CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Petrochemical buyers, after a very difficult pandemic, can gain from China-driven deflation

JOHN RICHARDSON | May 6, 2021

article image
BUYERS OF polypropylene (PP) and other polymers and petrochemicals have had an incredibly difficult pandemic.
Firstly, the converters and brand owners expected doom and gloom last March. At the time it seemed logical to expect a cratering of demand as the global economy pretty much imploded.

Just looking at forecasts for GDP, parallels were drawn with the Global Financial Crisis when collapses in growth led to a cratering of polymers demand. The US is a good example where PP demand declined by 12% in 2008 over 2007. Demand then fell by a further 5% in 2009 over 2008.But what we all missed was the complete dislocation of polymers and petrochemicals demand from GDP. As economies registered historic declines, consumption went up.

PP demand went through the roof, firstly for food packaging and hygiene applications.Then consumption for the durable goods made from PP also smashed through the rafters as we bought white goods (PP is used to make components of washing machines), consumer electronics (PP is used to make some electronic components) and carpets (PP fibres are used here).

Spotlight

AL MASSAT LIFE SCIENCES

As a joint venture between Arpadis benelux N.V, the leading European Chemicals distribution company and Other investors from the Middle East region. Arpadis benelux is a professional network of offices in Europe, USA, and the Far East through which it has a non comparable direct access to the major sources of specialty chemicals in the world. Arpadis benelux is listed in on the European Stock Exchange

OTHER ARTICLES
CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

We can solve the plastic waste crisis but we don’t have much time

Article | May 27, 2021

IN 2015, a global agreement was reached that 8m tonnes a year of plastic waste entering the oceans was unacceptable, according to this September 2020 article in The Conversation. This was the amount of plastic that was estimated to have ended up in the oceans in 2010. “Several international platforms emerged to address the crisis, including Our Ocean, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the G7 Ocean Plastic Charter, among others,” continued the article. But in 2020, an estimated 24m-34m tonnes of plastic waste was forecast to enter our lakes, rivers and oceans. This could reach as much as 90m tonnes in 2030 if the current trajectory continued, said The Conversation. This is the type of information out there, free to view on the internet and accessible via a very quick Google search, representing a major challenges for our industry. I cannot of course verify the numbers. But they are out there. Also out there is a May 2019 article by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which provided a good summary of research into what experts believed was the scale of the waste problem in the developing world.

Read More
CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

The multi-million dollar polymers opportunity: continued big regional price differentials

Article | May 27, 2021

POLYMER BUYERS outside northeast (NEA) and southeast Asia (SEA) have a big opportunity to save millions of dollars on procurement costs during the rest of this year through purchasing more from the two regions.The opportunity has arisen because I believe that NEA and SEA polymer prices will remain very cheap relative to most of the world until at least the end of 2021. NEA comprises China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Our definition of the SEA region is Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.NEA and SEA producers can also make a lot of money by constantly monitoring and acting on strong arbitrage opportunities in other regions. As supply disruptions in the US look likely to continue, Europe and South & Central America seem particularly good opportunities for both buyers and producers.Before we discuss why I see NEA and SEA remaining cheap relative to most of the rest of the world until at least the end of the year, let us consider in more detail the size of the prize, starting with the resin buyers.

Read More
CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Pandemic’s third wave seems unlikely to damage global petrochemicals demand

Article | May 27, 2021

Petrochemical stocks plunged worldwide on 19 July ahead of the Q2 earnings season. The declines were consistent with those in economically sensitive sectors such as steel, copper, automotive and housing,” wrote my ICIS colleague, Joseph Chang, in this Insight article.

Read More

Petrochemicals in PA: What You Need to Know

Article | May 27, 2021

A bill recently passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly would subsidize the use of fracked gas to produce petrochemicals. At some point—i.e., at a time chosen by the state Senate—H B 1100 will be sent to Governor Wolf, who has promised a veto despite override threats. Meanwhile, Pennsylvanians are trying to understand the bill and its potential impacts. That hasn't been easy, because as with the petrochemical subsidy bills Pennsylvania enacted in 2012, the General Assembly has not held a single hearing on the legislation. The purpose of this blog is to help fill that gap.

Read More

Spotlight

AL MASSAT LIFE SCIENCES

As a joint venture between Arpadis benelux N.V, the leading European Chemicals distribution company and Other investors from the Middle East region. Arpadis benelux is a professional network of offices in Europe, USA, and the Far East through which it has a non comparable direct access to the major sources of specialty chemicals in the world. Arpadis benelux is listed in on the European Stock Exchange

Events