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ICIS Supply and Demand Database

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An end-to-end view of supply and demand across multiple markets

Optimise sales planning, production and investment with a transparent view of the Chemicals supply chain showing capacity, balanced and integrated between upstream and downstream, as far ahead as 2050. Access supply, demand and trade flow data updated daily, with monthly and quarterly round-ups, for over 100 commodities in 175 countries.

Gain a clear understanding of the competitive landscape, with current and planned production capability segmented by plant, company, country or region. Import, export and consumption volumes are combined with short-term forecasts, margin analytics, pricing, plant cost evaluations and disruption tracking to help you stay one step ahead.

Identify new business opportunities with up-to-date information on plant ownership and technology, on a subsidiary and affiliate basis, from ICIS’ unrivalled network of chemicals experts embedded in key global markets.

Why use ICIS Supply and Demand Database?

Increase profitability and maximise ROI

Safeguard or increase margins and make better-informed purchasing decisions, with accurate and complete data on market dynamics and competitor behaviour.

Plan ahead with confidence

Discern long-term trends built on historical trade flow  data going back to 1978, and respond swiftly to market conditions if they change in unforeseen ways.

Optimise new business

Understand demand for your product, with a clear picture of competitors’ current and planned production capacity.

Validate targets with independent data

Support your investment decisions with ICIS’ reliable market data and insight.

Create agile purchasing strategies

Track changes in capacity, production and trade flows to keep ahead of market trends, and revise purchasing strategy accordingly.

Maximise efficiency

Save time strategy planning with all your market drivers, built on the latest outlook for supply and demand, visible in one place.

Quantify value

Understand value chain dynamics, with integrated analysis of upstream / downstream supply and demand.

Mitigate risk

Anticipate and minimise exposure to changes in imports, exports, supply and demand with forecasts and independent analysis.


Asia top stories – weekly summary

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 17 May 2024. Asia melamine makers grapple with increased costs, slowing demand By Joy Foo 17-May-24 11:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s melamine spot market for China-origin product was largely stable in the first half of May, even though feedstock urea prices continued to rise, but demand may weaken for the rest of the month. Singapore's April petrochemical exports rise 26.5%; NODX down 9.3% By Nurluqman Suratman 17-May-24 10:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore's petrochemical shipments rose by 26.5% year on year in April to Singapore dollar (S$) 1.34 billion, reversing the 3.6% decline in the previous month, official data showed on Friday. PODCAST: China PP exports to weigh on SE Asia on ample propylene supply By Damini Dabholkar 16-May-24 21:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The ample supply of propylene in Asia and new polypropylene (PP) capacities in China are expected to weigh on discussions in southeast Asia over the coming months. Tanker incident triggers rate hike on South Korea-Japan trades By Hwee Hwee Tan 16-May-24 11:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The intra northeast Asia tanker market is expected to remain stable despite recent volatility in South Korea-Japan chemical freight rates, following a fatal tanker incident off Japan’s west coast. US hikes tariffs on $18bn worth of China imports, including EVs By Nurluqman Suratma 15-May-24 12:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–US President Joe Biden is ramping up tariffs on $18 billion worth of imports from China, including electric vehicles (EVs), semiconductors, batteries and other goods, in a move that the White House said was a response to unfair trade practices and intended to protect US jobs. Asia polyester discussions stable amid reduced supply, lower feedstock prices By Judith Wang 14-May-24 14:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s polyester export discussions were little changed as the pressure of reduced supply in China was balanced out by weaker feedstock prices.


LOGISTICS: Container rates continue to surge, liquid chem tanker rates mostly lower

