Agenda | Chemical Market Seminar

Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, San Antonio, TX

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Conquering Market Turbulence

Sunday, 26 March 2023 | 1 PM –  3 PM Central Time | Salon I

Petrochemical markets have been buffeted for several years by extremely strong forces including COVID-related trends, logistics constraints, energy price volatility, and geopolitical upheaval.  2023 begins with pessimistic expectations for key global economies, continued energy and political uncertainty, and overcapacity in many significant chemical markets.  At the same time, the industry has been challenged to become more sustainable.  Overcoming adverse market conditions, and addressing decarbonization and plastics circularity while continuing to deliver shareholder value are the industry’s defining challenges.

Join our industry experts as they provide an in-depth overview and describe the overarching outlook and specific trends in the olefins, polyolefins, aromatics, inorganics, and syngas sectors.



12:30 pm

Registration & Networking

Salon I, Marriott Rivercenter Hotel

1:00 pm

Welcome & Chemical market fundamentals: Is the future better or worse?

Dewey Johnson, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Chemical Market Analytics

Major Chemical markets are in a downcycle with an oversupply trough in 2023-2024 while facing a new world reality of disruptive forces.  Winners and losers will be determined by how participants address climate emissions, plastics waste, and deglobalization of markets while managing through the fundamentals of these commodity chemical markets. Alternate pathways and potential outcomes will be highlighted as the future is influenced by path dependency but determined by interventions made along the journey.

1:15 pm

Energy market: Tension between security versus transition

Carlo Barrasa, Vice President, Energy Insights Team Lead

The turmoil caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict has forced nations to reassess their energy strategies amid a more polarized geopolitical climate. Countries can no longer assume the energy transition will be facilitated by unfettered movements of raw materials and coordination of climate initiatives. Greater competition for resources and economic growth will prompt some countries to seek energy security at the cost of a long-term transition to low carbon sources. Yet other countries will attempt to accelerate their transition plans as a pathway to energy security. Join us as we discuss how this tension, between energy security and transition, will evolve.

1:35 pm

Olefins and polyolefins: Is the overbuild too big to swallow?

Steve Lewandowski, Vice President, Global Olefins & Derivatives Team Lead & Joel Morales, Vice President, Plastics & Polymers

Unprecedented olefin/polyolefin capacity additions have led to global oversupply. While low cost producers are expected to be in a better position to handle trough market conditions, all regions are expected to see depressed margins for an extended period of time. Will we finally see significant market rationalization in high-cost regions? Can low-cost regions efficiently move their products to higher cost regions or will global shipping constraints negate competitive cost advantages? These issues and more will be discussed.

2:05 pm

Aromatics: Caught in the middle between downstream refinery and chemicals

Duncan Clark, Vice President, Global Aromatics & Fibers Team Lead

Competition for aromatics feedstock with the gasoline blending pool was intense during 2022 as reformate, mixed xylenes and toluene blend values surged, leading to negative extraction margins for BTX. At the same time, excess capacity in Asia failed to be placed into the market due to mainland China’s weak economic performance and aromatics margins suffered as a result.  Join us as we discuss whether the aromatics’ market drivers will improve in 2023 and how they are likely to perform.

2:25 pm

Inorganics: Powering through the recession

Hazel Kreuz, Vice President, Global Inorganics Team Lead

Chlor-vinyls capacity overbuild translated to generally poor industry returns in the first two decades of this century.  However, the capacity tide has changed.  While some petrochemicals are facing near-term excess capacity challenges, chlor-vinyls demand roared back after the COVID recession, revealing that demand had fundamentally grown into the previous excess capacity and elevating returns to re-investment levels.  But the party was short-lived in some parts of the globe as the twin demons of high energy costs and inflation-induced interest rate hikes attacked European electricity prices and global construction demand, respectively.  This discussion will explore the near- and mid-term projections for the global chlor-alkali and vinyls industries, with commentary on special considerations by region that are expected to steer the course of these two related markets as they power through the challenges of a potential new recession.

2:45 pm

Methanol: Is it the key to the new world?

Mike Nash, Vice President, Global Syngas Team Lead | Americas Acetyls Lead

Despite a general increase in demand from the COVID-19 lull in mid-2020, methanol markets are facing economic pressure from high feedstocks prices and threats to growth from the end of the first wave of MTO capacity build in China and the electrification of the vehicle fleet. Shorter-term demand may take a hit as elevated consumer prices and higher interest rates constrain consumer spending. But there are grounds for optimism in the longer-term outlook, as low-carbon methanol projects continue to be announced and as methanol as a clean-burning, sulfur-free marine bunker fuel continues to demonstrate a significantly more mainstream future than previously anticipated.

