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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

ICIS News

USDA calling for smaller ending corn stocks in April WASDE

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is calling for smaller ending corn stocks, while for soybeans it is forecasting higher ending supply, according to the April World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. For the corn outlook the monthly update is projecting not only the lower amount of ending stocks but also greater usage of the crop for ethanol and feed and residual use. Corn used for ethanol is being raised by 25 million bushels to stand at 5.4 billion bushels based on data through February from the Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report and weekly ethanol production data as reported by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Feed and residual use is also being increased by 25 million bushels to 5.7 billion bushels based on indicated disappearance during the December-February quarter. With no supply changes and use rising, the WASDE said ending stocks are now projected lowered by 50 million bushels to 2.1 billion bushels. The USDA said season-average farm price received by producers is now down by 5 cents to $4.70 per bushel. For soybeans, the outlook for supply and use not only expects higher ending stocks but also lower imports, residual use and exports. The monthly update said the soybean trade is being reduced on the pace seen to date and expectations for future shipments. With the trade changes and slightly lower residual, soybean ending stocks are raised by 25 million bushels to 340 million bushels. The agency said the season-average soybean price is now forecasted lower by 10 cents to $12.55 per bushel. The next WASDE report will be released on 10 May.

11-Apr-2024

ExxonMobil to sell Fos–sur-Mer refinery in France

LONDON (ICIS)–ExxonMobil’s French affiliate, Esso SAF, plans to sell its Fos-Sur-Mer refinery near Marseille, France, along with fuel terminals in Toulouse and Villette, by the end of the year, officials announced on Thursday. The buyer is Rhone Energies, which is a consortium between oil and commodities trader Trafigura and Entara. About 310 Esso employees are expected to transfer to Rhone Energies. The sale is subject to regulatory and other approvals. Financial details were not disclosed. The sale of the refinery, which has a crude oil processing capacity of 7 million tonnes/year, is part of Esso's long-term strategy in France to maintain the competitiveness of its operations while guaranteeing continuity of supply to its customers in the south of France, it said. Esso will continue to supply the fuel market in southern France and the proposed sale will not impact its other activities in France, it added. Entara, which was established by former executives of Crossbridge Energy, will operate the Fos-sur-Mer refinery. Trafigura plans to enter into a minimum 10-year exclusive crude oil supply and product offtake agreement, ensuring that the refinery has a secure supply of on-demand feedstock at competitive costs and a reliable off-taker of refined products destined to the domestic market, it said. The refinery will continue to be an important contributor to energy security in the region and would benefit from Trafigura’s global trading and logistics network, said Ben Luckock, Global Head of Oil for Trafigura. Oil and petroleum products will continue to play an important role in supporting growing global energy demand during the transition currently underway to a low-carbon economy, Luckock added. Rhone Energies intends to invest in the sustainability of the site to reduce its carbon footprint while also investing in growth projects enabling further co-processing of biogenic feedstocks to produce renewable fuels. In related news, ExxonMobil Chemical France announced earlier on Thursday that it plans to close its chemical production at Gravenchon in Normandy in 2024, subject to relevant government approvals. That closure is entirely separate from the proposed sale of the refinery, officials said. Additional reporting by Nel Weddle Thumbnail photo: A worker walking past ExxonMobil’s Fos-sur-mer complex. Source: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA/Shutterstock

11-Apr-2024

ExxonMobil to close Gravenchon, France cracker and related derivative units in 2024

