The Week in Chemistry: PE, PP spot prices flat during week of May 8, North American chemical railcar loadings up 1.7% year-over-year to 45,655; global, OPEC refining and petrochemical industries face shrinking global spare oil capacity, official says

Sample article from our Chemicals Industry

LOS ANGELES , May 19, 2023 () –


US Resins

During the week of May 8, prime PE and PP spot pricing was flat, according to a PlasticsExchange market update.

As a result, producers’ sought-after contract increases for May are seen as unlikely to follow through.

Exports of PE have reached their lowest level since October 2022, partly related to international competition. The reduced demand abroad led to a significant rise in inventories for the second month in a row.

A soft PP market in mid-May has led to decreases in both spot and contract prices, with spot pricing already surrendering most of the increases so far in 2023. 

PP contracts are also expected see a significant decrease for May.

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.

North American Weekly Chemical Railcar

North American weekly chemical railcar traffic for the week ended May 13 reached 45,655 loadings, an increase of 1.7% year-over-year.

Year-to-date, rail traffic fell 2.9% to 862,239 loadings. 

In the US alone, year-to-date chemical railcar loadings decreased 5.3% year-over-year to 592,744 loadings.

The primary source of this information is MRC.


Global Refining Investment

The refining industry worldwide is facing shrinking global capacity for spare oil, says General Haitham al-Ghais, OPEC Secretary General, in written responses to S&P Global Platts.

Rising advocacy against fossil fuels is contributing to a volatile market and potential supply concerns, the official said.

OPEC member countries are still making significant investments in the oil industry, al-Ghais explained, adding that this includes downstream segments in addition to energy.

In the future, the industry should consider more complex refineries that integrate petrochemicals, which will help maximize their value, he noted.

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

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Dan Rivard
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