Asia’s butadiene (BD) prices have surged since
early July on the back of limited spot
availability and firm demand which could
persist in the near term, but recent spikes in
values could curb buying appetite.
Regional supply is curtailed by ongoing and
upcoming plant turnarounds, while inflows of
deep-sea cargoes are dwindling.
In China, import supply of styrene
acrylonitrile (SAN) could tighten as resin
producers in Asia may opt to produce the more
lucrative acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
under present market conditions.
While also on an uptrend, SAN prices are
lagging behind ABS and have yet to return to
In the Chinese propylene oxide (PO) market,
supply is tightening following a slump in
imports amid rising demand.
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impact of coronavirus and the oil price
collapse on chemical markets and bring together
the latest news reported by ICIS. To visit the
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help you navigate these challenging
US PDH margins
reach 10-month high amid reduced propylene
By Michael Sims
2020/08/21 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US propane
hydrogenation (PDH) margins have reached
10-month highs as production issues have
elevated polymer-grade propylene (PGP) prices.
PDH margins have more than quadrupled since
early June after plunging 72% in March-May.
PDH margins were compressed following the onset
of the coronavirus crisis in the US as
containment efforts curbed demand for most
spot SAN import supply may tighten on bullish
By Julia Tan
2020/08/21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s styrene
acrylonitrile (SAN) import supply may tighten
as resin producers in Asia may opt to produce
more acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS),
which is more profitable in current market
BD supply to stay limited amid firm
By Helen Yan
2020/08/21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Limited spot
butadiene (BD) availability in Asia and firm
demand will likely persist in the near term but
recent price spikes could curb buying appetite.
VIDEO: China PO market
strengthening amid tight
By Claire Gao
2020/08/21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch ICIS
industry analyst Claire Gao discuss the current
trends in China’s propylene oxide (PO) market
which is facing tighter supply.
ethylene margins recover to February levels on
Sims 2020/08/20 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US ethylene
margins have recovered to February levels
following a March-May plunge caused by rising
feedstock costs and muted demand.
SE Asia, India plastic recycling
weighed down by pandemic, low oil
By Nurluqman Suratman 2020/08/20 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The plastic recycling value chain in
southeast Asia and India will continue to be
weighed down by the coronavirus pandemic and
weakness in crude oil markets, with a
significant proportion of the industry either
closed or operating at low capacities.
China BDO market to gain further support from
By Jady Ma 2020/08/20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s
butanediol (BDO) prices saw a long-awaited
rally in August on tightening supply after over
a month of narrow fluctuations, and this may
sustain in the short term.
The supply tightness is mainly in Xinjiang,
where multiple plants are either running at low
rates or under maintenance shutdowns. This has
tightened spot supply and affected deliveries
of contractual cargoes in Xinjiang.
US PET demand
benefits from aluminium can
By Antoinette Smith 2020/08/18 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–US polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and
intermediates paraxylene (PX) and terephthalic
acid (PTA) have seen healthy demand into
end-use packaging throughout the coronavirus
pandemic, and are receiving a further boost
from a shortage of aluminium cans.
Although the metal shortage is expected to be
resolved, the changing consumer habits may be
here to stay – helping sustain demand for
beverages bottled in PET.
Summer is the typical peak demand period for
PET. Bottled-drink sales typically surge during
this time, in part due to travel and large
But this year, with large events mostly
cancelled and travel stalled, “seasonality
isn’t the discussion; it’s the virus,” said Ken
Domeshek, vice president for PET at Chemical
Data (CDI), which was acquired by ICIS in July.
extends antidumping duties on China, S Korea
Bantillo 2020/08/19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–India has
extended its antidumping duties (ADD) on
caustic soda imports from China and
South Korea for three months to November, amid
an ongoing sunset review of the five-year
Pakistan re-instates ban
on single-use plastic bags in
By Veena Pathare
2020/08/19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Pakistan has
re-instated a ban on single-use polyethylene
(PE) plastic bags in Lahore, the capital of its
most densely populated province of Punjab, and
provided a 15-day grace period from early
August to ensure compliance by allowing stores
to arrange for alternatives.
VIDEO: China H1
distillates exports fall amid coronavirus
By Yu Yunfeng
2020/08/19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s exports of
jet fuel and gasoil declined in the first half
of the year in the wake of the coronavirus
pandemic. In this video, ICIS senior analyst Yu
Yunfeng discusses the developments and outlook
for the domestic distillates market.
