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


With China’s 20th Party Congress coming up on
16 October, COVID-19 curbs are expected to be
tightened in the country and thus, increasing
risks of further disruptions to supply chains
and businesses.

Economic activities in parts of the country
last month were crimped by power rationing amid
a prolonged heatwave, with temperatures
hovering above 40 degrees Celsius.

China, the world’s second-biggest economy,
posted a
second straight month of contraction in its
official purchasing managers’ index
 for August at 49.4 although the
reading inched up from 49.0 in July.

Factory activities across northeast Asia also
weakened in August on poor overseas demand amid
slowing global economic growth.

Updated on 2 September 2022

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 03:00 GMT on 2 September 2022)

INSIGHT: Global chemicals must ‘prepare for
pain’ as central banks press ahead to quash

By Joseph Chang 01-Sep-22 23:45 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–‘Pain and sacrifice’ – those are the
words coming from the head of the world’s
largest central bank – the US Federal Reserve –
and the European Central Bank (ECB) on what
looms on the horizon. Stamping out inflation is
job number one, and they will do whatever it
takes, even if it means recession and higher

NE Asia August factory activities weaken amid
slowing global economy

By Nurluqman Suratman 01-Sep-22 13:07 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Factory activities across northeast
Asia weakened in August on poor overseas demand
amid slowing global economic growth.

Japan’s au Jibun Bank Aug manufacturing PMI
slips to 51.5

By Nurluqman Suratman 01-Sep-22 10:19 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–au Jibun Bank’s final manufacturing
purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for Japan fell
to 51.5 in August from 52.1 in July, marking a
softer improvement in the health of the sector
that was the joint-weakest since February 2021,
the Japanese bank said on Thursday.

INSIGHT: Asia PET resin supply and demand
fundamentals to remain tight in

By Jimmy Zhan 31-Aug-22 18:12 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Since mid-2022, there has been concern
of economic recession globally in the market.
Combined with serious inflation, the outlook
for consumption remains cautious.

China industries contract in August amid power
cuts, COVID-19 curbs

By Nurluqman Suratman 31-Aug-22 14:07 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s manufacturing activity
continued to contract as the country grapples
with power outages caused by record heatwave
and drought in August, with fresh COVID-19
curbs hampering overall industrial output and

INTERVIEW: LANXESS sharpens focus on North
America for future investment –

By Joseph Chang 30-Aug-22 04:11 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–Germany-based LANXESS will focus
predominantly on North America for future
investments while maintaining its asset base in
Europe and putting on hold any major projects
in China, its CEO said.

China’s Sinopec H1 net profit up 10.5%;
chemical earnings slump 94%

By Fanny Zhang 29-Aug-22 14:07 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec
reported a 10.5% year-on-year increase in
first-half 2022 net profit on the back of
strong crude, even as its chemical earnings
shrunk 94% as demand collapsed amid COVID-19

Power cuts in parts of China depress
petrochemical demand further

By Fanny Zhang 24-Aug-22 12:50 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Power shortages in parts of China amid
a prolonged heatwave have been disrupting
operations at factories, further dampening
demand for petrochemicals already hit by
COVID-19 lockdowns.

China PE demand still down, with power
rationing over high

By Joanne Wang 23-Aug-22 19:43 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s polyethylene (PE) demand
remains curbed this summer as downstream
operations are curtailed by power rationing in
east, north and south China amid high
temperatures. This has weighed on the market
further as demand has not yet picked up
significantly since Shanghai reopened on 1 June
after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

Philippine central bank hikes key interest
rates anew to tame inflation

By Pearl Bantillo 18-Aug-22 18:25 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
announced on Thursday a 50 basis point (bps)
hike in its key interest rates, with further
monetary tightening possible as average
inflation this year is expected to exceed its
2.0-4.0% target.

INSIGHT: Asia petrochemical margins shrink amid
price slump, poor demand

By Nurluqman Suratman 18-Aug-22 13:48 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s petrochemical margins are being
eroded by sharp price declines, high feedstock
costs and tepid downstream demand, with market
sentiment weighed down by economic
uncertainties in China and fears of a global

China PP demand likely to weaken on power
rationing amid high

By Lucy Shuai 18-Aug-22 11:43 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s polypropylene (PP) demand is
expected to weaken in the short term as
downstream operations in east, north and
southwest China are curbed by power rationing
measures amid heatwaves.

