Chemical Markets Update
The View from Jamestown – May 2013
The Story of a Chemical Salesman
A short message from Robb Roach, TCC President
Each and every year, around this time, the TCC sales team migrates to our corporate offices for its annual sales meeting. We are all people of the chemical industry, as you most likely are. We have one goal in mind and that is to sell chemicals in the most safe, responsible and competitive manner possible. That is the ends; but the means to get there often involves many journeys. Some short, and some long. We get exhausted by the travel and then get relief from taking time to be with friends and co-workers. This is all a part of our job and in many ways is why we love it. Our people will travel to Jamestown, RI just as they have traveled many times before and we will receive them with open arms.
Several days of meetings are held. They are filled with deep discussions, occasional disagreements and many presentations. The presentations are informative, educational, inspiring, and give great motivation for the coming fiscal year. We review where we are, how we got there and where we are going. We discuss our valuable suppliers, our most important customers, and strategize how we can accomplish great things that benefit both. We try to understand the constant changes in the chemical industry and how to embrace them. We look at where we can save money, and budget where to spend money accordingly. We look at our technology and make sure it is the best available to get all of our most important information to the team. These are all very important details that can only be addressed together, in person, as a unit.
The Chemical Sales people are a curious bunch. Throughout the process there are some very feisty discussions, which we encourage, because they have led to great improvements in the past. The strong opinions of our great sales staff come from decades of experience in the Chemical Industry. Together we represent centuries of experience. Our most experienced sales staff has learned many lessons and these are passed along to the next generation of TCC. There is respect for all at TCC but it is earned. You need to work hard. You need to have stories of the most horrible motels, in the most god-awful places. Of the sale that got away, and those that were successful. The stories are colorful, sometimes serious, and often hilarious no matter how many times we hear them. But they are always intriguing, educational and so important asthey show the level of work we must put forth in order to be successful.
Our sales team brings their families along; their most important people. But they also come to spend time with their comrades. It is a well-deserved break to spend time with old friends and to introduce themselves to new ones.
This annual pilgrimage culminates in a company-wide celebration. It is a time to celebrate everything that is TCC. Those who are working now and those who have worked for us in the past will be there. They are all still considered a part of the TCC family.
Just like those who came before us at TCC, we too are looking for happiness in our lives. We have learned from the mistakes of the past and are aware that our time is limited.
We are all in this together. Make your story. Enjoy your story.
ATTENTION: TCC will be moving November of 2013. Our new address will be:
The Chemical Company
P.O. Box 436
44 Southwest Ave.
Jamestown, RI 02835
Quote of the Month
“Two things define you. Patience when you have nothing, and attitude when you have everything.” –Unknown
In 2013 The Chemical Company is celebrating our 25th year in business and looking forward to 25 more!
SPI Flexible Vinyl Products Division’s 24th Annual Compounders Conference
The SPI Flexible Vinyl Products Division is pleased to announce our 24th Annual Compounders Conference. Each year we bring together the best technical and industry issue specialists for an excellent program of education and information. This is our invitation to you to join us for three exceptional days in Charleston, South Carolina.
July 14-17, 2013
Charleston Place Hotel
205 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Connect with TheChemCo!
Chemical Company Product News
Adipic Acid: 25 Kg., 500 Kg. and 1,000 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)
NatureFlexx 509: Phthalate Free General Purpose Plasticizer. Available in Totes (2200 lbs.) and Drums. (In stock and immediately available.)
Malic Acid: 25 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)
Vestinol 9 DINP: TCC offers bulk trucks and split loads (w/ eso or dop) of DINP to North America.
Zinc Borate: TCC now offers Zinc Borate in 25 Kg. Bags in stock and immediately available.
Ammonium Bromide: 25 Kg. Bags in Stock and Immediately Available.
