Chemical Markets Seminar

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Session Details

Chemical Markets Seminar

Sunday, 24 March
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Attend the 2024 Chemical Market Analytics Seminar
Chemicals Industry at the Crossroads: Trends Amidst Energy Transition
Taking place on March 24, 2024

2:00 pm
Welcome Remarks
Bill Hyde, Vice President, Global C4 & Elastomers, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
This year’s host, Bill Hyde, welcomes attendees and sets the stage for the Seminar.

2:05 pm
Energy & Chemicals Structural Disruptions on the Horizon
Dewey Johnson, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Energy Transition is an accelerating force for the energy and chemical markets with an expected inflection in fuels demand growth by the end of this decade. Stakeholders are making decisions today to decarbonize energy supply, reduce GHG emissions, participate in the carbon economy, and diversify their product portfolios. In addition, trade patterns are shifting with changing geopolitics and shifting demographics. Finally, the plastics waste problem is increasing and remains an existential threat to the chemicals industry.

2:20 pm
Calm Seas or Choppy Waters – Global Energy Market Update
Carlo Barrasa, Vice President, Energy Insights Team Lead, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
After a tumultuous period, the energy markets have since stabilized via increasing supplies outpacing steady demand growth. The outlook points to continued stability, but what if demand exceeds expectations and supply growth disappoints? Join us as we discuss whether the energy markets will continue to ride calm seas or need to navigate choppy waters.

2:35 pm
Panel Q&A
Carlo Barrasa, Bill Hyde, Dewey Johnson
A question and answer session on energy and chemical markets.

2:45 pm
Olefins 2024, a Producer or Consumer Windfall?
Steve Lewandowski, Vice President, Global Olefins & Derivatives Team Lead, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
The olefins outlook is for 2024 to be the trough year in operating rates and margins due to the global overbuild. Most of the new capacity was built on advantaged feeds so, we could expect some happy producers, with a group of less than satisfied producers operating at the margin on higher cost feeds. Consumers should benefit from this overbuild and producer offtake competition, but consumers will ultimately depend on the health of the global economy and demand in general.

2:55 pm
Can Polyolefins Producers Scale Back Production Until Demand Catches Up? Can Demand Actually Catch Up?
Joel Morales, Vice President, Global Plastics & Polymers | North America Polyethylene & Polypropylene, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Global demand has slowed to a crawl in recent years at the same time global capacity expansions have accelerated. Global producers will need to slow down and or rationalize to maintain some semblance of balance in the marketplace. However, a few regions will have unique production advantages due to favored costs. The talk will analyze what can be expected in the years to come in terms of resin price, profitability, demand growth, and trade flows.

3:05 pm
A Year Later but Have Things Really Changed for Aromatics?
Duncan Clark, Vice President, Global Aromatics & Fibers Team Lead, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
In March 2023, we met at AFPM with high hopes of a recovery in demand for the US aromatics markets. Mainland China’s economy had opened up from COVID lockdowns prompting expectations of a boom in demand. US interest rates were thought to have peaked. Spring was arriving when construction markets strengthen and consumer’s start spending more. A year later, we appear to be still waiting for the uplift that never came in 2023, so will 2024 be any better? Has the recovery now finally started?

3:20 pm
Panel Discussion: Olefins, Polyolefins and Aromatics
Steve Lewandowski, Joel Morales, Duncan Clark
A discussion among panelists Steve Lewandowski, Joel Morales, Duncan Clark moderated by Bill Hyde.

3:30 pm
Chlor-alkali and Vinyls: Climbing out of a Demand-Side Trough
Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Chlor-Alkali Service, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Chlor-alkali chemicals and PVC are commodity products whose supply, demand and economics shift with the ebbs and flows of global economic conditions. Booming demand experienced in 2021 when the world reopened after the COVID pandemic is solidly in the rearview mirror now as post-pandemic inflation and elevated interest rates muted demand in many consumption segments. High energy prices in Europe and trans-oceanic trade challenges exacerbate challenging market conditions. This discussion will explore the near- and mid-term projections for the global chlor-alkali and vinyls industries as we look forward to the key question: When will chlor-alkali and vinyls recovery begin?

3:45 pm
The Changing Face of the Methanol Market: Supply Versus Demand Growth and the Different Colors of Methanol
Mike Nash, Vice President, Global Syngas Team Lead | Americas Acetyls Lead, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
In the short term, the methanol market looks oversupplied, with new capacity due to come on stream in 2024 and a relatively pessimistic outlook on demand. In the longer term, the nature of methanol demand is changing, with more reliance on traditional chemical derivatives and less on MTO and fuels applications. Longer-term, will demand for methanol as a marine fuel be a game changer and will there be enough green methanol to satisfy it? At what price? And what is the definition of “green”?

4:00 pm
Closing Remarks
Bill Hyde
The Seminar concludes and our Chemical Market Analytics Hospitality Suite is open for insight meetings.

**Agenda is subjected to minor adjustments

Session Speakers

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