Asia petrochemicals bottoming out; concerns on
demand recovery, margins

By Joey Zhou 17-Aug-22 16:25 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asian petrochemical market is expected
to bottom out and start rebounding in August,
while most products still see lower average
prices than July.

INSIGHT: Brenntag cuts through H2 headwinds in
earnings guidance

By Morgan Condon 17-Aug-22 01:30 LONDON
(ICIS)–Chemicals distributor Brenntag expects
to hit the upper end of its targets for 2022,
despite the likelihood that the manifold
challenges facing the logistics sector will
endure across the rest of the year.

Malaysia’s Q2 GDP expands 8.9%, growth to
moderate on global

By Nurluqman Suratman 12-Aug-22 15:20
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Malaysia’s economy grew by
8.9% year on year in the second quarter of this
year on improving domestic demand, but
heightened global uncertainties are expected to
weigh on its growth outlook, the central bank
said on Friday.

High production costs erode Asian R-HDPE

By Arianne Perez 12-Aug-22 13:48 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–As production costs of recycled
high-density polyethylene (R-HDPE) blow
moulding pellets remain high in Asia while
demand stays lacklustre, sellers’ margins will
continue to narrow in the weeks ahead.

PODCAST: Asian olefins producers challenged to
preserve margins in H2 – ICIS

By Morgan Condon 12-Aug-22 05:00 LONDON
(ICIS)–Asian olefins capacity is set to
increase in the coming months, but against the
prospect of a global recession and challenging
demand it is unclear how this will develop for

Trade data show US base oil export availability
has not returned to pre-pandemic

By Amanda Hay 12-Aug-22 03:04 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–ICIS trade data reveal that the US has
not yet returned to pre-pandemic export levels
of base oils as supply constraints, shifting
trade flows and high prices have curbed export

OPEC revises crude demand forecast down on
slowing global economy

By Jonathan Lopez 11-Aug-22 22:40 MADRID
(ICIS)–While crude oil demand continued its
“strong recovery” to pre-pandemic levels,
economic growth showed signs of a slowdown in
July and, with it, crude demand also took a
hit, producing cartel OPEC said on Thursday.

UK to face increased competition for LNG in
fourth quarter

By Hector Falconer 11-Aug-22 19:20 LONDON
(ICIS)–Britain is likely to face increased
competition for LNG supply in the fourth
quarter of 2022 amid uncertainty over Russian
piped supply to mainland Europe, supporting NBP
winter contracts especially in the case of cold

Oil prices exposed to opposing fundamentals,
extreme volatility

By Cecilia Barreiro 11-Aug-22 18:58 LONDON
(ICIS)–The August outlook for oil prices is
subject to increased uncertainty resulting from
a number of bullish and bearish factors.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will continue to
be a central driving force and keep oil markets
volatile while rising global inflation is
expected to keep a lid on demand.

Singapore trims 2022 GDP growth forecast to
3-4% on global headwinds

By Nurluqman Suratman 11-Aug-22 11:43
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore on Thursday trimmed
its 2022 GDP growth forecast to 3-4%, from the
previous estimate of 3-5%, due to the
deteriorating global economic environment.

SE Asia palm biodiesel to see record export
volumes, healthy demand

By Keven Zhang 11-Aug-22 11:15 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Southeast Asia’s palm methyl ester
(PME) export volumes are likely to climb to
record highs in July and August, as several
bullish factors boost buying interest.

Thai PTTGC Q2 net profit falls sharply amid
lower chem margins

By Nurluqman Suratman 10-Aug-22 15:30
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–PTT Global Chemical’s (PTTGC)
net profit fell by 83.9% year on year in the
second quarter, weighed partly by lower margins
across all of its chemicals businesses, the
Thailand-based producer said on Wednesday.

Saudi SABIC Q2 net profit up 3.8%; H2 margins
to stay under pressure

By Nurluqman Suratman 10-Aug-22 12:42
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi petrochemicals major
SABIC posted a 3.8% year-on-year increase in
second-quarter net profit, while it expects
margins to remain under pressure in the second
half of 2022.

