• Sasol’s spot earnings for FY21 increased to R10.34/share as oil prices breached $51/bbl.  Refining margins, petrol cracks in particular remain weak.  Net debt in rands continues to fall as the rand strengthens and at current prices net debt to EBITDA could end FY21 at 2.2x.
  • Asian ethylene prices were 3.5% lower but LDPE and Polypropylene prices continue to march higher with polypropylene almost 10% higher in the week.  Polypropylene prices are now 38% higher than at the start of Sasol’s financial year.  US ethylene prices increased by 22% in the week, but polyethylene prices remained largely flat.

Global chemical news

  • During the week ended 12 December, chemical railcar traffic in North America was up 7.4% from 2019 and down 0.8% from 2018 extending the recovery that began in late October.  Chemical railcar traffic for the year to date is down 2.8% however (link).
  • The US has blacklisted four companies based in the UAE and China for facilitation exports of Iranian petrochemicals in contravention of US sanctions.  The companies provided various services (link).