In this week's Market Movers Americas, presented by Valarie Jackson:
• Petrochemical industry gathers for WPC in Houston
• Clean tankers pivot from bear to bull market
• Steel HRC prices could reach $1,200/st
This week, hundreds of petrochemical industry experts are gathering in Houston for the World Petrochemical Conference by S&P Global to discuss how to navigate economic uncertainty and a global demand slowdown after two years of a pandemic-fueled supply squeeze. Expect to hear about strategies to find a steady path for prices, inventories, value chains, and manufacturing as markets adjust to new challenges with pandemic-related volatility increasingly seen in the rearview mirror.
A bearish Americas clean tanker market has turned bullish, as freight for the benchmark 38,000 mt US Gulf Coast-to-Chile route most recently rose $400,000. Earlier drops in freight rates last week, driven by positions pulled away from the region given a firmer UK Continent-USAC route, spurred shipowners to raise freight to increase earnings.
US steel hot-rolled coil prices could rise above $1,200 per short ton this week for the first time since June. The Platts HRC assessment rose more than $50 last week after multiple steelmakers again raised their offers, with Cleveland-Cliffs setting a $1,200 per short ton minimum for HRC. An increase in scrap prices at the beginning of March also supported the domestic market.
I'm Valarie Jackson. Thanks for kicking off your Monday with S&P Global Commodity Insights.