Chlor-alkali and Vinyls: What is the Outlook for the Chlor-vinyls “Mini-Trough” Recovery?

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Chlor-alkali and Vinyls: What is the Outlook for the Chlor-vinyls “Mini-Trough” Recovery?

Wednesday, 11 September
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High interest rates and volatile energy prices are negatively affecting chlor-vinyls markets as demand for vinyls and other construction-sector chlorine end-products is constricted. European energy costs that have settled above pre-COVID prices are supporting higher global caustic soda trough prices than those experienced in previous cycle bottoms. This session will explore whether traditional down-cycle chlor-vinyls market dynamics and economics can be expected, or if factors are aligning to create a new trough paradigm. In this session, chlor-alkali and vinyls experts will outline the near- and mid-term anticipated supply/demand and margin projections for regional and global chlorine, caustic soda, and vinyls market applications, and share their views of the key drivers affecting the longer term outlook in each value chain.

Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Inorganics, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Wilson Loh, Director Chlor-alkali, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Angel Fernandez, Director, Europe Chlor-alkali, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS 
Paulo Pereira, Executive Director, Caustic Soda Latin America, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS 
Moderator: Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Inorganics, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Make new connections or join familiar faces during this dedicated networking break. Sessions will resume at 11:00 am
Lina Suarez, Executive Director, US Chlorine Research, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Chlor-alkali, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Moderator: Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Inorganics, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Sessions to resume at 2:00 PM after lunch.
Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Chlor-alkali, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Ana Lopez, Director, Americas Vinyls, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
In this presentation, we will review the status of the North American and South American PVC industry during 2024. An outlook of what is ahead for 2025 and beyond in the two regional markets regarding supply/demand dynamics as well as demand drivers will be discussed. Finally, the presentation will wrap up with a strategic outline from a buying and selling perspective.
Henry Warren, Director, Europe, Mid-East and Africa Vinyls, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Eddie Kok, Executive Director, Global Vinyls, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Chlor-alkali, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Make new connections or join familiar faces during this dedicated networking break. Sessions to resume at 4:00 PM.
Michal Roztoczynski, Commercial Director, PCC Rokita
Speaker to be announced
Dr. Craig Murphy, Associate Director, Global Service Leader Bleaching Chemicals, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
 
Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Chlor-alkali, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Session Speakers

Angel Fernandez Director, Chlor-Alkali Research EMEA Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Angel Fernandez is the Director of EMEA Chlor-alkali Research at Chemical Market Analytics Angel Fernandez is the Director of EMEA Chlor-alkali Research at Chemical Market Analytics. Angel joined the Chemical Market Analytics team through the legacy IHS Markit Base chemicals team in 2021. During his time with the company, he has held various roles in the Inorganics value chain, including potassium hydroxide research and analysis and Global Service Leader for bleaching chemicals. Angel leads the EMEA chlor-alkali team and provides market coverage for European caustic soda in the Global Chlor-alkali Report and Chlor-alkali World Analysis. He works closely with clients in all regions to provide support and guidance on chlor-alkali chemicals. Angel has over 20 years of experience in trading, shipping, market research and analysis of the chemical industry. He started his career at BP Chemicals, followed by five years at Sojitz UK, where he was involved in the trading and shipping of aromatics, methanol and solvents. Before joining the IHS Markit Base Chemicals business (now known as Chemical Market Analytics), he spent ten years researching and analyzing oxo alcohols, plasticizers and chlor-alkali markets at a market data provider. Angel holds Master’s degrees in Chemistry and International Relations. He is based out of the London office.

Eddie Kok Executive Director, Global Vinyls Service Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Eddie Kok is the Executive Director of Global Vinyls Service Lead at Chemical Market Analytics Eddie Kok is the Executive Director and Global Service Leader for Chemical Market Analytics (CMA) Global Vinyls Market Advisory Service. During his time with the company, he has held various responsibilities within the Inorganics value chain, including Asia Lead for the chlor-alkali and vinyls market coverage. With over 20 years of chemicals sector research experience, Eddie is a crucial resource within the business for understanding and providing insight into chlor-alkali and vinyls markets. Eddie’s currently focuses on vinyls markets, directing a team of researcher colleagues around the globe to monitor and understand market developments within the vinyls value chain and provide CMA clients with insights and critical analytics that facilitate decisions. Eddie also researches and analyzes Asian KOH markets and works closely with his global Chlor-alkali colleagues in other ways to provide an integrated view of the chlor-alkali and vinyls businesses. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Eddie held multiple roles with CCM, a chlor-alkali producer based in Malaysia. His responsibilities at CMM included product portfolio management, production planning and regional sales. Mr. Kok holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Campbell University, North Carolina, United States. He is currently based out of the Singapore office.

