• Spot earnings were slightly higher this week as higher oil prices were offset by a stronger rand and a significant decline in refining margins.  Petrol and diesel crack spreads dropped below $5/bbl. FY21 spot earnings, ex currency loss reversals are at R20.19/share.
  • Asian ethylene prices continue to tumble and dropped another 8.2% in the week.  Polymer prices were mixed with LDPE higher but LLDPE under pressure.   US prices continue to rise as low inventories and logistical constraints in the region persist.

Global chemical news

  • US Plastics traders report significant activity as buyers scramble to secure product.  At least six producers have experienced force majeure conditions creating severe shortages of polyethylene.  High freight rates are impacting imports and prices.  Demand has remained strong despite the price increases (link).  These comments by traders mirror the recent comments by IHS (link).
  • Higher palm kernel oil prices are pushing fatty alcohol prices higher and prices have increased in both the USA and Europe.  Logistics constraints are also impacting these markets.  Sasol is still operating under force majeure in Lake Charles after the hurricanes (link).