PODCAST: US base oils
face upwards pressure despite weakening
By Amanda Hay
2020/08/18 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Vacuum gas oil (VGO)
prices continue to firm, tracking rising crude
futures, and resulting in producers running on
thin margins amid weakening demand.
Although a demand surge was seen in the summer
due to hurricane preparations and tank
refilling, many expect this to end come
October. Meanwhile, export demand is
strengthening into Brazil and India.
Base oil markets expert Amanda Hay discusses
the current situation and more in this week’s
America’s podcast interview by Anna Matherne
and Alex Snodgrass.
INTERVIEW: Canada’s chem
industry worries as PM loses finance minister,
seeks to suspend
Baumgarten 2020/08/18 TORONTO
(ICIS)–Canada’s chemical industry is worried
after the finance minister of Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau’s government resigned and
Trudeau seems to be moving to prorogue, or
suspend, parliament until October.
In an interview with ICIS, Bob Masterson, CEO
and president of Chemical Industry Association
of Canada (CIAC), said that the resignation of
finance minister Bill Morneau “should worry
Morneau resigned late on Monday, saying that he
was not the right person to lead Canada through
the coronavirus crisis and recovery.
Russian SIBUR breaks ground on Amur GCC
project, looks to China
By: Morgan Condon 2020/08/18 LONDON
(ICIS)–SIBUR has started construction works on
what is expected to be the largest cracker in
the world in the Amur region of Russia, the
petrochemicals company announced on Tuesday.
The Amur Gas Chemical Complex (GCC) is expected
to have capacity of 2.3m tonnes/year of
polyethylene (PE) and 400,000 tonnes/year of
polypropylene (PP), expected to come online for
Production at the site will use ethane and
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) feedstock from
the Gazprom Amur Gas Processing Plant.
The site is strategically located in the region
to serve buyers in China, with capacity 1.35
times higher than its total polymer exports in
Export weakness to remain a major drag
on Thailand economy
By Nurluqman Suratman 2020/08/18 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Weak exports will continue to be a
major drag on Thailand’s economy in the second
half of this year despite an expected recovery
in domestic activity.
Japan R&D investments to stay
resilient despite recession amid
By Pearl Bantillo 2020/08/18 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Japan’s investments in research and
development (R&D) are expected to stay
resilient despite a deep economic recession
induced by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] is putting
significant downward pressure on business
investment in Japan. But despite a sharp
deterioration in demand and profits, we think
R&D investment by large manufacturing firms
will show resilience,” Oxford Economics said in
a research note on Tuesday.
“We expect Japan to maintain its high levels of
R&D spending,” said Shigeto Nagai, head of
Japan economics at the Oxford Economics said.
Asia ACN cost pressures rising; buyers
keep to the sidelines
By Li Li Chng 2020/08/18 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China and northeast Asian spot
acrylonitrile (ACN) prices increased recently,
with regional suppliers raising offers on the
back of limited spot availability.
However, buyers are either well covered by
contract volumes – or could source for supply
in domestic China at lower cost – and were in
no rush to buy spot cargoes, thus widening a
gap between offers and bids.
This situation is expected to continue in
negotiations for September cargoes.
Coronavirus to set back
plastic waste and pollution reduction efforts
1-3 years – analyst
Chang 2020/08/17 NEW YORK (ICIS)–The
coronavirus pandemic will roll back global
efforts to reduce plastic waste by 1-3 years,
an analyst said on Monday.
“We believe that the pandemic has set back
efforts to reduce plastic waste and pollution
by 1-3 years… Bans and taxes have been rolled
back, physical and chemical recycling activity
has decreased, and virus concerns may have
reduced consumers’ desire to minimise
consumption of single-use plastics,” said
Laurence Alexander, analyst at Jefferies, in a
While the overall volume of plastics waste is
down because of demand destruction across large
swaths of the global economy, demand for
single-use plastics is flat to marginally up,
PODCAST: Virus vaccine could be years
away so pivot now for permanent changes in
By: Will Beacham 2020/08/17 BARCELONA
(ICIS)–An effective coronavirus vaccine could
be years away so chemical companies must pivot
their business strategies to address permanent
changes in demand patterns.
- Science suggests effective vaccine for
coronavirus could be years away
- Huge technical challenges for scale up plus
access in developing countries
- We must get used to permanent changes to
chemicals end use markets
- Aerospace, automotive may never recover
Click on the headline to hear the podcast.