Nick Kovics Vice President, Global Inorganic Chemicals Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Nick Kovics is the Vice President of the Global Inorganics team at Chemical Market Analytics. Nick Kovics serves as the Vice President of Global Inorganic Chemicals at Chemical Market Analytics, which includes Chlor-alkali chemicals, Vinyls, Bleaching Chemicals, and Soda Ash. Nick brings over 25 years of chemical industry experience to the Chemical Market Analytics Inorganic Chemicals insights team. He was promoted to his current role in 2024, where he leads twenty analysts who research, forecast, and report on chlor-alkali chemicals, vinyls, bleaching chemicals, and soda ash from five global locations. Previously, Nick held a variety of roles in the Inorganics value chain at Chemical Market Analytics, including leading the Chlor-alkali, Bleaching Chemicals, and Battery Materials advisory services. Nick held various functional roles in several companies before joining Chemical Market Analytics. He began his career as a process engineer in the chlor-alkali sector at Canadian Occidental. Nick next moved into the energy sector as a field engineer with Schlumberger Canada cementing and hydraulic fracturing services. He transitioned from oil and gas to new energy and spent a decade in the hydrogen fuel cell sector in technical, commercial and financial roles. Nick continued in the electrochemical industry by joining Canexus (now Chemtrade) and held commercial leadership roles in chlor-alkali and sodium chlorate marketing. Nick is originally from Canada and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. He is a registered Canadian Professional Engineer and a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant. He has resided in Houston, TX, since joining Chemical Market Analytics in 2017.

Ana Lopez Director, Americas Vinyls and Global Sodium Sulfate Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Ana Lopez is the Director of Americas Vinyls and Global Sodium Sulfate at Chemical Market Analytics. Ana Lopez is the Americas Director of Vinyls (PVC, VCM, EDC) research at Chemical Market Analytics. In addition, she is responsible for the global market analysis of sodium sulfate. She has held several roles across numerous product areas during her time with the company. With over 25 years of experience, Mrs. Lopez is a key resource within the business for understanding and insight into the chlor-alkali & vinyls sectors of the chemical industry. Within North America and South America, she works closely with the chlor-alkali and vinyls industries, bringing her experience from the commodity markets. Her current area of focus includes contributions to the ‘Global Vinyls Report as well as primary input and insight for the World Sodium Sulfate and World Vinyls analyses. Her prior experience includes covering caustic soda, chlorine, and hydrochloric acid. In this role, she was responsible for contributing to the Global Chlor-Alkali Report and World Analysis Chlor-Alkali. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Mrs. Lopez spent several years with Pemex International Trading Company (PMI) in Mexico City in petrochemical commercial operations and market analysis, preceded by a few years with the EPC company ICA Fluor Daniel. Mrs. Lopez has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana and a Master of Business Administration from Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, both in Mexico City. She joined Chemical Market Analytics in 2007 and is based in the Houston office.

Craig Murphy, PhD Associate Director, Global Bleaching Service Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Dr. Craig Murphy is an Associate Director of Global Bleaching Chemicals Service at Chemical Market Analytics. Craig Murphy serves as the Global Service Lead for Bleaching Chemicals and holds the position of Associate Director within the Chemical Market Analytics group. With extensive experience in the chemistries of oil and gas development, pulp and paper, chlor-alkali, and advanced manufacturing, Craig is a pivotal resource within the business for managing and developing chemical market intelligence. In addition to spearheading the global bleaching team, Craig also provides regional market coverage for potassium hydroxide, alumina, aluminium, and pulp and paper. With global responsibilities, he collaborates closely with clients across all regions and the financial sector to offer support and guidance on the inorganics chain. Craig brings expertise across various industries and markets. He previously served as a technical expert in chlor-alkali applications associated with oil and gas at Canexus Corporation, aiding clients to succeed in participating in O&G. He honed his oil and gas proficiency while developing hydraulic fracturing fluid systems for the global service provider Calfrac Well Services. As the Director of Product Development at Cascades, Craig played a key role in creating new products to support vinyl construction materials. Dr. Murphy holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University, where he conducted research on oxidative processes in pulp and paper. Later, he earned an MBA from the University of Calgary, focusing on logistics and supply chain management.

