI and toluene By Zubair Adam 17-Nov-22 21:03 LONDON (ICIS)–Weaker activity from the automotive and flexible foam industries is impacting the consumption of polyols and toluene diisocyanate (TDI), with some additional impacts from the latter on feedstock toluene due to lower production. No short term demand recovery is envisaged for the whole value chain. INSIGHT: China’s property rescue plan to boost some petrochemicals By Fanny Zhang 16-Nov-22 20:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s latest measures to rescue the stressed property sector are expected to lift some petrochemicals, although they are unlikely to reverse bearish sentiment on the sluggish property market, according to economists and analysts. China outlook dims further on fresh COVID-19 surge, real estate slump By Nurluqman Suratman 16-Nov-22 13:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s economic outlook just turned dimmer amid downbeat October data, with surging domestic COVID-19 infections and slumping real estate market threatening to aggravate weak petrochemical demand. Asia soap noodles to remain sluggish in near term on year-end holiday lull By Helen Yan 16-Nov-22 10:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s soap noodles market is likely to remain sluggish in the near term as buyers remain cautious and are reluctant to lock in large forward spot volumes ahead of the year-end holiday lull. China’s zero COVID-19 policy has had an impact on regional trade. Weak demand outweighs refined COVID-19 policy, capping China PP price rise By Zhibo Xiao 15-Nov-22 16:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s polypropylene (PP) futures surged following the release of the refined COVID-19 policy on 11 November, but the market may still face pressure toward the year-end amid tepid demand recovery, intensive arrivals of competitively-priced imports and expected new plant start-ups. Asia’s MIBK players pin hopes in 2023 rally By Angeline Soh 15-Nov-22 16:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) players expressed hopes in a 2023 rally, after the easing of global COVID-19 infection rates, and China’s easing of some of its strictest restrictions based on its zero-Covid policy. China eases COVID-19 curbs, petrochemical futures boosted By Fanny Zhang 11-Nov-22 16:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China will relax its COVID-19 control measures in view of changing circumstances, shoring up equity markets accordingly. The National Health Commission (NHC) announced 20 measures on Friday in a push for more targeted and optimised control of the pandemic. Under the new policies, the quarantine time for close contacts of cases is shortened to five days in centralised locations from seven previously. Asia ethylene little changed as players await direction from '23 term talks By Yeow Pei Lin 11-Nov-22 11:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s ethylene spot import prices for December-arrival cargoes were broadly stable this week, as the weak downstream margins and strong US arrivals continued to be counterbalanced by limited regional supply. Bearish sentiment dominates Asia November petrochemical markets By Amy Yu 11-Nov-22 10:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Bearish sentiment in Asian petrochemical markets has risen due to weak demand from late October, and we expect prices of most products in the region to remain on a downward trend in November. US chem shares surge as broader market rises on positive inflation data By Adam Yanelli 11-Nov-22 06:23 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US-listed shares of chemical companies surged on Thursday, largely outperforming the broader market which rose significantly on favourable economic data on inflation.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 3.7%, while the Dow Jones US Chemicals Index rose by 4.95% and the S&P 500 Chemicals Industry Index rose by 5%. Europe PET buyers lured by imports, but demand questionable By Caroline Murray 11-Nov-22 01:58LONDON (ICIS)–The window of opportunity for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) importers appears wide due to Europe’s unique cost situation, but demand is so low that PET buyers are unsure how to proceed. British industrial demand to remain below previous years By ICIS Editorial 10-Nov-22 01:05 LONDON (ICIS)–Despite recent pressure to NBP Day-ahead and front month gas prices, a return to high levels of industrial offtake in Britain is unlikely, ICIS analysis shows. Normal industrial demand over the past five years has averaged 10mcm daily. However, since the rise of gas prices in Britain, industrial gas offtake has dropped to around 5.6mcm from January to November 2022. EU, eurozone September chems prices decline modestly in split market By Morgan Condon 10-Nov-22 01:30 LONDON (ICIS)–Chemical pricing in September was mixed for European producers, with some key manufacturing nations bucking the modest declines recorded in the eurozone and wider EU, according to the EU’s statistical agency, Eurostat. The latest data from Eurostat