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S&P Global Commodity Insights Special Reports showcase our key insights across a variety of important subjects affecting oil, shipping, natural gas, petrochemicals, electric power, coal, metals and agriculture markets.
A wider and more volatile spread between steel and iron ore prices and pandemic-fueled supply chain disruptions have given rise to a quiet revolution in steel pricing, with sectors as diverse as automotive to white goods and new energy using steel price indices as the basis of settlement for physical steel transactions. As security of supply becomes an even more pressing issue for end-users, and timing markets have burnt fingers amid a complex geopolitical landscape, adoption of index-linking is gradually being examined to manage risks, although not without challenges to be overcome. This report seeks to examine the approaches to steel indexation used across different regions of the world and considers barriers to adoption alongside steps taken by existing adopters to overcome them.View Full Paper
From modest beginnings in 1983 when the first container terminal was opened in Fujairah, the port has grown over the last 30 years to become the world's third-largest global bunkering hub after Singapore and Rotterdam. Connected to oil production in OPEC's third-largest producer by a 240-mile-long 48-inch wide export pipeline from Abu Dhabi, Fujairah now encompasses crude storage, bunkers, refining and dry bulk container freight.View Full Paper
Navigating a pathway to a low-carbon global economy requires a new plan. The S&P Global Platts Atlas of Energy Transition™, produced in collaboration with S&P Global Market Intelligence, is your map to the sustainable commodity markets of the future. (This report was first published in February 2021, and was updated in February 2022)View Full Paper
An interactive editorial project exploring the changing relationship between geopolitical risk and the price of crude. This analysis shows how diversity of supply, higher levels of global spare capacity and the expansion of strategic petroleum reserves have helped to insulate markets from the risk of supply disruptions in the Middle East and beyond.View Full Paper
Global petrochemical players will continue to face challenges in the first half of 2022 after the emergence of the new omicron variant of coronavirus again hit the global economy. The petrochemical industry will need to adjust to a so-called "new normal" business environment of patchy demand recovery mixed with continued COVID-19 headwinds.View Full Paper
The use of bio-based material in petrochemical and plastics markets has come into ever-sharper focus this year as pressure grows from governments and wider society to plot a way from a fossil-based economy to a sustainable model with a far lower environmental impact. As the plastics industry looks to its own role within the wider energy transition, bio-plastics are one of the main options for retaining the benefits brought by the use of plastics while addressing environmental concerns.View Full Paper
Iron ore and coking coal are integral to steelmaking. But with hundreds of products available globally and constant changes to geology and marketing strategies, we know it can be difficult to keep track of their individual specifications. S&P Global Platts Iron Ore and Metallurgical Coal Specification Tree aims to provide extra transparency on specifications to help advance understanding of how these products relate to our benchmarks and the wider markets.View Full Paper
The global petrochemical industry is expected to keep feeling COVID-19 fallout in the second half of 2021, with prices maintaining record highs in some regions balanced by new capacity startups in others. As global COVID-19 vaccine availability increases, more industrial activity should follow and consumption from end-users should in turn trend higher.View Full Paper
Platts Shipping investigates the regulatory and market forces looming on global shipping’s horizons, including deep-dives into the IMO’s upcoming Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), and decarbonization schemes from the world’s largest carriers.View Full Paper
The global olefins/polymers market will continue to face challenges in H1 2021. Fresh supplies will be available in Asia in line with planned capacity expansions, while bullish naphtha feedstock prices put pressure on petrochemical margins. Petrochemical demand started recovering in H2 2020, but the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic lingers. S&P Global Platts examines the outlook for the global olefins/polymers markets for the first half of this year.View Full Paper
Europe is cementing itself as a global LNG balancer, price anchor and demand hub in its own right. Amid this, while market access has taken center stage, there still is no mechanism to manage or trade terminal access and capacity on a multi-terminal basis, making access rights a valuable commodity in its own right. Without evolutionary change in this part of the LNG value chain, capacity risk could create a bottleneck to efficient market trade.View Full Paper
The global petrochemical industry finished 2020 on a strong note, despite having been pressured lower by the COVID-19 pandemic and a weaker energy complex. The end of the year saw prices beginning to recover and bullish sentiment in the market. Concerns around capacity growth and associated product length still persist, however. S&P Global Platts examines market expectations for the global aromatics sector during the first half of 2021.View Full Paper
The fourth quarter of the year is often cited as a traditionally strong period for spot freight markets, with good reason. But from floating storage to experimental fuels, the global shipping markets are instead looking for new opportunities under drastically changed economic conditions. In our new special report, S&P Global Platts Shipping looks at what’s in store for Q4 2020 and beyond.View Full Paper
The global corn market, once dominated by the US, has been transformed in the past five years by a close to 50% surge in exports from Brazil, the EU, Argentina and Ukraine. The rising prominence of new entrants into the export market has spurred the need for a new global arbitrage price matrix, which S&P Global Platts launched in September 2020.View Full Paper