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Average global rates for shipping containers continue to surge, liquid chemical tanker rates ex-US Gulf were mostly softer, and work continues to reopen the Port of Baltimore, highlighting this week’s logistics roundup. CONTAINER RATES Rates for shipping containers surged by double digits again this week on unexpected demand and tight capacity stemming from Red Sea diversions. Average global rates surged by 11% over the week, according to supply chain advisors Drewry and as shown in the following chart. Meanwhile, rates from Shanghai to the US West Coast are up by almost 33% from early-February and rates from Shanghai to the East Coast are more than 30% higher over that period, as shown in the following chart. Drewry expects ex-China freight rates to rise due to increased demand, tight capacity, and the need to reposition empty containers. Emily Stausbøll, senior shipping analyst at ocean and freight rate analytics firm Xeneta, said the speed of the increases is causing nervousness in the market. “Demand reached record levels in Q1 2024, up by 9.2% compared to Q1 2023, and comes at a time when the Red Sea situation is putting increased pressure on shipping capacity,” she said. “But significantly, this is all taking place while the chaos of port congestion and lack of available capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic is still fresh in the memory of shippers.” “Lessons will have been learned from the pandemic. If shippers fear there is going to be a squeeze on capacity during the peak season in Q3 then they are going to start importing more goods now,” Stausbøll said. “If these increased volumes need to be moved on the spot market, then it is going to put upwards pressure on rates." Container ships and costs for shipping containers are relevant to the chemical industry because while most chemicals are liquids and are shipped in tankers, container ships transport polymers, such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), are shipped in pellets. They also transport liquid chemicals in isotanks. LIQUID TANKER RATES US chemical tanker freight rates assessed by ICIS were mostly lower as rates fell from the US Gulf (USG) to Asia and from the USG to India. However, rates ticked slightly higher for smaller parcels from the USG to Caribbean and surged from the USG to Brazil. From the USG to Rotterdam, it has remained quiet again this week, with available space for part cargo still open. COA volumes have been heavy for owners; however, spot inquiries have been quiet. Due to the available space and softness, this could place further downward pressure on this trade lane. From the USG to the Caribbean, the market has remained higher with very little prompt space available. Owners have pushed to keep freight rates mostly steady; however, there is currently a lack of activity from out of the USG. From the USG to Asia, this market has remained overall soft after a long holiday week in Japan. BALTIMORE, HOUSTON BRIDGE COLLISIONS Traffic in and out of the Houston Ship Channel was not affected after a barge struck a bridge connecting Galveston and Pelican islands on Wednesday morning. JJ Plunkett of the Houston Pilots said the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) was closed, which could slow movement of barges moving finished product from plants along the channel. Ships enter the channel by passing between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula and then move through Galveston Bay before reaching the main section of the channel where refineries, chemical plants and storage facilities are located. The barge collided with a bridge that connects Galveston Island to Pelican Island, located well to the west of where commercial vessels enter and exit Galveston Bay. Meanwhile at the Port of Baltimore, the container ship that essentially closed the port on 26 March after it struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing its collapse, is set to be moved now that the mangled remnants of the span were removed from the ship’s bow with controlled blasts on 13 May. Officials continued to evaluate the situation on Friday in preparation for refloating the vessel and clearing the federal channel. Officials have evaluated sonar and lidar imagery but are awaiting results from a dive survey before proceeding with plans to refloat and move the vessel. The closing of the port did not have a significant impact on the chemicals industry as chemicals make up only about 4% of total tonnage that moves through the port, according to data from the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The ACC said less than 1% of all chemicals involved in waterborne commerce, both domestic and trade volumes, pass through Baltimore. PANAMA CANAL Wait times for non-booked southbound vessels ready for transit surged this week while wait times for northbound vessels edged higher, according to the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) vessel tracker and as shown in the following image. Wait times a week ago were 2.6 days for northbound vessels and 2.4 days for southbound vessels. Additional reporting by Kevin Callahan


