• Sasol’s spot earnings are sharply lower this week, mostly as a result of downgrades due to weak volume guidance for the North American chemicals businesses in particular.  FY21 spot HEPS are at R5.28 and we expect a loss of R6.67 at the LCCP.
  • Refining margins remain particularly weak.  Polymer prices in Asia showed small increases in the week but ethylene prices continue to fall and is down another $35/t.  US polyethylene prices were flat to slightly higher.  Plastic traders report on dwindling inventories and strong demand ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Laura (link).

Global chemical news

  • Most chemical plants in the east of Texas and South West Louisiana have shut down ahead of Hurricane Laura and around 29% of capacity in the US was shut down as a result.  Polyethylene capacity shut in ranges between 29% and 46%.  The ports of Houston and New Orleans have been closed which should delay exports (link).
  • Industries Qatar is said to purchase Qatar Petroleum’s stake in the Qatar Fertiliser company for $1bn from Qatar Petroleum (link).