indicates that Italy and Poland recorded single-figure gains compared with the previous month, supported by smaller gains in France and Germany. Asia BDO retreats on poor demand, weak domestic China market By Clive Ong 10-Nov-22 11:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asian 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market trended lower as demand in the region dissipated amid a poor economic outlook. Some participants believe that demand in the region, in particular China, could remain weak until after the Lunar New Year in late January. Asia petrochemical markets mixed amid high inflation By Felicia Loo 09-Nov-22 14:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical markets were mixed amid economic headwinds and dampening consumption in China amid a slowing economy, with no let-up on its harsh zero COVID-19 policy, dampening consumption. China, India ethanolamines markets under downward pressure as demand wanes By Clive Ong 10-Nov-22 14:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The ethanolamines markets in China and India remain under downward pressure amid prevailing weak demand and ample supply. Participants continue to expect weak markets in the near term as the global economic outlook remains uncertain. China's MEC demand disrupted by zero-COVID strategy By Keven Zhang 09-Nov-22 11:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's methylene chloride (MEC) prices saw steep falls in the past two weeks due to disruption to its domestic demand by the new round of lockdowns implemented to contain the COVID-19 spread in the country, although production cutbacks may provide some support in the near term. INSIGHT: More pain for chemicals as US Federal Reserve has ‘a ways to go’ on rate hikes By Joseph Chang 03-Nov-22 06:25 NEW YORK (ICIS)–US and global chemical producers will likely see more pain ahead as the US Federal Reserve still has a “ways to go” in its tightening cycle to bring inflation down to its 2% target. It’s not pausing or pivoting, and not budging from its target. The US equity market as measured by the S&P 500 fell 2.5% on 2 November on disappointment that the Fed gave no indication it will stop interest raising rates, other than acknowledging it has already tightened monetary policy significantly. The Fed hiked its benchmark rate by 0.75 percentage points – its third consecutive hike of that magnitude – to a range of 3.75-4.00%. “Our message is clear – we think we have a ways to go. We have some ground to cover with interest rates before we get to that level… we think is sufficiently restrictive,” said Fed chair Jerome Powell at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) press conference. INSIGHT: Asia October PMIs point to broadening export downturn By Nurluqman Suratman 02-Nov-22 17:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Amid falling new orders and inventory build-up, Asia’s export downturn is broadening with the latest data pointing to further weakness in factory activity across the region. The slowdown in manufacturing activity has now widened from northeast Asia to also include southeast Asia amid waning export demand. Asia’s manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMIs) fell in October to an average of 49.6, down from 50.7 in September, due largely to a fall in new orders and lower production as export orders weakened further. China’s Oct petchem market falls on oversupply, poor confidence By Yvonne Shi 02-Nov-22 12:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s petrochemical market fell significantly in October. As of October 31, the ICIS China Petrochemical Price Index (which tracks 17 commodities) dropped 5.4% from September 30 to close at 1220.11 points. The quick fall after a sharp rise after the National Day holiday reflects sluggish demand and lack of market confidence. China’s petrochemical market started the downtrend from the middle of the month till the end. An official source before the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China disclosed that China's epidemic prevention and control will continue to adhere to the zero-COVID policy, which hit market confidence severely. UK manufacturing sector output contracts further as new orders dry up By Tom Brown 01-Nov-22 20:00 LONDON (ICIS)–UK manufacturing sector output slipped further into contraction in October, and hit a 29-month low as new order volumes shrank at the fastest rate since May 2020, according to data from S&P Global on Tuesday. The sector purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell further in the month, dropping to 46.2 from 48.4 in September, although they were stronger than initial readings for the month of 45.8. A PMI score below 50.0 signifies contraction. It was the third consecutive month of contraction for the sector, as the economic outlook continued to deteriorate. New orders and new export business both declined in the month. Players in the UK cited softer demand from China, the war in Ukraine and ongoing obstacles to exporting posed by Brexit. Business optimism slipped to the lowest