3:00 pm

Closing Remarks

Speakers @ IPC 2023

Dewey Johnson

Senior Vice President, Global Head of Chemical Market Analytics

Read Bio

Duncan Clark

Vice President, Global Aromatics & Fibers Team Lead

Read Bio

Hazel Kreuz

Vice President, Global Inorganics Team Lead

Read Bio

Steve Lewandowski

Vice President, Global Olefins & Derivatives Team Lead

Read Bio

Mike Nash

Vice President, Global Syngas Team Lead | Americas Acetyls Lead

Read Bio

Carlo Barrasa

Vice President, Energy Insights Team Lead

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Joel Morales

Vice President, Global Plastics & Polymers | North America Polyethylene & Polypropylene

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Dewey Johnson

Dewey Johnson Senior Vice President, Global Head of Chemical Market Analytics

Dewey Johnson is Senior Vice President & Global Lead of Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company (“Chemical Market Analytics”).

IHS Markit Global LLC (“IHS Markit”) was acquired by S&P Global in February 2022. As part of the merger, IHS Markit Base Chemicals was spun off and separately acquired by Dow Jones and renamed “Chemical Market Analytics” in June 2022.
Dewey is responsible for the global business, including insight and research covering the major chemical value chains including Aromatics and Fibers, Olefins and Derivatives, Inorganics (chlor-alkali, vinyls, and soda ash), Plastics and Polymers, and Syngas Chemicals (methanol, acetyls, and ammonia). Dewey is based in Houston.

Prior to Chemical Market Analytics, Dewey joined IHS Markit (through legacy CMAI) in 2009. His experience in the petrochemical industry covers all aspects of the business- financial, commercial, operations, research, strategy design and business planning, business development, as well as consultancy. Prior to IHS Markit, he was with Eastman Chemical Company, where he spent more than 25 years in strategic and commercial roles with various business groups and corporate functions. Dewey held management positions in commercial development, global sourcing, P&L for key businesses, market development, and market & strategic analysis of chemical markets and businesses. Dewey has led multiple complex engagements in strategy development and execution, global sourcing of Aromatics & olefins derivatives and industrial gases, business simulation & game theory and dynamic modeling, sales/ marketing, and business development. Dewey received BS and MS engineering degrees from Tennessee Technological University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He also earned an MBA in General Management. Dewey has been a frequent guest lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, UVA Darden School of Management, and SUNY at Albany School of Public Policy.

Duncan Clark

Duncan Clark Vice President, Global Aromatics & Fibers Team Lead

Duncan Clark is the Vice President of the Global Aromatics and Fibers business at Chemical Market Analytics.

Duncan acts as the key resource within Dow Jones for understanding and providing insight into the Aromatics sector of the petrochemical industry, he works closely with the petrochemical, oil, and financial industries.
Duncan joined IHS Markit base chemicals business (now known as Chemical Market Analytics) in 2013, he has spent the last 32 years working in the chemical and petrochemical industries in various Sales, Marketing, and Global Business Management roles.

Before this, Duncan spent ten years working in an ExxonMobil / Shell joint venture company, involved in Fuel and Lubricant additives visiting refineries all over the world. He also spent 12 years working for Air Products in various chemical and industrial gases businesses in the U.K., U.S., and Netherlands. He now provides insights into the global aromatics and derivative markets including paraxylene, purified terephthalic acid, ethylene glycols, polyurethane feedstocks, and the global benzene, toluene, and xylenes markets.

He graduated with a BSc. in Chemical Engineering from University College London. He also has a Master of Business Administration from Manchester Business School.


Hazel Kreuz

Hazel Kreuz Vice President, Global Inorganics Team Lead

Hazel Kreuz serves as the Vice President of Global Inorganic Chemicals at Chemical Market Analytics, which includes Chlor-alkali chemicals, Vinyls, Bleaching Chemicals, and Soda Ash.

Ms. Kreuz brings four decades of chemical industry experience to the Chemical Market Analytics Inorganic chemicals insights team. She joined the IHS Markit base chemicals business (now known as Chemical Market Analytics) in 2016 as Chlor-alkali Chemicals Global Service Lead. Ms. Kreuz was promoted to her current role leading the Global Inorganic chemicals insights team in April 2019. She leads twenty analysts that analyze, forecast, and report on chlor-alkali chemicals, vinyls, bleaching chemicals, and soda ash from five global locations.
Ms. Kreuz has a background in petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals; she held a range of functional roles in several companies prior to joining Chemical Market Analytics. Hazel began her career in ethylene oxide and glycols manufacturing with Union Carbide Corporation; she also held ethylene oxide derivatives, HS&E, risk analysis, financial analysis, and marketing management positions with Union Carbide. She was a recipient of Union Carbide Corporation’s prestigious Chairman’s Award for the development of the Corporations’ Episodic Risk Management System, which Arthur D. Little praised as “elegant and sophisticated”.

