The Week in Chemistry: German chemical output forecast down 8% in 2023, Asia olefins manufacturers turn to less-expensive LPG feedstock amid struggling margins; North America chemical railcar traffic for week ended March 4 down 2.1% year-over-year

Sample article from our Chemicals Industry

LOS ANGELES , March 10, 2023 () –


German Chemicals Output

Germany’s chemical industry group VCI expects the country’s chemical output, excluding pharmaceutical chemicals, to decrease by about 8% in 2023.

However, the group says it is difficult to forecast pricing for the year ahead in such a volatile market.

While energy and raw material prices are expected to stabilize in the first quarter of 2023, inflation and economic headwinds are expected to last several years.

With Europe’s energy crisis still unresolved, many chemical companies are planning to develop their own solar and wind energy sources, the group says. Investments in more energy-efficient production processes are also likely in the works.

In addition, nearly 70% of companies surveyed want to diversify their global supply chains to avoid over-dependence on product from countries with greater risk potential.

In the medium term, the group says, not all production plants shut during the energy crisis will reopen.

The primary source of this information is Chemical Week.


Asia Petrochemicals

Olefins manufacturers in Asia face poor margins and high naphtha feedstock costs, sending many producers to less-expensive LPG instead, according to sources.

Propane came at a discount of US$68.75/tonne compared to Japan naphtha as of March 9, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Formosa Petrochemical, for example, purchased 46,000 tonnes of mixed LPG at a discount in the US$40s/tonne in early March.

However, some petrochemical manufacturers continue to use naphtha for its higher propylene yield, whereas LPG offers a higher ethylene yield.

The primary source of this information is S&P GLobal Platts.


North American Chemical Railcar Traffic

North American chemical railcar traffic for the week ended March 4 fell 2.1% year-over-year to 47,515 loadings.

In contrast, chemical rail traffic increased for the first time in 22 weeks during the previous week ended February 25.

Chemical rail traffic for the nine weeks to March 4 fell 3.8% year-over-year to 404,690 loadings. In the US, traffic fell 7.3% to 287,591 loadings for the nine-week period.

The primary source of this information is MRC.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

We offer built-to-order chemicals industry coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.