BREAKING NEWS

The European Union imposes tariffs on up to $4 billion worth of U.S. products on Monday 9th of November, after what it described as a “lack of progress” from America on resolving a long-standing dispute over aircraft subsidies.

This implies a 25% Duty on US PVC from 10/11/2020.

It will have a direct impact on EU PVC market. We expect the impact to be seen on Q1 2021 helping the market to maintain its actual speculative prices. We believe it will create a certain stability on actual PVC prices as there will be very little influence from any imports in the next months.

 

GENERAL VIEW ON THE MARKET FOR OCTOBER

September have seen a consolidation of market demand (since pandemic lockdowns) on a worldwide basis and October is following the path. Nevertheless market is jeopardized regarding demand depending on product and its final market. For example we are witnessing a weak PO market in Europe while in Asia its market is normal. On the other side we can see a short to shortage market in the Pvc sector worldwide.

We firmly believe we are in a change of paradigm where market prices are driven by offer (and not anymore by demand). We may see very strong market demand in specific sectors but extra demand is offsetted by weaker demand in other sectors. Therefore the underlying product (i.e. Polymer) should not witness a real shortage unless productions are not running at full capacities (i.e. ABS in Asia) or FM on several important plants (i.e. PVC).

Regarding raw materials we are witnessing a stable to probable softer prices. Naphtha since September is above 350 $/MT and oscillating between 360-370 $/t while Brent is oscillating between 39 to 43 $/ bbl and monomers have posted slight decreases in October after September mostly closed at roll overs. The V shape recovery in prices have definitely lost its pace in the last 2 month and we believe to see weaker numbers if no major event will occur. Pandemic situation in Occidental countries is worsening again and this could put a dent to the price stability very fast if hospitals/ reanimation centers will be close to saturation. Last but not least US election should have a strong influence on global economy in November as it usually does.

Finally exchange rate ( € Vs. $ ) have been pretty stable flirting around the 1.17 to 1.18 level.

Highlight on PVC Market

Pvc market have become critical. We are witnessing on a global scale historical high prices.

Prices in Asia are continuing to grow and new shipments for November are seeing further price increases. The most significant fact is that Asian producers are already sold out with November Shipments. The largest Asian producer have increased around 100$/t November prices ( exact increases depends on exporting regions and quantities ). Taiwanese Major is running at limited capacities ( we can assume around 60% of name plate) keeping the market extremely short. Several maintenance are also ongoing. We believe Asian market availability will remain therefore extremely short till the end of the year.

U.S. Prices have hiked again reaching historical highs with two major producers having production troubles since couple of month. Moreover last typhoons have reduced operations in several PVC production sites. Market is critical and no export activity is noted. We have to remember US is a natural PVC exporter and absence of export creates natural deficit in several regions.

We like to believe it is the craddle of this global tightness.

In Europe demand for the pipe, construction and flooring sector remains strong. Compounding sector is still lagging behind but demand is considered healthy and have consolidated since August.

Nevertheless as stated before prices are today driven by offer and not by demand anymore. We are witnessing a clear shortage in K67 grade, where Northern European major consumers are in deep crisis to source enough material. K57 grade is extremely short while we are seeing a short market on K70. Prices have therefore risen by 100 to 120 €/t since August on the regular market. On the other side, for Spot quantities, extra demand, specially in K67 grade we can see definitely much higher hikes as no extra material is available on the market.

We are expecting this shortage to extend at least to all November.

In Turkey major importers are securing European product at prices around 1.600 to 1.690 $/t 18% VAT included. These numbers remains extremly high and the local market is on real shortage and should continue definitely on November.

Considering Turkey is a net deficit market for PVC, therefore one of the biggest importer of PVC worldwide, this have a direct effect on European tightness where producers, we believe, are preferring exporting to Turkish market at much higher prices. We also have to consider that US is historically a major exporter of PVC to Turkey. Right now no material from US is reaching Turkish harbors due to production issues.

Regarding European production we are still witnessing minor issues in some plants and other plants should restart operations soon. This is not letting Eu producers able to build stocks.