level since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. China posts 3.9% Q3 GDP growth; President Xi secures third term By Pearl Bantillo 24-Oct-22 13:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China posted an annualised GDP growth of 3.9% in the third quarter, up from 0.4% in the previous quarter, but a combination of a zero-COVID policy and a property downturn will continue to weigh on the world's second-biggest economy. US economy continues to slow, recession likely – NABE survey By Stefan Baumgarten 24-Oct-22 22:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US economy continues to slow and is likely already in recession or may soon be in recession, according to findings in the latest business conditions survey by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) on Monday. INSIGHT: Asia C3 to face headwinds in fourth quarter By Julia Tan 25-Oct-22 10:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asian propylene market is facing headwinds as it steps into the fourth quarter as demand looks likely to remain weak until the end of the year on poor derivative margins. China PP lacks post-holiday support as weak demand overshadows high costs By Zhibo Xiao 27-Oct-22 12:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Domestic polypropylene (PP) prices in China rose and then fell after the country’s National Day holiday on 1-7 October as bearish demand outweighed the brief surge in crude values. INSIGHT: A new world for Asia olefins as capacity surges, demand remains uncertain By Amy Yu 28-Oct-22 12:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asia olefins industry is witnessing a new world of significantly squeezed margins for all producers, with incremental capacity addtions set against the backdrop of weak demand. CDI Economic Summary: Recession odds rise as slowdown takes hold amid Fed tightening By Kevin Swift 27-Oct-22 23:07 CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (ICIS)–Monetary tightening across the world led by the US Federal Reserve, protracted inflation and geopolitical events have raised the odds of recession in many major economies. Asia petrochemicals stay bearish as China keeps zero-COVID policy By Nurluqman Suratman 21-Oct-22 11:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Bearish sentiment prevails across Asia’s petrochemical markets with no immediate end in sight on China’s zero-COVID strategy, which has been weighing on overall industrial activities of the world’s second-biggest economy. South and East Asia LAB quiet while rising feedstock costs squeeze margins By Clive Ong 20-Oct-22 17:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The linear alkyl benzene (LAB) market in East and South Asia remains quiet while suppliers talked of squeezed margins from rising feedstock costs. The desire for higher values, however, were countered by the persistently weak demand in the region. India, SE Asia ethanolamines remain under pressure from competitive offers By Clive Ong 20-Oct-22 15:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)—The ethanolamines markets in southeast Asia and India remain under downward pressure from competitive offers and tepid demand. Participants anticipate further weakness in the near term as the Chinese market looks set to remain weak. INSIGHT: Japan economy to find succor in automotive output recovery By Pearl Bantillo 20-Oct-22 12:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Japan may be able to count on a recovery in car production, which should provide much-needed boosts to related industries, including petrochemicals, to cushion its economic downturn. INSIGHT: European home improvement sector slumps on economic slowdown, post-COVID effects By Nicole Simpson 19-Oct-22 21:33 LONDON (ICIS)–As the threat of recession looms over Europe and consumers look to cut back on unnecessary spending, demand for home improvement and do-it-yourself (DIY) goods has plummeted. Asia oleochemicals market likely flat in Q4 on zero-COVID policy in China By Helen Yan 19-Oct-22 12:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s oleochemicals market is expected to remain flat in the fourth quarter due to the prevailing sluggish demand from China amid its zero-COVID policy, which is expected to remain in place for the rest of this year. INSIGHT: Global demand slump eclipses Asia export benefits from currency falls By Pearl Bantillo 18-Oct-22 13:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia's tumbling currencies will not spell strong exports for the region as a combination of surging inflation and high interest rates slows the pace of global economic activities. EPCA ’22: Chemicals supply chains lengthening, security of supply increasingly important – Vopak CEO By Nigel Davis 07-Oct-22 17:40 BERLIN (ICIS)–Chemicals supply chains are becoming necessarily longer as consumers and producers see markets balancing between imports and local production, the CEO at tank storage operator Vopak said this week. China September petrochemical markets up; demand outlook still bleak By Yvonne Shi 11-Oct-22 14:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s petrochemical markets were mostly higher in September on supply tightness in some products and aided by pre-holiday restocking, but overall demand is not expected to improve by much in the coming months. IMF trims developing Asia growth outlook on China weakness By Nurluqman Suratman 12-Oct-22 12:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has trimmed its economic growth forecast for emerging and developing Asian economies on account of China's slowdown. Asia BDO market faces lengthening supply, uncertain demandBy Clive Ong 13-Oct-22 13:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The nascent recovery in Asian’s 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market in September now faces the challenge of lengthening supply with demand staying uncertain. Singapore Q4 GDP growth slows to 4.4%, monetary policy tightened By Nurluqman Suratman 14-Oct-22 11:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's central bank on Friday tightened its monetary policy to dampen persistent price pressures which has slowed its economy to a year-on-year growth of 4.4% in the fourth quarter. EPCA ’22: Chemical industry may slow but must manage through cycle, Equate CEO By Nigel Davis 06-Oct-22 17:11 BERLIN (ICIS)–The chemical industry may slow over the next 12 months but it is a question of managing through the cycle, Equate’s CEO Naser Aldousari said on the sidelines of EPCA 2022 on Wednesday. Aldousari remains optimistic for the sector and emphasises its resilience. Asia Q4 petrochemical demand faces headwinds as global economy slows By Felicia Loo 06-Oct-22 14:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Petrochemical demand in Asia will be largely undermined because regional factories face continued weakness in export demand in the fourth quarter. EPCA ’22: COVID-19 pandemic set gender parity back a generation – Dow exec By Tom Brown 05-Oct-22 23:21 BERLIN (ICIS)–The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic set the progress of gender parity back 30 years, Dow’s head of inclusion and diversity said on Wednesday, because of the disproportionate impact it had on women's participation in the labour market. EPCA '22: Europe ADA, nylon 6,6 demand may weaken further in October By Marta Fern 05-Oct-22 16:00 LONDON (ICIS)–European adipic acid (ADA) and downstream nylon 6,6 markets face affordability concerns, high costs of production and competition with lower priced imports from Asia. EPCA ’22: European auto output will only recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2025 – analyst By Jonathan Lopez 04-Oct-22 18:21 BERLIN (ICIS)–Production from the European petrochemicals-intensive automotive sector is unlikely to recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2025 at the earliest, a chemicals analyst at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said on Tuesday. Andreas Gocke, global lead for chemicals at BCG, said the war in Ukraine and supply-chain issues have only seen a further deterioration in the outlook for the automotive sector, which was already negative in 2021. EPCA ’22: Weak demand, wider uncertainty shapes Europe acrylate esters outlook By Mathew Jolin-Beech 04-Oct-22 22:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Europe's acrylate esters markets are set to be gripped by ongoing weak demand and wider macroeconomic uncertainty in Q4 and early 2023. EPCA '22: PODCAST: Europe petrochemicals face ‘winter of discontent By Will Beacham 04-Oct-22 15:19 BERLIN (ICIS)–Europe’s petrochemical sector faces a ‘winter of discontent’, battered by high energy costs, collapsing downstream demand and increased imports from Asia. In this Think Tank podcast, Will Beacham interviews ICIS Insight editor Nigel Davis, ICIS senior analyst Lorenzo Meazza, and Paul Hodges, chairman of New Normal Consulting. The European Petrochemicals Association (EPCA) annual meeting runs on 4-6 October in Berlin. EPCA ‘22: Demand concerns loom over Europe PC market in Q4 By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 03-Oct-22 19:14 LONDON (ICIS)–Pessimism reigns in the European polycarbonate (PC) market moving into the end of 2022 as demand from the key customer sectors is likely to remain tepid due to Europe's dim macroeconomic outlook. INSIGHT: Trends converging to create Q4 glut in US plastics By Al Greenwood 30-Sep-22 05:21 HOUSTON (ICIS)–North American polymer markets are facing a growing glut because of weakening demand, expanding capacity and rising inventories. Europe economic sentiment dropping as Germany on brink of recession By Morgan Condon 29-Sep-22 23:13 LONDON (ICIS)–European economic sentiment continued falling in September, for both the EU and the eurozone, and the German economy is heading towards a recession, as sentiment is shaped by sustained high energy prices. Lockdowns, property crisis to slow China 2022 GDP growth to 2.8% – World Bank By Nurluqman Suratman 29-Sep-22 13:3 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China, the world’s second-biggest economy, is projected to grow at a much