Products In Transit/ Available Soon
Bio- Succinic Acid: 2000 lb. supersacks and 25 Kg. Bags (Available Q1 2013)
New/ Updated Technical Information
Please contact Robb Roach at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Tel: (401) 423- 3100 for more information.
We appreciate your taking the time to review this newsletter. We welcome your comments as well as contributions regarding our readers’ company/industry activities. Please send them to Robb Roach at Robb@thechemco.com
**Please note that all products are now in Alphabetical Order and many products are hyperlinked to their own information page.**
Critical Raw Materials Markets
Benzene: U.S. benzene contracts for May settled up $.11/ gallon to US$4.47/ gallon from US$4.36/ gallon. Spot prices are in the $4.40- $4.45/ gallon range.
n-Butane: Normal Butane prices are trading in the mid-low. US$1.20’s per gallon. Pricing has trended lower since the beginning of March.
Ethylene: U.S. Contract Price for April has not yet settled but it is expected to move down by $.02/ lb. to $.46/ lb. Current spot is in the high $.50’s down from the average in March.
Natural Gas: Natural Gas pricing has been moving lower since early May but has recently rebounded. Pricing was in the $4.50/ mmbtu range before falling back to the high $3.00’s and low $4.00’s/ mmbtu before firming to its current $4.20/ mmbtu.
Oil: Current WTI Crude price is at $95.50+/- per barrel range. Prices have been trading up since mid- April when pricing was below $88/ barrel. WTI has been range bound at $94-$97 mainly driven by geo-political issues in sensitive regions.
Orthoxylene: May contracts settled up $.02/ lb. to $.645/ lb.
Propylene: Contract pricing for May settled at $.62/ lb. for Polymer Grade and $.605/ lb. for Chemical Grade. Down $.01/ lb. from April.
Adipic Acid pricing is under pressure with good demand and rumors of possible U.S. supply issues. Under scrutiny are both U.S. producers but no details are available. Ammonia and Benzene prices are trading range bound but Cyclohexane is tight world-wide. TCC has Adipic Acid in stock and immediately available in 1,000 Kg. Sacks, 500 Kg. Sacks and 25 Kg. bags.
May pricing in Tampa decreased US$10/ ton to $587/ton from April’s US$597/ ton. NOLA is seen at US$600/ ton fob. Despite gas curtailments in both Trinidad and Egypt demand has shifted lower. Industrial demand for ammonia is down and fertilizer demand is expected to decline rapidly. Tampa is expected to be steady or see a further decline for June.
Demand for antimony trioxide remains weak and availability from South America is keeping prices flat. Current offers are in the upper $4.00/ lb. range for full truckloads. Buyers continue to keep inventories to a minimum and use alternate chemistries where possible.
Prices have moved lower and are currently at the lowest point since October of 2010. We are keeping a close eye on energy demand and increased freight costs from China. Prices are expected to climb as energy demand picks up through July and August and the freight increases take effect. The Chemical Company has both bags and sacks in stock and immediately available.
Epoxidized Soybean Oil:
Soybean prices have been pushing higher, check thechemco.com for real time soybean pricing on our commodities ticker. Epoxidized Soybean Oil Supply is healthy but feedstock pressure has forced producers to announce price increases.
Fumaric Acid Pricing has stabilized and availability on both domestic and imported material is good.
Glycol (Mono, Di and Tri):
Ethylene – U.S. Contract Price for April has not yet settled but it is expected to move down by $.02/ lb. to $.46/ lb.
MEG – U.S. producers have announced no change for June. Spot prices are in the mid- $.40’s fob Gulf.
DEG – U.S. producers have announced no price change for June. Spot prices are in the mid to high $.40’s per lb. fob Gulf with good availability.
TEG – U.S. producers announced no price change for June. Spot pricing has dropped to the low $.90’s/ lb. range as demand for gas line anti-freeze ends.
PIA pricing has been stable since March. Supply and demand also remain stable.
