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TOPIC PAGE: Coronavirus, oil price direction – impact on chemicals

China’s manufacturing data fell deeper intro
contractionary territory in May, logging a
purchasing manager’s index (PMI) of 48.8, and
further dimming the demand outlook for global

Downstream demand in the world’s second-biggest
economy continued to languish, while its
domestic petrochemical capacity continued to
grow at a rapid pace.

Updated on 2 June 2023

On this topic page we analyse the
impact of coronavirus and oil price dynamics on
chemical markets and bring together the latest
news reported by ICIS. 

Scroll down to see the
latest interactive graphics, podcasts and

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help you navigate these challenging

at 09:10 GMT on 2 June 2023)

cuts Q2 sales guidance on challenging

By Joseph Chang 02-Jun-23 04:48 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–US-based Dow is taking down its Q2
sales forecast to a range of $11.0bn-11.5bn
from its prior estimate of $11.75bn-12.25bn on
challenging macroeconomic conditions and lower
pricing levels, its CEO said at an investor

Asia C2 outlook downbeat on rising regional
supply, weak China data

By Yeow Pei Lin 01-Jun-23 11:26 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s ethylene (C2) players
are cautious on expectations of rising regional
supplies and weak downstream outlook for the
third quarter as the recovery in the Chinese
economy loses momentum.

Caixin China May
manufacturing PMI rises to 50.9, first
expansion in three months

By Nurluqman Suratman 01-Jun-23 11:26
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Caixin’s China manufacturing
purchasing managers’ index (PMI) picked up from
49.5 in April to 50.9 in May, marking the first
expansion in three months, the Chinese media
firm said on Thursday.

manufacturing weakness weighs on crude; outlook
dims further

By Nurluqman Suratman 31-May-23 13:36
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s manufacturing sector
lost further momentum in May, heightening
concerns that oil consumption in the world’s
second-biggest economy could weaken further.

INSIGHT: Petrochemical
prices and margins under relentless

By Nigel Davis 31-May-23 00:38 LONDON
(ICIS)–The persistent global weak demand
environment continues to put pressure on
producers and prices are falling as the balance
with output remains elusive.

PODCAST: Demand flops in
chemical markets around the world, gloomy

By Will Beacham 30-May-23 20:25 BARCELONA
(ICIS)–Chemical markets around the world are
suffering from collapsed demand conditions and
oversupply with no prospect of a turnaround in
the coming months.

Depressed US
manufacturing activity weighing on PP

By Zachary Moore 26-May-23 05:40 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–Demand for polypropylene (PP) in the US
is facing a bearish short-term outlook as the
US manufacturing sector remains in
contractionary territory.

INSIGHT: A tale of two
economies, as resurgent services eclipses
languishing industry

By Tom Brown 25-May-23 23:05 LONDON
(ICIS)–After the dark warnings of late 2022,
ministers at the European Commission could be
forgiven for sounding a little smug.

PODCAST: Rampant China
chemicals overcapacity could rebalance by

By Will Beacham 25-May-23 21:00 BARCELONA
(ICIS)–Excess capacity plaguing China’s
petrochemical markets could return to more
balanced conditions by 2024/5 as the current
wave of additions ends and demand gradually

’23: INSIGHT: Asia petrochemicals navigate poor
demand amid China start-ups; carve ‘green’

By Pearl Bantillo 24-May-23 19:50
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Uncertainties will hound
Asia’s petrochemical markets for the rest of
the year and possibly into 2024 amid the global
economic slowdown at a time of strong capacity
additions in regional powerhouse China.

petrochemicals demand remains weak and prices
under intense pressure

By Nigel Davis 23-May-23 23:10 LONDON
(ICIS)–This striking chart from Germany’s
chemicals and pharmaceuticals trade
association, the VCI, does not even tell the
full story for the country’s petrochemical and
polymers sectors.

INSIGHT: Europe chemicals rebound slow
going as distributors face tough

By Tom Brown 16-May-23 22:27 LONDON (ICIS)–The
much-heralded rebound in European chemicals
demand is yet to register above a murmur, with
demand tepid as destocking weighs further on
consumption and manufacturing remains bearish,
conditions are becoming increasingly chilly for
distributors. Unencumbered by the scale of
large capital assets operated by chemicals
producers and without the burden of
energy-intensive goods production, chemicals
distribution was not as hard-hit as the wider
industry by the energy crisis that bedevilled
Europe through much of 2022. Germany-based
major Brenntag reported a close to twofold
increase in post-tax profits in 2022, while
Netherlands-based IMCD reported a 37% increase
in gross profit for the year.

Global chemicals recovery delayed to
2024 on interest rates, China slower recovery –
Unigel CEO

By Jonathan Lopez 18-May-23 04:27 SAO PAULO
(ICIS)–The upturn in global petrochemicals
will not come in earnest until 2024 as China’s
recovery is proving slower than expected and
high interest rates continue depressing demand
for durable goods, the CEO at Brazil’s
chemicals producer Unigel said on Wednesday.
Roberto Noronha added that the second quarter
is being “as tough” as the first one; some
green shoots should start appearing in the
second half of this year, he added. He was
speaking to reporters and financial analysts
following the publication of Unigel’s Q1 sales
and earnings figures, which posted sharp
year-on-year falls.

APIC ’23: India to see wave of new
capacities through to 2030 – CPMA

By Nurluqman Suratman 19-May-23 12:28 NEW DELHI
(ICIS)–India will see a wave of new
petrochemical production capacities through to
2030 as it seeks to meet growing domestic
demand amid strong economic growth, the
president of India’s Chemicals &
Petrochemicals Manufacturers’ Association
(CPMA) said on 19 May. In 2023, India added
1.25m tonnes/year of new polyethylene (PE)
capacity and 0.5m tonnes/year of polypropylene
(PP) capacity, Kamal Nanavaty told delegates of
the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference
(APIC) in New Delhi, India. Another 1m
tonnes/year of new PE and PP capacities will be
added in 2024, he said.

INSIGHT: Weak demand dominates chemicals in Q2
as economies drag

By Nigel Davis 11-May-23 00:41 LONDON
(ICIS)–The persistence and wide spread of the
demand slump is the key issue for chemical
producers in 2023, now mid-way through the
second quarter.

Recent financial reporting from chemical
companies of all types and in all locations has
underlined the impact of weak demand on sales
in the first quarter. The year-on-year
comparisons have proved to be stark, and
reduced production the driver of lower revenues
at a time of still high costs of sales.

China the lynchpin for global polyolefins
demand recovery – LyondellBasell

By Joseph Chang 10-May-23 23:27 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–China will be the lynchpin for global
demand recovery in polyolefins, a
LyondellBasell executive said on Wednesday.

INSIGHT: Opportunities and challenges for
China’s polyolefins post-COVID: 3, Entering a
new phase of uncertain

By Lucy Shuai 08-May-23 17:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Social and economic activity in China
is gradually recovering following removal of
zero-COVID policies in late 2022 and the demand
outlook is attracting worldwide attention.

China to continue avoiding BPA spot imports;
wide buy-sell gap to persist

By Li Peng Seng 08-May-23 11:40 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The strong buying momentum for
bisphenol A (BPA) in the two weeks leading up
to the Labour Day break in China has failed to
extend into the post-holiday period.

INSIGHT: Opportunities and challenges for China
polyolefins post-COVID: 1, Changing trade

By Lucy Shuai 04-May-23 14:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Surging capacities in China’s
polyolefins market in recent years have
increased China’s footprint in the global
supply chain and changed global trade flows.
Meanwhile, an intensive period of new plant
start-ups in south China this year have also
altered domestic trade.

INSIGHT: Opportunities and challenges for China
polyolefins post-COVID: 2, Seeking new

By Lucy Shuai 05-May-23 14:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s polyolefins industry will need
to seek new outlets in 2023 as capacities keep
on rising while margins may remain curbed after
slumping a year ago.

Caixin China Apr manufacturing PMI slips to
49.5 on weaker domestic

By Nurluqman Suratman 04-May-23 15:59 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Caixin’s China manufacturing purchasing
managers’ index (PMI) for April slipped to 49.5
from the neutral 50.0 mark in March amid
subdued domestic demand conditions, the Chinese
media firm said on Thursday.

Lacklustre Europe butadiene eyes Asia for

By Nel Weddle 04-May-23 21:13 LONDON
(ICIS)–Europe’s butadiene (BD) market
fundamentals are just about satisfactory,
market sources say, given the recent past and
current macroeconomic challenges. Players are
pinning hopes on Asia to steer the way to
better times.

NSIGHT: Permit reform may help US chems
maintain cost advantage

By Al Greenwood 05-May-23 03:41 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–US lawmakers are continuing to file
permit-reform proposals to make it easier to
build pipelines and other infrastructure
projects, which could help US chemical
producers maintain their cost advantage by
giving them more access to cheap fuel,
feedstock and renewable power.

Asian, Mideast PET makers see lower selling
pressure amid tight supply

By Zachary Tia 27-Apr-23 15:38 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Many Asian and Middle Eastern
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producers
faced lower selling pressure in April given
tight supply, amid higher production costs on
the back of firming upstream feedstock prices
in April.

Oil tankers line up in China’s Shandong on
stockpiling, tighter checks

By Fanny Zhang 25-Apr-23 15:43 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Crude carriers have been spending
longer times waiting for discharge in China’s
Shandong ports, as high inventories reduced
tank availability. Also, customs widened cargo
checks to crack down on false declarations,
according to industry sources.

INSIGHT: China aromatics markets volatile with
gasoline demand

By Seymour Chenxia 26-Apr-23 19:26 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s domestic gasoline demand
volatility on the back of the pandemic and
crude market dynamics since the third quarter
of 2022 has impacted on mixed aromatics,
toluene and xylene. Price trends for the three
products have varied slightly based on
respective market fundamentals.

