Frequently Asked Questions


REPORTS

How often are they published? What are they called? What do they cover?

Below are links to view coverage for the two separate monthly reports by Chemical Data L.P.

- Monthly Petrochemical & Plastics Analysis (MPA): http://www.chemicaldata.com/petrooverview.html

  • This report is released around 22nd - 24th each month
  • This report is sometimes referred to as the “yellow report”

- Monthly Feedstocks & Fuels Analysis (MFA): http://www.chemicaldata.com/feedstockoverview.html

  • This report is released at the end of the month with the exception of November/December, as these months are combined and released at the beginning of December.
  • This report is sometimes referred to as the “orange report”, “feedstock study”, or “oil & gas” report

Do you offer weekly reports? “No, only monthly updated reports on the two categories listed above (MFA) & (MPA).”

Can I just buy one section/product? Or do I have to buy the whole report? “We do not break up the report. The only option is to purchase the full report. Similar to the newspaper which you cannot just buy the Sports page.”


PUBLICATION SCHEDULE

The exact date for each of the reports can be found on the home page of the Chemical Data website, top right corner.

LINK: http://www.chemicaldata.com/l5calendar.asp?id=126939

The Publication Schedule will show two colors that indicate publication dates. Yellow is for our Petrochemical & Plastics Analysis, and Orange is for our Feedstocks & Fuels Analysis. These are two separate reports that must be purchased separately.


BENCHMARK PRICES

The benchmarks in this publication represent the U.S. contract price between sellers and a market segment (usually defined by grade, type of buyer, and/or shipment size), typically before discounts, unless otherwise noted in the individual product statistical table. Usually, benchmarks are before discounts, rebates, etc. and thus, are intentionally posted higher than net-net prices. CDI prices are designed to track actual price moments, with a somewhat constant differential.

CDI posted prices are in dollars per pound ($/Lb) except for toluene, benzene, cyclohexane and methanol, which are listed in dollars per gallon ($/gal). Market segments can be large, medium or small buyer, and/or specified by barge, railcar or truck shipments.


AKA

Names we are known by in the Industry: ChemData, Chemical Data or CDI (which used to stand for Chemical Data Incorporated). Now we are formally: Chemical Data L.P.


Homo-Polymer vs Co-Polymer prices (PE or PP)

We do not publish different price series for Co-Polymer (resins) such as PE or PP. Our posted prices are non-descript and can be used to track both homo-polymer and co-polymer. Because our prices are before discounts and rebates, buyers and sellers typically use smaller discounts to represent the co-polymer grades when appropriate.


GLOSSARY of Abbreviations and Acronyms

TT = Tanktruck {A tank truck, tanker truck or tanker, is a motor vehicle designed to carry liquefied loads, dry bulk cargo or gases on roads.}

TC or TKCAR = Tankcar {A type of railroad car (UIC: railway car) or rolling stock designed to transport liquid and gaseous commodities.}

HC = Hopper Car {A container for bulk solids such as grain, rock, or plastic resin, typically one that tapers downward and is able to discharge its contents at the bottom.}

Frt. Alld. = Freight Allowed {FOB destination, freight prepaid and allowed. The seller pays and bears the freight charges and owns the goods while they are in transit. Title passes at the buyer's location.}

FOB = Freight on Board

Frt. Equal = Freight Equalized

Dlvd. = Delivered

FAS = Free Along Side {is a trade term requiring the seller to deliver goods to a named port alongside a vessel designated by the buyer. "Alongside" means that the goods are within reach of a ship's lifting tackle.}

GP = General Purpose {useful in many ways; not limited in use or function}

GPPS = General Purpose Polystyrene

HIPS = High Impact Polystyrene

HIC = Household, Industrial & Consumer blow molding or BM grades

HMW = High molecular weight film grade HDPE resins

INJ = injection, or injection molding grades

REFY = Refinery grade propylene or RGP {with a minimum purity of 99.5%}

CHEM = Chemical grade propylene or CGP {with a minimum purity of 93-94%}

POLY = Polymer grade propylene or PGP {purity of around 70% with a minimum of 60%}

P/L or PIPELN = Pipeline

Xtal = Crystal


ESTIMATES

Benchmarks for the current month are estimated as noted by the "e" after the price, and will usually be finalized in the next issue.

