PetroChem Wire Presentations and Articles

Risky Business: When a Resin Deal Turns into a Court Battle

Houston, August 30, 2018 (PCW)--Lawsuits involving shipments of resins or chemicals are not common in the US, but they are often settled out of court and considered by many as the cost of doing business in some cases.

Rarely does a party that is sued countersue, and then further sue for damages on top of that. The dust may have settled from a case several years ago between Mass Polymers Corporation and Supreme Oil, but its precedent-setting effect is still felt within the industry.

To read the full article by PetroChem Wire executive editor Kathy Hall, click here.


An Appalachian petchems hub: Potential or pipe dream?

HOUSTON, July 28, 2017 (PCW) -- After Shell made its momentous decision last year to build a 3.3 billion lbs/yr cracker and derivatives in neighboring Pennsylvania, other petrochemical projects have appeared slow to develop. Thai state-owned PTT delayed its FID to year’s end from February (the second time it has done so) and private company Mountaineer NGL Storage seeking to develop NGL caverns in the region has been slowed down by regional permitting processes, which is now putting its possible facility in service in mid- to late 2018, instead of the initially announced end 2017 time frame.

To read the full article by PetroChem Wire managing editor Samantha Hartke, along with maps and charts, click here. To see a PDF file of a presentation given by Samantha Hartke, click here.


Resin Margins Remain Healthy--Market Update

Resin prices have not tumbled with the same severity as upstream products, including olefins, NGLs and crude. As a result, margins remain healthy and attractive, plants are running hard and the appetite for plastics is still robust.

 PetroChem Wire Product Manager Samantha Hartke's  June 2016 presentation to the Western Petroleum Association takes an in-depth look at the resin and feedstock markets. 

To see the complete presentation, please click here.

Spot Ethylene Spikes, Slides and Rebounds in a Surprisingly Volatile March

Spot ethylene took a surprise turn in late March when prices saw the biggest two-day drop in almost six years, partly on speculation that short-term supplies may be ample to meet demand, PetroChem Wire Executive Editor Kathy Hall wrote for ZE DataWatch Magazine.

The decrease of 7.5 cents per pound over two days was seen as a correction to a market that had jumped to the highest level in about eight months during the same week after notices of ethylene plants flaring created speculation that the second half of March could see some unexpected supply interruptions. The correction may have been a little too steep, however, as prices rebounded, Hall wrote.

To read the full article from the Spring 2016 issue of DataWatch, please click here.

The Petrochemicals Renaissance--Presentation at the Energy Construction Forum--March 2016

Samantha Hartke, PetroChem Wire's Product Manager, explains how shale supplies have ushered in a US petrochemicals renaissance by:

Will the buildout continue? YES ... but ...expect more delays, deferrals, cancellations going forward as the petchems sector faces lower oil prices, softening consumer demand and the M&A environment. To see a PDF file of the presentation givenn to the Energy Construction Forum in Galveston, TX, please click here.

The Future of Aromatics 2016--January 2016

PetroChem Wire Product Manager Samantha Hartke's presentation on the aromatics market at the Future of Aromatics Conference 2016 in Amsterdam discusses how global benzene prices have not completely caved in to the bearish pressure exerted by Brent crude's price collapse.

However, When compared with other aromatics benzene’s seeming price strength begins to wilt. Toluene and xylenes look stronger as cheap crude has increased gasoline and octane demand. To see a PDF file of the full presentation from the January 2016 conference, please click here.

Kathy Hall's Presentation to Wood Mackenzie on Ethylene Forward Trading

Ethylene trading volume continues to grow, almost quadrupling from the level seen in 2007.

The monthly ethylene contract was once a major fundamental for many industries. Now, the spot ethylene is that benchmark, and forward trading is the most liquid (and most watched) of all.

Kathy Hall, PetroChem Wire's Executive Editor, gave a presentation to Wood Mackenzie on May 12, 2015 outlining the growth of this vital market and what to expect in the future. To see a PDF file of the presentation, please click here.

PetroChem Wire's NGLs Week and Genscape Host Webinar on NGL Price and Supply Outlook

With the oil-directed rig count falling so dramatically in the face of falling oil prices and a global oversupply, what are the impacts on natural gas liquids (NGL) production and prices? How does this impact downstream markets, including olefins and polymers?

PetroChem Wire and Genscape teamed up to present a Webinar on March 18, 2015 to answer these questions and provide a holistic review of the current and future states of the NGLs market from a pricing and a fundamental viewpoint. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a live Q&A following the presentation.

Whether your business is in upstream or downstream markets, the entire supply chain is important to the decisions you make - with PetroChem Wire pricing and Genscape monitoring and forecasts, it has never been easier to connect the chain from the wellhead to the railcar.

Click here to view the slide show.