Hope for 2023 European construction market
recovery falters as spring demand uptick fails
to materialise

By Nicole Simpson 19-Apr-23 20:52 LONDON
(ICIS)–Since late 2022, chemicals players have
been hopeful that better demand is just around
the corner but optimism is faltering as
economic conditions remain challenging and
spring construction demand has failed to

INSIGHT: Plastics, petchems in Europe still
waiting for construction season, Q2 may be
reality check

By Vicky Ellis 20-Apr-23 21:45 LONDON
(ICIS)–As warmer, sunnier days grow more
frequent, Europe’s construction industry should
be ramping up for a busy period. But the season
is proving a disappointment, with weaker demand
across a wide range of petrochemical and

EU chems trade surplus for Jan-Feb 2023 rises
on previous year

By Morgan Condon 20-Apr-23 21:54 LONDON
(ICIS)–The EU chemicals sector trade balance
increased in January and February compared to
the previous year, according to the latest data
from Eurostat on Thursday. Imports decreased
during the period, but exports to countries
outside the of the EU showed marginal gains.

North America EO operating rates to recover
with new derivatives capacity –

By Joseph Chang 17-Apr-23 19:33 MONTCLAIR, New
Jersey (ICIS)–North America ethylene oxide
(EO) operating rates are poised to recover with
new derivatives capacity starting up in the
coming years and a recovery in China, a
Chemical Data (CDI) analyst said.

Global oil demand growth hopes pinned on
faltering Chinese economy

By Barney Gray 12-Apr-23 18:42 LONDON
(ICIS)–Chinese government data for March,
published earlier this month, indicated that
domestic consumer demand is weak and the
manufacturing sector was under pressure at the
end of Q1, which could hinder the anticipated
China-led growth in global oil demand.

ExxonMobil’s Singapore resid upgrade project on
track for 2025 start-up

By Nurluqman Suratman 12-Apr-23 14:21 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–ExxonMobil is on track to start
commercial production at its latest upgrade
project for lubricant base stocks in Singapore
in 2025 after facing construction delays due to
the pandemic, according to a company official.

IMF keeps developing Asia 2023 growth forecast
at 5.3%; trims India

By Nurluqman Suratman 12-Apr-23 13:23 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
has kept its 2023 growth forecast for
developing Asia at 5.3% but trimmed its
forecast for next year amid rising risks in
global financial conditions.

Japan’s Asahi Kasei cuts medium-term income
targets as demand slows

By Nurluqman Suratman 11-Apr-23 18:35 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Japanese chemicals major Asahi Kasei on
Tuesday slashed its medium-term operating
income target, citing heavy blows from
prolonged semiconductor shortages, stagnant
demand due to lockdowns in China, and high
prices of feedstock and fuel.

INSIGHT: China LDPE supply likely to exceed
demand all this year

By Joanne Wang 13-Apr-23 14:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The supply of low density polyethylene
(LDPE) in China is likely to exceed demand for
the remainder of this year putting severe
pressure on prices. Domestic prices plunged to
a 32-month low on 7 April caused mainly by
increased domestic production and destocking by
foreign suppliers at the end of 2022.

INSIGHT: US chemical earnings ‘rebound’ in H2
may disappoint

By Joseph Chang 11-Apr-23 06:16 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–Approaching Q1 earnings season, players
will be watching closely for signs of a
sustainable recovery from the Q4 trough ravaged
by inventory destocking. While results through
2023 should certainly bounce from a horrendous
Q4, they may well disappoint, given
deteriorating macroeconomic indicators.

UK car sales hit post-pandemic peak in March on
better supply

By Morgan Condon 05-Apr-23 18:09 LONDON
(ICIS)–UK car sales rose to their highest
level since before the COVID-19 pandemic in
March, according to the latest data from the
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
(SMMT) on Wednesday.

INSIGHT: Asia petrochemical demand and pricing
could be challenged this year compared to

By Jimmy Zhang 05-Apr-23 15:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s petrochemical industry growth
this year could be more subdued than earlier
projections, according to participants in an
ICIS webinar late last month.

INSIGHT: Crude oil jump not likely to
kick start petrochemicals

By Nigel Davis 04-Apr-23 23:55 LONDON
(ICIS)–The OPEC+ decision driven increase in
crude oil prices on Monday puts upward pressure
on oil products and petrochemicals prices in
what remains an uncertain demand environment.

China’s demand recovery remains focal
point for oil markets –

By Nurluqman Suratman 04-Apr-23 15:12 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s consumption recovery will be
the key focal point for oil markets for the
rest of the year, as attention shifts towards
demand growth following the shock move by OPEC
and its allies earlier this week to further cut

SE Asian NBR dented by slower buying, demand
outlook murky

By Ai Teng Lim 30-Mar-23 15:35 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Spot discussions in southeast Asia for
acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) are under
pressure from waning buying interest, and trade
liquidity may stay curbed in the near term if
buyers and sellers remain divided in their
pricing outlook.

AFPM ’23: US construction season may be late,
slow – Huntsman

By Al Greenwood 29-Mar-23 04:11 SAN ANTONIO
(ICIS)–Early signs in the US are pointing to a
residential construction season that will be
later and slower than typical, the CEO of
Huntsman said on Tuesday.

Asia fatty acids market to remain flat in near
term on uncertainties

By Helen Yan 28-Mar-23 15:59 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s fatty acid demand is expected to
remain flat in the near term as buyers retreat
from the market and adopt a cautious stance,
given the uncertainties and weak macro-economic

INSIGHT: US recycled plastics industry
continues to navigate changes in global trade
according to latest

By Emily Friedman 28-Mar-23 01:41 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–Though competitive recycled resin
imports continue to pressure the domestic US
recycled plastics market as freight rates
improve, Q4 and full-year 2022 US import and
export data of plastic scrap show a setback in
overall import volume despite the recent trend.

AFPM ’23: With supply chain constraints largely
over, freight costs expected to trend

By Adam Yanelli 26-Mar-23 23:19 SAN ANTONIO
(ICIS)–Participants in the US chemicals
industry have been coping with high costs for
transporting products over the past two years
because of persistent supply chain constraints
brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

AFPM ’23 – INSIGHT: US petchem exports
poised to hit record on capacity, logistics and
cost advantage

By Joseph Chang 25-Mar-23 03:33 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–With the last wave of new capacity
additions and easing of logistics constraints,
the US petrochemical sector has a clear path to
boosting exports to new records in 2023,
heading into this year’s International
Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

Southeast Asia PP market braces for a
tough Q2

By Jackie Wong 18-Mar-23 00:35 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–With demand on a considerable slowdown
since the end of the Lunar New Year holiday in
early February, the polypropylene (PP) market
in southeast Asia is now bracing itself for an
even tougher Q2 as different elements come
together, threatening to create a perfect

Intra-Asia chemical tanker demand
hampered by aromatics plant

By Hwee Hwee Tan 21-Mar-23 17:16 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Aromatics plant turnarounds in Asia and
cargo diversions to the US gasoline blending
sector are expected to continue to curtail
intra-regional shipping demand into the second

China PP prices fall to nearly
three-year low amid increasing supply,
lower-than-expected demand

By Lucy Shuai 22-Mar-23 12:44 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China polypropylene (PP) prices fell to
a nearly three-year-low amid increasing supply
and lower-than-expected demand, and the market
may remain under pressure in Q2.

Asia petrochemicals demand tepid on
macroeconomy, oversupply

By Nurluqman Suratman 24-Mar-23 14:16 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical markets continue
to face tepid demand as economic recovery in
regional bellwether China remains slower than
initially expected, with new production
capacities adding to oversupply concerns.

Recessionary conditions to define H1,
Q1 destocking still ‘palpable’ – LANXESS

By Tom Brown 15-Mar-23 21:15 COLOGNE
(ICIS)–2023 will be a difficult for the
chemicals sector, with market conditions likely
to remain bleak through the end of the second
quarter, the CEO of LANXESS Matthias Zachert
said on Wednesday. Zachert also said the
destocking trend that emerged in the closing
months of 2022 continues to be felt. The impact
of weaker demand in a high-cost, low-growth
environment is likely to weigh on chemicals
players globally through the first six months
of 2023, with destocking continuing and
customers hesitant about making substantial new
commitments, according to Zachert.

INSIGHT: China growth ambitions deliver
a reality check while financial risk

By Nigel Davis 14-Mar-23 23:33 LONDON
(ICIS)–Petrochemicals production turned up in
January following months of decline, as demand
started to improve and prospects for growth
brightened. But the take-off, from a miserable
few months at the end of 2022, was slower than
some hoped for – as evidenced by capacity
utilisation. Subsequently, the brightness seen
by some around the Lunar New Year holiday in
China in February has dimmed and China’s
government has delivered a dose of reality.
ICIS data focus on basic chemicals and
synthetic materials (that is, resins,
elastomers and fibres), so the core
petrochemical industry building blocks and the
major polymers. In January, production of those
materials rose 0.9% globally, to 280.9m tonnes.
As ICIS chief economist, Kevin Swift, notes,
this follows a 0.1% decline in December, a 1.9%
decline in November “and generally declining
activity since March”. The sector is by no
means in a good place. Overall, production
volumes were down 5.2% year on year in January
with gains largely centred on North America,
Central & South America, Europe and the
Middle East. Production in northeast Asia was
weak. Capacity utilisation improved in January
by 0.4 percentage points to 66.2% which was
encouraging but this rate compared with a much
more robust 71.7% in January 2022.

INSIGHT: US petchem exports to hit
record on capacity surge, easing of logistics

By Joseph Chang 14-Mar-23 01:00 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–With the last wave of new capacity
additions and easing of logistics constraints,
the US petrochemical sector has a clear path to
boosting exports to new records in 2023. Even
with a recessionary global economic outlook
dampening demand overseas and capacity surging
in China, the US cost advantage is simply too
great to hold back the floodgates. US
petrochemical exports will run into a big
headwind from a surge of new projects starting
up in China. China will be adding
record-breaking chemical and fertilizer
capacity in 2023 of 137m tonnes/year, dwarfing
the previous record of around 93m tonnes/year
in 2014 and driving global oversupply,
according to an ICIS analysis.

