- China lockdowns could threaten domestic production
- This would hurt chemical imports and exports of finished goods
- Global container shortage should improve after Chinese New Year in February
- Stellar growth in polyethylene (PE) demand should absorb new China capacity
- Chemical market tightness signals end of commodity downcycle
- Europe manufacturing holding up well so far
- Uncertainty for Q2 and rest of year
ICIS Senior Editors Nel Weddle and Linda Naylor exchange views on the current ethylene, propylene, and polyethylene, polypropylene markets in Europe. Product is tight and prices are high
ICIS editors Eashani Chavda and Nazif Nazmul discuss market fundamentals and expectations for European methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and methanol. With the winter driving season driving low demand for MTBE this month, demand is expected to improve by Q2 at the earliest.
Meanwhile, supply shortages and healthy demand for Q1 is expected to drive a bullish methanol market.
Softening chemicals demand and prices in China may be an early sign of trouble ahead for the global industry in 2021.
- High inventories, weaker demand for China chemicals
- Falling China prices may signal trouble ahead for recovery
- Strong economic, chemicals recovery in H2 2020
- Paradigm shifts apparent in 2020 will accelerate through 2021
- Includes new demand patterns, supply chains, energy balances, circular economy, advanced manufacturing
- Beware of non-tariff barriers despite Brexit free trade deal
- Customs procedures, rules of origin, Reach UK may all add complexity
Visit https://secureforms.icis.com/ChemicalsForum_January to register for a free ICIS Brexit and chemicals webinar at 10am UK time on Friday 8 January.
LONDON (ICIS)--Tightness in the European oxo-alcohols market continues, with limited feedstock supply of n-butanol (NBA) adding further pressure on its derivatives following BASF's force majeure.
Oxo-alcohols editor Jane Massingham discusses the impact of these constraints on butyl acetate (butac), acrylate esters and glycol ethers with editors Nick Cleeve and Eashani Chavda.
Brexit can be compared to a slow puncture, where future decisions on investment might see the country’s chemical industry and value chains gradually lose out to other places.
- Chemicals may see long-term damage as investment diverted elsewhere
- UK chemicals face complex customs procedures with or without a trade deal in place
- Under no deal tariffs will apply each time a product crosses the border
- For downstream automotive, aerospace this could add significant costs
- Expect more logistical and regulatory challenges such as UK Reach
- Biden administration will give a big boost to climate change, sustainability agenda
- US chemical companies will quickly wake up to this challenge
Podcast interview with Paul Hodges chairman New Normal Consulting; Nigel Davis, ICIS Insight Editor and John Richardson, ICIS senior consultant, Asia.
Europe styrenics are under intense pressure, with tight supply exacerbated by Brexit-related stock-building and logistics problems across the continent.
- Tight supply pressure building in recent months remains key concern for ABS and PS
- Lack of imports coming into Europe for both ABS and PS
- Increased exports taking material out of Europe for ABS and PS
- Coronavirus impact on transport and logistics adds further pressure
- Demand continues stronger than availability in both markets
- PS supply faces further pressure with a force majeure and a maintenance turnaround
- Brexit adding to the struggle for ABS and PS buyers trying to build stock levels
- Tight supply to continue into 2021, particularly for ABS which is likely to be short until end Q1
- Strong ABS demand to continue into 2021, PS demand expected positive for appliances going into 2021, packaging and construction views mixed
ICIS Deputy Managing Editor, Helena Strathearn and Markets Reporter Stephanie Wix look at the current market trends in the styrenics supply chain, including tighter supply for derivatives, particularly acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and polystyrene (PS).
ABS is the largest volume engineering thermoplastic resin and is used in automobiles, electronics and recreational products.
General purpose PS is used in food packaging, disposable utensils, cutleries and various other consumer items. High impact PS is used in consumer electronics and toys while extruded PS is used in the construction industry as insulation.
The European polycarbonate (PC) market continues under pressure in December from tight supply and strong demand. Attractive pricing in Asia is leading to fewer imports while exports of European PC to countries like China increase. In Asia, high prices continue, although there are some signs of market rebalancing in December. Freight delays are dampening demand while supply is improving, as traders try to liquidate cargos ahead of the new year.