Sasol swings to full-year loss, schedules share
By Tom Brown 17-Aug-20 15:14 LONDON
(ICIS)–Sasol has swung to a South African rand
(R) 91.3bn ($5.2bn) loss for its fiscal 2020 as
the energy and chemical firm set out a schedule
for a rights issue to raise funds.
Shares in the South Africa-based firm fell over
5% in early trading after it announced that an
issue of new shares worth up to $2bn will move
forward in the first half of 2021.
The move is part of a raft of measures aimed at
shoring up Sasol’s capital reserves as leverage
on its Lake Charles, Louisiana, complex reaches
its highest point amid weak oil pricing, the
ongoing spread of coronavirus and the global
economic collapse it has brought on.
Ratings agency Moody’s estimated earlier this
year that Lake Charles expenses would drive
company leverage to 4.5 times earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA), above the level of leverage customary
for an investment-grade company.
Asia glycerine market faces supply
concerns as Brazil lowers biodiesel
By Jackie Wong 2020/08/17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The
Asian glycerine market has new supply concerns
as Brazil temporarily lowered its biodiesel
blending mandate from B12 (12% blending ratio)
to B10 for September and October due to a
crunch in soybean supply.
The move is expected to significantly impact
glycerine output from Latin America in the next
Singapore’s petrochemical exports fall by 26.8%
in July; NODX up 6%
By Nurluqman Suratman 2020/08/17 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Singapore’s petrochemical exports fell
by 26.8% year on year in July but overall
non-oil domestic exports (NODX) rose on
stronger shipments of electronic products and
pharmaceuticals, official data showed on
Japan’s Q2 GDP contracts by a record
27.8% on lower domestic
By Nurluqman Suratman 2020/08/17 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Japan’s economy shrank by an annualised
27.8% in the second quarter, the sharpest
contraction on record, as domestic consumption
fell sharply due to coronavirus-related
restrictions, official data showed on Monday.
US acetone supply
constrained, players monitor feedstocks and
By Tarun Raizada
2020/08/14 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US acetone is being
pressured by supply constraints, as players
monitor developments in feedstocks and imports
over the next couple of months.
outlook improves on healthier demand as
By Chris Barker 2020/08/14 LONDON
(ICIS)–European polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
demand has risen in the third quarter on the
back of a recovery in downstream sectors,
including the key construction industry.
petrochemical glut bites as SE region in
recession, China demand
By Pearl Bantillo
2020/08/14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Petrochemical
markets in Asia are grappling with oversupply,
with consumption in the southeast region
weighed down by recession in most major
economies, while the months’ long burst of
post-lockdown demand in China is waning.
Malaysia’s Q2 GDP
contracts by 17.1% on virus-containment
Suratman 2020/08/14 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Malaysia’s economy contracted by 17.1%
year on year in the second quarter due to
stringent measures adopted to contain the
coronavirus pandemic, and weak external
Indorama adds US MEG
By Antoinette Smith
2020/08/13 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Indorama Ventures
has added 60,000 tonnes/year of US monoethylene
glycol (MEG) capacity by debottlenecking, the
company said in its Q2 earnings release.
Asian PTA re-enters surplus cycle on new
capacities; weak demand
By Samuel Wong 2020/08/13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The
supply overhang of purified terephthalic acid
(PTA) in Asia eases in the near term, but is
expected to plunge back into a downturn in the
near term, on the back of impending new
capacities start up.
INSIGHT: China remains far from import
goals of US trade deal
By Al Greenwood 2020/08/13 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–China remains far from fulfilling the
import commitments in the phase-one trade deal
it signed early this year with the US, making
less likely a broader agreement that could
cover several commodity plastics and chemicals
still under retaliatory tariffs.
sales outpace production, constricting
By Bill Bowen 12/08/2020 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–Demand and production of polyvinyl
chloride (PVC) remains out of balance in the US
and Canada, and is muddying market
participants’ view of the remainder of 2020.
Monthly domestic sales of US and Canada PVC
resins climbed enough to put July’s figures
among the highest of the past five years,
trimming exports and reducing inventories,
according to preliminary figures released
Wednesday by an industry group.
“It’s economic optimism on the reopening of the
economy,” a major US producer said of the
resurgent domestic demand.
Europe chems industrial production grows in
June on easing lockdown
By Morgan Condon 12-Aug-20
17:35 LONDON (ICIS)–Chemicals
manufacturing increased through the EU in June
on the previous month as according to the
latest data from the EU’s statistical agency
Eurostat on Wednesday.