Hazel moved to the inorganic chemicals world joining Canadian Occidental, which subsequently became Nexen Petroleum, and then Canexus, where she held management positions in chlor-alkali chemicals and sodium chlorate marketing, strategic planning, and investor relations. She returned to the US chemical market, joining Huntsman Corporation and serving as global marketing manager for mining chemicals, pulp & paper chemicals, and water treatment chemicals in the Performance Products division.
Hazel holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA.


Steve Lewandowski

Steve Lewandowski Vice President, Global Olefins & Derivatives Team Lead

Mr. Lewandowski serves as the Vice President of Global Olefins at Chemical Market Analytics.

Steve is based in Houston. During a career spanning 30 + years in the refining and chemical industry, Steve has experience across the spectrum of refining and petrochemical hydrocarbon value chains covering a wide array of financial, strategic, technical, and commercial roles. Before his move to CMA, Steve was Senior Manager of Base Chemicals at TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining, Inc. In that capacity, he managed the P&L of the base chemicals business including joint venture relationships, strategic guidance to the partnerships, plant operational interfaces, project development, and the commercial responsibility for olefin and aromatic monomers including styrene.

Prior to the Base Chemical Senior manager role, Steve had increasing responsibilities within the Petrochemical business at TOTAL. The Latest assignment was overseas, in Brussels Belgium, responsible for global aromatics long-term commercial business activity. The assignment included P&L responsibility and strategic project development for TOTAL around the world. Prior to the Belgian assignment, he worked as manager of the US aromatics business. Before 2000 Steve was involved in the refining and fuels side of the Hydrocarbon chain both for what was then FINA Oil and Chemical and for Star Enterprise (a joint venture between Texaco and Saudi Aramco) working as a process engineer, optimization engineer, fuels blending optimizer, branded/unbranded fuels marketing and supply lead, and in a business development role.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University in 1987 and an MBA with of focus on finance and economics from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2000.

Mike Nash

Mike Nash Vice President, Global Syngas Team Lead | Americas Acetyls Lead

Mr. Mike Nash is the Vice President for Syngas Chemicals (including the methanol and acetyls practices) at Chemical Market Analytics.

He works with a global team of regional consultants and overlays their analyses with a global perspective. His responsibilities include the weekly World Methanol Report and monthly World Methanol Analysis, including the weekly and monthly Global Acetyls Market Reports and the related World Analyses for Methanol, Acetyls, and Formaldehyde.

Before joining the IHS Markit base chemicals business (now known as Chemical Market Analytics) in September 2012, Mr. Nash worked for BP’s petrochemicals division for 19 years preceding a two-year stint in Total’s UK fuels business. He performed various commercial roles within BP, in international business management, marketing, project management, and logistics, based in London, Duesseldorf, and Kuala Lumpur. His last role in the Total UK was the Logistics Director for Specialties.

Mr. Nash holds a Master of Arts in English Language and Literature from Edinburgh University, UK, and a Master of Business Administration from Kingston University, UK.

Carlo Barrasa

Carlo Barrasa Vice President, Energy Insights Team Lead

Carlo Barrasa is the Vice President of Energy Insights at Chemical Market Analytics

In this role, Carlo stewards the development of energy market content to help Chemical Market Analytics’ clients navigate the complexities of the oil, gas & natural gas liquids markets. Previously, Carlo led the North American Light Olefins service, which provides clients with valuable insights into the regional market dynamics of cracker feedstocks, ethylene, and propylene. Prior to joining Chemical Market Analytics, Carlo was a Senior Strategy Advisor at Anadarko Petroleum where he was responsible for guiding the company’s market strategy for its natural gas liquids business. After beginning his career in various downstream and chemical roles with ExxonMobil, Carlo then held senior consulting and research positions at IHS Markit legacy companies PFC Energy and CMAI.

Joel Morales

Joel Morales Vice President, Global Plastics & Polymers | North America Polyethylene & Polypropylene

Joel Morales is the Vice President at Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones company.

Joel joined the IHS Markit base chemicals business (now known as Chemical Market Analytics), in March 2013, covering Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) in North America. He is currently the service leader of three market advisory subscription services: The Global Plastics and Polymers Report, the North American PE Report, and the North American PP report. He has brought a wealth of industry knowledge to IHS Markit through multiple stints along the plastics value chain.

He began his career with polyolefins manufacturer, Solvay Polymers, which later became Ineos, in technical services and product development before he moved into field sales. After five years at Solvay Polymers, Joel moved into resin distribution sales for both Muehlstein and then United Polychem as a Product Manager, where he managed and sold polyethylene and polypropylene resins into various customer segments. In his most recent role prior to joining IHS Markit, Joel was a purchasing manager for Silgan Plastics, a major blow-molding, and injection molding plastics converter. Joel graduated from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in psychology.