The changing landscape of US propylene and propane markets

The recent shift to using lighter feedstocks in US steam cracking units has led to a decrease in the volume of refinery grade propylene, a key source in the production of polymer grade propylene used in the manufacture of plastics. The result is higher raw-material prices and slimmer profit margins for producers of polymer grade propylene.

PetroChem Wire Managing Editor Pat Whalen highlighted changes in the propane market and the growing switch to "on-purpose" propylene production using propane. In addition, he noted the active US cash and futures markets that now allow for propylene risk management.

Pat elaborated in a presentation to the Maximizing Propylene Yields conference held June 19 and 20 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Click here to view the full presentation

Plastics Futures Complete the Supply Chain, Now Fed by the Shale Frenzy

By Kathy Hall, PetroChem Wire, May 21, 2013--Although they were launched several years ago, the existence of CME Group’s suite of cleared petrochemical and plastics futures contracts is still news to many people.

While liquidity has been gradually growing, the contracts are catching the attention of a new audience thanks to a confluence of factors in geology and legislation.

Click here to view the full article

In the News--North American prices fall for polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC

Akron, Ohio, May 24, 2012 -- An uncertain demand picture and increasing feedstock supplies have combined to drive down North American prices for polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC resin since May 1, according to Plastics News.

“We’re looking at a surplus of ethylene by mid-June,” David Barry, a plastics market analyst with the PetroChem Wire in West Orange, N.J., said in the Plastics News article. “The whole ethylene fleet is going to be back online.”

Click here to view the Plastics News article

Successfully navigating the plastics recycling industry

Over the past several years, two major shifts have been occurring in the recycled resin markets.

The first is that post-industrial material is increasingly scarce, as resin manufacturers have begun controlling their inventories. The second major change to supply has come from the post-consumer side of the recycling business. Long
regarded as inferior quality material to industrial-grade, recent technological advances have created cleaner, better-quality post-consumer scrap supply.

These competing factors are the ones to watch in 2012, particularly how they relate to pricing. Pricing for recycled resins has largely followed the prime-grade resin markets on a delayed basis, and post-consumer material historically has been priced at a discount to that. These worlds are now merging in a way that could bring greater consensus to both types of recycled resins.

Kathy Hall, PetroChem Wire's executive editor, and publisher of PCW's Repro/Regrind Resins Report, explores the trends in the recycled plastics market in this article written for Plastics Recycling Update.

Click here to view the article

Managing risk in Olefins and Polyolefins

What we are currently experiencing in the US olefins and polyolefins markets is actually an old story, but with a new set of characters.

Many industries have become commoditized throughout history. None of these contracts occurred spontaneously. Each one was the result of a journey, a series of processes, a shift of how the market thought about the commodity itself. It is the same journey that has been occurring in US olefins and polyolefins in recent years.

Kathy Hall, PetroChem Wire's executive editor, has prepared a slide presentation on the emergence of a commoditized markets in olefins and polyolefins.

Click here to view the presentation

How PCW became a U.S. benchmark

Sensing a dissatisfaction with the disconnects between information services for NGLs, base chemicals and plastics, the PetroChem Wire was begun at the request of major US chemical producers, traders and consumers, relying on their feedback and deal/news contributions to the daily report.

Launched as a daily email report sent at the close of every business day in July 2007, the chemical prices were quickly trusted by the industry and began being used as a benchmark in January 2008 by market participants doing deals.

Kathy Hall, PetroChem Wire executive editor, explains how PCW evolved to cover critical natural gas liquids, olefins and polymers as liquidity in trading increased.

Click here to view the presentation

PetrochemWire prices on DTN ProphetX

 Telvent DTN and PetroChem Wire for a free online seminar on March 27, 2012 to introduce PetroChem Wire, tell how it monitors prices of natural gas liquids, olefins and polymers. Attendees learned how DTN ProphetX Energy Edition coupled with PetroChem Wire  can help perform sophisticated trend analysis, create custom data spreads and analyze price movements.

Kathy Hall, PCW exeuctive editor, and Ray Asif, product manager, energy trading for DTN, gave the presentation.

Click here to view the presentation

Why midstream chemical markets matter

At a luncheon Kathy Hall, executive editor of PetroChem Wire, said she had the opportunity to speak with a number of consumer product manufacturers. Without fail, when the subject of chemical market information came up, this group said they read various monthly reports. Also without fail, when asked what daily price information they relied upon, the answer was: natural gas.

Why natural gas? The answer came: “Because it helps me follow the daily trend upstream.” No one in that group knew that daily price information was available for olefins and for olefin feedstocks.

The information is there, and it is crucial. To learn why, Kathy Hall, PCW's executive editor, prepared this White Paper.

Click here to Read the White Paper