LONDON (ICIS)—ExxonMobil Chemical France has announced plans to close its chemical production at Gravenchon, in Normandy in France in 2024, subject to the relevant government approvals. According to a press release, the steamcracker and related derivatives units and logistics facilities will be shut down. The company said the site has lost more than €500 million since 2018 and despite efforts to improve the site’s economics, it remains uncompetitive. According to the ICIS Supply & Demand database, the cracker has the capacity to produce 425,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and 290,000 tonnes/year of propylene and was started up in 1967. A butadiene (BD) unit is also at the site and associated derivatives include polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP). ExxonMobil's nearby Port Jerome refinery will continue to operate supplying fuels, lubricants, basestocks and asphalt. The closure will impact 677 jobs through 2025. ExxonMobil said this planned closure is entirely separate from the Esso S.A.F. announcement regarding its proposed sale of the Esso Fos-sur-Mer refinery and South France logistics assets. Charles Amyot, president of ExxonMobil companies in France said: “It has been a very difficult decision for us to take, but we cannot continue to operate at such a loss.” This week Saudi Arabia's Sabic also revealed plans to permanently close its Olefins 3 cracker – one of two at their Geleen, Netherlands site.

11-Apr-2024

INVISTA to explore alternatives for nylon fibers business

HOUSTON (ICIS)–INVISTA plans to explore strategic alternatives for its nylon fibers business and has engaged Barclays as exclusive financial advisor during the exploration process, the US-based manufacturer of chemical intermediates, polymers and fibers said in a statement late on Tuesday. The nylon fibers business includes: INVISTA’s fiber-focused portfolio: airbag and industrial fibers The CORDURA businesses Five supporting global manufacturing locations: Seaford, Delaware and Martinsville, Virginia, both in the US; Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Gloucester, UK; and Qingpu, China INVISTA believes that there are other companies with a different focus and capabilities that could create greater value with those assets, said CEO Francis Murphy. If, however, through the process INVISTA finds that other companies do not value the nylon business more highly, it will continue to operate it, Murphy said. If INVISTA proceeds with a transaction, it would also result in a simplification and strengthened focus on its long-term competitive positions in the upstream nylon and propylene value chain businesses, it said. The nylon fiber assets are a major part of the current INVISTA footprint, “and it would be premature to speculate on the final structure of a potential deal”, it said, adding that details of the business and exploration process are confidential. Regardless of a potential transaction to divest its nylon fibers business, INVISTA will continue to supply its global nylon and propylene value chain customers with intermediates, polymers and specialty chemicals, the company said. Photo source: Attapon Thana/Shutterstock

10-Apr-2024

Fitch downgrades China rating outlook to ‘negative’ as debts pile up

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s fiscal challenges amid rising government debt and its prolonged property slump weighing on recovery prospects prompted Fitch to revise down its credit rating outlook for the world’s second-biggest economy to “negative” from “stable”. Fitch has, nonetheless, affirmed China’s investment grade long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) of “A+”. Deficit-to-GDP ratio to rise to 7.1%; reduction plan to be gradual GDP growth forecast to slow to 4.5% Prolonged deflation ruled out “The Outlook revision reflects increasing risks to China's public finance outlook as the country contends with more uncertain economic prospects amid a transition away from property-reliant growth to what the government views as a more sustainable growth model,” the ratings firm said in a report released late on 9 April. Fitch forecasts China’s fiscal deficit to rise to 7.1% of GDP in 2024, from 5.8% in the previous year. It will be the highest since 2020, when the country’s fiscal deficit-to-GDP ratio hit 8.6%, and more than double the pre-pandemic average of 3.1% in 2015-2019. “The central government (CG) will shoulder a greater share of the fiscal burden in 2024, as local and regional government (LRG) finances remain constrained from declines in land-related revenue and high debt burdens,” it said. China’s central government plans to issue Chinese yuan (CNY) 1 trillion ($138bn), equivalent to 0.8% of GDP, worth of ultra-long bonds, on top of a bond issuance of the same size in 2023. “Wide fiscal deficits and rising government debt in recent years have eroded fiscal buffers from a ratings perspective,” Fitch said. “Fitch believes that fiscal policy is increasingly likely to play an important role in supporting growth in the coming years which could keep debt on a steady upward trend,” it added. “We expect deficit reduction to be gradual as it will likely be balanced against economic growth objectives,” the ratings firm said. “There is little clarity on reform measures to support medium-term fiscal consolidation. The revenue base has also eroded, as a result of tax relief measures since 2018 and a weaker outlook for property-related revenue (20%-30% of total LRG revenue),” it added. Gloom continued to surround China’s property sector, with some major developers facing liquidation, dampening optimism over recent upbeat data on manufacturing. Home prices in the country continued to decline, with contract sales volume of top 100 Chinese developers at record lows. China’s investment grade rating, however, “is supported by its large and diversified economy, still solid GDP growth prospects relative to peers, integral role in global goods trade, robust external finances, and reserve currency status of the yuan”. The economy is projected to post a slower growth of 4.5% this year, compared with the actual pace of 5.2% in 2023, according to Fitch Ratings. The GDP growth forecast was also lower than the government’s target of about 5%. China had a six-month bout with deflation in consumer prices which ended in February, when demand was boosted by the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. “We do not forecast a prolonged period of deflation, with inflation of 0.7% by end-2024 and 1.3% by end-2025,” it said. “Even so, risks are tilted to the downside and inflation could remain lower than we forecast, further weighing on the nominal GDP growth outlook,” Fitch added. Focus article by Pearl Bantillo ($1 = CNY7.23) Thumbnail image: At the Dapukou container terminal at Zhoushan port in Zhejiang province, China, on 9 April 2024 (Costfoto/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

