R-LLDPE Market Faces Downturn Amid Oversupply and sluggish downstream Demand

R-LLDPE Market Faces Downturn Amid Oversupply and sluggish downstream Demand

In the Arabian Recycled Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (R-LLDPE) market, an ongoing trend of declining prices persists, driven by challenges related to the diminishing price support for scrap LLDPE materials and the increasing rates of post-consumer product collection, said Chemanalyst.

These factors pose obstacles to the sustainable growth of R-LLDPE recyclers. The market landscape is further complicated by a marginal weakening in the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI). On the supply side, an oversupply situation of R-LLDPE, coupled with ample inventories, and subdued procurement activities from overseas markets during the current seasonal phase, contribute to weakened export dynamics. Suppliers are responding with consistent discount offerings to incentivize larger volume purchases. However, the downstream industry is grappling with heightened freight rates with increased shipping cost, prompted by security concerns following attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militants on commercial vessels in the Red Sea. Consequently, the European R-LLDPE market remains stable, reflecting the impact of elevated import costs for the product.

The Arabian market is grappling with an oversupply scenario, sustained by an unaltered production capacity of R-LLDPE material, which has established a bearish sentiment. This situation poses a challenge for suppliers in effectively managing excess inventory. The R-LLDPE market faces downward price pressure attributed to weakened product procurement activities during the Christmas holidays, influenced by reduced downstream industrial production and manufacturing activities for the final finished product with fewer staff members available during the holiday season. Enterprises are leaning towards immediate stock procurement rather than engaging in bulk purchases, contributing to subdued trading activities and the persistence of oversupply. The intricate interplay of these factors presents challenges for R-LLDPE suppliers, navigating a market influenced by both oversupply and specific weaknesses within certain sectors.

In the European market, the R-LLDPE sector is experiencing the impact of reduced demand from major recycling industries such as Packaging and automotive parts manufacturing industries. However, during the third week of December R-LLDPE prices remained steady due to rising import cost, but at its lower end. This influence has set off a series of reactions within the market. The reduction in industrial production and manufacturing activities has led to a decline in R-LLDPE demand from these pivotal sectors. These intricate market dynamics present considerable challenges for recyclers striving to achieve sustainable growth in the market. Furthermore, the absence of changes in the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) has cast a shadow over the overall growth prospects of the market, introducing an additional layer of complexity to the market landscape.

We remind, Recycled Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (R-LLDPE) market showcased a downward trend in the European market in the third week of June 2023. According to sources, the price of R-LLDPE translucent pellets decreased by (0.7%) in Germany when compared with the previous week. Overall consumption of R-LLDPE showed a deep contraction from the downstream packaging and plastic industries and failed to regain momentum in the European region.


China Witnesses an 82% Decline in VAM Exports for November

China Witnesses an 82% Decline in VAM Exports for November

In November this year, China's vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) exports took a sharp nosedive, recording a staggering 81.7% drop compared to the preceding month, said Chemanalyst.

The export volume for the said month barely touched 1.88 thousand tons, an alarming contrast when set against the 10.26 thousand tons documented in October.

When analyzing the data on a year-on-year basis for November, the picture that emerges is equally disconcerting. China's exports of VAM registered a significant drop of 49.4%, boiling down to a total of 3.71 thousand tons. This downturn was accompanied by a cumulative decline of 23.1% in exports from January to November 2023, which amounted to 72.03 thousand tons. This figure represents a sizable reduction when compared to the same period in the preceding year.

Earlier in the year, June also bore witness to a similar trend in China's VAM exports. When compared to May, the VAM supplies exported to global markets contracted by 52.6%. A total of 4.38 thousand tons were exported in June, marking a considerable decrease from the 9.24 thousand tons reported in May. The year-on-year data for June further emphasized this downward trend, with exports decreasing by 25.6% and totaling 5.88 thousand tons.

The unwavering reductions in VAM exports, observed both on a monthly and yearly basis, suggest a trend possibly driven by various factors. These may include disruptions in the supply chain, alterations in market preferences, and economic instability. Stakeholders involved in the international chemical trade and industry are likely to closely monitor these developments, in a bid to comprehend the underlying causes and potential implications on the broader market.

The significant reduction in China's export of Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) is an issue of concern for all stakeholders involved. The reasons behind this drastic drop need to be identified and addressed promptly to prevent further losses. The global market dynamics are constantly changing, and it is essential for businesses to stay abreast of these changes to maintain their competitive edge. The decrease in VAM exports from China is a clear indication of the volatile nature of the global trade environment.

The sharp decrease in China's VAM exports in November of this year is a concerning trend that needs immediate attention. Stakeholders in the international chemical trade and industry must closely monitor these developments and take necessary actions to mitigate the impact on the global market. To navigate the complexities of the global trade environment successfully, a keen understanding of the market dynamics and a proactive approach to addressing issues are crucial.