INSIGHT: Indonesia economy surprises in Q2;
prospects dim in H2

By Pearl Bantillo 10-Aug-22 21:03
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Indonesia’s growth momentum
is expected to weaken for the rest of the year
and into 2023, as high inflation hits overall
domestic consumption. External demand is being
threatened by a possible global recession.

July petrochemical markets slump; outlook stays

By Yvonne Shi 09-Aug-22 08:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s petrochemical markets fell
across the board in July on weak demand, which
persists into August while supply is projected
to grow for the rest of the year.

INSIGHT: Business, chemicals indicators
point to global downturn

By Will Beacham 04-Aug-22 19:09 BARCELONA
(ICIS)–New economic data combined with
deteriorating chemical industry performance,
suggests that the second half of the year could
be bleak. Latest figures for July from Oxford
Economics’ Global Business Sentiment Index show
declining confidence about growth, and fears
about downside risks while a recent profit
warning from Covestro and slumping chemical
prices suggest demand may be waning along
supply chains.

OUTLOOK: China’s PE market to feel
pressure from imports, slowing demand

By Joanne Wang 02-Aug-22 14:24 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s polyethylene (PE) market may
feel stronger pressure from increasing imports
in the second half of 2022 amid weak overseas
demand, while domestic producers may kick off
another round of output reduction on squeezed
margins and subdued demand. China’s domestic PE
prices were largely on a downtrend in the first
half of the year. Prices increased around the
world in the first quarter as the
Russia-Ukraine conflict pushed up crude prices

Asia July industries – a mixed bag as
battle with inflation

By Nurluqman Suratman 02-Aug-22 13:59 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s manufacturing sector in July
presented a mixed performance, with major
economies in the northeast showing a marked
slowdown in activity, as the region continues
to contend with high input costs and weak
demand. For China, both the official and
non-official manufacturing purchasing managers’
indices (PMI) for July indicated continued
weakness in the world’s second-biggest economy

Supply problems continued to disrupt
German manufacturers in July –

By Morgan Condon 01-Aug-22 17:27 LONDON
(ICIS)–Bottlenecks continued to disrupt German
manufacturing in July, with the majority of the
chemicals industry hit by material shortages,
according to the latest data from the Ifo
Institute. Supply problems impacted 73.3% of
German manufacturing companies surveyed by Ifo
in July, down from 74.1% in June. Chemicals
were less impacted than other downstream

OUTLOOK: China’s oxo-alcohols weighed by slow
demand recovery, increasing

By Claire Gao 29-Jul-22 16:07 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s oxo-alcohols markets will face
downward pressure from slow recovery of demand
and increasing supply, although the outlook of
export is promising.

OUTLOOK: US EDC likely to re-enter global
markets in 2H as macroeconomic headwinds change

By Bill Bowen 29-Jul-22 05:56 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–US ethylene dichloride (EDC) is likely
to see weakened demand and greater availability
in the second half of 2022 as demand for its
downstream derivative polymer weakens on less
construction activity amid macroeconomic

INSIGHT: Europe industry facing difficult
August as gas supply concerns

By Nigel Davis 29-Jul-22 00:14 LONDON
(ICIS)–It is almost like stepping back in
time, with industrial sectors in Europe vying
for the attention of governments and lawmakers
to try to secure operations should the region’s
gas crisis escalate.

S Korea’s S-Oil Q2 net income more than
doubles; Q3 PX spread to

By Nurluqman Suratman 28-Jul-22 13:38 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–S-Oil’s second-quarter net income more
than doubled year on year on strong refining
margins and robust aromatics demand, but the
South Korean producer’s paraxylene (PX) spread
is expected to weaken in July-September 2022.

SE Asia August PE offers stable to soft but
Vietnam market under intense

By Izham Ahmad 28-Jul-22 11:22 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Initial spot import offers for August
shipments of polyethylene (PE) in southeast
Asia were announced either stable or softer
this week as buying sentiment continued to be
depressed by the slump in demand from China.

