Brent Crude Beats 3-year High, Tops $70/barrel

Albeit briefly, Brent crude beat its’ 3-year high, topping $70/barrel for the first time since December 2014. The ticker finished the day around $69.20/barrel, but psychologically the $70 mark is an important level.

Stronger-than-expected demand, as well as economic growth worldwide supported the oil price growth. Tickers have been rallying since June, with approximately 15 percent growth in December 2017 alone (CNBC).

According to CNBC, many experts believe prices may have peaked, and may not grow much further, however passing the $70 threshold is still a milestone.

Stay tuned to The Chemical Company on social media, thechemco.com & our regular email newsletters for updated info on the oil markets, and chemical industry as a whole.

The Chemical Company Weekly Raw Material Chemical Industry Updates January 2018

Weekly Market Update: January 1-5, 2018

Ethylene

Traded higher this week
Jan spot trades up to 28.75cpp
20 new spot trades this week

Benzene

U.S. Jan benzene starts the year flat, $3.21/gal
U.S. styrene rebounds to 58.1cpp

Propylene

PGP
Spot Jan PGP bid up to 56.75cpp, no trades
US PGP highest in the world

RGP
Spot Jan RGP trades up to 38cpp

Polypropylene

PP prices flat to higher, limited activity

Polyethylene

PE prices mostly flat, buyers and sellers gradually returning to the market
Spot availability apparently scarce

Polystyrene

Jan PS prime market discussed to roll from Dec

Crude Oil

Higher this week
Tuesday: $60.37/bbl
Friday: $61.44/bbl
(Feb NYMEX WTI Crude)

Natural Gas

Lower this week
Monday: $3.056/mmBtu
Friday: $2.795/mmBtu
(Feb NYMEX Natural Gas)

Weekly Market Review

TCC produces weekly market review graphics, with content courtesy of PetroChem Wire. This information is distributed via TCC’s social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as posted to The View section of the website, and occasionally published via email with other market updates.

The Chemical Company Weekly Raw Material Chemical Industry Updates January 2018

Weekly Market Update: December 25-29, 2017

Ethylene

Dec spot Ethylene steady at 27.75cpp
U.S. Ethylene prices lowest in the world

Benzene

US Dec Benzene steadies at $3.21/gal
Jan US Benzene contract settles at $3.22/gal

Propylene

PGP
Spot Dec PGP up to 52cpp
Ended the week bid at 53cpp

RGP
Spot Dec RGP offered down to 35.5cpp

Polypropylene

Prices steady with quiet holiday trading
Market mostly flat throughout December

Polyethylene

Prices mostly steady around quiet markets
No apparent surplus inventory, quiet buyer market

Polystyrene

US PS producers implement 5cpp increase for December
30% ethylene / 70% benzene cost formula

Crude Oil

Higher this week
Monday: $59.97/bbl
Friday: $60.42/bbl
(Feb NYMEX WTI Crude)

Natural Gas

Higher this week
Monday: $2.643/mmBtu
Friday: $2953/mmBtu
(Jan NYMEX Natural Gas)

Weekly Market Review

The Chemical Company Weekly Raw Material Chemical Industry Updates January 2018

TCC produces weekly market review graphics, with content courtesy of PetroChem Wire. This information is distributed via TCC’s social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as posted to The View section of the website, and occasionally published via email with other market updates.

Methanol Contract Price up $.20/gal for North American Market, Effective January 1, 2018

With demand relatively even and seasonally normal, supply issues via outages across the Middle East and Southeast Asia have caused inventory issues and delays throughout North America. These issues and more have caused U.S. producers to increase prices by $0.20/gal effective January 1, with more expected increases to come throughout the early part of 2018.

Spot prices are expected to continue to increase with issues in Asia, planned outages at two U.S. production facilities in the first quarter of 2018, and undefined issues in Venezuela.

In addition to rising prices, continued tightness in truck and truck driver availability throughout the country is impacting supply chains. Customers are urgently reminded to place orders with as much lead-time as possible to secure deliveries as required.

 

For more information, contact product manager Cory Mullins by clicking here.

Weekly Market Update: December 11-15, 2017

Ethylene

Dec spot ends lower, 27.5cpp
US ethylene remains lowest in the world
(Europe: 52.5cpp, SE Asia: 54.4cpp, NE Asia: 60.3cpp)

Benzene

US Dec benzene ends at $3.38/gal, up 6 cents since last Fri
US benzene higher than Asia ($3.02/gal), lower than Europe ($3.55/gal)
US styrene prices gain 0.2cpp, up to 59.4cpp, or $1310/mt

Propylene

PGP
Spot Dec PGP ends up, to 48.5cpp
US PGP remains highest in the world
(Asia: 42.4 FOB Korea, 46cpp CFR NE Asia, 46.7cpp Europe)

RGP
Spot Dec RGP slightly higher, to 37cpp

Polypropylene

Prices mixed among slow demand, firm monomer costs
Early reports show NA PP inventories up 48 mil lbs last month

Polyethylene

Prices mostly unchanged, tight spot availability

Polystyrene

US PS producers have raised Dec prime markets by 5cpp

Crude Oil

Slightly lower this week
Monday: $57.99/bbl
Friday: $57.30/bbl
(Jan NYMEX WTI Crude)
Previous Friday: $57.36/bbl

Natural Gas

Slightly lower this week
Monday: $2.828/mmBtu
Friday: $2.612/mmBtu
(Jan NYMEX Natural Gas)
Previous Friday: 2.772/mmBtu

Weekly Market Review

TCC produces weekly market review graphics, with content courtesy of PetroChem Wire. This information is distributed via TCC’s social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as posted to The View section of the website, and occasionally published via email with other market updates.

