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Special Reports:



In these papers, Platts' specialists take an in-depth look at various issues affecting the energy, petrochemical & metals industries; highlighting current trends, looking at what price history can tell us and drawing attention to things in the future that will be important for market participants.


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Oil

Loop Sour Crude: A benchmark for the future

Published March 2017

LOOP Sour crude, which encompasses the value of both domestic US and imported medium sour crude, has increasingly become a key part of the USGC crude complex and provides a valuable price point for physical sour crude barrels traded and refined on the US Gulf Coast.

Volatility Analysis: EMEA

Published March 2017

This report goes through the quantitative analysis of volatility fluctuations for the most important crude and petroleum products in Europe: Brent, Eurobob, ULSD ARA, Jet CIF NWE, and Rotterdam Fuel Oil 3.5%. The current analysis is based on February data.

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Natural Gas

Gazprom vs Naftogaz: Gas war to be settled in Stockholm?

Published March 2017

We examine the origins of the current arbitration dispute between Russia's gas giant and Ukraine's state gas company, and spell out the gas market implications of whatever rulings the court makes. What are the complexities of the legal arguments and what are possible future scenarios?

Middle East emerges as LNG demand center

Published March 2017

The Middle East, traditionally associated with large-scale LNG exports, has become one of the fastest growing demand centers for the commodity. Over the past three years, LNG imports into the region have grown by more than 380%, at a time when deliveries to traditional demand centers have been relatively stagnant or in decline.

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Electric Power

A preview of what's to come? Western hydro generation to push renewables to new heights in 2017

Published March 2017

On top of what is expected to be booming hydro, renewable capacity is also anticipated to keep growing in the US West, namely solar. The looming possibility of renewable curtailments due to a surplus of generation will ultimately determine the final generation mix.

Trump vs. Clinton: On energy, the stakes are high for renewables, coal

Published October 2016

As with nearly every issue raised during this combative presidential campaign, the natural tension between environmental protection and the generation of electric power has revealed widely disparate positions by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

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Coal

Coking coal: Coming to terms with the end of the China bull run

Published April 2016

This report examines the challenges and opportunities that the global coking coal market faces amid changing supply ownership, slowing steel demand in China and the fundamental basis of pricing.

Metallurgical coal markets to remain China-centric

Published September 2014

It’s no surprise that shorter-term pricing and China’s emergence as a large coal importer have occurred at the same time. These can be seen as mutually reinforcing trends.

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Shipping

Container Shipping: What next for the smaller TEU fleet?

Published January 2017

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?

The IMO's 2020 global sulfur cap: What a 2020 sulfur-constrained world means for shipping lines, refineries and bunker suppliers

Published October 2016

On October 27 the UN’s International Maritime Organization confirmed a 2020 start date for a much lower 0.5% global sulfur cap on marine fuels. With the uncertainty over, a sharply more regulated shipping emissions sector looms into view, with potentially a large increase in demand for middle distillates. What will the impact be on refiners, crude producers, bunker suppliers, and emissions?

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Petrochemicals

Ring in the new resin – added polyethylene capacity could reshape North American market…but when?

Published March 2017

Polyethylene market participants have been watching the clock, anticipating the potential impact of a flood of new resin set to come online during 2017. This reports looks at current market dynamics to understand the potential impact of these new pellets.

The aromatics conundrum and the ever important role of toluene

Published March 2017

As oil prices show signs of recovery, those gains are trickling downstream. This report looks at the US aromatics markets and explores the margins producers are enjoying, with special attention on the importance of toluene as we approach the US driving season.

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Metals

Surging coking coal costs a boon for scrap prices?

Published October 2016

This report examines the impact of rising coking coal prices out of Australia on the Turkish market for imported scrap.

2016 - A tale of two metals

Published October 2016

This report provides a market overview on the non-ferrous metals market.

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Agriculture

Anatomy of a price spike: Sugar's big move laid bare

Published September 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016. A day in which bulls and bears watched as the New York number 11 ruthlessly set aside the will it, won’t it debate and posted its largest one day price surge in over five years. When prices move in such a dramatic fashion in a sector as nuanced as sugar, there’s rarely one factor at play. As the upward move took hold, the industry put forward a number of theories and kneejerk factors that could explain such a charge.

The China corn problem: What will the country do with its strategic reserves?

Published September 2016

While it had been limping along for a while, China's corn stockpiling policy was well and truly buried on March 28, 2016, when a senior official provided details of a new mechanism of "marketized purchases". Less than six months from the next harvest, and with a year's worth of production sitting in stockpiles, the news generated quite a buzz.

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