As a Murphy’s mathematical law demonstration, on the 13/10/2020 Kem One declared FM on two major plants ( Saint Fons and Balan ) accounting for a yearly capacity of 499 KT and Shinetsu declared FM in its Pernis plant due to electrical failure for a yearly capacity of 450 KT. Effects are unpredictable but unless these two FM will be rapidly solved the market could implode.

Finally our forecast in Pvc prices for November are definitely on the rising to speculative situations depending on markets regions.

Highlight on Plasticizers Market

Plasticizer markets remain tight in Asia with most producers low with stocks after returning from the Golden Week holiday. Demand in China remains strong at the moment. Korea remains short on export offers with one major producer in maintenance.

Since September we have seen general increases in prices globally.

In Europe fork prices remain wide but shortening depending on regions and producers. We believe market will get more tight in November due to a general low offer situation . We have witnessed Evonik continued problems as well as BASF restart of plasticizer plant in October and Grupa Azoty longer than expected restart after planned maintenance. Lower imports from Asia coupled with US producer remaining very short with quantities are main reasons for this short market.

We can divide our analysis in 2 segments:

  • European based productions (DINP & DIDP/DPHP) where we are seeing INA converters running short of raw material and BASF short due to its recent restart and low stock levels. We are continuing to see increases month after month and we have reached prices as minimum with 4 digits after many months. This firming trend will extend in November. We believe this recovery on prices in the last 2 months have mainly to be computed to the lack of European offers coupled with nearly non existing imports.

  • European and Extra European based productions (DOTP) where we can see finally a clear firming trend after a very confused market. Fewer imports are noticed on the market and this trend will continue in the next months. Sibur continues to be on market sidelines. Turkish players remain below market prices but have increased their levels since September and we believe these levels will continue to increase also in November. Demand is stable and fair with the flooring sector continuing to be strong. We do expect higher prices in November at least on the low end of the price fork.

RAW MATERIAL PRICES FOR OCTOBER 2020

 

C3 PRICES SEEN LOWER @ 720 €/t (-12.5 €/t)

C2 PRICES SEEN LOWER @ 775 €/t (-10 €/t)

STYRENE PRICES SEEN LOWER @ 721 Eur/t (-33 €/t)

TOLUENE PRICES SEEN LOWER @ 412 Eur/t (-30 €/t)

 

RAW MATERIAL PRICES FOR SEPTEMBER 2020

 

C3 PRICES SEEN @ ROLL OVER 732.5 €/t

C2 PRICES SEEN @ ROLL OVER 785 €/t

BUTADIENE PRICES SEEN HIGHER (+25 €/t)

TOLUENE PRICES SEEN HIGHER @ 442 Eur/t (+34 €/t)

OX PRICES DOWN -2.5 €/t

 

The transition to a #circulareconomy does not happen overnight. We are pleased to have received our first circularity score B- with the help of Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s #Circulytics

In the transition from linear to circular, measuring progress is key. We are pleased to have received our first circularity score with the help of Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s #Circulytics – the most comprehensive circularity measurement tool, which highlighted our strengths and areas for improvement. We will continue to drive further progress on the road to full circularity across our operations.

#circulareconomy #measuringcircularity

US PVC in-depth statistical data for H1

  • Total US PVC Exports in H1 2020 down by 296’000 MT year on year
  • Top five export destinations: Canada, Mexico, China, Egypt & UAE
  • Total US PVC import in H1 2020 down by 18’000 MT year on year
  • Top five import origins: Canada, Mexico, Germany, Colombia & France

GENERAL VIEW ON THE MARKET FOR AUGUST

 

 

 

July has been a turning point where European petrochemical market is finally getting back on tracks. There are still some heavily impacted sector such as automotive, tourism and aeronautics but generally most sectors are coming back to normality.

Regarding raw materials we are witnessing a general stability . Naphtha since July is above 360 $/MT as well as Brent above 40 $/ bbl while monomers have posted slight increases in August.We therefore confirm our June forecast that trend of monomers will remain positive till September.

On the other side exchange rate has had some strong movements. The Dollar have lost more than 5% to the Eur from 1.12 in early July to the 1.17 – 1.18 of these days. This will have some repercussion in Q4 if the trend will be confirmed. We can imagine that some trade flows will change from Asia & US to/ from Europe.