Supply is balanced to tight in North America due to turnarounds and producer interruptions. Molten Prices have remained stable with small increases the exception. Many are surprised that pricing remained steady with Maleic’s major feedstock n-butane in decline. Briquette prices have stabilized but one major offshore producer is taking a turnaround in May and June. TCC offers Molten Maleic Anhydride to North America and has 25 Kg. bags of Maleic Anhydride Briquettes in stock.
Melamine supply has tightened considerably. Price increases of $.05- $.08/ lb. were announce for Q1 2013. Supply and Demand is the most recent driver of pricing.
Malic Acid Pricing has stabilized and availability on both domestic and imported material is good. TCC has Malic Acid in stock and available.
The Methanex Non-Discounted Reference Price for June will remain unchanged at US$1.60/ gallon Spot pricing is currently approx. US$1.40- $1.41/ gal. thinly traded and stable.
Venezuela’s Supermetanol Plant has taken a 30-day outage starting in mid-April.
Gas Curtailment issues in Trinidad and Egypt continue.
China’s Methanol demand has reportedly increased significantly as a non-integrated MTO unit has re-started.
Nitric Acid pricing is stable and availability is good. Some down ward pressure is noted as Ammonia pricing shifts lower.
Phenol pricing has shifted only moderately lower. This is mainly due to an over-supply of Phenol, hence lower Phenol pricing. On the other hand, Formaldehyde prices have inched higher as methanol pricing have found a new and higher market price.
Phthalic Anhydride pricing will increase by $.02/ lb. in June in line with the May orthoxylene price increase. Orthoxylene will likely continue to increase as mixed xylene prices have continued to strengthen.
Plasticizers and Plasticizer Alcohols:
Plasticizer demand in North America is considered “good” but extremely competitive. Exports to Southeast Asia and PRC have dropped dramatically as domestic production has filled any void in supply. Demand in Asia is also much lower. North American and EU pricing has seen steady declines but with underlying raw material costs and a strengthening crude price we have likely reached a floor.
Plasticizer alcohol pricing is stable with improved demand especially in branched with the exception of 2-EH. Linear alcohols are inconsistent with some very limited in supply while others seeing price decreases and lackluster demand.
Plasticizers available from The Chemical Company
Note: Please contact TCC for further details.
Non (ortho)- Phthalate:
ChemFlexx Dibenzoate Esters
ChemFlexx Di–2-ethylhexyl Succinate (DOSX)
“ChemFlexx NP 500” Non- Phthalate Replacement for General Purpose Plasticizers
“ChemFlexx NP 600” Non- Phthalate Replacement for DIDP
ChemFlexx 8 10 Trimellitate
ChemFlexx DOTP (Di-2-ethylhexyl Terephthalate)
Oxsoft 3G8 (Triethylenglycol-di-(2-ethylhexanoate))
Oxsoft DUO 1
Oxsoft DUO 2
“ChemFlexx 208” Low Temp Functional Linear Phthalate Replacement
ChemFlexx DOP (Di–2-ethylhexyl Phthalate)
ChemFlexx DUP (DiUndecyl Phthalate)
DMP (DiMethyl Phthalate)
ChemFlexx 9 11 Phthalate
ChemFlexx L9 Phthalate
Styrene pricing increased slightly for May in line with higher benzene values (up $.11/ gallon). NA demand remains slow. We expect styrene prices to remain stable to slightly up in June.
Current granular barge pricing of Urea is US$320 – $330/ ton and firm. Prills are also $330- $335/ ton fob Gulf. It appears pricing reached the “floor” around US$320/ ton in Mid- May but the massive inventories have depleted and prices have firmed. Increased pricing should continue into June and beyond.
China has over 3 million tons ready for export when the export window opens after July 1.
Gas curtailment issues continue in both Trinidad and Tobago and Egypt.
Koch to invest US$1 Billion into a Urea plant in Enid, OK.
Pricing has been steady. Product is in stock and immediately available.