We remind, Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) prices have surged globally due to consistent force majeure events impacting acetic acid and VAM prices. VAM prices had previously dropped by 33% YTD as the supply chain relaxed when the US Fed aggressively increased interest rates to control inflation, ranging between 5.25% and 5.5%. Another development included the US Fed hinting at 3 rate cuts in FY24, contributing to bullish markets and factoring in the subsequent price surge.


CD Bioparticles Launches Versatile Polystyrene Particles for Diverse Bioresearch

CD Bioparticles Launches Versatile Polystyrene Particles for Diverse Bioresearch

CD Bioparticles has introduced a groundbreaking series of Functional Polystyrene Particles, catering to the diverse requirements of the pharmaceutical and life science sectors, said Chemanalyst.

With a wealth of experience in these industries, the company's latest offering includes Functional Polystyrene Particles spanning diameters from 25 nm to 750 µm. This versatile range empowers researchers across various applications, including protein adsorption, immunoassays, bio separations, and drug delivery.

The synthesis of polystyrene particles involves both emulsion and emulsion-free polymerization processes. These particles can be further enhanced through coating or conjugation achieved by passive adsorption or covalent coupling. Functionalized polystyrene nanoparticles and particles find applications in drug delivery materials, bioimaging, markers, immunoassays, and provide a flexible platform for diagnostic and bio separation applications. Various methods, such as adsorption onto plain polystyrene particles, covalent attachment onto surface-functionalized particles, and adsorption onto pre-coated particles with binding proteins, are employed for ligand adsorption.

CD Bioparticles now presents an array of Plain Polystyrene Particles with diameters ranging from 25 nm to 750 µm, exemplified by products like DiagPoly™ Plain Polystyrene Particles, 0.025 ?m (Cat. No. DMP-L001). These particles serve as standards or markers and find utility in immunoassays, latex agglutination assays, solid-phase enzyme immunoassays, and research and diagnostic tests. The meticulous control exercised by the company's skilled chemists ensures a precise monodisperse particle size distribution during the synthesis process.

Polystyrene particles possess a slight negative charge due to the surface charge resulting from initiator fragments employed in the polymerization reaction. Referred to as plain or neutral particles, these monodisperse polystyrene particles, also known as latex microspheres, serve diverse purposes such as immunodiagnostic assays, size standards for instrument calibration, and applications in cell biology.

The proprietary formulation and process technology employed by CD Bioparticles contribute to the production of microspheres with exceptional size uniformity. These polystyrene microspheres offer a flexible platform for diagnostic and bio separation applications, allowing for coating with recognition molecules such as antigens, antibodies, or peptides. Additionally, they can be loaded with hydrophobic dyes and other compounds.

The Plain Polystyrene Particles from CD Bioparticles boast a winning combination of versatility and performance. Beyond being non-toxic, odorless, and highly transparent, these microspheres exhibit a range of sizes, impressive stiffness, chemical resistance, and a remarkably uniform surface conducive to passive adsorption. Applications span from protein adsorption and diagnostic assays to electron microscopy, instrument calibration, and coating materials for contrast agents and anti-cancer drugs. The introduction of CD Bioparticles' Plain Polystyrene Particles caters to a spectrum of research needs, offering scientists a reliable and adaptable tool for diverse applications in the field.

We remind, the US Polystyrene market confronts challenges marked by a weekly dip in FAS Houston, driven by dwindling interest from its major downstream sectors. A cautious atmosphere prevails due to reduced production and surplus inventories. Drought-related export disruptions in Panama prompt stock clearance discounts. Meanwhile, the European and Chinese Polystyrene markets are undergoing a notable shift, moving from prolonged price declines to a stabilized scenario.

Sinopec Qilu Petrochemical Complex in Zibo Faces Fire Emergency

Sinopec Qilu Petrochemical Complex in Zibo Faces Fire Emergency

Last weekend, a significant fire engulfed the olefin plant of Sinopec Qilu Petrochemical Corp, situated within its expansive manufacturing complex in Zibo, Shandong province, said Chemanalyst.

The incident unfolded at 09:25 local time on December 23, prompting an immediate response from emergency services. Fortunately, the fire was swiftly brought under control, and no casualties were reported, as stated by the company through the Chinese social media platform Weibo. Despite the quick containment, the cause of the fire remains undetermined, leaving investigators to delve into the circumstances surrounding this unexpected event.

The olefins plant, at the center of the incident, boasts an annual production capacity of 900,480 tonnes of ethylene and 280,750 tonnes of propylene. This sizable capacity underscores the critical role the facility plays in the production of key petrochemical components.

In the aftermath of the fire, there were repercussions on the production front, extending beyond the olefins plant. The market reported a suspension in the production of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), styrene, and benzene at the Qilu Petrochemical complex. This suspension is a precautionary measure to assess and mitigate any potential impact on product quality and safety protocols, underscoring the complex interdependence of various processes within the facility.