We can begin to analyze the first impacts of the pandemic on the petchem industry. Losses are important and this will lead to a strong restructuring of the market. We can already see first acquisitions/ dismissal of assets such as:

  • 5$ Billon deal where BP have dismissed assets to Ineos BASF which want to dismiss several assets

  • Reliance/ Aramco done deal of 15 $ Billion has not been closed and discussions are underway to revise terms & conditions. It seems if it will be concluded it won’t be before 2021…

Just to cite a couple of significative numbers on results for Q2:

  • Five global oil majors collectively slashed production rates and the value of their assets by nearly 50 Billion $ in Q2 2020

  • Basf European Giant has posted lower sales of 12% year on year for Q2, with an EBIT of -77% year on year and a net income minus of 878 Million €

  • Middle East Giant has posted lower profit for Q2 with a fall of 73.4% year on year

  • Us Giant ExxonMobil has posted for their first time in history a consecutive quarterly with loss of 1.1 Billion $ in Q2

  • Chevron Corp posted its biggest los in three decades at 8.3 Billion $

  • Brazil Giant Brazil’s Braskem registered a net loss of BRL2.5 billion ($468.1 million) in Q2 2020

We believe in restructuring the market is the only way to make it viable on the long term. There are plenty of old & not environment friendly plants as well as global oversupply/ production of many commodities on the market. Last but not least all these old plant have been already amortized which makes it more simple to dismiss.

Highlight on PVC Market

Pvc market remains tight with increases of prices world wide in August.

Prices in Asia are continuing to grow and new shipments for September are witnessing further price increases. In U.S. Prices have hiked through the last two month with a healthy construction sector despite health emergency in several states.

In Europe demand for the pipe, flooring and gardening sector remains strong. Compounding sector is still lagging behind but have much improved since our last report and capacity utilization is back to normal. We can see that July 2020 is year on year around same level if not above 2019. Generally PVC prices are increasing between 10 to 15 €/t. Price fork between consumers and European regions can be important.

Regarding production we are still witnessing minor issues in some plants as well as other plants restarting production after some problems. This is anyhow helping the market to remain tight in Europe.

Finally our forecast is definitely a stable to firm trend in prices for PVC in September.

Highlight on Plasticizers Market

Plasticizer markets are right now tight in Asia with most producers running out of stock having already sold future shipments in September. Demand in China is very strong at the moment. Recent flooding had also a positive impact on demand for plasticizer.

In August we are witnessing general increases on all plasticizers in Europe. Fork prices remain wide depending on regions and producers. We believe market will get more firm in September due to much lower imports from Asia and some production issues in Europe. The path between firm and short market will depend on the real demand of the market.

We can divide our analysis in 2 segments:

  • European based productions (DINP & DIDP/DPHP) where we are seeing Evonik and Basf having some INA production troubles. It hasn’t been officially confirmed but we can see it clearly on the market. Moreover Perstorp is still facing C3 supply issue (due to Borealis) for DPHP production. We are witnessing general increases in August.

  • European and Extra European based productions (DOTP) where we can see still a confused market with wide price range. Fewer imports are noticed on the market and this trend will continue in the next months. Sibur continues to have production problems and this situation should last in Q4 meaning that nearly no material will arrive from Russia. Turkish players surprisingly remain much below market prices in July-early August, of more than 5% Vs. Normal market. Difficult to understand their strategy considering the low volumes exported to Europe. Demand is getting better with some sectors booming and others still recovering. Generally prices are moving up and we can expect definitely higher prices in September. If demand will be strong for next month the market could easily go very short due to the fewer imports.

RAW MATERIAL PRICES FOR AUGUST 2020

 

C3 PRICES SEEN HIGHER @ 732.5 €/t (+27.5 €/t )

C2 PRICES SEEN HIGHER @ 785 €/t (+21 €/t )

BENZENE  PRICES SEEN HIGHER @ 375 €/t (+6 €/t)

 

RAW MATERIAL PRICES FOR JULY 2020

 

C3 PRICES SEEN HIGHER @ 705 €/t (+75 €/t )

C2 PRICES SEEN HIGHER AFTER A FIERCE BATTLE @ 764 €/t (+84 €/t )

BENZENE  PRICES SEEN HIGHER @ 369 €/t (+76 €/t)

BUTADIENE PRICES SEEN HIGHER @ 350 €/t (+25 €/t)