S Korea Q4 ’22 GDP contracts on
quarter; full-year ’23 growth to slow on weak

By Pearl Bantillo 07-Mar-23 13:50 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–South Korea’s economic output shrank by
0.4% in the October-December 2022 from the
previous quarter, unchanged from advance
estimates, as manufacturing and exports
contracted amid a global economic slowdown. For
the whole of 2022, manufacturing growth
decelerated to 1.4% from 6.9% in the previous
year, while export of goods posted a much
slower growth of 3.4% from 10.5% in 2021. For
2023, full-year growth is projected to slow
down to 1.6% amid high inflation and interest
rates. “Growth will fall even further below its
pre-pandemic average this year on a tougher
base effect, high energy prices and higher
interest rates. However, eased Covid-19
restrictions will provide some support,” said
Matthew Cunningham, economist at Spain-based
FocusEconomics had stated in a recent note.

China sets conservative 5.0% GDP growth
target; petrochemical markets

By Fanny Zhang 06-Mar-23 14:33 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China has set its 2023 economic growth
goal at around 5%, a conservative number
underscoring an overall cautious outlook that
sent crude prices falling on Monday after
recent strong gains, while Chinese
petrochemical futures markets largely mixed. At
the start of China’s National People’s Congress
(NPC) in Beijing on 5 March, Chinese Premiere
Li Keqiang announced the GDP growth target,
lower than the previous year’s target of around
5.5% although the figure represents an
acceleration from the actual 3.0% growth
recorded in 2022. China’s parliament will be in
session for 10 days to outline the country’s
broad goals and plans for 2023. Economists
deemed the GDP target realistic as the economy
recovers from severe COVID-19 impact over the
past three years.

petchems at mercy of global markets as China’s
reopening key for prices

By Jonathan Lopez 04-Mar-23 00:26 SAO PAULO
(ICIS)–Latin American petrochemicals companies
are dependent on a recovery in global prices to
post healthier spreads in 2023 as all eyes are
now on China’s economy reopening. Although
Latin American petrochemicals producers and
distributors concentrate on domestic consumers,
China and other foreign markets are important
for the region because they influence margins
and stimulate demand for commodity exports.

INSIGHT: Optimism on China recovery as
manufacturing PMI leaps into

By Joseph Chang 02-Mar-23 07:00 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–The long-awaited China recovery may
finally be at hand, as a key leading indicator
of manufacturing activity surged higher.

Asia fatty alcohols to see improved sentiment
following China Feb PMI data

By Helen Yan 02-Mar-23 14:13 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s fatty alcohols and other
oleochemical markets are likely to see an
improvement in sentiment and demand, following
the latest February data showing factory
activity rising significantly in China.

INSIGHT: European chemical producers see demand
weakness persist but look to H2

By Nigel Davis 28-Feb-23 23:51 LONDON (ICIS)–A
slower than hoped for re-start in China but a
turn up in key indicators in the US colour the
macroeconomic outlook and the driving forces
behind industrial production demand for

INSIGHT: East China toluene xylene price gap
fluctuates amid shifting market

By Veronica Zhang 28-Feb-23 19:39 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The East China toluene-xylene price gap
has fluctuated widely in 2022 and early 2023
amid a shift in supply-demand fundamentals as
export demand grew and domestic consumption
remained more subdued.

China phenol, acetone industry out of the red;
uncertainties loom in March

By Yoyo Liu 27-Feb-23 15:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s phenol and acetone industry has
emerged from the red on increased prices after
the Lunar New Year holiday on 21-27 January.

INSIGHT: China imports of Russia oil to rise
further in 2023 on cheap

By Fanny Zhang 27-Feb-23 21:59 SINGPORE
(ICIS)–China is expected to boost imports of
Russia oil further in 2023 to take advantage of
price discounts, with a significant increase
likely in volumes flowing to independent
refineries in Shandong.

INSIGHT: Northeast Asia plasticizers exports to
drive intense competition

By Nicole Simpson 27-Feb-23 21:40 LONDON
(ICIS)–Northeast Asian plasticizers exports
are expected to continue to drive strong
competition between sellers globally as China
import interest remains low.

INSIGHT: Weak consumer confidence weighs on
China recovery

By Pearl Bantillo 22-Feb-23 23:54 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s prospects turned brighter after
it abandoned its zero-COVID policy, but two of
its major growth engines – exports and the
property sector – may struggle to perform amid
a general weakness in consumer confidence. The
possibility of the world plunging into
recession still cannot be ruled out.

Bank of Korea pauses interest rate hikes,
lowers economic growth

By Nurluqman Suratman 23-Feb-23 10:53 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–South Korea’s central bank on Thursday
kept interest rates unchanged at 3.50% and
lowered its economic growth forecast for 2023
amid slowing domestic consumption and exports.

Asia Group II base oils supply to dip slightly
on China demand pick-up

By Matthew Chong 23-Feb-23 12:31 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s Group II base oils spot supply
is expected to be slightly reduced in the
coming months, after being in relative
abundance since late 2022.

INSIGHT: China bounce a bust

By Joseph Chang 17-Feb-23 04:09 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–Hopes for a quick rebound in China’s
economy and demand for chemicals and plastics
after the Lunar New Year and zero-COVID in the
rearview mirror have been dashed thus far.
While it is still early days and there are some
signs of recovery, disappointment reigns for

INSIGHT: China’s reopening having a gradual,
positive impact on PE demand

By Amy Yu 17-Feb-23 00:44 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Polyethylene (PE) markets in Asia are
expected to recover more strongly in 2023 but
the magnitude of growth may depend on the speed
of demand recovery in China. Currently, demand
in February is not stronger than expected.

INSIGHT: Asia petrochemical prices to rise but
margins under pressure in February – ICIS

By Ann Sun 15-Feb-23 20:49 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Higher prices in most value chains are
expected in the Asia petrochemical market in
February in view of balanced-to-tight
fundamentals driven by subdued supply and
restocking activities. However, companies are
still struggling with negative margins.

Global oil supply to exceed demand in H1 2023 –

By Tom Brown 15-Feb-23 19:54 LONDON
(ICIS)–Global oil supply is expected to exceed
demand for the first half of 2023, but the
balance could quickly snap the other way later
in the year as demand recovers and some Russian
output and is shut out of parts of the world,
the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

Thai domestic PET average prices rise on
increased buying pressure

By Zachary Tia 14-Feb-23 22:16 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The average price for Thailand domestic
spot bottle-grade polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) cargoes firmed on the back of higher
buying pressure in the week ended 10 February.

China disappoints hopes of swift PP demand
lift, global markets eye exports

By Vicky Ellis 14-Feb-23 20:47 LONDON (ICIS)–A
raft of offers of Chinese polypropylene (PP)
into other regions, and signs that demand is
not pinging back quickly, are denting hopes
that a fast Chinese recovery will pull up
global markets.

Thai PTTGC expects demand recovery in 2023 on
China reopening

By Nurluqman Suratman 14-Feb-23 14:39 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Thai petrochemical major PTT Global
Chemicals expects demand for its aromatics and
polymers products to improve this year
following China’s reopening.

Singapore Q4 economy expands by 2.1%, full-year
2022 GDP growth at 3.6%

By Nurluqman Suratman 13-Feb-23 11:22 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Singapore’s economy grew by 2.1% year
on year in the fourth quarter, moderating from
the 4.0% expansion in the previous quarter,
amid a slowdown in the manufacturing sector,
official data showed on Monday.

INSIGHT: Petrochemicals beginning to expand
again but margins challenged

By Nigel Davis 07-Feb-23 00:25 LONDON
(ICIS)–Signs of a tentative upturn for the
major petrochemicals and polymers are welcome
although it is clear that profitability is
likely to remain under pressure in the first
half. For the big polyolefins, polyethylene
(PE) and polypropylene (PP), additional supply
creates a headache that will persist for some

Thailand R-PET feedstock supply rises on
recovering tourism

By Arianne Perez 07-Feb-23 12:46 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Spot availability of post-consumer bale
feedstock in Thailand has been increasing for
weeks now due to more tourists coming back to
the country.

China January petrochemical markets rebound;
near-term outlook mixed

By Yvonne Shi 08-Feb-23 13:54 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s petrochemical markets posted
strong gains in holiday-shortened January,
largely in anticipation of strong demand post
Lunar New Year as both production and
consumption picked up after the country
abandoned its zero-COVID policy.

NE Asia C2 up in supply-led recovery; China
downstream demand still slow

By Yeow Pei Lin 10-Feb-23 11:43 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s spot ethylene (C2)
prices advanced as supply decreased on cracker
turnarounds and reduced inflows from other

Asian EPDM stays soft, eyes on Q2 China

By Ai Teng Lim 08-Feb-23 11:51 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Discussions are limited this week in
Asia’s spot market for ethylene propylene diene
monomer (EPDM) imports, as sluggish buying

Lower demand drives down slack wax prices in
the US

By Daniel Lopes 09-Feb-23 07:00 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–US slack wax prices are falling based
on lacklustre demand and ample supply in Q1. A
market participant said sales in January were
particularly low when compared to the same
period last year, and this is due to continued
high inflation and economic uncertainties,
which have changed consumption habits.

Asia naphtha buoyed by crude oil; thin demand
limits gains

By Melanie Wee 08-Feb-23 17:03 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia naphtha markets are being propped
up by gains in global crude oil futures
although a lack of robust demand is keeping a
lid on the upward pressure.

Asia BDO extends post-Lunar New Year gains amid
snug availability

By Clive Ong 03-Feb-23 11:38 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s butanediol (BDO) market extended
gains after the Lunar New Year holidays, while
snug availability and renewed demand in the
region fuelled talk of further potential
strength in the market.

Asia soda ash market firms on limited supply,
robust China demand

By Helen Lee 02-Feb-23 15:52 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s soda ash market has firmed on
the back of limited export volumes from China,
where domestic demand strengthened after the
Lunar New Year holidays.