slower pace of 2.8% this year compared with an earlier forecast of 5.0%, according to the World Bank, amid the country’s zero-COVID policy and ongoing property crisis. INSIGHT: India PVC market weathers stormy first half, safeguard investigation begins By Damini Dabholkar 29-Sep-22 11:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS) –India’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market stabilised slightly in September, after having weathered a storm over the previous 12 months. China’s PE prices rebound, eyes on demand sustainability By Sijia Li 28-Sep-22 12:11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s polyethylene (PE) prices have rebounded following continual declines in the past two months, finding support from improved end-user demand during the September-October traditional peak season. INSIGHT: High cost threatens Asia petrochemical output as regional currencies tumble By Pearl Bantillo 27-Sep-22 12:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical production is at risk of shrinking further as imported raw materials get more expensive each day that Asian currencies tumble to new lows. INSIGHT: Russia-Ukraine war, surging inflation continue to dim growth expectations By Tom Brown 27-Sep-22 00:17 LONDON (ICIS)–The outlook for global growth is continuing to darken as the economy loses momentum in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, with fresh economic projections pointing to a substantial deterioration in prospects from 2023 even relative to a few months ago US HB Fuller sees rebound in Asia, slowdown in Europe By Al Greenwood 23-Sep-22 05:43 HOUSON (ICIS)–HB Fuller began to see a rebound in Asian demand during its fiscal third quarter because China is reopening from its COVID-19 lockdowns, the US-based adhesives producer said on Thursday, a trend that other chemical producers have yet to see. INSIGHT: US plastics becomes sixth-largest industry By Melissa Wheeler 22-Sep-22 23:21 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US plastics industry has moved two spots up to become the sixth-largest industry in the country, according to the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS). Asia MEG market under pressure as downstream cuts operation to ease high inventories By Judith Wang 22-Sep-22 18:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) market has been under pressure during the week as downstream polyester sector initiated another round of operation cuts in a bid to relieve inventory pressure. INSIGHT: Widespread demand reduction makes a tough quarter tougher By Nigel Davis 21-Sep-22 23:49 LONDON (ICIS)–It has been a tough third quarter for most upstream producers of chemicals and others as weaker demand and rising costs have combined to hit earnings and shift guidance. US inland truck capacity increases as demand remains firm By Adam Yanelli 21-Sep-22 05:15 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Spot and contract rates for inland truck deliveries have fallen from record-highs as capacity has increased and demand has remained strong, according to panelists on a webinar hosted by supply chain market intelligence provider Freightwaves. INSIGHT: Asia petrochemical market to rebound in September By Amy Yu 15-Sep-22 18:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)– Some Asia petrochemical prices rebounded in early September after the decrease in August. ANALYSIS AND RESOURCES
Singapore manufacturing remains under pressure from inflation, external headwinds
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's manufacturing sector will continue to face pressure from weak external demand and high inflation, with data in the first month of 2023 indicating a contraction. The southeast Asian country’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in January remained below the expansion threshold of 50 although it edged up to 49.8 from 49.7 in December, according to the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) showed on 2 February. Singapore is a major petrochemicals manufacturer and exporter in southeast Asia. Its petrochemicals hub Jurong Island houses over 100 global chemical firms, including energy majors ExxonMobil and Shell. The January reading marks the fifth consecutive month of contraction in overall activity for the manufacturing sector, after having expanded for 26 straight months between July 2020 and August 2022. Most sub-indices in the January 2023 PMI showed improvement, including the new orders index which rose to 49.7 from 49.5, the output index which edged up to 49.8 from 49.6, and the new export index which increased to 49.4 from 49.3. Price pressures eased at the start of the year, as the January index for input prices moderated to 50.8 from 51.0 in December, indicating a further easing of supply chain disruptions and weaker demand. The electronics sector PMI remained in contraction territory in January at 49.1, although up from 48.9 in December. "The small uptick in Jan overall and electronics PMIs was a surprise to us but does not change our negative view for manufacturing in 