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most severe economic and energy shocks in modern history. On top of the massive disruptions to business, mobility, and everyday life, there clearly will be longer-lasting implications for the energy transition away from fossil fuels. While the shocks from the pandemic are reducing fossil fuel consumption and emissions, they won't be enough to put the world on a path to meet 2 degree global warming target, nor bring forward peak oil demand, nor drive coal consumption to near zero.View Full Paper
While pressure mounts on the EU to reduce its reliance on Russian gas supplies, Brussels' most ambitious supply diversification project, the Southern Gas Corridor, is nearing completion with the launch of its final stretch, the TAP pipeline, close at hand. Initially delivering 10 Bcm per year of Azeri gas annually to Italy, Greece and Bulgaria, the volumes involved may seem small. But TAP will still have an impact on the receiving markets. This report analyzes the changes that Italy and Central and Eastern Europe will see in the short and the long term.View Full Paper
With the seaborne sector responsible for 90% of global trade, a tentative recovery from the pandemic has brought changing fortunes for seafarers. Tanker markets have seen freight rates plunge after an end to the recent floating storage boom, while rates in the container markets have stayed firm thanks to capacity management. Dry bulk is now turning a corner and the LNG sector is looking for a lifeline. This report looks to dive into what these changing patterns mean for each industry.View Full Paper
The repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic continue to be felt across the petrochemicals industry, with the global economy facing greater uncertainty than at any time in living memory. As the industry moves into H2 2020, renewed lockdowns, prolonged recessions and the ongoing pandemic present a bleak general outlook. However, the detailed picture is far from clear-cut across the various different petrochemical markets.View Full Paper
After the International Maritime Organization upended global shipping in January with its IMO 2020 marine fuel sulfur limit, the coronavirus outbreak and the stance of OPEC and its allies are bringing high levels of uncertainty. S&P Global Platts examines what this means for dirty tankers, clean tankers, dry bulk, containers and LNG freight.View Full Paper
Gas production at Groningen, Europe’s largest gas field, will end in 2022, eight years earlier than planned due to the risk of earthquakes. The move will leave the continent’s gas market 54 Bcm/year short compared with 2013. In this special report, S&P Global Platts examines how the European gas market will change and the consequences of the shutdown for the energy industry.View Full Paper
Global petrochemical markets are entering a new decade with vast opportunities as well as challenges ahead. In this special report, S&P Global Platts takes a closer look at what to expect in the first half of 2020 – narrowing petrochemical margins on high naphtha and shipping costs, as well as changing trade flows amid trade tensions between nations and China's drive towards self-sufficiency.View Full Paper
This digital report showcases views from S&P Global Platts Analytics on key trends that will unfold in sectors such as oil, gas, power, coal, petrochemicals and agriculture. The interactive timeline allows you to explore the news events that will shape 2020, while Platts president Martin Fraenkel also talks through his five commodity themes to watch.
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Plastics recycling’s profile has been steadily growing, with 2018 a pivotal year for the industry as legislation, industry initiatives and consumer awareness led to a focus on waste and recycling. S&P Global Platts takes a global look at the reduction of single-use plastics and the impact of recycling on the virgin plastics market.View Full Paper
The new decade will present LNG stakeholders with immense opportunities. As significant additions of elastic supply and demand challenge traditional business models, and the trend toward LNG commoditization gathers pace, what lies ahead? S&P Global Platts' latest special report features market insight and analysis, infographics and interviews with the IEA’s Fatih Birol and IGU’s Joe M. Kang.View Full Paper
As the International Maritime Organization's new global sulfur limit for marine fuels approaches, much attention is given to the implications for the shipping industry and refinery production. In this special report, S&P Global Platts examines the various ways the IMO 2020 sulfur cap may impact the multi-faceted petrochemical markets.View Full Paper
Only months before the effective date of IMO 2020, there are a surprising number of shipping industry participants who believe that getting customers to pay for increased bunker costs will be smooth sailing. However, the reality may prove to be more complicated. This report explores how a lack of negotiating power and imperfect bunker cost recovery mechanisms could turn this shadow on the horizon into a dangerous storm for the shipping industry.View Full Paper
This special report provides an introduction to the IMO's sulfur cap on marine fuel, its impact on markets and what to expect from the new regulatory framework. Aiming to provide market-leading insight and analysis, S&P Global Platts outlines the regulation's impact on refiners and shipowners, analyzes how markets will adapt, and offers birds-eye view on how it could affect the environment.View Full Paper
Global petrochemical markets are bound to face numerous challenges in the second half of 2019 with the dispute between superpowers and the emergence of China's new mega refineries impacting trade flows, demand-supply dynamics and currency fluctuations. With more new capacities coming on stream soon, turmoil may be the new norm in global markets.View Full Paper
LNG's ongoing commoditization – resulting in smaller, shorter, flexible contracts with less credit-worthy buyers – is severely challenging new liquefaction financings. Several solutions have been proposed to ease this financing slowdown. In this S&P Global Platts special report, LNG financing leaders discuss other potential FID facilitators, including greater equity investments, increased LNG price hedging, project sponsor guarantees, and a more proactive approach from export credit agencies.View Full Paper
