The exceptional situation in 2015 for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets plus a series of planned maintenance closures this year are affecting decision making for buyers.
As we begin the new year, ICIS analyses the key topics and what to expect in 2017.
US-based Dow Chemical has been named the ICIS Company of the Year, based on financial metrics, by weekly global publication ICIS Chemical Business. The selection takes into account year-on-year growth in profits at the operating and net levels, as well as margins in 2015.
As competing market forces send mixed signals about the global olefins situation and outlook, uncertainty and volatility present challenges to industry players. How will the Olefins market fare?
With China having the largest polyester capacity globally, the country has emerged as the primary consumer of raw materials such as paraxylene (PX), purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and monoethylene glycol (MEG). The country’s increasing focus on being self-sufﬁcient for raw materials has led to expansion plans for MEG and PX capacities within China over the next five to six years. This now poses new challenges for the Northeast Asian markets, who are key producers of fibre intermediates.
Download the free infographics to track the trade flows for the fibre intermediates market between China and Northeast Asia, particularly for Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
The petrochemical industry is going through a period of extreme price volatility which impacts on margins and competitiveness. Albeit growing, polyolefin demand remains exposed to various unpredictable factors, while recent investments will bring new capacity online this year.
ICIS senior consultant Fabrizio Galiè explores emerging threats to the global polyolefin industry including the economic slowdown in China, new plant start-ups and implications on international markets.
2017 has been marked by dramatic movements in global styrene prices, driven largely by supply-side developments as well as underlying feedstock movement. Through it all, however, margins have remained at high levels and ICIS believes they are likely to continue strong.
Download the latest insight from ICIS senior editor Rhian O'Connor to better understand the recent developments and the outlook for styrene markets.
The latest ICIS interactive online publication contains video interviews with key executives at the recent AFPM International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Hear the latest views from INEOS, Huntsman, NOVA Chemicals and AFPM senior staff.
Adhesives and sealants are the focus of the latest special publication from ICIS, prepared in association with the US Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC) for its spring convention in Atlanta. The Trump administration, chemical safety regulations, cyber security, customer engagement and innovation and biobased materials are all featured in indepth articles.
Download and view the latest titanium dioxide (TiO2) animated map, by ICIS senior editor Heidi Finch, which shows global restructuring and cost-cutting measures from 2015-2018.
Imports into the structurally short US benzene market fell about 18% year-on-year in 2016 compared with 2015, as downstream issues in derivatives such as styrene weighed on demand. Meanwhile, benzene prices rose late in 2016 on a rally in upstream crude oil as well as several issues at refineries on the Gulf Coast.
On the demand side, China's appetite for benzene ahead of its Lunar New Year holiday spurred price increases and US exports to China in December. The US benzene market is structurally short and relies on imports to meet about 20% of consumption. South Korea, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Brazil continue to be key suppliers to the US market. Explore these trends in our benzene infographic.
The shale boom continues to fuel the boom in ethylene production in the US and has spurred growth in ethylene exports while virtually pushing out all ethylene imports. Exports to key destinations such as China and India grew in 2016 from 2015 amid a more than 13% increase in overall US ethylene exports in 2016 from the year before. Explore these trends in our ethylene infographic.
North American petrochemicals expansion and the Trump effect are analysed in the latest ICIS special publication, produced with AFPM for its International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio. Topics such as capacity start-ups and ethane supply, logistics, talent and TCSA implantation are all covered in depth.
The growing capacity of soda ash from China over the past few decades is a major challenge which has threatened the profitability of US soda ash miners, most of whom are located in the state of Wyoming.
Another challenge for the US soda ash market is new production from Turkey, which is expected to come online in August of 2017.
Learn how the US is facing these obstacles in the whitepaper below.
For years, persistently slow growth has been the driving force behind chemical mergers and acquisitions. With growth at such a sluggish pace, chemical companies have relied on deal-making to achieve growth through synergies. The administration of Donald Trump could change that, given his proposals to lower taxes, reform regulations and spend more on infrastructure. In this whitepaper, Al Greenwood looks at how some of Trump's policies could affect the outlook for growth.
Talks for Q2 refined glycerine contracts are happening and the market seems to be seeing a unique mix of factors that could push prices higher. Uncertainty in the biodiesel sector in the first quarter of every year has been a constant for many years now, but this year the uncertainty level is even more pronounced.
Meanwhile, imported product from southeast Asia has pulled back as sharply higher palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel oil (PKO) prices eroded margins for fatty acids production since December. Large producers in southeast Asia have increased kosher vegetable glycerine prices at US ports, but still see current prices as too low to cover refining and logistics costs.
ICIS editors Veena Pathare, Jasmine Khoo and Muhamad Fadhil look at recent developments in sanctions against Iran and its implications for the petrochemicals markets and analyse the Iranian base oils industry
In the first two months of 2017, the European monoethylene glycol (MEG) market saw two consecutive triple-digit increases in the monthly contract price, and spot prices reached their highest level since June 2015.
Traditionally a quiet period for Europe MEG, early 2017 saw tight conditions and soaring price trends, despite typical lacklustre demand.