2023," said Alvin Liew, senior economist at Singapore-based UOB Global Economics & Markets Research. "We have also kept our view of weaker external demand and the electronics downcycle remaining in place, which are typically a bad combination for economies which are trade reliant with a significant share of manufacturing related to electronics, such as Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan," Liew said. A separate survey of Singapore manufacturers conducted by financial information and analytics firm S&P Global, however, showed that January PMI crossed over to expansion territory at 51.2 from 49.1 in December, as external orders grew "at an above-average rate". Price pressures, nonetheless, continued to build for private sector firms in January, it stated. "Overall input cost inflation inched up to a survey record at the start of 2023, accounted for by record high purchase cost inflation and a strong growth in wages in January," S&P Global said. "Firms in the manufacturing sector reported the fastest increase in cost burdens. In turn, higher cost burdens were shared by private sector firms at a quicker rate with clients, the fastest in four months." it added. Singapore's core inflation rate – which excludes private road transport and accommodation costs – averaged in 2022 at 4.1%, higher than the 0.9% recorded in 2021, central bank data showed. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) projects a core inflation rate of 3.5-4.5% in 2023, with headline inflation coming in at between 5.5% and 6.5%. Singapore’s GDP growth is forecast to decelerate to 0.5% to 2.5% in 2023 as major economies in the west appear to be headed toward a recession. In 2022, the economy posted a slower expansion rate of 3.8%, half the growth pace set in 2021. Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman Thumbnail image: Singapore's Tanjong Pagar Port with Sentosa Island in the background on 2 July 2022. (By Joseph Nair/NurPhoto/Shutterstock) Click here to read the Ukraine topic page, which examines the impact of the conflict on oil, gas, fertilizer and chemical markets. Visit the ICIS Coronavirus topic page for analysis of the impact on chemical markets and links to latest news.
BLOG: Global PE new supply and China spreads tell the real story
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. Global polyethylene (PE) oversupply, when capacity is measured against demand, seems likely to remain at record highs in 2023, regardless of how much stronger demand can realistically become: Between 2000 and 2022, ICIS predicts that global high-density PE (HDPE) capacity in excess of demand was at annual average of 4m tonnes. This is expected to increase to 12m tonnes in 2023. Global operating rates are forecast to slip to 81% in 2023 from an annual average of 84% in 2000-2021. Low-density (LDPE) capacity above demand was at a 2000-2022 average of 2m tonnes/year with the operating rate at 84%. This year, capacity is forecast to exceed demand by 4m tonnes with the operating rate at 79%. Linear low-density (LLDPE) capacity exceeding demand was at 4m tonnes/year in 2000-2022 with the operating rate at 85%. This year, we see surplus capacity rising to 10m tonnes with the operating rate at 79%. We thought it important to mention this context as Asia and the Middle East move into a major turnaround season in January-March, when some 3.7m tonnes of annualised HDPE and LLDPE capacity is expected to be off line for three months. As we predicted would happen, the first quarter this year is seeing a heavier-than-usual maintenance season because of the weak market conditions. Asian and Middle Eastern turnarounds due to take place next year are said to have been brought forward to 2023. This, of course, makes sense as global PE producers seek to match production with demand. But when it comes to new capacity due online in 2023 and 2024, steel in the ground is steel in the ground. Plants might be delayed for a few months, but because many will be at or near completion, commissioning must happen. Production always must match demand, hence the heavy Q1 turnaround season. But as further capacities come onstream, even global operating rates at multidecade lows in 2023 – which we are forecasting – won’t solve the problem. The low percentage operating rates will apply to ever-bigger base of nameplate capacities. Here’s the thing, also: China's HDPE monthly price spreads over naphtha feedstock costs averaged $487/tonne from November 1992 until December 2021. The LDPE average was at $595/tonne with LLDPE at $514/tonne. January 2022-January 2023 monthly HDPE spreads averaged $211/tonne, LDPE $474/tonne and LLDPE $269/tonne. Spreads in January this year fell compared with December 2022. Until spreads recover to levels much closer to their long-term averages, there will be no full recovery. While spreads remain around where they are today, this will be reflected in weak margins and poor company profitability. Period. That’s how this industry works. Editor’s note: This blog post is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS.