Weekly Market Update: November 27 – December 1, 2017

Ethylene

Nov spot ethylene ends at 26.5cpp
Dec ethylene starts the month at 27.375-27.75cpp
US ethylene remains lowest in the world
Europe: 52.1cpp, SE Asia: 53.3cpp, NE Asia: 5cpp

Benzene

US Nov benzene ends at $3.31/gal
US Dec benzene begins the month at $3.24/gal
US benzene remains higher than Asia ($2.90/gal), slightly lower than Europe ($3.30/gal)

 

Propylene

PGP
Spot Nov PGP ends at 48cpp
Spot Dec PGP begins at 47.25cpp
Remains highest in the world

RGP
Spot Nov RGP trades at 36.5cpp

Polypropylene

Spot pricing mostly unchanged
Low export / domestic activity

Polyethylene

Prices mostly lower
Export activity appears to be picking up

Polystyrene

US PS producers seeking 5-6cpp increases for Dec
Increases supported by 50cpg increase in contract benzene pricing
Each 10cpg benzene increase typically equals 1cpp PS increase

Crude Oil

Futures mixed this week
Monday: $58.11/bbl
Friday: $58.36/bbl
(Jan NYMEX WTI Crude)
Dec contract expired at $56.09/bbl on 11/27

Natural Gas

Futures higher
Monday: $3.017/mmBtu
Friday: $3.061/mmBtu
(Jan NYMEX Natural Gas)
Dec contract expired at $3.074/mmBtu

Weekly Market Review

TCC produces weekly market review graphics, with content courtesy of PetroChem Wire. This information is distributed via TCC’s social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as posted to The View section of the website, and occasionally published via email with other market updates.

Methanol Developments, Potential Increase Heading into December

Cory Mullins, TCC’s Methanol Product Manager, anticipates a price increase for Methanol in December. Multiple factors throughout the market bring the rise, including US spot pricing up 3.5 cents/gal over the past week, totaling an overall 8-9 cents surge in November.
A limited supply in Asia Pacific and renewed, growing demand in China are the primary drivers of rising prices. Methanex announced a 9.0 cents/gal increase in Asia, up to $1.30/gal, effective December 1. US spot barge prices were reported surging above $1.00/gal early last week.
While many companies traditionally plan on inventories thinning as the calendar year comes to a close, the looming threat of an increase in December and possibly January may lead purchasers to increase supply. Additionally, imports previously slated for Europe are making their way to the Asia Pacific.

For more information on methanol, or for pricing and availability information, contact product manager Cory Mullins for more information.

 

Weekly Market Update: November 20-24, 2017

Ethylene

Nov spot ethylene stays at 27.5cpp
US ethylene prices remain lowest in the world
Europe: 52.4cpp, Southeast Asia: 59cpp

Benzene

US Nov benzene stays strong, up to $3.38-3.40/gal
US remains higher than Asia ($2.898/gal), Europe ($3.366/gal)

Propylene

PGP
Spot Nov PGP eases to 48.25cpp

RGP
Spot Nov RGP bids up to 37cpp

Polypropylene

Limited movement during holiday-shortened week
Availability remains balanced-to-tight

Polyethylene

Prices flat-to-lower, limited activity
Some pockets of tight supply

Polystyrene

Spot prices appeared flat with limited activity
Two US producers announced 6cpp increases, effective December 1
Follows upward trend in Q4 benzene pricing

Crude Oil

Futures higher throughout last week
Monday: $56.42/bbl
Friday: $58.95/bbl
(Jan NYMEX WTI Crude)

Natural Gas

Futures lower this week
Monday: $3.047/bbl
Friday: $2.813/bbl
(Dec NYMEX Natural Gas)

Weekly Market Review

TCC produces weekly market review graphics, with content courtesy of PetroChem Wire. This information is distributed via TCC’s social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as posted to The View section of the website, and occasionally published via email with other market updates.

Truck Driver Shortage Continuing to Impact Chemical Supply Chains

With America’s freight trucking market severely impacted by a shortage of drivers, the future does not look to be improving with the upcoming ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate coming into effect December 12th of this year. The industry today is already seeing an estimated shortage of 50,000 drivers, a number which may swell to as high as 174,000 by 2026 if the trend continues (joc.com). Although industry leaders are pushing truckers and freight companies to accept the regulations and move on, many are not. Fred Fakkema, VP of compliance for Zonar Systems believes as many as 16% of current truckers will walk away from trucking as the new mandate comes online (trucks.com).

As many as 16% of trucking professionals say they plan to walk away from the industry after the ELD mandate.

The trucking issues across the U.S. are set to affect multiple industries and supply chains downstream, as moving raw materials, energy sources and product becomes increasingly more expensive and difficult to book. The chemical industry is set to particularly be impacted, as moving raw materials often seasonally competes with oil and gas freight lines. A shortage of truck drivers and lines available, especially on a short notice further pushes the issue.

While often difficult to plan ahead as last-minute and emergency loads come up, the ideal lead time to secure lanes and fair rates is a minimum of one week, with two weeks an ideal advanced notice to book trucks on your required lanes.

In order to effectively move materials and product with the way the industry is, The Chemical Company works hard to develop lasting relationships with our freight and carrier companies to ensure Security of Supply, assuring your supply chain moves uninterrupted through all market conditions.