VIDEO: China’s
new EVA capacities to weigh on Q3

By Joanne Wang 22-Jul-22 12:29 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Watch ICIS senior industry analyst
Joanne Wang discuss the ethylene vinyl acetate
(EVA) capacity increases in China and the
recently launched EVA China RMB index.

ethanolamines slump weighs on sentiment in Asia
and India

By Clive Ong 22-Jul-22 10:45 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The ongoing slump in the ethanolamines
market in domestic China continues to weigh on
sentiment of players in Asia and India.

OUTLOOK: European
MMA demand uncertain amid wider economic

By Mathew Jolin-Beech 21-Jul-22 23:24 LONDON
(ICIS)–The European methyl methacrylate (MMA)
market is facing uncertain H2 demand amid wider
geopolitical and economic challenges.

Asia BDO remains
weighed down by ongoing Chinese market

By Clive Ong 21-Jul-22 16:53 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asian butanediol (BDO) market continues
to be impacted by the ongoing slump in the
Chinese domestic sector. Sentiment has turned
increasingly bearish with participants
anticipating further weakness in the near term.

market expected to get longer through

By Melissa Wheeler 21-Jul-22 05:10 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–The monoethylene glycol (MEG) market is
expected to remain long through Q3 as suppliers
continue to offer more product.

PODCAST: China’s
base oils demand to be better in autumn,
imports to decline YOY in H2

By Whitney Shi 20-Jul-22 15:11 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–ICIS analyst Jady Ma and Whitney Shi
discuss the outlook of China’s base oil market
in this episode.

heatwave could hinder operations at Europe
petrochemicals plants

By Jonathan Lopez 19-Jul-22 18:09 MADRID
(ICIS)–High temperatures across Europe could
reduce operating rates at some petrochemicals
plants, as cooling operations become more
difficult, trade groups have warned.

East base oils market to face stable-to-soft
demand in H2

By Izham Ahmad 19-Jul-22 10:46 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The Middle East base oils spot market
is expected to still face uncertainties in the
final half of 2022 as supply of most grades is
expected to be mixed, with demand expected to
remain stable to soft due to sluggish economic
growth and global automotive sales.

petrochemical sentiment weak as demand

By Felicia Loo 15-Jul-22 14:12 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)-Global petrochemical markets are mired
in a challenging situation writ large, with
demand dull as recession risks gather pace.

adipic acid demand struggles to reach
pre-lockdown levels

By Josh Quah 15-Jul-22 14:01 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Watch ICIS editor Josh Quah discuss
developments in Asia’s adipic acid market.

PODCAST: Chems sector resilient in Q2 but
conditions forecast bleak for

By Tom Brown 14-Jul-22 18:44 LONDON
(ICIS)–Projected second-quarter financial data
for BASF hints that conditions for chemicals
players may have been stronger than expected in
the second quarter of 2022, but rising COVID-19
infection numbers in China only add to the slew
of bearish news for the second half of the

China’s LDPE facing continued supply

By Joanne Wang 14-Jul-22 10:28 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–In this episode, ICIS analyst Jady Ma
and Joanne Wang discuss the recent developments
and outlook of China’s low density polyethylene
(LDPE) market.

Europe PET high
prices detrimental to sales in bearish

By Caroline Murray 13-Jul-22 23:15 LONDON
(ICIS)–The peak season for polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) bottlers in Europe is the
summer but the combination of extraordinarily
high prices and the unstable economy is
affecting sales.

China PP hits lowest levels this year
on slumping crude, weak

By Lucy Shuai 13-Jul-22 16:43 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s polypropylene (PP) prices fell
to their lowest levels this year from slumping
crude oil and weak downstream demand, on
concerns of a global economic recession.

Crude falls
nearly $2/bbl on fresh China COVID-19

By Nurluqman Suratman 12-Jul-22 11:08 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Oil prices fell by nearly $2/bbl on
Tuesday morning on worries over fresh COVID-19
restrictions in China, the world’s biggest
crude importer.

uncertainty pressuring prices as downturn
gathers momentum

By Nigel Davis 11-Jul-22 23:43 LONDON
(ICIS)–Movement in the ICIS weekly and monthly
petrochemical indexes illustrate the strain
being put on producers to hold prices in the
face of increasing demand uncertainty and the
volatile feedstock and energy cost environment.