Japan Tsubame BHB receives order for small-scale ammonia synthesis facility
HOUSTON (ICIS)–Japanese ammonia synthesis technology company Tsubame BHB announced it has received an order for a small-scale facility to be utilised for demonstration testing of blue hydrogen and ammonia production and utilisation by INPEX Corporation in Kashiwazaki City, Niigata. This is the company’s first commercial small-scale ammonia synthesis facility and during this demonstration test, they plan to produce 500 short tons/year of ammonia. Daiichi Jitsugyo, the main contractor, will oversee the overall construction of the ammonia plant, with the company responsible for the detailed design and equipment supply for the ammonia synthesis facility within the plant. Design and equipment procurement started in December, and ammonia production is scheduled to start in 2025. In addition to the 500 ton model, Tsubame is developing small-scale ammonia synthesis facilities with 3,000 ton and 5,000 ton models which it said will help with the challenges of solving environmental and food issues, and making a more sustainable society by reducing costs of transportation and storage, and diminishing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
France announces financial support for 14 territorial hydrogen ecosystems
LONDON (ICIS)–The French government has announced that a total of 14 territorial hydrogen ecosystems have been allocated financial support. The total aid allocated was €126million following the closing of the last call launched back in 2020. The 14 territorial hydrogen ecosystems combined represent 8,400tonnes of hydrogen per year, of which the vast majority (91%) of the hydrogen produced will be intended for the transport of passengers (buses, coaches) and goods (commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, garbage trucks). The territorial hydrogen ecosystems mechanism has been operated by ADEME since 2018, and the call for projects covers projects for the deployment of vehicles, hydrogen production, and hydrogen distribution facilities. A new call for projects is scheduled for this year as part of the National Strategy for Carbon-Free Hydrogen and the France 2030 Investment Plan, which is built to aid the development of hydrogen ecosystems with a specific focus on industrial uses. The largest single financial support package was the €21.4million that was announced for the H24ByHyPe project, which aims to deploy 5MW of electrolysis capacity in the Ile-de-France region to power trucks and vans for the distribution of goods. France has set out ambitions to have 6.5GW of electrolyser capacity for renewable hydrogen generation by 2030.