Production increased significantly in the
chemicals sector, as lockdown measures
continued to ease with activity picking up in
other sectors supported demand for upstream
The graph shows the seasonally adjusted
percentage change when compared to the previous
For many countries the rate of growth was
slower than the previous month, but quarantine
restrictions which were rolled out in late
March/early April to contain the virus began to
be lifted in May, accounting for rapid growth
Global 2020 crude
demand outlook weakens, non-OPEC supply
estimates increase – OPEC
By: Tom Brown 2020/08/12 LONDON
(ICIS)–The contraction in global crude demand
is likely to be deeper than expected in 2020
due to sharp economic declines in parts of the
world, while non-OPEC supply growth is likely
to be higher than forecast, cartel OPEC said on
The organisation expects global crude demand to
decline by 9.1m bbl/day this year, 100,000
bbl/day more than forecast last month, and has
revised up non-OPEC supply expectations by
235,000 bbl/day month on month on the back of a
better than expected recovery so far in the
second half of 2020.
Non-OPEC supply is still expected to decline by
3.03m bbl/day overall this year, OPEC added.
The above-forecast demand for non-OPEC crude
was driven by western Europe, while the
declines in overall demand are a result of a
deeper than expected drops in non-OECD economic
growth in the second quarter of the year.
Asia naphtha markets flip into a
contango as demand falters
By Melanie Wee 2020/08/12 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia naphtha markets are softening on
the back of faltering demand as the market
structure flipped into a contango, with greater
excess supply envisaged in the days ahead.
Saudi Aramco to rein in 2020 spending as
pandemic hits H1 earnings
By Pearl Bantillo 2020/08/10 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–State-owned energy giant Saudi Aramco
will continue to rein in capital spending this
year following a plunge in first-half earnings
caused by slumping oil prices amid the
July new auto sales rises from
By ICIS Editorial 2020/08/11 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US
sales of new light vehicles in July rose by 14%
month on month but remain down by 11% year on
year, according to seasonally adjusted annual
rates (SAAR) from the US Bureau of Economic
PPG’s July sales better than expected, upgrades
By Stefan Baumgarten 2020/08/11 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–PPG’s July sales were better than the
company had expected, “reflecting a
continuation of the solid demand recovery
experienced in June”, the US-based
international coatings and materials company
said in an update on Tuesday.
July vehicles sales grow 16.4% on year;
production up 21.9%
Zhang 2020/08/11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s
vehicles sales in July increased 16.4% year on
year to 2.1m units as stimulus measures from
the government continued to drive broad
recoveries in consumption and market vitality,
industry data showed.
nylon demand recovery unlikely amid weak
downstream run rates
Leanne Tan 2020/08/11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Hopes
of an August demand recovery in Asia’s nylon
market are fading, as downstream manufacturing
run rates remain curtailed amid slow end-use
MMAtwo recycling project starts up
pre-treatment facility despite recession
By: Katherine Sale 2020/08/10 LONDON
(ICIS)–Despite the ongoing recession caused by
the pandemic, the EU-backed MMAtwo recycling
project has managed to continue its research,
starting up a depolymerisation unit including a
first in the field pre-treatment plant,
according to the project’s chairman.
MMAtwo produced in June the first samples of
recycled methyl methacrylate (R-MMA) in June
and Jean-Luc Dubois said there had been a
number of technological advancements in the
project, which is set to use twin-screw
Nearly all MMA is polymerised to make
homopolymers and copolymers; the largest
application is casting, moulding or extrusion
of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or modified
Europe cracker margins rise week on week on
higher ethylene prices for
By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 10-Aug-20
16:58 LONDON (ICIS)–European contract
cracker margins rose week on week on the back
of a higher ethylene price settlement for
August, ICIS margins analysis showed on Monday.
Crackers using naphtha fared better than
operators based on Liquefied Petroleum Gas
(LPG) due to a smaller increase in naphtha
costs over the last week.
The European ethylene contract reference price
for August has been set at €785/tonne, up by
€21/tonne from July.
In the week to 07 August:
Naphtha costs rose by more than 1%
LPG values increased by 6%
US Univar boosts
digital channels as customers avoid in-person
contact; virus hits Q2 sales
By Stefan Baumgarten 2020/08/07 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–Univar is investing to boost its
digital sales and marketing capabilities as
customers are changing the way they want to
interact with the US-based international
chemicals distribution major in the wake of the
coronavirus health crisis.
In “the Covid-19 world”, customers were seeking
to avoid in-person meetings, Univar CEO David
Jukes said on Friday, citing a customer survey
the company conducted.