10-Apr-2024

PODCAST: Europe PE, PP see slow Apr start, ahead of ICIS conference

LONDON (ICIS)–Europe’s virgin polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets have been slow to start after the Easter break, with April opening differently as compared to March. The surprisingly strong trend for PE and PP in early 2024 has started to ease as panic restocking by converters, sparked by logistical issues due to tensions in the Red Sea, subsides. Ahead of the ICIS World Polyolefins Conference this week, ICIS editors look at early supply/demand signs for April and the changes from March. This podcast features Matt Tudball, senior editor for Europe R-PET and R-LDPE, and Vicky Ellis, senior editor manager for Europe virgin PE and PP. ICIS analysts and editors will be at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna, Austria, on 10-11 April for the 10th edition of the ICIS World Polyolefins Conference. Industry leaders, including Berry Global, Borealis and Plastic Energy, will also share their insights during the conference.

09-Apr-2024

No major economic policy impact from S Korea legislative elections

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea's legislative elections on 10 April will unlikely have a material impact on the country's near-term economic policies, but a majority win by the conservative People Power Party (PPP) would allow President Yoon Suk-yeol to implement his fiscal priorities. His People Power Party does not control majority of the 300-seat National Assembly, which is dominated by its rival Democratic Party since 2020. "President Yoon Suk-yeol could find it easier to advance his fiscal and economic reform agenda if the opposition’s current majority in the National Assembly is reduced or overturned," Fitch Ratings said in a note. Yoon, who was elected as South Korea’s president in March 2022, has proposed to eliminate capital gains tax but this continues to face opposition from the Democratic Party. In January, the South Korean government leader pledged to overhaul the country's tax system, which he perceives as excessively burdensome, discouraging stock investments. "Passage of the administration’s fiscal rule, which is under discussion in the [legislative] body, could help anchor fiscal policy in the medium term," Fitch Ratings said. If the ruling PPP wins, it is expected to have a positive effect on tax reforms, corporate value-up programs, and lifting a short-selling ban, as the government pushes for these reforms in the National Assembly, Global Markets Research said in a note. However, should the opposition democratic party win, they are likely to urge increased fiscal spending in 2025 and beyond, aligning with their preference for an expansionary fiscal policy, it said. With the democratic party currently in the majority, South Korea's budget for 2024 was passed with few changes to the government’s original proposal. "However, both parties are calling for some kind of fiscal stimulus – the DP argues for a cash transfer programme, while the PPP prefers a reduction in value-added tax (VAT) – and fiscal policy may, therefore, turn more supportive for growth in the second half of this year," ING said. "Although the general election will likely change the current political landscape, we expect the election results to have a limited impact on economic policy, as the National Assembly does not have executive powers," Nomura said. "We believe the general election results will have no impact on monetary policy as the Bank of Korea (BoK) will remain independent, regardless of the election results,” it added. The BoK, which is scheduled to meet two days after the parliamentary elections, is expected to deliver a dovish hold on interest rates in response to intensifying slowdown in the domestic economy, Nomura said. "We expect the BOK to enhance its dovish signals, including a dovish tweak to the policy statement and lowering the dot plot, which would support our forecast for a first 25 basis point cut in July, and subsequently take the policy rate down substantially to 2.5% by end-2024, from the current 3.5%." In March, South Korea’s central bank indicated interest rate cuts were unlikely in the first half of 2024 as inflation remains above target. It has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.50% since January 2023. Consumer inflation in March stood at 3.1%, unchanged from February, amid higher oil prices. South Korea is Asia's fourth largest economy – after China, Japan and India – and a major petrochemical net exporter. Its GDP growth weakened to 1.4% last year from 2.6% in 2022, weighed down by high interest rates; economic slowdown by China, its biggest trading partner; and poor global demand for memory chips, its primary export. Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman

09-Apr-2024

‘Extremely active’ 2024 Atlantic hurricane season could mirror 2020, threaten US Gulf chem production

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be extremely active, and has similar characteristics to the 2020 season, meaning it could threaten offshore oil and natural gas production in the US Gulf and chemical producers along the Gulf Coast. Source: Colorado State University (CSU)  A report late last week from researchers at CSU follows a report released on 27 March by US meteorology firm AccuWeather that also predicted an active hurricane season. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will issue its first seasonal hurricane report in late May. So far, the CSU team said it is seeing similar characteristics to hurricane seasons in 1998, 2010 and 2020. The 2020 season saw 30 named storms, of which 13 became hurricanes and six of those were major storms. Storms in 2020 that impacted chemical operations included: Tropical Storm Marco hit Louisiana on 24 August. Days later, Hurricane Laura made landfall as a powerful category 4 storm in Louisiana near the border of Texas. Then, Hurricane Sally made landfall on 16 September in Alabama as a category 2 storm, followed by Tropical Storm Beta which made landfall less than a week later in Texas. Hurricane Delta followed a similar path as Hurricane Laura, making landfall on 9 October as a category 2 storm in Louisiana. Weeks later, Hurricane Zeta hit Cocodrie, Louisiana, as a category 2 storm. Hurricane Laura knocked 16% of total US ethylene capacity and 11% of total US propylene capacity offline, according to the ICIS Supply and Demand Database. About 18% of polyethylene (PE) production was offline, and 26% of polypropylene (PP) production was offline. Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), a synthetic rubber used to make tires, had 46% of its US capacity offline. The CSU team said record warm tropical and eastern subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are the primary factor for the active season prediction. “When waters in the eastern and central tropical and subtropical Atlantic are much warmer than normal in the spring, it tends to force a weaker subtropical high and associated weaker winds blowing across the tropical Atlantic,” researchers said. “These conditions will likely lead to a continuation of well above-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic for the peak of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.” Warm ocean waters serve as the fuel source for hurricanes, the CSU team said. “In addition, a warm Atlantic leads to lower atmospheric pressure and a more unstable atmosphere,” they said. “Both conditions favor hurricanes.” The current El Nino is likely to transition to a La Nina by the peak of the season – from August to October. Hurricane season begins on 1 June and runs through the end of November. Hurricanes and tropical storms can disrupt the North American petrochemical industry, because oil and gas production are concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, many of the nation's refineries and petrochemical plants are along the US Gulf Coast in the states of Texas and Louisiana. Even the threat of a major storm can disrupt oil and natural gas production, because companies must evacuate US Gulf platforms as a precaution. Thumbnail image shows a weather satellite orbiting over a hurricane. Photo by John Pulsipher/image from Shutterstock

