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Market Movers Europe


Market Movers Europe, Oct 30-Nov 3: Metals industry in focus at LME Week; US plastics exporters target Europe; oil commands attention

With With Maurice Geller, Editorial Director, EMEA CED

October 30, 2017 16:22:19 EST (2:59)

Virtually the entire mining and metals world is descending on London for LME Week. Amid the celebrations, market participants are expecting to emerge with a clearer outlook for 2018.


As crude breaches $60 a barrel for the first time since mid-2015, results season for Big Oil gets in to full swing, as the industry continues to focus on signs of recovery.


In petrochemicals, the outlook for European polyethylene is looking less bullish than oil's. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil is starting up the first of two 650,000 mt units at its giant Mont Belvieu plant in Texas.


In power, the European electricity market will be looking at shutdowns, with France’s EDF having delayed the return of its Tricastin nuclear reactors to the end of November.


Finally, please download the latest S&P Global Platts special report tracking the way that LNG is transforming the global marketplace for natural gas. Join our conversations on Twitter - use #PlattsMM and connect with us.


Join our conversations on Twitter - use #PlattsMM and connect with us.

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Video Transcript


Market Movers Europe, Oct 30-Nov 3: Metals industry in focus at LME Week; US plastics exporters target Europe; oil commands attention


With Maurice Geller, Editorial Director, EMEA CED


In this week's highlights: metals and miners rock Mayfair—it’s LME week; US plastics exporters target Europe; and oil will definitely be commanding attention.


Virtually the entire mining and metals world is descending on London for LME Week—probably the biggest single event globally for the base metals business. Amid the celebrations, market participants are expecting to emerge with a clearer outlook for 2018. The industry will use the event to discuss contracts for the first quarter, with Chinese aluminum capacity cuts and electric vehicle demand for battery metals boosting sentiment.


Meanwhile, as crude breaches $60 a barrel for the first time since mid-2015, results season for Big Oil will get into full swing. BP and Shell will be among companies publishing third-quarter figures, as the industry continues to focus on signs of recovery. Elsewhere, the market will be eyeing a number of events including the Basra Oil Gas & Infrastructure Conference in Lebanon, a trilateral summit in Iran attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Energy Minister Alexander Novak, and the 7th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable in Bangkok. Finally, of course, we’ll be keeping an eye on the price of the barrel.


That’s our question for social media this week: Where will oil prices go next? Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag #PlattsMM.


The outlook for the European price of polyethylene—the world’s most common plastic—is looking less bullish than oil’s. ExxonMobil is starting up the first of two 650,000 metric ton-a-year units at its giant Mont Belvieu plant in Texas. A number of industry sources have said there are volumes now heading to Europe, and those imports are likely to affect the European market for the rest of the year. North America already has an estimated polyethylene surplus of 5.9 million metric tons this year, which is expected to more than double over the next 10 years, driven by shale-based production.


While the world of plastic may be focusing on start-ups, the European electricity market will be looking at shutdowns. France’s EDF has delayed the return of its Tricastin nuclear reactors to the end of November. Any more big delays twinned with colder weather could cause regional power prices to surge. So far nuclear shortfalls have been offset by a mild and windy October, and there is no sign yet of a November cold snap.


And finally, please take a look at our latest special report tracking the way that LNG is transforming the global marketplace for gas.


Dawn of a global commodity, is now available to view online at platts.com/lng-report. It includes embedded videos, interactive infographics and interviews with leading industry figures. Highly recommended.


Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us, and have a great week ahead.





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