European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices have been rising in late 2016 and early 2017. Upstream price increases and a lack of competitive imports have caused PET prices to rise and this has led to some buyers reviewing their options.
Do higher PET prices make recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) an attractive alternative for buyers? Is switching from PET to R-PET a viable alternative? What impact are rising PET prices having on the R-PET market?
The ICIS European Ethylene Review of 2016 provides an at-a-glance reference view of the key features of the ethylene market including cracker output, supply and margins, pricing and international trade. The infographic also includes a European map of scheduled cracker turnarounds for 2017.
In this special interactive magazine from the 21st World Base Oils And Lubricants Conference, ICIS brings you interviews with some of the key players in the market, looking at the main issues affecting the industry and what to expect in the year ahead.
The European Group I base oils market has got off to an unexpectedly bullish start in 2017 amid tight supply of SN150 and SN500 brought about by production issues at a number of refineries. Despite this, brightstock supply is surprisingly healthy – but how long will this continue? Furthermore, what impact will rising Group I prices have on the Group III market?
Download and read the market insight from ICIS editors Vicky Ellis and Sarah Trinder.
ICIS’s annual Base Oils & Lubricants publication is now ready to read – bringing insights into industry trends and issues, market developments, and technical and regulatory issues. Infineum looks at auto oils requirements and Chevron’s move into Europe is profiled.
How will the major developments that pose uncertainty to the global petrochemicals market influence price and market movements in 2017?
ICIS answers these questions and more through the Americas chemicals outlook magazine and a series of short videos which provide a detailed market review of 2016 and analysis of the likely market outlook for 2017.
No one knows what the next 12 months may hold for global petrochemical markets. Will OPEC stick to their production cuts? How will the Trump presidency impact global trade relations? Polyolefins players need to be ready for uncertainty and build strategies to cope with a variety of scenarios. John Richardson looks at what the year ahead may bring for the Asian polyolefins markets in a world turned upside down.
'Brexit', a Trump presidency, EU policy changes – these are just some of the major developments that pose uncertainty to the global petrochemicals market.
ICIS analyses the key price and market movements in 2016 and what to expect in 2017 in a series of short videos and through the European outlook magazine.
Following the success of the annual Global Chemicals Outlook series, ICIS has launched the 2017 version of the global magazines which is now available to download. Get the latest rundown of the key market developments and conditions in 2016, together with a short-term outlook of what to look out for in 2017.
As we begin the New Year, we look back at the key developments and how they shaped the Asian chemical markets in 2016 – and look forward to what to expect in the coming year. ICIS is hosting a series of free webinars to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge needed to navigate the markets in such volatile times.
The ICIS Top 40 Power Players, a global ranking of the leading senior executives making the greatest positive impact on their companies and the industry through investments, shifts in business models, mergers and acquisitions, and innovation, has been published by ICIS Chemical Business magazine.
In our latest ICIS interactive publication we bring you interviews with leading GCC and global chemical executives from the Annual GPCA forum in Dubai.
In this webinar, Mark Victory, Senior Editor, Manager, ICIS, covers:
Latin American petrochemicals are discussed in the latest ICIS interactive online publication, which includes video interviews with industry executives attending the recent APLA Annual Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The regional economy, shale gas, projects and biobased materials are all covered.
The latest edition of NACD’s Chemical Distributor, produced by ICIS, looks at long-awaited TSCA reform, the economy, as well as strong leadership and mentoring.
Watch video interviews from NACD’s 2016 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona in November. This ICIS interactive magazine looks at the key issues from the event, including leadership, mentoring, regulation and the recent presidential election.
Following on from the result of the recent Italian Referendum, where 59.1% of Italians voted against the proposed reforms, ICIS takes a closer look at what impact this could have on the Italian chemicals market.
In this white paper ICIS editor Linda Naylor discusses the difficult choices available to PP contract buyers in Europe next year, and how the shortages of 2015 are still having an impact on the market.
Should they bite the bullet and accept higher prices to ensure security of supply next year? Or, as some are doing, reject what they consider to be unreasonable price hikes but risk not having the volume if supply is interrupted?
ICIS has now published the GPCA members directory “Connecting the Gulf 2016-2017” on behalf of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA). It profiles all 35 full members and 215 associate members, giving contact information and a brief company description. A product finder is also included.
The future of the European chloralkali market is becoming clear, as the majority of mercury cell producers have announced whether they will close or convert their capacity. With this bugbear of the European caustic soda market now fading into the background, the question now becomes: what will be the impact on chloralkali producers and their downstream markets?
The latest GPCA Insight publication, prepared by ICIS, offers news and analysis of chemical developments in the Middle East on the occasion of the GPCA’s Annual Forum in Dubai on 27-29 November.
The monthly ICIS Macroeconomic November News bulletin examines if and how the continuous rise of populism will bring greater uncertainty to the European economy. Amid Brexit, the December referendum in Italy and concern over the upcoming French elections, the ICIS Macroeconomic Newsletter looks at how the aromatics industry may respond to the seeming trend towards isolationism and how this could impact the market’s liquidity.
2016 styrene production levels have been strong in Europe and the US, but now the US styrene market is tightening on supply outages and impacting the availability of material for export to the rest of the world.