Paulo Pereira Executive Director, Latin America Caustic Soda and Bleaching Chemicals Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Paulo Pereira is the Executive Director of the LAT Chlor-Alkali and Bleaching Chemicals business at Chemical Market Analytics. Paulo Pereira is an Executive Director responsible for Caustic Soda and Bleaching Chemicals market research and analysis for Latin America. During his tenure with the company, he also covered the North American caustic soda market in 2023. In addition, Paulo also provides regional support in the Chlor-alkali World Analysis reports. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Paulo worked in the chemical industry for many years. Immediately after university graduation, he joined Dow Chemical in their operations at the Guaruja Site in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After several international transfers and 22 years of operating Epoxy and Polyurethanes facilities and sites in Brazil, the US and Italy, Paulo joined Dow’s Technology Centers division, leading global PU and Alkoxylation technology teams. In 2019, he was seconded to Sadara Chemical Company in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, as Technology Director, and repatriated to the US in 2021, retiring from his 37-year career with Dow. Mr. Pereira holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Maua Engineering School in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has lived and worked in leadership positions in Brazil, the United States, Italy and Saudi Arabia. Throughout his career, he developed a deep understanding of petrochemical chain integration, operational aspects and cost & capital perspectives for many technologies, from olefins to PU-formulated systems specialties. Paulo has resided in Houston, TX, since 2017 and joined Chemical Market Analytics in December 2022.

Lina Suarez Executive Director, North America Chlor-alkali Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Lina Suarez is the Executive Director of North America Chlor-alkali Research at Chemical Market Analytics. Ms. Suarez is the Executive Director of North America Chlorine and Hydrochloric Acid. Over her tenure with CMA, she has held various roles, including Americas caustic soda market coverages. With over 25 years of extensive experience in integrated chlor-alkali, ethylene, and vinyls production chains, as well as other petrochemicals, Ms. Suarez is a crucial contributor to Chemical Market Analytics’ industry-leading expertise. Ms. Suarez currently focuses on the North America region, conducting research, analyzing, and reporting on the chlorine and hydrochloric acid markets. Lina works closely with clients in all regions and the financial sector to provide support and guidance on chlor-alkali chemicals. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Lina worked as a sales executive and product manager in multiple Latin American countries. Her experience includes positions as Commercial Director for PMV / Vestolit Mexico, guiding chlor-alkali, ethylene and VCM business strategies and commercial operations, and expertise defining new business models and executing sales programs in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil for chemical and oil companies, including 3M Colombia, DuPont México, Chevron México and BP México. Ms. Suarez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia,  an MBA in Finance from the Universidad Externado de Colombia, and a Marketing Degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana de Mexico. Lina has resided in Houston, TX, since joining Chemical Market Analytics in 2019.

Henry Warren Director, EMEA Vinyls and Middle East Caustic Soda Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Henry Warren is the Director of EMEA Vinyls and Middle East Caustic Soda at Chemical Market Analytics. Henry Warren is an integral Global Vinyls and Chlor-alkali Market Advisory Service member. Since joining the company in 2001, he has focused on vinyls, from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) through its precursors - ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). Since early 2024, he also assumed responsibility for caustic soda in the Middle East. During his time at the company, he has held various additional positions, including responsibility for chlorine, hydrochloric acid, chlorinated solvents, TiO2 and caustic potash. Along with the stakeholder relationships he has built over several decades, his in-depth understanding of the industry contributes to the unparalleled insight that Chemical Market Analytics brings to the vinyls and chlor-alkali sector. Henry provides coverage, analysis and insight into the vinyls value chain in EMEA and caustic soda in the Middle East in the Global Vinyls and Chlor-alkali Reports, respectively. He is also a key contributor to our Vinyls and Chlor-alkali World Analysis services. With a regional and global perspective, he works closely with clients across regions to provide support in relevant areas of the vinyls and chlor-alkali industries. He entered the field of chemical market analysis in 1996, analyzing feedstocks and several polyolefin value chains in Europe, North America and Latin America. Mr Warren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Humberside, UK. He is a native English speaker, fluent in Spanish, proficient in French and resides near Oxford, UK.
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