08-Apr-2024

VIDEO: Global oil outlook – five factors to watch in week 15

LONDON (ICIS)–Crude prices could slip from multi-month highs this week as Israel withdraws troops from Gaza and agrees to ceasefire talks, curbing supply disruption worries. Investors will also keep an eye on the release of key economic data from the US, Europe and China later in the week for global demand indicators. Watch as ICIS market experts highlight the factors to look out for in week 15.

08-Apr-2024

Latin America stories: weekly summary

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Here are some of the stories from ICIS Latin America for the week ended on 5 April. NEWS Mexico’s automotive output falls nearly 13% in March Mexico’s automotive sector output fell by 12.75% in March, month on month, to just over 300,000 units, the country’s statistical office Inegi said on Wednesday. Sanitation framework, nascent LatAm lithium industry keeping Brazil’s chloralkali afloat – Abiclor Brazil’s chlorine and caustic soda sectors have kept afloat in better health than the wider chemicals industry as sanitation plans and new lithium exploitations across Latin America keep demand high, according to the director general at the country’s trade group Abiclor. Brazil’s chemicals, industrial output falls in February Brazil’s chemicals output fell in February by 3.5%, month on month, one of the largest falls among the subsectors measured, the country’s statistical office IBGE said on Wednesday. Petrobras ‘proactively’ engaging with Federal auditor about tolling contract with Unigel Petrobras continues to “clarify in a timely manner” all the information requested by the Federal auditor regarding its tolling contract with Unigel, a spokesperson for the Brazilian energy major said to ICIS on Tuesday. Brazil’s Unigel postpones Q4 results amid debt restructuring Unigel has postponed the publication of its Q4 and 2023 financial results as its debt restructuring is ongoing, the Brazilian chemicals and fertilizers producer said on Tuesday. MOVES: Brazil’s Unipar appoints Alexandre Jerussalmy as CFO Unipar has appointed Alexandre Jerussalmy as CFO and investor relations officer, effective immediately, the Brazilian chemicals producer said on Tuesday. Colombia’s manufacturing slows down in March on lower sales Colombia’s manufacturing output growth slowed down in March on the back of lower sales, although it marked its third month in expansion territory, analysts at S&P Global said on Monday. Brazil's manufacturing March output healthy on new orders, fueling job creation Brazil’s manufacturing continued expanding at pace in March on the back of a healthy new order book, prompting firms to increase workforces, S&P Global said on Monday. Mexico’s manufacturing steady in March but subdued US demand causes concern Mexico’s manufacturing output stayed stable in March but firms are getting increasingly worried about lower demand from the US, the key market for the country’s export-intensive manufacturers, analysts at S&P Global said on Monday. PRICING Lat Am PP domestic prices down in Argentina, Mexico on lower US PGP spot prices, weak demand Domestic polypropylene (PP) prices dropped in Argentina and Mexico on the back of lower US spot propylene prices and weak demand. In other Latin American countries, prices remained steady. LatAm PE international prices steady to lower on lower US export offers International polyethylene (PE) prices were assessed as steady to lower on the back of lower US export offers. Ethanol prices in Brazil experiencing surges during April The prices of hydrous ethanol surged during the initial week of April, propelled by consistent strong sales in Brazil. Unigel to raise PS April prices in Brazil Unigel is seeking an 11% price increase on all grades of polystyrene (PS) sold in Brazil starting on 1 April, according to a customer letter. Innova seeks April PS price increase in Brazil Innova is seeking a real (R) 1,000/tonne ($200/tonne) price increase, excluding local taxes, on all grades of polystyrene (PS) sold in Brazil starting on 1 April, according to a customer letter.

08-Apr-2024

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