Read the latest market commentary from ICIS Senior Analyst Rhian O'Connor to get a clearer picture of the uncertainties in the styrenics market and how they are impacting PS prices.
Read the latest market outlook for European polymethyl methacrylate from ICIS editor Katherine Sale to learn about the key areas of interest for 2017 and the influences on European supply and demand dynamics.
Latin America’s economies have been suffering but reforms are bringing some hope for an upturn in the chemical sector. The political, economic and industry perspectives are analysed in ICIS’s latest special report on the region, produced in association with APLA, the Latin American Petrochemical Association, on the occasion of its Annual Meeting this year in Buenos Aires.
Polyurethanes come into sharp focus in the latest special publication from ICIS, prepared in association with the American Chemistry Council on the occasion of its annual Polyurethanes Technical Conference, in Baltimore, US. Markets, innovation, recycling and sustainability as well as end use markets such as construction and automotive are all featured in a series of indepth articles.
It’s time to look ahead to next year. Uncertainty over crude oil prices, market volatility and large-scale increases in global supply, all in the context of a hesitant economic recovery in Europe, are just some of the challenges likely to face European petrochemical markets. ICIS consultants give their views on what the future may hold for polyolefins, benzene, styrene and polystyrene markets in Europe next year.
Egypt is set to re-emerge as a key supplier of polystyrene (PS) to markets in Europe and Africa with the restart of domestic production. The country has had to rely on costly imports of styrene feedstock since late 2014, rendering local PS production uneconomic. However, a new styrene supply deal and the promise of new styrene capacity will allow Egypt to raise its domestic PS output in the years ahead.
Global phenol and acetone markets are suffering from overcapacity as new projects come on stream and demand growth remains tepid. As a result, phenol and acetone prices are becoming more competitive and global trade flows are changing.
ICIS has recently launched the latest version of the China PBR Annual Study, an in-depth report of the year’s developments and hot topics with supply/demand outlook for 2015. To give you a glimpse of the type of valuable information provided in the annual study, we have made a section available for you to view.
Download this free market outlook presentation by ICIS for a better understanding of the latest phenol developments.
Find out what's happened over the last 3 years, insight into the changes and the outlook for the rest of the year.
Read about North American Polyethylene (PE) Market Outlook for 2014 and 2015.
Drawing on expertise from ICIS Consulting and discussions with industry players, we recommend reading this article if you are making short- to mid-term commercial decisions in the US PE market.
The TiO2 market in North America saw some failed price increase attempts at the end of 2013. Supply is strong and no problems are currently expected. Buyers are predicting steady growth in 2014 as new home construction is on the increase.
Tyre sales are expected to stay flat as consumers continue to hold back on new vehicles or replacement tyres. 70% of styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) output is consumed by the tyre industry so the European market is expecting lack-lustre performance in 2014.
Published each month, the monthly ICIS Middle East Polymers Index provides a measure of the average change in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) polymer prices over time. The index dates back to January 2000.
ICIS experts further analyse recent developments surrounding the downtrend in oil prices and have produced a white paper, which covers every angle of this market development and its impact on downstream petrochemical markets.
John Richardson and Malini Hariharan's Asian Chemicals Connections looks at Asian and global commodity chemicals and polymer pricing trends, supply and demand, macroeconomics, energy and environmental issues.
Paul Hodges looks behind today's headlines and studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry over the next 12-18 months. He takes a closer look at oil prices, economic growth and the environment among other things, along with some light-hearted commentary along the way.
ICIS energy editors post their expert opinions on the major topics facing participants in the European gas, electricity, LNG and oil markets. This blog will look behind the headlines and critically analyse the impact of market developments on the industry, with some more light-hearted posts thrown in for good humour.
Listen to the latest podcast from ICIS and learn about current Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) market conditions, pricing, supply and demand, and news.
Jo Pitches interviews Stefan Naidu about how an explosion that destroyed one of Shell's propylene oxide (PO) production units in Moerdijk, Netherlands on June 3 continues to affect European PO derivative markets such as monopropylene glycol (MPG) and polyols.
Rob Miles interviews ABS and SAN editor Matt Tudball on the impact of feedstocks and Asian imports on the European markets.
ICIS has recently launched the latest version of the China Styrene Annual Study, an in-depth report of the year’s developments and hot topics with supply/demand outlook for 2015. To give you a glimpse of the type of valuable information provided in the annual study, we have made a section available for you to view.
Polyurethane editors Heidi Finch and Stefan Naidu discuss market fundamentals and price trends in the European polyurethane market.
In this webinar, Mark Victory, Senior Editor, Manager, ICIS, covers:
Join ICIS as we take a closer look into Asian methanol and downstream acetic acid markets. In this special report, ICIS experts give key insights into price drivers, how supply and demand fundamentals have been affecting the marketplace, and most importantly, what the outlook is for the rest of the year.
ICIS experts closely following natural and synthetic-based surfactants in Asia have produced a video covering key insights into the current market situation and price drivers, with a near-term outlook of key surfactants commodities such as linear alkylbenzene (LAB), linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS) and alcohol ethoxylates.