Our posted prices for each current month are released around the 22-24th of that month and they are "estimates" as noted with an "e". In each “current month” issue, we finalized the previous month's posted price by removing the “e”, if it has not already been finalized with a "mid-cycle update". *Sometimes, markets don’t settle in a given month, in which case “e” remains until markets do settle.

We post "estimates" because there are still 7 to 10 days (or about 1/3 of the month) left to go when we publish. In other words, the markets for most of the products we cover have yet to settle for the current publication month. In fact, some in this industry wait for our report to be released, and then they start their monthly negotiations, if they are not physically tied to the CDI posting via a contract.

We have been using this "estimate" methodology since 1979, and the "mid-cycle update" has been in existence since 2010. Most product posted prices, when an estimate is missed, (happens about once every one or two years) depending on the pricing series, will be "finalized" in the next monthly issue. However, key markets like PE, PP, with a tremendous amount of contracts tied to them, actually want to know as soon as possible if the "e" is being finalized at something different. Thus, about 10 days to two weeks after we publish, if we do miss an estimate, every registered user of the CDI report gets an email indicating the PE or PP price estimates will be finalized at a different number than initially published.


REVISIONS

Infrequently, a retroactive revision is needed for a benchmark price or a volume. That is designated by “r” following the number. This happens (very seldom) only once or twice every 5 to 10 years.

NMA or NON MARKET ADJUSTMENT

Non-market price adjustments are necessary on the rare occasions, when after careful consideration, it is determined that the level of a price assessment has become insufficiently representative, due to a drift (increase) over long periods of time, the general level of discounts taken, relative to our published prices. Before any decision is taken to adjust a price level, a large and broad spectrum of market participants are polled for their views on both the necessity and potential impact of any planned change, and its timing. Generally, this applies to plastics, not chemicals.

CDI created and implemented the industry's first NMAs or non-market adjustments, which occurred in the year 2000 for PE and PET resins. Other NMAs were done later for PS, PP, PVC and other products as needed in those markets. A consistent method we use is a 6 to 12 month notification period, in writing, in our reports. Our clients will see a "notice" in a product section in bold text below the statistical table indicating when we will be conducting a NMA for that particular product.


MID-CYCLE UPDATE

This is unique for certain products, like PE and PP and not others, because of the dynamics of that market.

Specifically for Polyethylene, we started a “mid-cycle update” in 2010, only if we miss the "e" or initial estimate. In an unsettled market, buyers and sellers can drag out negotiations sometimes to the 10th working day of the next month. If we miss our original estimate for any given month, once we get confirmation that both buyers and sellers have agreed to a settlement, we issue a “Mid-Cycle-Update” online. In that update, we put the new price in the specific pricing table online only, AND we send an email out to all registered users of the publication telling them about the update.


FREIGHT RATES

Does CDI publish or report on freight rates? Yes, in our annual economic updates for each product , which are published annually throughout the year (see our Index of Supplemental Tables for each product’s presentation date) we sometimes have the freight rates broken out, depending on the product. These are rough average estimates for the industry, and they often are very similar from year to year.


INDEX

Our Monthly Petrochemicals & Plastics Analysis (MPA) has an Index of Supplemental Tables that shows the publication month of each product's special topics or presentations (those being capacity, supply/demand, manufacturing economics, and historical prices). The Index is typically found on page 3 of the full report each month.

Our Monthly Feedstocks & Fuels Analysis (MFA) has an Index of Special Topics, which is usually found on page 5 of the full report each month. There is also a historical index published in the January issue each year.