The US chemical industry is in the crosshairs of escalating trade tensions between the US and China that have spawned tariffs on hundreds of products from both countries. From steel and parts needed to build multibillion-dollar plants to numerous raw-material chemicals and plastics produced, tariffs have affected hundreds of billions of dollars in commerce between the world's two largest economies, and markets are responding accordingly.View Full Paper
The first half of 2018 had a number of surprises for the metallurgical coal market, with Chinese environmental policies, strong thermal coal markets and other factors leading to changes in the price relationships between coal quality segments and changes in the availability of specific brands. At the same time, overall spot liquidity has been lower than the previous year as global steelmakers opted to procure more coal via term contracts.View Full Paper
The phenomenal growth in global LNG trade flows has been underpinned by a vast fleet of LNG carriers that numbers just shy of 500 vessels. The fleet has done for LNG, what container ships have done for manufactured products like the iPhone. It has made it possible for gas producers to propagate LNG as a global fuel and a global commodity. The global LNG fleet will grow at its fastest rate ever in 2018, with newer and better technologies. But will this be enough to absorb the vast amount of new LNG supply coming next year, mainly from the US, and still keep freight rates at affordable levels?View Full Paper
Blockchain could help make commodity trading simpler, faster and cheaper. Pilot projects and trials are popping up around the world, but real world uses are rare so far. Companies will have to tackle issues such as speed, scale, cost, privacy and liability to make using blockchain viable. This special report from S&P Global Platts explains the technology, examines the projects, and looks at the challenges and opportunities ahead as blockchain enters a critical development phase.View Full Paper
The container market has seen a series of public -- and often heated -- arguments this year over the sharp rise in bunker prices and who should foot the bill. S&P Global Platts container market editor Andrew Scorer and Jack Jordan and Paul Hickin from the oil news team analyze the changing landscape of supply chain logistics, and how the International Maritime Organization's lower marine fuels sulfur cap in 2020 is set to complicate the situation even further.View Full Paper
Uncertainty about the potential impacts of escalating trade tensions with China are at the forefront of Americas petrochemicals markets heading into the second half of 2018, particularly as some are still wrestling with changing dynamics that have come with recent capacity expansions.
Firming feedstock prices and strong domestic buying also have proved noteworthy, and have contributed to strengthening pricing in the region.
This special outlook report takes a look at the key themes expected to shape key Americas petrochemicals markets in the months ahead.View Full Paper
Antidumping duties and trade tensions between the US and China are among the biggest factors reshaping the Asian petrochemicals landscape day by day. Our special outlook report takes a look at the impact of these, as well as other key themes that are expected to affect Asian olefins, aromatics and polymer markets in the months ahead.View Full Paper
New global supply will continue to set the tone for European petrochemicals in the second half of 2018, with capacity expansions in the Americas and Asia among the threats to producer margins. Economic fences being built across the globe will see trade flow upheaval, bringing uncertainty and export opportunities as the US-China trade war shows no sign of abating.
This special report takes a look at the key themes expected to shape the European olefins, aromatics and polymers markets.View Full Paper
Pricing in metallurgial or coking coal markets has entered a distinct new phase. Increased spot market activity, the use of futures and hedging, and the adoption of different price structures in coking coal are all part of longer-term trends that are transforming the market globally, in a way not unlike the changes seen in the iron ore market earlier this decade.View Full Paper
S&P Global Platts investigates the potential impact on energy and metals markets from dramatic changes sweeping the transport sector, led by electric vehicles but also including other alternative fuels, autonomous vehicles, policy and changes in consumer behavior. This special report includes insight from across S&P Global and interviews with thought leaders from OPEC, Rio Tinto and Groupe PSA.View Full Paper
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, is set to have a significant impact on energy and commodities in the coming decades, as the region’s demand climbs due to favorable geography and demographics. Find out more about this shift and how it will affect key commodities such as oil, coal, petrochemicals, metals, electricity and LNG in our special report.View Full Paper
Massive free-market changes are taking place across a broad spectrum of Mexico's energy industry, transforming the upstream, midstream and downstream areas of the natural gas, power and petroleum sectors. But the next year may end up being the most critical in determining how successful Mexico has been in dismantling its government monopolies and creating open market conditions.
The Indian government's "Make in India" campaign aims to boost manufacturing's share of the economy from 16% to 25% by 2025. The push to expand manufacturing will trigger a massive requirement for oil, gas and other resources. Find out more about the opportunities and challenges facing India's commodities landscape in our special report.View Full Paper
The world is becoming an ever smaller place and the ability to conduct business with the most competitive companies globally is paramount for survival. The emphasis on customer needs now provides competitive advantage, and in the case of the container market, this may present opportunities for smaller TEU vessels for niche arbitrages in commodities like sugar, scrap or petrochemicals. Can the abandoned smaller TEU vessels become the workhorse for the customer focused container market?View Full Paper