Canada rail strike not imminent, rail carriers and union resume talks

TORONTO (ICIS)–A potential freight rail strike in Canada has been delayed because the matter has been referred to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) and collective bargaining resumes today, Friday 17 May. Strike averted, for the time being Industrial board investigates potential strike impacts Rail strike would hit chemical and fertilizer logistics After about 9,300 unionized conductors, train operators and engineers and other workers at freight rail carriers Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) and Canadian National (CN) earlier this month voted for a strike, federal labor minister Seamus O’Regan referred the matter to the CIRB, a quasi-judicial tribunal charged with keeping industrial peace in Canada. The minister wants the board to investigate if disruptions to the supply of products such as heavy fuel, propane, food, and chlorine and other water treatment chemicals could pose safety and health issues, in particular in remote communities. The board could decide that rail shipments of certain goods need to be continued during a strike. The board has called on affected groups and organizations to make submissions on the matter by no later than 21 May. Trade group Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) said it will make a submission about impacts on its industry. It remains unclear how long it will take for the CIRB to reach a decision. After a decision, the union would have to give 72 hours of notice before starting a strike. 22 MAY STRIKE DEADLINE OFF THE TABLE Labor union Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), which previously said that a work stoppage could start as early as 22 May, has acknowledged that during the CIRB process there will be no strike. Confusingly, the union on Friday still posted a notice on its website about a possible 22 May work stoppage as an “upcoming event”. A union official did not respond to an ICIS request for comment. Rail carrier CPKC said in a statement that neither a legal strike nor a lockout can occur until the CIRB makes its decision. It added that the referral to the board has created uncertainty about the timing of a potential work stoppage and interruptions of rail service. CPKC, for its part, has proposed to the TCRC a “maintenance of services agreement” under which both parties agree on services that should be maintained in the event of a strike or lockout, it said. “We believe this would eliminate the need for the CIRB referral process and bring much needed clarity regarding the timing of any potential strike or lockout,” it said. If no such agreement is reached, it is unlikely the parties will be in a position to initiate a legal strike or lockout within the next 60 days, CPKC said. A source at a major sulfur exporter told ICIS the referral to the CIRB was a “stall tactic” by the government that delays the risk of a strike, likely until the end of May. IMPACTS ON CHEMICALS AND FERTILIZERS Freight rail work stoppages can quickly affect logistics in the chemical, fertilizer and other industries, and a simultaneous stoppage at Canada’s biggest rail carriers would worsen impacts by far. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail. In the fertilizer industry, about 75% of all fertilizer produced and used in Canada is moved by rail and the industry depends on rail to move product across the country and into international markets. In the run-up to potential strikes, producers need to prepare, longer strikes can force them to shut down plants, and after a strike ends it can take weeks for normal operations to resume. Beyond chemicals and fertilizers, rail strikes affect the overall Canadian manufacturing sector. Trade group Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) has warned that companies could not afford to have their businesses and workers threatened by “a critical supply chain labor disruption”. “More than any other industry, we rely on railways to access critical inputs and bring goods to customers,” CME said in a statement. According to the April purchasing managers’ index (PMI) survey by S&P Global, Canadian manufacturing has been weak for the past 12 months. FREIGHT RAIL DATA For the first 19 weeks of 2024, ended 11 May, Canadian chemical railcar loadings rose 3.9% year on year to 262,089, the American Association of Railroads (AAR) reported this week. Total freight rail traffic – comprising railcar loadings and intermodal units – was at 3,064,779 for the first 19 weeks, up 0.9% from the same period in 2023. Focus article by Stefan Baumgarten Additional reporting by Julia Meehan Please also visit Logistics: Impact on chemicals and energy Thumbnail photo source: Canadian National


PODCAST: China LPG importers may not face higher tariffs amid US-China trade tensions

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The White House on 14 May announced it would increase tariffs on $18 billion worth of imports from China to protect American workers and businesses. How will this latest development impact China’s LPG supplies from the US. In 2023, the US was the second largest LPG exporter to China, following the Middle East. In 2018, China raised the import tariff on US LPG from 1% to 25% in retaliation to tariffs hikes implemented by the former US president Donald Trump. In this podcast, ICIS Analyst Lillian Ren shares insights on the potential impact on Chinese imports of LPG, including propane and butane.


BLOG: Chemicals, sustainability and the new industrial revolution

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson: Blood bags, syringes, disposable hospital sheets, gowns and medicine packaging. Modern-day medicine, which has greatly extended the quantity and quality of our lives, would be impossible without the plastics industry. Computers, smartphones, washing machines, refrigerators and automobiles cannot be manufactured without plastics and chemicals. Think of women in the developing world who still have to wash clothes by hand (this is, sadly, how some patriarchal societies work). Imagine the time and energy they would save if their families can afford their first washing machine, enabling girls and women to spend more time at school and freeing them up to attend college. The absence of decent roads in developing countries doesn’t matter a jot because, since the invention of the smartphone, buying and selling goods and services, issuing microfinance and keeping accounts up to date can be done on the go. The scale of future demand for nine of the world’s biggest synthetic polymers is illustrated by the chart in today's post. We forecast that global demand for the resins will this year total 299 million tonnes, up from just 79 million tonnes in 1992 which I believe was the start of the Petrochemicals Supercycle. By 2024, we predict that demand will reach 515 million tonnes – a 72% increase. The question on the exam paper is how we meet this demand in as sustainable a fashion as possible. This is going to require a new industrial revolution. Jim Fitterling, CEO of Dow Chemical, provided the best summary I have seen of the challenges that lie ahead for the chemicals industry. This was in a speech he gave in New York on 8 May. He highlighted the strain on electricity supply resulting from the growth in artificial intelligence, making it harder for the chemicals industry to secure the renewable electricity it needs to decarbonise. While it was “almost fashionable” to blame producers for plastics waste, around 3bn people around the world lacked access to basic waste management. About 95% of leakage occurs in emerging markets with underdeveloped waste management systems, he said. Demand for recycled plastics outstrips supply and was growing, but the ecosystem to collect, sort and efficiently recycle plastics waste was not keeping up, he added. Government support for these efforts would be critical – policies that preserved the many benefits of plastics while also helping eliminating waste, the CEO said. Through its history, the chemical industry had a formidable record of achievement in overcoming challenges and can do it again in making the energy transition a reality and ending plastics pollution, said the Dow CEO. Key to this was harnessing talent – not just chemical talent, but a new generation of workers who understood robotics, AI, machine learning and analytics, he said. Hear, hear! Let’s get on the with this new industrial revolution. 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.