Furthermore, the incident prompted Qilu to implement a reduction in the utilization of its refinery, which has a daily capacity of 70,202 barrels per day. The reduction, spanning from 2% to 38%, is indicative of the strategic adjustments made to ensure operational stability and safety in the aftermath of the fire. The decision reflects the company's commitment to meticulous risk management and adherence to stringent safety measures.

In addition to the impact on production and refinery utilization, there were broader implications for the region's handling of hazardous chemicals. Reports from market sources indicate the suspension of loading and unloading activities involving hazardous chemicals due to the aftermath of the explosion. This precautionary measure is a testament to the diligence exercised by regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders to avert potential risks associated with the handling of volatile substances in the aftermath of a major industrial incident.

The recent fire incident at the Qilu Petrochemical complex sheds light on the inherent challenges and risks associated with large-scale petrochemical operations. While the prompt containment and absence of casualties are commendable, the incident serves as a reminder of the need for continuous vigilance, robust safety protocols, and thorough investigations to ascertain the root causes of such events. Industry stakeholders, regulatory bodies, and the company itself will likely engage in comprehensive reviews and collaborative efforts to enhance safety standards, mitigate risks, and ensure the resilient and sustainable operation of petrochemical facilities in the future.

We remind, Sinopec Corp has applied to the government to swap some of its marine fuel export quotas for allowances to export light products such as diesel, jet fuel or gasoline, four China-based industry sources said this week. Asia's largest refiner has asked to swap a quota to export 800,000 metric tons of low-sulfur fuel oil, part of the 3 million tons of marine fuel quota recently issued by Beijing, for a similar amount of allowances for light product exports, the sources said. Approval could come by the end of October, one of the sources said.


Russia's Novak Predicts Brent Crude Oil Prices of $80-$85 per Barrel for 2024

Russia's Novak Predicts Brent Crude Oil Prices of $80-$85 per Barrel for 2024

In the previous month, the United States imposed sanctions on Arctic LNG 2, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) initiative spearheaded by the Russian company Novatek, said Chemanalyst.

In response to the potential repercussions of these sanctions, foreign stakeholders opted to suspend their involvement in the project. This involved relinquishing their obligations for financing and the execution of offtake contracts for the LNG plant, as reported by the Kommersant daily on Monday.

The impact of the sanctions was further evidenced by Novatek's declaration of force majeure concerning LNG supplies originating from the project. This move by Novatek was a direct consequence of the sanctions imposed on the Arctic LNG 2 project.

Despite these challenges, Russia's Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak, remains optimistic about the project's progress. Novak asserted that the first train of the Arctic LNG 2 project has effectively commenced LNG production, with initial deliveries anticipated in the first quarter of 2024.

Insiders within the industry corroborated this information, indicating that the initial production from the train has generated the "first drops" of LNG. However, achieving the project's designated capacity of 6.6 million metric tons per year is expected to take some time.

The sanctions imposed on Arctic LNG 2 reflect the complex geopolitical landscape surrounding energy projects and the involvement of international stakeholders. The decision by foreign shareholders to suspend participation underscores the apprehension and potential economic implications of such punitive measures.

Novatek's invocation of force majeure adds another layer of complexity, emphasizing the challenges faced by the project in meeting its contractual obligations, particularly with regard to LNG supplies.

Despite these setbacks, the initiation of LNG production from the first train marks a notable milestone for the Arctic LNG 2 project. The first quarter of 2024 is anticipated to witness the commencement of deliveries, contributing to Russia's LNG export capabilities.

As developments unfold, the industry will keenly observe how the project navigates the challenges posed by sanctions and other external factors. The successful realization of Arctic LNG 2 holds significance not only for Novatek but also for Russia's position in the global LNG market. The resilience of the project in the face of geopolitical pressures will likely shape perceptions of Russia's energy capabilities and its ability to navigate complex international energy dynamics.

The imposition of sanctions on Arctic LNG 2 has prompted a series of challenges, including the suspension of foreign stakeholders' involvement and Novatek's declaration of force majeure. However, with the initiation of LNG production from the first train, the project remains on course, albeit with uncertainties regarding its timeline for reaching full capacity. The unfolding saga of Arctic LNG 2 reflects the intricate interplay between geopolitics and energy projects, showcasing the resilience and adaptability required in the contemporary global energy landscape.

We remind, Wednesday witnessed a notable downturn in oil prices, marked by a substantial 2% decrease that effectively erased the gains recorded in the preceding day's trading. This shift in market dynamics was predominantly instigated by investors closely monitoring unfolding events in the Red Sea. Despite the persisting attacks in the region on Tuesday, shipping companies exhibited a resumption of their operations, adding complexity to an already intricate geopolitical scenario.