China post-holiday demand key indicator for
oleochemical trade flows

By Lucas Hall 02-Feb-23 02:48 ORLANDO
(ICIS)–Chinese demand following the end of
Lunar New Year will be the key indicator in
determining oleochemical trade flows in 1H
2023, according to sources on the sidelines of
the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) annual
meeting and industry convention.

US styrene market stabilises after plants
return to production

By John Donnelly 31-Jan-23 22:55 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–After several plant outages that
boosted spot prices, the US styrene market has
stabilised with units back in operation
although running at reduced rates. Soft demand
and rising feedstock costs promise to pressure
margins through Q1.

China official Jan manufacturing PMI swings to
expansion mode at 50.1

By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Jan-23 12:33 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s official manufacturing
purchasing managers index (PMI) crossed to
expansionary territory in January at 50.1, from
a 34-month low of 47.0 in the previous month as
the country relaxed its zero-COVID policy,
official data showed on Tuesday.

China 2023 GDP growth forecast revised up to
5.2% as activity recovers –

By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Jan-23 11:58 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s GDP growth is projected to
rebound to 5.2% in 2023 from 3.0% last year as
a sudden lifting of most its pandemic-related
restrictions paved the way for a rapid rebound
in economic activity, according to the World
Economic Outlook (WEO) Update of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) released on

Developing Asia economic growth forecast raised
to 5.3% – IMF

By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Jan-23 11:48 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Economic growth in emerging and
developing Asian economies is expected to rise
in 2023 and 2024 to 5.3% and 5.2%,
respectively, after the deeper-than-expected
slowdown in 2022, the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.

Dow expects Chinese stimulus, reopening
to boost demand

By Al Greenwood 27-Jan-23 03:37 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–Dow is seeing signs that China’s
reopening from COVID-19 lockdowns is
progressing, and that should increase demand
for its products, along with government
stimulus, the CEO said on Thursday. “We’re
seeing China opening up. We’re not seeing
issues with people coming to work,” said Jim
Fitterling, CEO. He made his comments during an
earnings conference call. Other CEOs have also
remarked that employees are returning to work,
according to Fitterling. Right now, Dow is not
seeing any COVID-19 outbreaks that China cannot
manage, he said.

Asia naphtha market sentiment mixed;
eyes on China’s recovery

By Melanie Wee 26-Jan-23 12:18 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia naphtha markets are being kept
afloat by hopes of recovering China
petrochemical demand, although diminishing
downstream margins are keeping demand cautious.
Spot naphtha CFR (cost and freight) Japan
indicative prices averaged at $715.50/tonne for
first-half March delivery at midday session on
Thursday, holding on to the previous day’s Asia
close. Prices have climbed by some 10% compared
with month-earlier levels, fluctuating with
volatile crude oil futures, ICIS data shows.

CRUDE SUMMARY: Oil prices steady as
market awaits OPEC+ panel

By Eloise Radley 26-Jan-23 04:27 LONDON (ICIS)
– Crude prices remained relatively steady on
Wednesday, staying within $1/bbl of Tuesday’s
settlement price. Hopes of increased demand in
China balanced builds in US crude and gasoline
stocks.Weekly data from the US Energy
Information Administration (EIA) showed that US
crude stocks saw a marginal build of 0.53m bbl
last week. Despite this build, the rise was
over six times smaller than the anticipated
3.4m bbl. This applied slight upwards pressure
to prices in afternoon trading. However,
gasoline stock increased by 1.76m bbl, over
double the expected 0.62m bbl. US distillate
stocks fell by 0.51m bbl, less than the
predicted 1.90m bbl drop.

Asia petrochemicals pin hopes on
China’s post-holiday demand

By Pearl Bantillo 25-Jan-23 14:38 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical players are
largely betting on strong revival of China’s
demand following lifting of most COVID-19
curbs, having built up stocks in the weeks
leading to the Lunar New Year holiday. At
midday, naphtha, as well as aromatics products
benzene and toluene, were trading higher on the
back of crude gains, which were being driven up
by optimism over China’s economic prospects
after the world’s second-biggest economy
abandoned its zero-COVID policy. China is on
holiday the whole week for the Lunar New Year
festivities. Most other countries in northeast
Asia and southeast Asia also observed the
holiday at the start of the week.

VIDEO: China chemicals
market review and outlook

By Chris Qi 20-Jan-23 11:26 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Watch ICIS China information director
Chris Qi review China chemical industry in 2022
and an outlook for the industry in 2023.

ethylene buyers’ price ideas edge up ahead of

By Yeow Pei Lin 20-Jan-23 11:14 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s spot ethylene prices
rebounded slightly in recent days, aided by
limited offers, improving prices for certain
derivatives in China and strong feedstock
naphtha costs.

European engineering
plastics demand stays sluggish in light of
persistent economic

By Yashas Mudumbai 20-Jan-23 00:34 LONDON
(ICIS)–The engineering plastics markets for
polyacetal (POM) and polybutylene terephthalate
(PBT) in Europe are continuing to see lower
than usual demand, as macroeconomic challenges
cause market players to be circumspect.

INSIGHT: Chems face rough
earnings season amid warnings, lower

By Al Greenwood 20-Jan-23 00:04 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–Chemical companies have kicked off the
earnings season by waring that they could miss
analysts’ estimates and struggle to keep up
with rising costs.

Malaysia central bank
maintains 2.75% key interest rate amid economic

By Nurluqman Suratman 19-Jan-23 18:49
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Malaysia’s central bank on
Thursday unexpectedly kept its key benchmark
interest rate unchanged amid expectations that
the country’s 2023 economic growth will
moderate this year amid a global slowdown.

Pakistani buyers struggle
to pay Asian R-PET, R-PE

By Arianne Perez 19-Jan-23 18:10 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–As Pakistan struggles with a financial
crisis, importers of recycled polyethylene
terephthalate (R-PET) and recycled polyethylene
(R-PE) have struggled to settle payments with

MDI markets see active restocking spurred on by
planned turnarounds

By Shannen Ng 19-Jan-23 12:37 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–News of two major methylene diphenyl
diisocyanate (MDI) producers in China planning
turnarounds for February spurred restocking
activity in the week ending 18 January, ahead
of the Lunar New Year holiday.

falls by more than $1/bbl on surprise build in
US crude inventories

By Nurluqman Suratman 19-Jan-23 12:16
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Oil prices fell by more than
$1/bbl on Thursday after industry data showed a
surprise build in US crude inventories for the
second straight week, raising concerns of
faltering fuel demand.

BDO rebounds as buyers pin hopes on renewed
post-holiday demand

By Clive Ong 19-Jan-23 11:38 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market
surged this week as buying momentum for
February cargoes picked up on expectations of
firmer demand post-Lunar New Year.

economy poised to enter mild recession as
inflation has peaked – ICIS

By Joseph Chang 19-Jan-23 05:30 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–The US economy is likely to enter a
relatively mild recession in 2023, the ICIS
chief economist said on Wednesday.

INSIGHT: Poor demand,
high costs stifle Europe industry despite
falling gas prices

By Aura Sabadus 18-Jan-23 22:56 LONDON
(ICIS)–Falling gas prices could reignite some
interest in European industrial output but a
combination of high operating costs and
sluggish demand, reminiscent of the 2008
financial crisis, is likely to slow recovery
this year, according to ICIS research.

European phenol struggles
with costs while acetone tightens, but demand
remains slow

By Jane Gibson 18-Jan-23 22:07 LONDON
(ICIS)–The recent fall in gas prices is good
news for the phenol and acetone chain. But this
alone is unlikely to prompt producers to
increase operating rates quite yet.

Japan’s Toyota targets
record ’23 car output of 10.6m units, with

By Pearl Bantillo 18-Jan-23 13:21
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Global automotive giant
Toyota is targeting to produce 10.6m units in
2023, subject to a possible downward adjustment
of 10% if problems with supply of
semiconductors persist.

of Japan maintains low interest rates despite
rising inflation

By Nurluqman Suratman 18-Jan-23 12:49
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on
Wednesday maintained its ultra-low interest
rate policy despite rising inflation levels and
warned that risks to the country’s economic
outlook remain extremely high.

MEC underpinned by hopes of post-Lunar New Year

By Keven Zhang 18-Jan-23 11:32 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia methylene chloride (MEC) was
buoyed by spot demand in the last week before
the Lunar New Year.

Europe ECH demand muted
in Q1, could improve in Q2

By Heidi Finch 18-Jan-23 00:21 LONDON
(ICIS)–Europe epichlorohydrin (ECH) demand is
likely to face a tough first quarter, as
macroeconomic headwinds and Asian competition
continue to weigh.

OUTLOOK ’23: Chemical
M&A stymied by rates, uncertainty but may
rebound in H2

By Joseph Chang 18-Jan-23 00:00 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–High interest rates, lack of available
financing and economic and earnings uncertainty
are holding back chemical industry mergers and
acquisitions (M&A). However, activity may
be poised to rebound in H2 2023 as the backlog
of undone deals builds up, a clearer earnings
picture emerges and especially if the financing
market improves.

petrochemicals to rebound in January amid
demand recovery – ICIS

By Jenny Yi 17-Jan-23 21:45 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The Asia petrochemical market is
expected to rebound from January in view of
demand recovery in the coming months with
China’s abandonment of its strict zero-COVID
policy. The appreciation of Asia currencies
against the US dollar should also support the

analytical 2023 outlook

By Ben Lake 17-Jan-23 19:35 LONDON
(ICIS)–European polymer editors Vicky Ellis
and Ben Lake are joined by analysts Emiliano
Basualto and Lorenzo Meazza to discuss the year
ahead in what could be a transitional 12 months
for the polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene
(PP) markets.

Asia polyester prices stable to firm;
post-holiday outlook

By Judith Wang 17-Jan-23 16:30 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Spot polyester prices in northeast Asia
were stable to firm during the week, on the
back of stronger feedstock prices, while
overall buying has slowed ahead of the Lunar
New Year holiday.