European melamine
spot prices stable-to-soft; Q3 contract talks
ongoing as supplier and consumer pricing ideas

By Melissa Hurley 08-Jul-22 00:44 LONDON
(ICIS)–European melamine third quarter
contract discussions continued this week. More
progress is expected towards the end of the
week, heading in to next week. Talks between
suppliers and consumers are divisive as pricing
expectations remain unmatched.

Europe’s oxo-alcohols chain faces demand
erosion amid economic

By Mathew Jolin-Beech 07-Jul-22 22:03 LONDON
(ICIS)–The European oxo-alcohols chain faces a
slowdown in demand from end use sectors as the
wider geopolitical and economic uncertainties
begin to bite. This ICIS podcast explores the
latest developments for oxo-alcohols and its
derivative markets.

PODCAST: Global shortage of MEK eases,
though US prices remain high

By Nick Cleeve 07-Jul-22 17:58 LONDON
(ICIS)–Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) prices are
softening globally as supply constraints ease,
although prices in the US, a net importer,
remain at extremely high levels, drawing
exports from Asia and Europe.

Asia petchems
mired in bearishness on elevated recession

By Felicia Loo 07-Jul-22 11:21 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asian petrochemical markets are in a
jam, with price bearishness across the board as
recession risks continue to mount.

supply concerns flip to reduced oil demand by

By Barney Gray 07-Jul-22 00:49LONDON
(ICIS)–Oil prices were in a post-Covid
recovery phase prior to Russia’s invasion of
Ukraine in February. Since then, H1 crude
prices have been driven by the fallout from the
war, reaching record highs. But the oil market
will be characterised by major volatility and
rising uncertainty as we head into H2.

chemicals fighting Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse – CIA CEO

By Will Beacham 05-Jul-22 22:48 LONDON
(ICIS)–The UK chemicals industry is battling
the quadruple challenges of Brexit, COVID-19,
the cost of living crisis and the war in
Ukraine, according to Stephen Elliott, CEO of
UK trade group the Chemical Industries

for low-end R-PET to continue to

By Arianne Perez 04-Jul-22 15:03 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Low-end applications of recycled
polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) will become
less popular as the more competitive virgin PET
continues to eat into its market share.

China’s propylene
faces headwinds from ample supply, weak demand
in June

By Yi Liang 04-Jul-22 10:21 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s domestic propylene market
continues to face headwinds from ample supply
and sluggish end-user demand in June, with
market sentiment turning bearish.

Mideast petchem
market sentiment bearish on weak

By Felicia Loo 01-Jul-22 11:30 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Sentiment in the Middle East
petrochemical markets is bearish, as demand is
tepid against a backdrop of ample supply. The
soaring inflation rates have led to a reduced
purchasing power, weakening buyers’ appetites.

Asia AA and
acrylates largely lower; sentiment softer on
China downtrend

By Li Li Chng 29-Jun-22 21:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)—
Asia’s acrylic acid (AA) and acrylate esters
spot discussions were under pressure, with
market sentiment bearish amid a downtrend in

to face uncertainties in H2 ’22 amid high

By Lucy Shuai 29-Jun-22 17:47 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–ICIS analysts Jady Ma and Lucy Shuai
discuss the recent developments and outlook of
China’s polypropylene (PP) market.

and Middle East isocyanates demand

By ICIS Editorial 29-Jun-22 17:09 LONDON
(ICIS)–Isocyanates Europe editor Zubair Adam
discusses current demand and supply market
trends for Europe with isocyanates Middle East
editor Damini Dabholkar.

US ethylene
begins Q3 with ample supply, eroding

By John Donnelly 29-Jun-22 05:45 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–The US ethylene market is seeing ample
supply, lower margins but decent derivative
demand heading into Q3.

demand rebound at a time of crisis, bp stats

By Nigel Davis 28-Jun-22 23:39 LONDON
(ICIS)–Here is the energy crisis writ large.
The chart, from bp as it released its latest
Statistical Review of World Energy on Tuesday,
shows the sharp rebound in energy consumption
as COVID-19 restrictions eased and global
economic activity recovered.