PODCAST: China PP exports to weigh on SE Asia on ample propylene supply

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The ample supply of propylene in Asia and new polypropylene (PP) capacities in China are expected to weigh on discussions in southeast Asia over the coming months. Asia C3 to lengthen after PDH restarts in China, SE Asia volumes China PP exports to weigh on SE Asia discussions Asia PP prices to come under pressure in June-July In this podcast, ICIS editors Julia Tan, Jackie Wong and Lucy Shuai discuss current trends in Asia's propylene and PP markets, and what we can expect going forward. Visit us at Booth 13 at the Grand Ballroom Foyer at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas! Book a meeting with ICIS here.


Japan Q1 economy contracts; interest rate hike hopes dampened

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Japan's economy shrank by 2.0% on an annualized basis in January-March 2024 as domestic consumption and capital spending weakened. Weak yen fuels inflation, hurts consumer spending Core inflation slows but remains above 2% target Japan central bank faces tough challenge of balancing growth and inflation The first-quarter reading reverses the 0.4% year-on-year growth in October-December 2023. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, Q1 GDP posted a 0.5% contraction, according to preliminary data released by Japan’s Cabinet Office on Thursday. Private consumption, which makes up more than half of Japan's economic growth, fell by 0.7% in the first three months of 2024, marking the fourth straight quarter of decline and extending the 0.4% decline in the last three months of last year. Capital spending – a crucial component of private demand – decreased by 0.8% in the first quarter, reversing the 1.8% expansion in the fourth quarter. Net exports of goods and services fell by 0.3% in the first quarter. The sharp decline of the Japanese yen (Y) to levels not seen since 1990 has raised concerns about increasing living costs and depressed consumer spending. At 04:12 GMT, the yen was trading at around Y154 to the US dollar, strengthening from the recent record low of around Y159 in late April. In March to April, the yen had continued to weaken despite the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) decision to hike interest rates in March for the first time in 17 years, ending eight years of negative rates. The central bank is expected to proceed cautiously in tightening monetary policy due to the fragile state of the economy. Japan’s nationwide core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes fresh food items but includes energy items, rose by 2.6% year on year, data from the BoJ showed on 14 May. The number represented a deceleration from February’s 2.8% print but remained well above the central bank’s 2% target. "The year-on-year rate of increase in the CPI is likely to be in the range of 2.5-3.0% for fiscal 2024 [year ending 31 March 2025] and then be at around 2% for fiscal 2025 and 2026," Japan's Ministry of Finance (MoF) said in a report on 15 May. Meanwhile, underlying consumer inflation, which excludes temporary fluctuations, is expected to increase gradually and then be at a level that is generally consistent with the price stability target of 2%, it said. "If the BOJ also expects GDP to recover in 2Q24, then the BoJ’s focus should remain on high inflation and the JPY [Japanese yen] as a major contributor to high inflation," Dutch banking and financial information services provider ING said in a note on Thursday. "April inflation is expected to ease quite sharply due to a high base last year, but pipeline inflation indicates upward inflationary pressures building for the coming months,” it said. “We believe that the BoJ is ready to act in July, as it confirms that strong wage growth is boosting household spending," it added. Japan's economy is likely to keep growing at a pace above its potential growth rate, with overseas economies growing moderately, as well as financial conditions being accommodative, the finance ministry said in its 15 May report. Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman


US home builder confidence dives as mortgage rates exceed 7%

HOUSTON (ICIS)–US builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell sharply in May as higher mortgage rates “hammer” confidence, the National Association of Home Builders said on Wednesday. Mortgage rates averaged above 7% for the past four weeks as a lack of progress on reducing inflation pushed long-term interest rates higher, NAHB said. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) fell by six points from April to 45 in May – its first decline since November 2023. HMI readings below the 50 neutral mark indicate that builders are pessimistic, readings above 50 that they are optimistic. The high mortgage rates have pushed many potential buyers back to the sidelines and the market has slowed, NAHB said. Another worry are new code rules that require the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the US Department of Agriculture to insure mortgages for new single-family homes only if they are built to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code. This would further increase the cost of construction in a market “that sorely needs more inventory for first-time and first-generation buyers”, said NAHB chairman Carl Harris. NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz added: “The last leg in the inflation fight is to reduce shelter inflation, and this can only occur if builders are able to construct more attainable, affordable housing.” The housing market is a key consumer of chemicals, driving demand for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products, such as plastic pipe, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives and synthetic fibers, among many others. Please also visit the ICIS construction topic page and Macroeconomics: Impact on Chemicals. Thumbnail photo source: NAHB


PODCAST: Asia propylene derivative demand still slow amid uncertainty

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian oxo-alcohols buyers maintained a wait and watch approach, amid the possibility of added plant capacities in China weighing on market sentiment. The acrylonitrile (ACN) market continues to see limited spot demand in the northeast Asia market. Even as downstream acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) has seen higher production rates recently, ACN producers were unlikely to increase operating rates. For the acrylates downstream, butyl-A market in Asia continues to take direction from Chinese domestic prices. With India's Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) requirements preventing Chinese origin imports, cargoes from China were flowing into SE Asia and NE Asia. In this podcast, ICIS editors Julia Tan and Corey Chew discuss trends in the Asia propylene and derivatives markets. Visit ICIS during APIC ’24 on 30-31 May at Booth 13 in the Grand Ballroom Foyer in the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas. Book a meeting with ICIS here.


IEA cuts 2024 crude forecast as OECD Q1 demand slips into contraction

LONDON (ICIS)–The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Wednesday cut its expectations for global crude oil demand growth as demand from the OECD shifted into contraction territory in Q1 and as refinery margins continued to slump into the spring period. Demand slows on global economic health concerns Refinery margins near two-year lows More balanced supply-demand expected in 2025 The IEA now expects global crude demand to slip to 1.1 million barrels/day this year, down from projections of 1.2 million barrels/day in its previous monthly oil forecast, and a further decline from the 1.3 million barrels/day projected in March. The upward revisions seen in February and March were driven by higher demand expectations on the back of improved economic momentum, particularly for the US, with the agency predicting that the market could move into supply deficit. Weaker-than-expected deliveries to OECD countries, particularly in Europe, drove demand from the bloc into the negative in Q1, according to the IEA, while pricing fell through the early spring as economic concerns outpaced the upward impact of geopolitical tensions. Crude futures have fallen from over $90/barrel earlier in the year to $82.53 at midday Brent trading on Wednesday. Refinery margins have also fallen to near a two-year low in the wake of a sell-off across many crude and downstream markets such as middle distillates. Particularly pronounced in Europe, the slump in refinery margins could lead to run rate cuts that undermine the usual seasonal output uptick, the IEA added. “The slump in European refinery margins in April outpaced those seen in the US Gulf Coast and Singapore, reflecting its heavy reliance on diesel output and weak regional demand eroding the premium needed to attract long-haul imports from East of Suez,” the IEA said in its monthly report. European gasoil demand dropped 140,000 barrels/day year on year in the opening three months of the year, following a 210,000 barrel/day decline in Q4 2023. Despite declining demand expectations for 2024, supply growth is expected to be subdued, with a 1.4 million barrel/day increase in non-OPEC+ output offset by a projected 840,000 barrel/day decline in OPEC+ output, amounting to a total increase of 580,000 barrel/day. The latest deliberations among OPEC member states and allied country ministers is expected at the start of June in Vienna, Austria, with decisions taken there potentially setting the tone for the second half of the year. “Despite the recent weakness, our current balances show the call on OPEC+ crude oil at around 42 million barrels/day in the second half of this year – roughly 700,000 barrels/day above its April output,” the IEA added. The agency projects that crude demand growth will rise modestly to 1.2 million barrels/day, but production is likely to reach 1.8 million barrels/day, with 1.4 million of that total expected from non-OPEC+ countries. “Even if OPEC+ voluntary production cuts were to stay in place, global oil supply could jump by 1.8 million barrels/day compared with this year’s more modest 580,000 barrels/day annual increase,” the IEA said. “The United States, Guyana, Canada and Brazil continue to dominate gains, even as the pace of the US supply expansion decelerates,” the IEA added. Focus article by Tom Brown. Thumbnail photo: A crude oil tanker moored off the coast of Cyprus (Source: Danil Shamkin/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)


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