2022 GDP growth slows to 3%; re-opening to
drive 2023 recovery

By Nurluqman Suratman 17-Jan-23 16:21
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s economy grew by 3% in
2022, marking its slowest pace of expansion in
decades, highlighting the impact of the
country’s long-standing zero-COVID strategy.

December exports fall 12.2% amid global
economic slowdown

By Priya Jestin 17-Jan-23 14:21 MUMBAI
(ICIS)–India’s merchandise exports in December
declined by 12.2% year on year to $34.5bn, with
further weakness likely in 2023 amid the global
economic slowdown, with its major markets – the
US and Europe – possibly facing a recession.

prices in China, India at more than two-year
low; ample supply may linger

By Li Peng Seng 17-Jan-23 11:38 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Import prices of bisphenol A (BPA) in
China and India have slumped to their lowest
levels in more than two years, weighed down by
ample supply.

INSIGHT: Weak, sometimes
negative product margins challenged petchem
players in 2022

By Nigel Davis 16-Jan-23 23:54 LONDON
(ICIS)–As in the depths of the COVID-19
downturn, chemical producers, particularly
those based largely in northwest Europe, remain
focused on cash.

Global weekly spot IPEX
up on rising chemical prices across all

By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 16-Jan-23
18:57 LONDON (ICIS)–Spot chemical prices were
up 2.2% on the back of firmer values across all
regions, according to latest figures from the
weekly ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX).

Qatar’s $6bn Ras Laffan
project to boost Mideast PE exports, shift
trade flows

By Nurluqman Suratman 16-Jan-23 13:49
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Qatar’s $6bn joint venture
Ras Laffan petrochemicals complex is expected
to boost the Middle East’s polyethylene (PE)
exports and could result in a major shift to
global trade flows once it comes on stream,
according to ICIS analysts.

re-opening bodes well for SE Asia PE, but Lunar
New Year slowdowns ahead

By Izham Ahmad 16-Jan-23 11:53 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s surprise announcement of the
re-opening of its borders and the easing of
COVID-19 restrictions has injected renewed
vigour into the southeast Asian PE market, but
the impact could be short-lived as market
activity slows down for the typical Lunar New
Year holiday lull.

INSIGHT: A turbulent 2020s requires near-term
focus but clear, longer-term

By Nigel Davis 12-Jan-23 00:49 LONDON
(ICIS)–The World Economic Forum (WEF) talks of
a global risks landscape this year that “feels
both wholly new and eerily familiar” in its
Global Risks Report 2023.

INSIGHT: Downward pressure on petchem and
plastics prices persists

By Nigel Davis 11-Jan-23 01:19 LONDON
(ICIS)–Falling base chemical and polymer
prices globally reflect the weaker and
uncertain demand environment while shifted
supply and demand balances have coloured spot
activity at the end of 2022 and the start of
2023 for a handful of chemical commodities.

The ICIS Petrochemical Index tracked down
further in December with the focus on the US
Gulf basket of prices: the 12 commodities and
polymers collated for the index.

China petrochemical players build stocks on
hopes of strong post-holiday

By Fanny Zhang 12-Jan-23 11:20 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Players in China’s petrochemical
markets are actively building up stocks on
expectation of a strong recovery in post-Lunar
New Year demand.

East Asia, Pacific 2023 growth seen at 4.3% on
China rebound – World Bank

By Nurluqman Suratman 11-Jan-23 15:12 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Economies in the east Asia and Pacific
region in 2023 are expected to log an average
growth of 4.3%, accelerating from the estimated
3.2% pace in 2022 but lower than the previous
forecast of above 5% for the current year, the
World Bank said.

NE Asia ethylene falls on weak China demand,
ample supply

By Yeow Pei Lin 06-Jan-23 10:56 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s spot ethylene market
started 2023 on a soft note due to China’s
raging COVID-19 outbreak, which has exacerbated
the seasonal downstream demand lull ahead of
the Lunar New Year holiday.

China Dec petrochemical markets weak; better
post-Lunar New Year demand

By Yvonne Shi 05-Jan-23 14:14 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s petrochemical markets stayed
depressed in December despite substantial
relaxation of pandemic-related lockdowns, as a
consequent spike in COVID-19 infections
continued to restrict logistics operations.

Any recovery in demand is unlikely until after
the week-long Lunar New Year holiday on 21-27

OUTLOOK ’23: US PVC and vinyls chain face new
year of weakened demand

By Bill Bowen 05-Jan-23 04:00 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) enters 2023
with mixed outlook: nominations for price
increases for January and an economic outlook
that runs counter to those separately proposed

OUTLOOK ’23: China ACN, downstream capacities
to expand; oversupply challenges

By Candy Nie 06-Jan-23 12:12 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s acrylonitrile (ACN) market will
continue to see a slew of capacity expansions,
particularly in the first half of 2023.
Downstream demand is also expected to rise with
new downstream units coming online and some
COVID-19 restrictions gradually easing since

OUTLOOK ’23: Plant activity will tighten US
propylene balance even as economy undermines

By John Donnelly 05-Jan-23 03:00 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–Derivative demand for US propylene will
remain weak until at least Q3, but plant
maintenance and a new propylene oxide/tertiary
butyl alcohol (POTBA) plant will help support
the market in the first half of the year.

OUTLOOK ’23: Weak demand, import pressure to
persist in Europe MPG market

By Nicole Simpson 05-Jan-23 18:30 LONDON
(ICIS)–Demand in the European mono propylene
glycol (MPG) market is expected to remain
lacklustre, especially in Q1, as macroeconomic
headwinds and pressure from Asian imports

OUTLOOK ’23: Jet kerosene demand to increase on
relaxed COVID-19

By Cassandra Abolaji 04-Jan-23 20:00 LONDON
(ICIS)–The outlook for the European jet
kerosene market is optimistic for 2023, as the
world reaches almost full recovery from
COVID-19 travel restrictions.

OUTLOOK ‘23: New capacity, China’s COVID-19
surge weigh on Asia EVA

By Helen Lee 04-Jan-23 15:13 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s supply of ethylene vinyl acetate
(EVA) is expected to lengthen as new capacities
start-up, while surging COVID-19 cases in China
following easing of pandemic-related
restrictions could cap demand recovery in the
first quarter of 2023.

China Dec PMI at 34-month low; recovery
expected to come in Feb

By Fanny Zhang 03-Jan-23 15:44 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s official manufacturing
purchasing managers index (PMI) slumped to a
34-month low of 47.0 in December amid
fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreaks.

Recovery is expected to happen in February when
factories come back on stream from the Lunar
New Year holiday break.

OUTLOOK ’23: Mid East, South Asia PS
markets to hinge on SM trend, China’s

By Damini Dabholkar 29-Dec-22 10:38 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The Q1 2023 outlook for polystyrene
(PS) markets in the Middle East and South Asia
remains uncertain and will largely be dependent
on the availability and prices of upstream
commodities. The market is not expected show
any strong signs of recovery, however, at least
until end January, which is when many countries
in Asia celebrate the Lunar New Year. Post
Lunar New Year, demand is likely to see an
uptick, as has been observed historically.

OUTLOOK ’23: Automotive sector hits the
brakes for growth prospects

By Morgan Condon 28-Dec-22 22:30 LONDON
(ICIS)–Conditions have been challenging for
the automotive industry in recent years, and no
immediate reprieve is expected in the near term
against a backdrop of geopolitical volatility.
Growth expectations for 2022 were not fulfilled
and the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end
of February stifled any post-pandemic
macroeconomic recovery. This trend looks set to
continue in the industry in 2023.

China downgrades COVID, stops
quarantine for inbound

By Fanny Zhang 27-Dec-22 11:29 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China will downgrade COVID-19 to a more
common infectious disease, manage it at
Category B instead of the top-level Category A
and scrap quarantine for inbound travellers
from 8 January, the National Health Commission
(NHC) announced late on Monday. Currently,
COVID-19 is classified as Category B but
managed as Category A that applies to diseases
like plague and cholera in China.

OUTLOOK ’23: Europe naphtha demand to improve,
Russian sanctions to tighten

By Cassandra Abolaji 23-Dec-22 00:30 LONDON
(ICIS)–The Europe naphtha market ended 2022 on
a volatile note and will remain volatile at the
start of 2023. This after months of weakening
feedstock demand partially caused by China’s
absence from the market due to lingering
COVID-19 restrictions and high oil prices.

OUTLOOK ’23: Europe MX to lag behind
pre-COVID-19 levels despite improved

By Zubair Adam 23-Dec-22 00:30 LONDON
(ICIS)–2022 has been a rough year for mixed
xylenes (MX) in Europe mainly due to issues
with gasoline and global events impacting
chemical demand with no significant recovery
prior to pre-pandemic levels.

OUTLOOK 23’: China toluene market may face
oversupply and trade flow

China toluene market pivoted from net import to
net export in 2022 amid Russia-Ukraine war, but
in 2023 the domestic market might face
increased supply whereas demand weakness may
persist putting pressure on the export market.

OUTLOOK ’23: Asia PP’s potential oversupply may
outweigh China’s demand

Possible oversupply
in Asia’s polypropylene (PP) market may
outweigh the impact of demand recovery in China
in 2023.

OUTLOOK ’23: Asia BDO to struggle with long
supply while awaiting demand

The Asian 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market continues
to be mired in weakness, while the malaise
could extend into the new year given the slow
market conditions amid the yearend lull and the
upcoming Lunar New Year holidays in the second
half of January.

OUTLOOK ’23: Asia IPA to see poor demand, ample
supply in H1 2023

Asian isopropanol (IPA) spot markets will
likely face headwinds in the first half of 2023
on poor demand and ample supply.

OUTLOOK ’23: Asian PET to face headwinds as
supply likely to outstrip

Asia’s polyethylene terephthalate (PET) supply
will likely outstrip demand in 2023 on the back
of new capacities scheduled to come online in
the upcoming year.