Isocyanates face high costs, squeezed margins
in H2 – ICIS analysts

By Morgan Condon 28-Jun-22 21:02 LONDON
(ICIS)–The isocyanates market is faced with
steep production costs and weakening demand
across downstream sectors, presenting the
industry with a darkening outlook.

European PVC
shows signs of lengthening on demand, global

By Chris Barker 28-Jun-22 17:29 LONDON
(ICIS)–European polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
contract prices for June have settled with
rollovers to decreases compared to May, with
indications that the outlook for availability
has lengthened compared to earlier in the year.

Asia ADA trade
flows punch above weight in

By Josh Quah 24-Jun-22 13:57 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Northeast Asia adipic acid (ADA)
markets logged a large trade surplus in May,
according to import-export data captured by
ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

Europe capro,
nylon 6 markets face slow summer

By Marta Fern 24-Jun-22 00:35 LONDON
(ICIS)–European caprolactam (capro) and nylon
6 markets are facing persistent soft demand,
which could weaken further in the coming months
while the costs of production are on the rise.

may face more challenges in H2

By Judith Wang 23-Jun-22 17:16 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Watch ICIS Senior Editor Judith Wang
discuss current developments in Asia’s
monoethylene glycol (MEG) market and its

China’s NBR
import offers plummet with domestic losses,
soft demand

By Ai Teng Lim 23-Jun-22 15:56 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s import offers for acrylonitrile
butadiene rubber (NBR) are at year-low levels,
as sellers tried to chase deals with wider

Tight tonnage and
robust demand push Asian chemical tanker
market, sentiment bullish

By Luffy Wu 23-Jun-22 14:37 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The Asian chemical tanker shipping
market saw overall upward pressure amid high
global bunker levels and regional tonnage
tightness, drained by robust long-haul
activities and clean petroleum product (CPP)

PODCAST: How may
China respond to looming global energy

By Bee Lin Chow 23-Jun-22 13:32 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–ICIS analysts discuss how China may
respond to what seems like a looming global
energy crisis.

US SBR demand
healthy from tyre sector, but tyre imports

By Amanda Hay 23-Jun-22 05:34 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR)
demand healthy for tyres, but North American
tyre manufacturers face growing tyre imports.

stifle chemicals now in the face of energy
uncertainty and climate reform – UK

By Nigel Davis 22-Jun-22 22:20 LONDON
(ICIS)-The UK chemical industry is now 6%
larger than at the onset of the pandemic, chief
executive of the country’s sector trade group,
the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), said
last week.

PODCAST: China benzene
prices hit 8-year high; cost and supply support
to persist

By Yoyo Liu 17-Jun-22 10:37 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–ICIS analyst Jady Ma and Yoyo Liu
discuss the recent developments and outlook of
China’s benzene market.

Asian BD buying
slows as domestic China

By Ai Teng Lim 17-Jun-22 09:48 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Sentiment was duller in this week’s
spot talks for Asian butadiene (BD) imports, as
buyers retreated after the domestic China
market suffered heavy losses early-week.

PET speculation rife in face of diverging
upstream dynamics

By Caroline Murray 17-Jun-22 00:07 LONDON
(ICIS)–Mixed xylene prices are skyrocketing
higher than PX prices and concerns over
negative margins mount. PX June contract talks
are ongoing. By contrast, MEG supply remains
lengthy and demand has been low, pressuring
down spot prices. The June MEG contract price
also remains unconfirmed.

politicians and TikTok – the industry’s battle
for our attention

By Matt Tudball 16-Jun-22 22:17 BRUSSELS
(ICIS)–The battle for our attention is a
fierce one. In the post-COVID-19 world, as
employees we feel a sense of email overload and
Zoom fatigue while as a consumer we face a
constant bombardment of media telling us what
we should be doing, thinking, eating, drinking
and watching.

petrochemicals to rebound in June amid bumpy
recovery – ICIS analysts

By Ann Sun 16-Jun-22 12:12 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asian petrochemical market is expected
to be generally firmer in June given higher
crude prices and easing lockdowns in China,
according to a latest Price Forecast by ICIS

base oils supply and refinery margins to stay
under pressure in H2

By Eashani Chavda 15-Jun-22 22:35 LONDON
(ICIS)–ICIS editors Eashani Chavda, Samantha
Wright and Amanda Hay are joined by ICIS
analyst Mike Connolly to discuss the latest
developments in Europe and US base oils
markets. Key topics include: supply shortages,
shifting trade flows, refinery margins and
additive shortages.

