Agenda | Chemical Market Analytics at APIC 2024

May 29 – 31 | Seoul, South Korea

Seats for the Market Briefing are complimentary and limited

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2:00 pm

Registration starts

2:25 pm

Welcome Remark

Ashish Pujari, Vice President, Aromatics & Fibres
2:30 pm

Energy & Chemicals Structural Disruptions on the Horizon

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

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.

3:00 pm

Asia Olefins: Persistent Capacity Expansion Amidst Margin Challenges and Decarbonization

William Chen, Ph.D, Executive Director, Asia Olefins

Slow demand recovery, soaring feedstock costs, and an overbuilt capacity are casting a shadow over olefin production economics in Asia. Nevertheless, the region, particularly mainland China, persists in aggressive olefin capacity expansion. A second wave of new steam crackers, coupled with a multitude of on-purpose olefin projects, is currently unfolding. It is glaringly evident that conventional drivers, such as low self-sufficiency, robust demand growth, or strong margins, are not the driving forces behind these expansions. This raises pivotal questions: How can producers navigate the challenges of oversupply and poor margins? And how long will the specter of overcapacity loom over the industry?

3:15 pm

Asia Polyolefins: In Search of a Survival Strategy

Utpal Sheth, Vice President - Asia Plastics

The global polyolefins market is passing through a challenging period. There has been an unprecedented surge in new capacity additions during the last three years, even while demand growth rate has considerably slowed down in the largest market – China. Recent capacity additions in low cost regions like North America and Russian/Iranian pivot towards Asia has resulted in a surge in PE imports at very competitive rates. Moreover, governments worldwide are implementing rules to ban single use plastics and increase recycling of plastics waste. These developments have resulted in an unprecedented squeeze in operating rates and margins of Asian producers. The presentation will discuss these developments and options available to the Asian producers to survive through this challenging period.

3:30 pm

Panel Discussion: Petrochemicals, Energy, Olefins & Polyolefins

Moderator: Dewey Johnson, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Chemical Market Analytics
  • William Chen, Ph.D, Executive Director, Asia Olefins
  • Utpal Sheth, Vice President – Asia Plastics
3:55 pm

Aromatics: Time to Kick that Sweet Smell out of Gasoline?

Anthony Tso, Director, Aromatics

The bullish gasoline market led aromatics prices by the nose through the past couple of years. Integrated refining and petrochemical producers with flexible logistics and production capabilities have been steering reformer operations toward “gasoline mode” with a view of maximising profits through that stream. On the other hand, aromatics, continue to wait for a recovery that has yet to come. Over-capacity, sluggish demand and poor margins continue to lurk across most aromatics derivatives. For how long will aromatics need to leech on gasoline before seeing the chance to shine on its own?

4:10 pm

The Changing Face of the Methanol Market: Supply Versus Demand Growth and the Different Colors of Methanol

Xiaomeng Ma, Director, Asia Methanol, 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”?

4:25 pm

Chlor-alkali and Vinyls: Climbing out of a Demand-Side Trough

Eddie Kok, Executive Director - Global Vinyls

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?

4:40 pm

Panel Discussion: Aromatics, Methanol, Chlor-alkali & Vinyls

Moderator: Ashish Pujari, Vice President - Aromatics and Fibres
  • Eddie Kok, Executive Director – Global Vinyls
  • Mike Nash, Vice President, Global Syngas Team Lead | Americas Acetyls Lead
  • Anthony Tso, Director, Aromatics
5:05 pm

Closing Remark

Dewey Johnson, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Chemical Market Analytics
5:10 pm

Closing and Networking

**Agenda is subject to minor changes.

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Presented by Chemical Market Analytics

Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides stakeholders in the global chemical industry with next-generation analytics, deep insights, future outlooks and price discovery to improve operational efficiency. The company offers short- and long-term market coverage for more than 200 core building-block chemicals via Market Advisory Services (MAS), World Analysis (WA), Circular Plastics Service, Chemical Advisory Service and educational and networking conferences such as World Chemical Forum.

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