OUTLOOK ’23: Asia adipic acid supply to
increase amid demand

Asia’s adipic acid market will see an increase
in overall production capacity in 2023,
however, the bigger question for the industry
is whether its downstream derivatives are
growing at a pace quick enough to support it.

OUTLOOK ‘23: China’s MX to face further
uncertainty from downstream

China’s mixed xylene (MX) prices surged to a
decade-high level on soaring crude oil prices
in the first half of 2022, before fluctuating
downwards in the second half of 2022. In 2023,
the market may see support from the launch of
some downstream paraxylene (PX) units, but this
could depend on the profitability of the PX

OUTLOOK ’23: East, south Asia ethanolamines to
face supply headwind

The ethanolamines market in east and south Asia
remains under downward pressure towards the end
of the year. Tepid demand appears entrenched
with limited signs of any significant rebound
in the near term.

OUTLOOK ’23: East and South Asia LAB mired in
weakness although optimism

The linear alkylbenzene (LAB) markets in east
and south Asia continue to be mired in weakness
with demand in a low ebb. Buyers remain mostly
unhurried with supply ample in most regions.

Asia petrochemicals sector to bottom out in

By Jimmy Zhang 16-Dec-22 12:15 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Although bullish sentiment has started
to develop in Asian petrochemical markets from
early December amid China’s easing of pandemic
curbs, concerns are still in place amid the
global economic headwinds and slowing of
trading activity ahead of year-end holidays.

China petchems demand recovery unlikely before
Q2 2023 despite easing COVID

By Jenny Yi 14-Dec-22 23:34 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s zero-COVID strategy has been
eased since early December. ICIS analysts
expect, however, that demand for most commodity
petrochemicals will not improve significantly
in the short term, and that large-scale
recovery may only begin in the second quarter
of 2023.

Asia fatty acids near-term demand tepid; may
pick up after Lunar New Year

By Helen Yan 14-Dec-22 12:13 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s fatty acids demand will remain
tepid in the near term amid the year-end
holiday lull but will likely pick up after the
Lunar New Year holidays next year.

INSIGHT: Chemicals output falls as industrial
activity contracts globally, 2023 expected

By Nigel Davis 14-Dec-22 00:23 LONDON
(ICIS)–It is not so much a question of how low
will it go but how slow will it be – and for
how long? Capacity utilisation data show that
the chemicals sector globally has geared down
in the face of current headwinds. And there are
many of those.

China petrochemical futures mixed;
near-term demand recovery in

By Fanny Zhang 08-Dec-22 13:03 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s petrochemical futures markets
were mixed on Thursday morning as demand may
remain soft despite a further relaxation in the
country’s COVID-19 curbs. “We don’t see any
strong demand recovery for commodities in the
short term,” said Zhang Junfeng, an analyst at
brokerage China Merchant Securities. “Consumer
confidence still needs time to rebuild,” Zhang
said. Late on 7 December, the Chinese
government announced 10 measures to optimise
its COVID-19 policy, including allowing people
with mild or no symptoms to quarantine at home,
and cancelling of testing requirements for
domestic travelers.

GPCA ’22: Supply chain localisation
could help reduce logistics pressure – Saudi

By Tom Brown 07-Dec-22 23:15 RIYADH
(ICIS)–Supply chain operators should shift
further towards localised operations and away
from globalisation to build resilience and
adapt to the volatility that has strained
logistics for several years, the chairman of
the board for the Saudi Supply Chain and
Procurement Society said. The current state of
extreme stress on global trade links that has
been seen since the COVID-19 pandemic decoupled
movement along traditional supply routes is
unlikely to be a temporary phase, and further
localisation of supply chains could be a
solution, according to Supply and Procurement
Association board chair Saleh Ibrahim

INSIGHT: Easing in supply chains could
signal further problems for Europe’s chems
sector ahead

By Morgan Condon 02-Dec-22 20:46 LONDON
(ICIS)–Easing supply chain disruption has
given petrochemical producers in Europe some
respite in the wake of recent crashing demand.
But the smoother flow of product could lead to
further destabilising of market fundamentals,
rather than providing balance to the market. As
new orders in Europe have subsided, this has
given room for producers to catch up with
backlogs, smoothing out extended lead times,
and allowing congested bottlenecks to
dissipate. While this has been some help in the
short-term, the likelihood is that diminished
appetite for materials could eventually disrupt
logistics, as deliveries slow down to match

US manufacturing contracts for first
time in 30 months

By Stefan Baumgarten 02-Dec-22 01:04 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–The US manufacturing purchasing
managers’ index (PMI) fell by 1.2 points from
50.2 in October to 49.0 in November – pushing
the index into contraction territory, last seen
in May 2020 during the first wave of the
COVID-19 pandemic, ICIS senior economist Kevin
Swift said. He was commenting on the November
PMI report by Institute for Supply Management
(ISM), released earlier on Thursday, which
showed the first contraction in manufacturing
after 29 consecutive expansions.

Caixin’s Nov China manufacturing PMI
rises to 49.4

By Nurluqman Suratman 01-Dec-22 10:33 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Caixin’s China manufacturing purchasing
managers’ index (PMI) rose to 49.4 in November
from 49.2 in October but remained in
contractionary territory as ongoing COVID-19
containment measures continued to weigh on the
sector, the Chinese media firm said on
Thursday. A PMI reading above 50 indicates
 expansion in the manufacturing economy,
while a lower number denotes contraction.
Manufacturers in China registered a further
fall in output, with the rate of contraction
picking up slightly from October, amid a
sustained reduction in sales, Caixin said in a
statement. Companies frequently linked the
decline to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions
on operations and customer demand,” Caixin

UK manufacturing woes continue as
output, new orders and employment

By Jonathan Lopez 01-Dec-22 20:45 MADRID
(ICIS)–The UK’s manufacturing sectors remained
in contraction territory in November because of
lower output, shrinking orders, and reduced
employment levels, analysts at S&P Global
said on Thursday. The UK’s PMI index came in at
46.5 points in November, a slight improvement
from October’s 46.2 points, but any reading
below the 50.0 points mark shows contraction.
“The intermediate goods sector fared especially
poorly, while downturns also continued at
consumer and investment goods producers,” said
the analysts.

INSIGHT: Preparing for a difficult
winter in Europe and a tougher

By Nigel Davis 26-Nov-22 00:56 LONDON (ICIS)–A
mild autumn has alleviated some of the tension
in Europe’s energy markets and the pressure on
natural gas availability. But colder weather
beckons and gas usage will rise putting, as it
does in normal years, upward pressure on gas
prices. The filling of storage tanks across the
continent has provided a buffer against the
worst damage that the Russia-Ukraine war can do
to Europe’s energy supply, while reduced demand
by industry has made a significant
contribution. What is not clear is how energy
availability to industry, and the costs of that
gas and power, change moving into 2023.

NE Asia ethylene output to remain weak
up to at least H1 2023

By Yeow Pei Lin 25-Nov-22 11:53 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Northeast Asia’s ethylene production is
expected to be constricted by heavy cracker
turnarounds, poor margins and weak downstream
demand up to at least the first half of 2023.

China’s weak phenol imports to prompt
deeper output cuts in Asia

By Helen Lee 25-Nov-22 16:06 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s phenol imports are being
weighed down by a combination of ample domestic
supply, rising COVID-19 caseloads, easing
upstream markets, and the absence of restocking
ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in late

SE Asia PE market dazed by China
stop-start demand

By Izham Ahmad 24-Nov-22 16:36 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Initial spot import offers for December
shipments of polyethylene (PE) in southeast
Asia were announced in the same range as the
previous week’s assessment or softer this week,
with market players baffled by the stop-start
nature of China’s demand for PE.

German manufacturers increase warehouse
capacity post-pandemic

By Morgan Condon 23-Nov-22 20:40 LONDON
(ICIS)–German industrial players have expanded
warehouse capacity and focus more on supply
chains in the wake of the pandemic, according
to the latest data released by the Ifo
Institute on Wednesday. Results of the study
from the economic research group found that 68%
of companies surveyed increased warehouse
sizing, with 65% seeking additional suppliers
since 2020, and 54% of firms now monitor their
supply chains more closely. The outbreak of
COVID-19 in 2020 initially caused a slowdown in
manufacturing, as regions applied lockdowns,
and implemented restrictions at ports and
borders to contain the spread of the virus.

IMF urges China to further recalibrate
COVID-19 strategy

By Nurluqman Suratman 23-Nov-22 18:22 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
has urged China to further recalibrate its
COVID-19 strategy and provide additional
support to its beleaguered property sector to
mitigate risks from a global economic slowdown.
Following the recovery from the initial impact
of the pandemic, the world’s second-biggest
economy remains under pressure, with growth
projected to slow to 3.2% in 2022, from an 8.1%
pace last year, before improving to 4.4% in
2023 and 2024, the IMF stated on 22 November
following a review of China’s economic

Sustainable development may create new growth
space for petrochemical

By Yvonne Shi 18-Nov-22 11:29 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–ICIS analysts Jady Ma and Yvonne Shi
discuss how sustainable development is working
on the petrochemical industry and subsequent

Macroeconomics prove challenging for global
chems in 2023, although some bright spots

By Morgan Condon 16-Nov-22 22:50 LONDON
(ICIS)–After several challenging years in the
wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, volatile
geopolitical conditions and a tough
macroeconomic backdrop mean that things are
unlikely to turn a corner for global chemicals
producers heading into the new year. Senior
economist for global chemicals Kevin Swift
talks to senior reporter for Europe Morgan
Condon about the outlook for the coming year,
and the key features for the market in 2023.

Lacklustre demand from various outlets
impacting polyols, TDI and

By Zubair Adam 17-Nov-22 21:03 LONDON
(ICIS)–Weaker activity from the automotive and
flexible foam industries is impacting the
consumption of polyols and toluene diisocyanate
(TDI), with some additional impacts from the
latter on feedstock toluene due to lower
production. No short term demand recovery is
envisaged for the whole value chain.