Austria's OMV chemicals, materials Q4 operating profit sinks on margins, demand
LONDON (ICIS)–OMV’s fourth-quarter (Q4) clean operating result for its Chemicals & Materials division sank 89%, year on year, to €57m on weaker margins and demand, the Austrian energy and petrochemicals major said on Thursday. Chemicals & Materials (€m) Q4 2022 Q4 2021 Change Operating result 71 67 6% Clean operating result 57 512 -89% European polyethylene (PE) indicator margin €370/tonne €458/tonne -19% KEY POINTSA stronger result contribution from OMV base chemicals was more than offset by substantial negative inventory valuation effects in the nitrogen and polyolefins business, a strong decline in polyolefin indicator margins in Europe, lower sales volumes in Europe, and a lower contribution from the Borealis joint ventures (JV), OMV said. The contribution of Borealis excluding JV dropped sharply by €360m to minus €23m versus €337m in Q4 of 2021. Results were weighed by negative inventory valuation effects that were around €200m lower compared to Q4 of 2021, lower polyolefin indicator margins compared to the strong levels of the final quarter of the previous year, and lower polyolefin sales volumes in Europe, said OMV. The contribution of the Borealis JVs decreased by €119m to €19m versus €138m in Q4 of 2021, mainly due to a negative contribution from its Baystar JV with Total in the US as well as a lower contribution from Abu Dhabi’s polymers complex Borouge, OMV said. “The favourable impact of a stronger US dollar managed to partially compensate for these effects. Additionally, the successful listing of 10% of Borouge’s total issued share capital on 3 June 2022 lowered financial and operational contributions in comparison to Q4 2021,” said OMV. PE sales volumes from Borealis’ JVs decreased by 6%, while polypropylene (PP) sales volumes from JV grew by 33%. Compared to Q4 2021, sales volumes at Borouge grew, with PP sales volumes in particular benefiting greatly from the full ramp-up of the new PP unit (PP5). The ethylene indicator margin Europe increased by 7% to €535/tonne (Q4 2021: €498/tonne), while the propylene indicator margin Europe declined by 12% to €443/tonne (Q4 2021: €506/tonne). While ethylene experienced support from lower supply, propylene saw pressure from ample supply because of high refinery runs, OMV noted. The European PE indicator margin declined by 19% to €370/tonne (Q4 2021: €458/tonne), while the European PP indicator margin decreased substantially by 42% to €398/tonne (Q4 2021: €690/tonne). The utilisation rate of the European steam crackers operated by OMV and Borealis decreased by nine percentage points to 83% (Q4 2021: 92%), mainly due to lower overall European demand, OMV added. OUTLOOKIn 2023, the ethylene indicator margin Europe is expected by OMV to be around €530/tonne (2022: €560/tonne). The propylene indicator margin Europe is expected by the company to be around €480/tonne (2022: €534/tonne). The PE indicator margin Europe is forecast by OMV to be around €350/tonne (2022: €390/tonne). The PP indicator margin Europe is expected by the company to be around €400/tonne (2022: €486/tonne). Front page picture: OMV's headquarters in Vienna Source: APA-PictureDesk GmbH/Shutterstock
Mexico Pacific in close discussion with Chinese buyers – sources
HOUSTON (ICIS)–LNG developer Mexico Pacific Limited is in advanced discussions with prospective buyers, likely from China, as the proposed West Coast liquefaction facility looks to market its project, according to multiple market sources. The proposed 14.1mtpa Saguaro LNG plant site is located in Puerto Libertad in the state of Sonora, Mexico. Mexico Pacific has two binding, 20-year sales and purchase agreements (SPAs): one for 2mtpa with Guangzhou Development Gas Trading and another for 2.6mtpa with portfolio seller Shell. Both were concluded in 2022 on a free on board (FOB) basis. The project has not yet reached a final investment decision (FID). Sources said that it was possible that the developer was close to securing another SPA with a prospective buyer from China, but the counterparty could not be immediately confirmed. Zhejiang Energy, Beijing Gas and China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) were mentioned as possible buyers in active discussions. Given Shell’s stance as a top-tier buyer for Mexico Pacific already, sources said that it was possible another portfolio company could be considering offtake as well. In December 2022, US pipeline developer ONEOK filed to develop a cross-border pipeline known as the Saguaro Connector Pipeline in Hudspeth County, Texas. Sources said this was likely the US-Mexico connector for the Saguaro LNG project, although this was not immediately confirmed. Within Mexico, the Saguaro LNG project also would require a newbuild connector to the plant itself, if existing capacity held by state-run utility CFE could not be utilised. Sources said Mexican infrastructure developer Esentia Energy Systems, formerly known as Fermaca, could potentially be tapped to develop this portion of the project. They also said, however, that the regulatory hurdles to get such a project completed would be substantial. Mexico’s current federal administration has prioritised projects involving state-run utility CFE, the anchor customer for most of the new pipelines built into west Mexico. This prioritisation has proved to be challenging for companies that have sought permits to export LNG from energy ministry SENER, an entity that has struggled to update energy regulations in a timely manner in recent years. Mexico’s president has also publicly expressed a preference for projects that would benefit a state-owned company. Additional reporting by: Yun Xie
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