An old strategy such as having “more sellers in
front of more customers, more often” was
“probably not” the best approach when customers
do not want to see or meet sellers in person in
the current environment, Jukes said.
PODCAST: US IPA faces
downwards pressure amid growing inventories,
slowly falling demand
Deniz Koray 2020/08/07 HOUSTON (ICIS)–The
US isopropanol (IPA) market is facing downwards
pressure from growing inventories as well as
slowly falling demand.
Even as reopenings continue across the country,
IPA demand has not risen as much as was
expected. While demand remains nowhere near the
levels seen in March or April, it has not
fallen rapidly due to strong cleaning sector
INSIGHT: Hopes of V-shaped recovery
fade as pandemic resurges
By: Will Beacham 2020/08/07 BARCELONA
(ICIS)–With the second half of the year now
fully underway, there are signs of an economic
rebound from very depressed levels.
But optimism for a V-shaped recovery is fading
as governments struggle to contain the
resurgent coronavirus pandemic.
Medical officers in France and Spain warned on
Tuesday that a second wave of infections is
very likely, and may already be underway in
In the UK, more local lockdowns have been
imposed in the north of the country while Spain
also has local restrictions in place.
VIDEO: Europe R-PET price talks mixed
for August, flake may have
By: Matt Tudball 2020/08/07 LONDON
(ICIS)–Senior Editor for Recycling Matt
Tudball discusses early indications emerging
from the recycled polyethylene terephthalate
(R-PET) August price discussions.
– Change in sentiment compared to June and
– Flake prices potentially reaching
– More reactions to the EU’s €800/tonne plastic
packaging waste charge
Indonesia PP imports to
face challenge from competitive domestic
By Leanne Tan
2020/08/07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Import activity
for polypropylene (PP) to Indonesia is poised
to face more challenges going forward, as major
local producers cut prices in the domestic
market to stimulate buying interest.
ADNOC, China’s Wanhua shipping JV orders three
By Fanny Zhang
2020/08/07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–AW Shipping, a
50:50 joint venture between China’s Wanhua
Chemical and UAE’s ADNOC Logistics &
Services (ADNOC L&S), has signed a contract
for the construction of three very large gas
carriers (VLGC), a source from Wanhua said.
Olin to continue idling capacities, Texas
closure on track for end
By Stefan Baumgarten 2020/08/06 HOUSTON
(ICIS)– Olin will continue idling plants as it
adapts to weakness in demand, the CEO of the
US-based producer of chlorine and caustic soda,
vinyls, epoxies, chlorinated organics, bleach
and hydrochloric acid said in an update on
Packaging driving strong
demand growth for US LDPE –
By Zachary Moore 2020/08/06 HOUSTON (ICIS)–
Increased demand for packaging is driving
strong demand growth for low density
polyethylene (LDPE) in the US, Westlake
executives said during a Thursday earnings
INSIGHT: Climate change prompts oil,
petchem firms to go green in
By Felicia Loo 06-Aug-20 13:20 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–A recent deal between SABIC and Spanish
utility Iberdrola – to invest almost €70m to
construct a 100MW solar PV facility with
263,000 panels on the SABIC-owned Cartagena
site – reflects the earnestness of
petrochemical and oil companies to go green
amid climate change. SABIC’s move marks a trend
of such companies to divert their portfolios to
renewables from fossil fuels.
Philippine Q2 economy shrinks 16.5% on
By Pearl Bantillo 06-Aug-20 14:45 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The Philippine economy posted a record
16.5% year-on-year contraction in the second
quarter as consumption and private sector
investments slumped due to a prolonged
coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown.
Manufacturing and services sectors registered
their largest contraction in decades at 21.3%
and 15.8%, respectively, according to the
National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
Asia MTBE negotiations in a standoff;
By Keven Zhang 06-Aug-20 14:10 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s methyl tertiary butyl ether
(MTBE) discussions were in a stalemate amid
weak downstream gasoline market while upstream
crude prices are rising. Spot prices on an FOB
(free on board) Singapore basis are fluctuating
at the $388-417/tonne range in the week.