INSIGHT: China’s
property rescue plan to boost some

By Fanny Zhang 16-Nov-22 20:57 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s latest measures to rescue the
stressed property sector are expected to lift
some petrochemicals, although they are unlikely
to reverse bearish sentiment on the sluggish
property market, according to economists and

outlook dims further on fresh COVID-19 surge,
real estate slump

By Nurluqman Suratman 16-Nov-22 13:17 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s economic outlook just turned
dimmer amid downbeat October data, with surging
domestic COVID-19 infections and slumping real
estate market threatening to aggravate weak
petrochemical demand.

Asia soap noodles
to remain sluggish in near term on year-end
holiday lull

By Helen Yan 16-Nov-22 10:52 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s soap noodles market is likely to
remain sluggish in the near term as buyers
remain cautious and are reluctant to lock in
large forward spot volumes ahead of the
year-end holiday lull. China’s zero COVID-19
policy has had an impact on regional trade.

Weak demand
outweighs refined COVID-19 policy, capping
China PP price rise

By Zhibo Xiao 15-Nov-22 16:02 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s polypropylene (PP) futures
surged following the release of the refined
COVID-19 policy on 11 November, but the market
may still face pressure toward the year-end
amid tepid demand recovery, intensive arrivals
of competitively-priced imports and expected
new plant start-ups.

Asia’s MIBK
players pin hopes in 2023

By Angeline Soh 15-Nov-22 16:38 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK)
players expressed hopes in a 2023 rally, after
the easing of global COVID-19 infection rates,
and China’s easing of some of its strictest
restrictions based on its zero-Covid policy.

eases COVID-19 curbs, petrochemical futures

By Fanny Zhang 11-Nov-22 16:20 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China will relax its COVID-19 control
measures in view of changing circumstances,
shoring up equity markets accordingly. The
National Health Commission (NHC) announced 20
measures on Friday in a push for more targeted
and optimised control of the pandemic. Under
the new policies, the quarantine time for close
contacts of cases is shortened to five days in
centralised locations from seven previously.

Asia ethylene little changed as players
await direction from ’23 term

By Yeow Pei Lin 11-Nov-22 11:16 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s ethylene spot import prices for
December-arrival cargoes were broadly stable
this week, as the weak downstream margins and
strong US arrivals continued to be
counterbalanced by limited regional supply.

Bearish sentiment dominates Asia
November petrochemical

By Amy Yu 11-Nov-22 10:29 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Bearish sentiment in Asian
petrochemical markets has risen due to weak
demand from late October, and we expect prices
of most products in the region to remain on a
downward trend in November.

US chem shares surge as broader market
rises on positive inflation

By Adam Yanelli 11-Nov-22 06:23 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–US-listed shares of chemical companies
surged on Thursday, largely outperforming the
broader market which rose significantly on
favourable economic data on inflation.The Dow
Jones Industrial Average rose by 3.7%, while
the Dow Jones US Chemicals Index rose by 4.95%
and the S&P 500 Chemicals Industry Index
rose by 5%.

Europe PET buyers
lured by imports, but demand

By Caroline Murray 11-Nov-22 01:58LONDON
(ICIS)–The window of opportunity for
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) importers
appears wide due to Europe’s unique cost
situation, but demand is so low that PET buyers
are unsure how to proceed.

industrial demand to remain below previous

By ICIS Editorial 10-Nov-22 01:05 LONDON
(ICIS)–Despite recent pressure to NBP
Day-ahead and front month gas prices, a return
to high levels of industrial offtake in Britain
is unlikely, ICIS analysis shows. Normal
industrial demand over the past five years has
averaged 10mcm daily. However, since the rise
of gas prices in Britain, industrial gas
offtake has dropped to around 5.6mcm from
January to November 2022.

EU, eurozone
September chems prices decline modestly in
split market

By Morgan Condon 10-Nov-22 01:30 LONDON
(ICIS)–Chemical pricing in September was mixed
for European producers, with some key
manufacturing nations bucking the modest
declines recorded in the eurozone and wider EU,
according to the EU’s statistical agency,

The latest data from Eurostat indicates that
Italy and Poland recorded single-figure gains
compared with the previous month, supported by
smaller gains in France and Germany.

BDO retreats on poor demand, weak domestic
China market

By Clive Ong 10-Nov-22 11:27 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The Asian 1,4-butanediol (BDO) market
trended lower as demand in the region
dissipated amid a poor economic outlook. Some
participants believe that demand in the region,
in particular China, could remain weak until
after the Lunar New Year in late January.

petrochemical markets mixed amid high

By Felicia Loo 09-Nov-22 14:28 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical markets were mixed
amid economic headwinds and dampening
consumption in China amid a slowing economy,
with no let-up on its harsh zero COVID-19
policy, dampening consumption.

China, India
ethanolamines markets under downward pressure
as demand wanes

By Clive Ong 10-Nov-22 14:28 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The ethanolamines markets in China and
India remain under downward pressure amid
prevailing weak demand and ample supply.
Participants continue to expect weak markets in
the near term as the global economic outlook
remains uncertain.

China’s MEC demand disrupted by
zero-COVID strategy

By Keven Zhang 09-Nov-22 11:41 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s methylene chloride (MEC) prices
saw steep falls in the past two weeks due to
disruption to its domestic demand by the new
round of lockdowns implemented to contain the
COVID-19 spread in the country, although
production cutbacks may provide some support in
the near term.

pain for chemicals as US Federal Reserve has ‘a
ways to go’ on rate hikes

By Joseph Chang 03-Nov-22 06:25 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–US and global chemical producers will
likely see more pain ahead as the US Federal
Reserve still has a “ways to go” in its
tightening cycle to bring inflation down to its
2% target. It’s not pausing or pivoting, and
not budging from its target. The US equity
market as measured by the S&P 500 fell 2.5%
on 2 November on disappointment that the Fed
gave no indication it will stop interest
raising rates, other than acknowledging it has
already tightened monetary policy
significantly. The Fed hiked its benchmark rate
by 0.75 percentage points – its third
consecutive hike of that magnitude – to a range
of 3.75-4.00%. “Our message is clear – we think
we have a ways to go. We have some ground to
cover with interest rates before we get to that
level… we think is sufficiently restrictive,”
said Fed chair Jerome Powell at the Federal
Open Market Committee (FOMC) press conference.

October PMIs point to broadening export

By Nurluqman Suratman 02-Nov-22 17:21 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Amid falling new orders and inventory
build-up, Asia’s export downturn is broadening
with the latest data pointing to further
weakness in factory activity across the region.
The slowdown in manufacturing activity has now
widened from northeast Asia to also include
southeast Asia amid waning export demand.
Asia’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index
(PMIs) fell in October to an average of 49.6,
down from 50.7 in September, due largely to a
fall in new orders and lower production as
export orders weakened further.

China’s Oct
petchem market falls on oversupply, poor

By Yvonne Shi 02-Nov-22 12:57 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s petrochemical market fell
significantly in October. As of October 31, the
ICIS China Petrochemical Price Index (which
tracks 17 commodities) dropped 5.4% from
September 30 to close at 1220.11 points. The
quick fall after a sharp rise after the
National Day holiday reflects sluggish demand
and lack of market confidence. China’s
petrochemical market started the downtrend from
the middle of the month till the end. An
official source before the 20th National
Congress of the Communist Party of China
disclosed that China’s epidemic prevention and
control will continue to adhere to the
zero-COVID policy, which hit market confidence

UK manufacturing
sector output contracts further as new orders
dry up

By Tom Brown 01-Nov-22 20:00 LONDON (ICIS)–UK
manufacturing sector output slipped further
into contraction in October, and hit a 29-month
low as new order volumes shrank at the fastest
rate since May 2020, according to data from
S&P Global on Tuesday. The sector
purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell further
in the month, dropping to 46.2 from 48.4 in
September, although they were stronger than
initial readings for the month of 45.8. A PMI
score below 50.0 signifies contraction. It was
the third consecutive month of contraction for
the sector, as the economic outlook continued
to deteriorate. New orders and new export
business both declined in the month. Players in
the UK cited softer demand from China, the war
in Ukraine and ongoing obstacles to exporting
posed by Brexit. Business optimism slipped to
the lowest level since the height of the
COVID-19 pandemic.

China posts 3.9% Q3 GDP growth; President Xi
secures third term

By Pearl Bantillo 24-Oct-22 13:21 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China posted an annualised GDP growth
of 3.9% in the third quarter, up from 0.4% in
the previous quarter, but a combination of a
zero-COVID policy and a property downturn will
continue to weigh on the world’s second-biggest

US economy continues to slow, recession likely
– NABE survey

By Stefan Baumgarten 24-Oct-22 22:00 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–The US economy continues to slow and is
likely already in recession or may soon be in
recession, according to findings in the latest
business conditions survey by the National
Association for Business Economics (NABE) on

INSIGHT: Asia C3 to face headwinds in fourth

By Julia Tan 25-Oct-22 10:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The Asian propylene market is facing
headwinds as it steps into the fourth quarter
as demand looks likely to remain weak until the
end of the year on poor derivative margins.

China PP lacks post-holiday support as weak
demand overshadows high

By Zhibo Xiao 27-Oct-22 12:34  SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Domestic polypropylene (PP) prices in
China rose and then fell after the country’s
National Day holiday on 1-7 October as bearish
demand outweighed the brief surge in crude

INSIGHT: A new world for Asia olefins as
capacity surges, demand remains

By Amy Yu 28-Oct-22 12:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The
Asia olefins industry is witnessing a new world
of significantly squeezed margins for all
producers, with incremental capacity addtions
set against the backdrop of weak demand.

CDI Economic Summary: Recession odds rise as
slowdown takes hold amid Fed

By Kevin Swift 27-Oct-22 23:07 CHARLOTTE, North
Carolina (ICIS)–Monetary tightening across the
world led by the US Federal Reserve, protracted
inflation and geopolitical events have raised
the odds of recession in many major economies.