PODCAST: Chemical
distributors see inflation hurting demand,
downturn in prospect

By Will Beacham 14-Jun-22 22:03 BARCELONA
(ICIS)–Rising inflation is now hurting demand
for chemicals, raising the prospect of a broad
economic downturn later this year or in 2023,
according to chemical distributors.

China PE finds
support from stimulus policies; eyes on demand

By Sijia Li 14-Jun-22 14:57 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s domestic polyethylene (PE)
market entering June has found support from
stimulus policies and costs. Looking ahead,
players are focusing on demand recovery, with
the easing of lockdowns in multiple regions
amid decreasing COVID-19 infections.

India domestic
LAB prices rise; China demand improves as
lockdowns ease

By Clive Ong 10-Jun-22 11:53 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–India’s domestic prices for linear
alkylbenzene (LAB) have spiked on the back of
rising costs, but some players expect some
headwinds with the monsoon season kicking off.

  • Monsoon season to hamper India demand
  • China demand sees uptick as COVID-19
    restrictions ease
  • China’s competitively priced cargoes still
    available in Asia (including India), Mideast

Oil prices drop
more than $1/bbl on partial lockdowns in

By Nurluqman Suratman 10-Jun-22 11:34 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Oil prices fell more than $1/bbl on
Friday on renewed demand fears after fresh
COVID-19 lockdown measures were announced in
China, but tight supply concerns capped losses.

Sustainability to remain the key driver for
Asia recycled polymers

By Arianne Perez 10-Jun-22 11:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Capacity expansions of recycled
polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) and recycled
polyethylene (R-PE) faced delays amid the
onslaught of COVID-19, particularly last year,
but overall growth of Asia polymers recycling
is set to continue with sustainability as the
main driver.

PODCAST: European
ACN market keeps a close eye on ammonia and

By ICIS Editorial 09-Jun-22 18:35 LONDON
(ICIS)–The European acrylonitrile (ACN) market
has good supply and some softening demand, but
costs remain high. In this latest podcast, ICIS
deputy managing editor Jane Massingham (Europe)
talks to managing editor fertilizers, Julia
Meehan and senior editor on olefins, Nel Weddle
about the ammonia and propylene markets and
what to expect in the months ahead.

benzene, styrene short-term outlook to hinge on
demand-supply balance

By Jasmine Khoo 09-Jun-22 11:35 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s benzene prices have hit an
all-time high on strong performance from the US
amid the turnaround season, while styrene price
gains have been lagging behind due to weak
performance in the styrenics sector. In this
podcast, Jasmine Khoo speaks with editors
Angeline Soh and Trixie Yap on benzene and its
key downstream styrene monomer (SM) and
styrenics sectors.

China PP exports
may fall on narrow price gap with SE

By Lucy Shuai 08-Jun-22 17:09 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–With the lifting of COVID-19 lockdowns
in China, as well as stimulus policies to boost
the economy, China’s polypropylene (PP) prices
have rebounded since late May. However, as PP
prices have fallen in the southeast Asian
market, China’s PP exports may fall in June due
to a narrow price gap.

demand set to improve in June as restrictions

By Lucy Shuai 08-Jun-22 16:21 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Watch industry analyst Lucy Shuai share
her insights on the rebound seen in China’s
polypropylene (PP) market following the easing
of strict COVID-19 curbs in the country.

Asia Q3 biodiesel
market sentiment to stay weak on poor European

By Felicia Loo 07-Jun-22 12:13 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The third-quarter market sentiment for
southeast Asian palm methyl ester (PME)
biodiesel is expected to remain weak amid poor
buying requirements from Europe, a key
importing region for southeast Asian material.

Germany’s chemicals hit hard by China
lockdowns, automotive sentiment

improves – Ifo By Jonathan Lopez 03-Jun-22
16:49 MADRID (ICIS)–Lockdowns in China to
contain the coronavirus pandemic have had a
major impact on export-intensive industrial
sectors in Germany such as chemicals, research
institute Ifo said on Thursday.