Premiums for CFR (cost and freight) Singapore
were at a historical low of $5-9/tonne over FOB
Indonesia’s Q2 GDP
shrinks by 5.3%, deepest contraction since Q1
By Nurluqman Suratman
2020/08/05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Indonesia’s
economy shrunk by 5.32% year on year in the
second quarter, posting its first contraction
since the first quarter of 1999, official data
showed on Wednesday.
acetone falling on subdued demand; supply to
By Yoyo Liu 2020/08/05
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Spot acetone prices in east
China have been falling for more than two
months on weak demand from downstream markets,
while supply is expected to increase on plant
Global manufacturing PMIs jump but
headwinds hinder full chemicals
Global manufacturing purchasing managers’
indexes (PMIs) are finally in expansion
territory, coinciding with volume recovery in
some key chemicals markets in early Q3. Yet
major headwinds persist and will hamper any
full recovery from the coronavirus-induced
German automotive industry sentiment
increases in July, although employment still
By: Morgan Condon 2020/08/04 LONDON
(ICIS)–The German automotive industry showed
signs of gaining strength for the second
consecutive month in July, according to the
latest data from the ifo Institute business
survey on Tuesday.
Business expectations for the sector rose to
43.7 points in July from 26.9 points in June,
supported by growth in export expectations,
which climbed to 40.8 points in July from 17.3
points the previous month.
Demand tracked more modest growth, rising to
63.2 points from 52.1 points, with this pick-up
mainly met from stocks in warehouses, with the
corresponding index falling from 40.2 points to
30.6 points in July.
Podcast Europe: Styrene demand slump,
but contract prices continue to
By: ICIS Editorial 2020/08/04 LONDON
(ICIS)–ICIS Head of Market Reporting, Barbara
Ortner, and Deputy Managing Editor, Helena
Strathearn, look at the outlook for styrene at
the beginning of August.
– August Europe styrene contract passes on
– Seasonal demand slump
– September uptick in sight
– Contract process seamless
– Outlook for styrenics mixed
Click on the headline or scroll down to hear
July IPEX rises on US, Europe industry
revival but falls 25% year on
By: Jonathan Lopez 2020/08/04 LONDON
(ICIS)–Global petrochemical prices rebounded
in July as pandemic-induced lockdowns continued
to ease in North America and Europe and
industrial activity revived, pushing the
monthly IPEX higher.
Despite continuing in July the upward trend
registered in June, global petrochemicals
prices were 25% lower year on year.
US benzene prices gained nearly 40% in July,
with northwest Europe following suit, although
in Asia they fell slightly.
Butadiene (BD) prices rose strongly in
northeast Asia; methanol continued losing
ground in the US and northwest Europe.
trend between China and deep-sea soda ash
prices drags market
By Helen Lee 2020/08/04 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s soda ash market extended gains
as producers stood firm on higher offers in a
bid to recover margins on the back of
production cost pressures.
expands in July – ISM
By Tracy Dang 03/08/2020 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–US manufacturing activity expanded
again in July, with the overall economy growing
for the third straight month, the Institute of
Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday.
“In July, manufacturing continued its recovery
after the disruption caused by the coronavirus
pandemic,” said Tim Fiore, chair of the ISM.
“Panel sentiment was generally optimistic (two
positive comments for every one cautious
comment), continuing a trend from June.”
PODCAST: Chems demand may never fully
recover, focus on radical business models to
By: Will Beacham 2020/08/03 BARCELONA
(ICIS)–Chemicals demand may never return to
pre-pandemic levels so a radical shake up in
business models is required, with a focus on
local supply chains, recycling, and meeting
people’s basic needs.
- Short-term “sugar lift” from furlough and
- As these end, could be major unemployment
and social problems in H2
- Polyethylene (PE) demand has been resilient
as more low-paid people have had spare
- V-shaped recovery in China is driven by
production, not true downstream demand
- Chinese companies have built massive
inventory on expectations of higher future
- Floods also dampening China recovery
Click on the headline or scroll up to hear
By Morgan Condon 2020/08/03 LONDON
(ICIS)–Eurozone manufacturing recorded growth
in July, breaking the 18-month trend of
contractions, according to the latest data from
IHS Markit Economics on Monday.
Job cuts continued in July, however, which
could pose a risk to the medium-and long-term
The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index
(PMI) rose to 51.8 for the month, comfortably
above the 50.0 neutral mark and up from 51.1 in
the flash estimate and from 47.4 in June,
accounting for seasonable variables.
This rise was driven by increased demand and
output as coronavirus restrictions continued to
ease throughout Europe, supporting higher
levels of new orders and stronger production
NE Asia propylene could see wide
buy-sell gap; thin talks in near
By Joson Ng 2020/08/03 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Northeast (NE) Asia propylene market is
set to see wide gap in bids and offers as
producers cite tight supply to raise prices
while buyers resist any such efforts.
ANALYSIS AND RESOURCES
June 2020 Coronavirus presentation given by
ICIS Analytics experts.