Asia petrochemicals stay bearish as China keeps
zero-COVID policy

By Nurluqman Suratman 21-Oct-22 11:40 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Bearish sentiment prevails across
Asia’s petrochemical markets with no immediate
end in sight on China’s zero-COVID strategy,
which has been weighing on overall industrial
activities of the world’s second-biggest

South and East Asia LAB quiet while rising
feedstock costs squeeze

By Clive Ong 20-Oct-22 17:02 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The linear alkyl benzene (LAB) market
in East and South Asia remains quiet while
suppliers talked of squeezed margins from
rising feedstock costs. The desire for higher
values, however, were countered by the
persistently weak demand in the region.

India, SE Asia ethanolamines remain under
pressure from competitive

By Clive Ong 20-Oct-22 15:13 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)—The ethanolamines markets in southeast
Asia and India remain under downward pressure
from competitive offers and tepid demand.
Participants anticipate further weakness in the
near term as the Chinese market looks set to
remain weak.

INSIGHT: Japan economy to find succor in
automotive output recovery

By Pearl Bantillo 20-Oct-22 12:25 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Japan may be able to count on a
recovery in car production, which should
provide much-needed boosts to related
industries, including petrochemicals, to
cushion its economic downturn.

INSIGHT: European home improvement sector
slumps on economic slowdown, post-COVID

By Nicole Simpson 19-Oct-22 21:33 LONDON
(ICIS)–As the threat of recession looms over
Europe and consumers look to cut back on
unnecessary spending, demand for home
improvement and do-it-yourself (DIY) goods has

Asia oleochemicals market likely flat in Q4 on
zero-COVID policy in China

By Helen Yan 19-Oct-22 12:44 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s oleochemicals market is expected
to remain flat in the fourth quarter due to the
prevailing sluggish demand from China amid its
zero-COVID policy, which is expected to remain
in place for the rest of this year.

INSIGHT: Global demand slump eclipses Asia
export benefits from currency

By Pearl Bantillo 18-Oct-22 13:14 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s tumbling currencies will not
spell strong exports for the region as a
combination of surging inflation and high
interest rates slows the pace of global
economic activities.

EPCA ’22: Chemicals supply chains lengthening,
security of supply increasingly important –
Vopak CEO

By Nigel Davis 07-Oct-22 17:40 BERLIN
(ICIS)–Chemicals supply chains are becoming
necessarily longer as consumers and producers
see markets balancing between imports and local
production, the CEO at tank storage operator
Vopak said this week.

China September petrochemical markets up;
demand outlook still bleak

By Yvonne Shi 11-Oct-22 14:16 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s petrochemical markets were
mostly higher in September on supply tightness
in some products and aided by pre-holiday
restocking, but overall demand is not expected
to improve by much in the coming months.

IMF trims developing Asia growth outlook on
China weakness

By Nurluqman Suratman 12-Oct-22 12:46 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
has trimmed its economic growth forecast for
emerging and developing Asian economies on
account of China’s slowdown.

Asia BDO market faces lengthening
supply, uncertain demand
By Clive
Ong 13-Oct-22 13:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The
nascent recovery in Asian’s 1,4-butanediol
(BDO) market in September now faces the
challenge of lengthening supply with demand
staying uncertain.

Singapore Q4 GDP growth slows to 4.4%, monetary
policy tightened

By Nurluqman Suratman 14-Oct-22 11:37 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Singapore’s central bank on Friday
tightened its monetary policy to dampen
persistent price pressures which has slowed its
economy to a year-on-year growth of 4.4% in the
fourth quarter.

EPCA ’22: Chemical industry may slow
but must manage through cycle, Equate

By Nigel Davis 06-Oct-22 17:11 BERLIN
(ICIS)–The chemical industry may slow over the
next 12 months but it is a question of managing
through the cycle, Equate’s CEO Naser Aldousari
said on the sidelines of EPCA 2022 on
Wednesday. Aldousari remains optimistic for the
sector and emphasises its resilience.

Asia Q4
petrochemical demand faces headwinds as global
economy slows

By Felicia Loo 06-Oct-22 14:28 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Petrochemical demand in Asia will be
largely undermined because regional factories
face continued weakness in export demand in the
fourth quarter.

’22: COVID-19 pandemic set gender parity back a
generation – Dow exec

By Tom Brown 05-Oct-22 23:21 BERLIN (ICIS)–The
impact of the COVID-19 pandemic set the
progress of gender parity back 30 years, Dow’s
head of inclusion and diversity said on
Wednesday, because of the disproportionate
impact it had on women’s participation in the
labour market.

’22: Europe ADA, nylon 6,6 demand may weaken
further in October

By Marta Fern 05-Oct-22 16:00 LONDON
(ICIS)–European adipic acid (ADA) and
downstream nylon 6,6 markets face affordability
concerns, high costs of production and
competition with lower priced imports from

’22: European auto output will only recover to
pre-pandemic levels in

2025 – analyst

By Jonathan Lopez 04-Oct-22 18:21 BERLIN
(ICIS)–Production from the European
petrochemicals-intensive automotive sector is
unlikely to recover to pre-pandemic levels
until 2025 at the earliest, a chemicals analyst
at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said on
Andreas Gocke, global lead for chemicals at
BCG, said the war in Ukraine and supply-chain
issues have only seen a further deterioration
in the outlook for the automotive sector, which
was already negative in 2021.

EPCA ’22: Weak demand, wider
uncertainty shapes Europe acrylate esters

By Mathew Jolin-Beech 04-Oct-22
22:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Europe’s acrylate
esters markets are set to be gripped by ongoing
weak demand and wider macroeconomic uncertainty
in Q4 and early 2023.

EPCA ’22: PODCAST: Europe
petrochemicals face ‘winter of

By Will Beacham 04-Oct-22 15:19 BERLIN
(ICIS)–Europe’s petrochemical sector faces a
‘winter of discontent’, battered by high energy
costs, collapsing downstream demand and
increased imports from Asia. In this Think Tank
podcast, Will Beacham interviews ICIS Insight
editor Nigel Davis, ICIS senior analyst Lorenzo
Meazza, and Paul Hodges, chairman of New Normal
Consulting. The European Petrochemicals
Association (EPCA) annual meeting runs on 4-6
October in Berlin.

EPCA ‘22: Demand concerns loom over
Europe PC market in Q4

By Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez 03-Oct-22 19:14
LONDON (ICIS)–Pessimism reigns in the European
polycarbonate (PC) market moving into the end
of 2022 as demand from the key customer sectors
is likely to remain tepid due to Europe’s dim
macroeconomic outlook.

INSIGHT: Trends converging to create Q4 glut in
US plastics

By Al Greenwood 30-Sep-22 05:21 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–North American polymer markets are
facing a growing glut because of weakening
demand, expanding capacity and rising

Europe economic sentiment dropping as Germany
on brink of recession

By Morgan Condon 29-Sep-22 23:13 LONDON
(ICIS)–European economic sentiment continued
falling in September, for both the EU and the
eurozone, and the German economy is heading
towards a recession, as sentiment is shaped by
sustained high energy prices.

Lockdowns, property crisis to slow China 2022
GDP growth to 2.8% – World

By Nurluqman Suratman 29-Sep-22 13:3 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China, the world’s second-biggest
economy, is projected to grow at a much slower
pace of 2.8% this year compared with an earlier
forecast of 5.0%, according to the World Bank,
amid the country’s zero-COVID policy and
ongoing property crisis.

INSIGHT: India PVC market weathers stormy first
half, safeguard investigation

By Damini Dabholkar 29-Sep-22 11:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS) –India’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market
stabilised slightly in September, after having
weathered a storm over the previous 12 months.

China’s PE prices rebound, eyes on demand

By Sijia Li 28-Sep-22 12:11 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s polyethylene (PE) prices have
rebounded following continual declines in the
past two months, finding support from improved
end-user demand during the September-October
traditional peak season.

INSIGHT: High cost threatens Asia petrochemical
output as regional currencies

By Pearl Bantillo 27-Sep-22 12:26 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical production is at
risk of shrinking further as imported raw
materials get more expensive each day that
Asian currencies tumble to new lows.

INSIGHT: Russia-Ukraine war, surging inflation
continue to dim growth

By Tom Brown 27-Sep-22 00:17 LONDON (ICIS)–The
outlook for global growth is continuing to
darken as the economy loses momentum in the
wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, with fresh
economic projections pointing to a substantial
deterioration in prospects from 2023 even
relative to a few months ago

US HB Fuller sees rebound in Asia, slowdown in

By Al Greenwood 23-Sep-22 05:43 HOUSON
(ICIS)–HB Fuller began to see a rebound in
Asian demand during its fiscal third quarter
because China is reopening from its COVID-19
lockdowns, the US-based adhesives producer said
on Thursday, a trend that other chemical
producers have yet to see.

INSIGHT: US plastics becomes sixth-largest

By Melissa Wheeler 22-Sep-22 23:21 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–The US plastics industry has moved two
spots up to become the sixth-largest industry
in the country, according to the Plastics
Industry Association (PLASTICS).

Asia MEG market under pressure as downstream
cuts operation to ease high

By Judith Wang 22-Sep-22 18:13 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) market
has been under pressure during the week as
downstream polyester sector initiated another
round of operation cuts in a bid to relieve
inventory pressure.

INSIGHT: Widespread demand reduction makes a
tough quarter tougher

By Nigel Davis 21-Sep-22 23:49 LONDON
(ICIS)–It has been a tough third quarter for
most upstream producers of chemicals and others
as weaker demand and rising costs have combined
to hit earnings and shift guidance.

US inland truck capacity increases as demand
remains firm

By Adam Yanelli 21-Sep-22 05:15 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–Spot and contract rates for inland
truck deliveries have fallen from record-highs
as capacity has increased and demand has
remained strong, according to panelists on a
webinar hosted by supply chain market
intelligence provider Freightwaves.

INSIGHT: Asia petrochemical market to rebound
in September

By Amy Yu 15-Sep-22 18:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–
Some Asia petrochemical prices rebounded in
early September after the decrease in August.

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