Asia MEG rebounds on higher crude, demand
recovery expectations

By Judith Wang 03-Jun-22 10:50 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) weekly
prices rebounded during the week amid stronger
crude values and expectations of demand
improvement due to easing lockdowns in

Global chem production fell 2.9% year on year
in April

By Stefan Baumgarten 03-Jun-22 01:57 HOUSTON
(ICIS)–Global chemical production volumes in
April fell 4.1% month on month and 2.9% year on
year, and they were off 0.4% year on year for
the first four months of 2022, ICIS senior
economist Kevin Swift said in a report on

China methanol to face ample supply, mixed
demand performance

By Doris He 01-Jun-22 21:05 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s methanol market is expected to
face overall ample supply from domestic and
overseas producers in the near term, while
demand may be mixed from different downstream

INSIGHT: China, India to be main drivers of PVC
supply, demand in Asia

By Jonathan Chou 01-Jun-22 11:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The coronavirus pandemic has changed
how we live our lives, upending also supply and
demand dynamics for polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
and its related markets.

Over two years on since the pandemic hit, much
of Asia has attempted “living with COVID-19” in
2022, with some starting to treat it as an
endemic disease.

China SM margins likely to be squeezed by
higher costs, weak demand

By Tina Zhang 31-May-22 11:55 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Margins in China’s styrene monomer (SM)
market are expected to continue to be squeezed
in the near term, in view of rising feedstock
benzene values and weak demand.

China petrochemical market sentiment upbeat on
Shanghai recovery plan

By Fanny Zhang 30-May-22 13:27 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s domestic petrochemical market
sentiment is upbeat at the start of the week,
with demand expected to recover when the
two-month lockdown in Shanghai is lifted in

Asian epoxy
market stable, Chinese domestic market outlook

By Luffy Wu 27-May-22 11:54 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The Asia epoxy resins market saw
overall stable market sentiment while buyers
exhibited improved price acceptability compared
with in April.

Asia nylon market cautious as Shanghai
inches towards June

By Josh Quah 26-May-22 16:16 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–The lockdowns have been damaging for
Asia’s nylon market, with prolonged demand loss
particularly felt in the CFR (cost &
freight) China market. There have been recent
signs, however, that the worst may have passed
in the lead up to the reopening of key cities
in China.

PODCAST: Weak demand from
lubricants, China’s Group II base oil import
margins to be negative

By Whitney Shi 25-May-22 14:09 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–ICIS analyst Jady Ma and Whitney Shi
discuss the recent developments and outlook of
China’s base oil market.

crude consumption softens amid COVID-19

By Pearl Bantillo 25-May-22 12:00 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–China’s consumption of crude has
softened as industrial production is hit by
pandemic-related restrictions in place since
February, with no sign of the government giving
up on its zero-COVID policy.

emergence from lockdowns, stimulus to recharge
auto and construction – Covestro

By Joseph Chang 25-May-22 05:17 NEW YORK
(ICIS)–China’s easing of and potential
emergence from COVID-19 lockdowns along with
government stimulus should spark a major
recovery in its automotive and construction
markets, the chief financial officer (CFO) of
Germany-based Covestro said on Tuesday.

Asian MMA peaks
in May; outlook pending clarity amid easing
restrictions in China

By Li Li Chng 24-May-22 13:47 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)–Asian methyl methacrylate (MMA) peaked
in May, after increasing around 17% since H2
February. Market players are awaiting clearer
picture on China’s lifting of COVID-19
lockdowns and restrictions.

PE and PP update and outlook

By Ben Lake 23-May-22 23:42 LONDON
(ICIS)–Senior editor, Vicky Ellis, and market
editor, Ben Lake, join forces to discuss a
distinct change in the polymers market. The
frenzied activity in March and April has given
way to a far more relaxed sentiment in May – on
the buy-side, at least. Vicky and Ben give
their outlook for June and take a look at
events that could shake up the markets again.

demand to rebound from June, but slow road

By Amy Yu 23-May-22 18:27 SINGAPORE
(ICIS)—China polyethylene (PE) demand is
expected to firm as COVID-19 containment
measures ease, but the pace of recovery remains
hindered by remaining lockdown measures.

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