Since the onset of coronavirus in early 2020, the base oil business has been thrown into disarray. While crude oil prices have increased modestly, with Brent around $55/Bbl in February 2020 and now in the low $60 range, base oil prices have mushroomed. In February 2020, European Group I export spot prices were in the low to mid $600/ton range between SN150 and brightstock. Today, solvent neutral cash market prices are double, and brightstocks almost triple, their levels of just a year ago.Continue reading
This year, Kline has volunteered and entered the Erasmus+ program. The aim of the program is to create synergies between education and business, improve the quality of the teaching/learning processes. Therefore, last month Kline’s Prague office welcomed two teachers of marketing from Spain for direct observation of our business and how various departments work at Kline.
The facts are in: 2017 was not a good year for some of beauty’s mega brands. Industry icons like Cover Girl and Gillette, former and current Procter & Gamble brands, respectively, reported disappointing sales despite their usual big wallet marketing budgets. Noteworthy indie brands, such as Huda Beauty and Glossier, are realizing off-the-chart growth, with by comparison, change purse budgets. While the path forward does point to marketing budgets shifting to social media, as well as engaging with well-known (and often increasingly expensive) influencers, such as Michelle Phan, that approach may only partially help mega brands sustain if not regain their stature and relevance with consumers. Susan Babinsky, head of Kline’s CPG management consulting team, provides her point of view on four key strategic levers that mega brand leaders need to adopt in whole or in part to remain competitive.Continue reading
Kline’s July 2017 edition of the Base Stock Production and Re-refining Cash Margins Index, which characterizes recent cash margin contributions in the U.S. base oil market, indicates market turbulence since 3rd Quarter 2016.
The Index estimates cash margin contributions associated with U.S. Group II base stock production. It simulates EBITDA before the deduction of corporate SG&A expenses for typical VGO-based virgin base stock plants and RFO-based re-refineries.
Kline, a global market research and management consulting firm specializing in the downstream petroleum and specialties sector, and SBA Consulting, which focuses on global analyses of the base oil market, announced a new joint initiative to analyze the financial performance and survivability for base oil plants with the launch of a client-confidential study called the Base Oil Plant Health Check.Continue reading
The global economy is experiencing severe turmoil for a host of reasons; including the massive drop in the price of oil, the slowdown in growth in China, the concerns about lending and real estate bubbles in China, the economic and financial struggles in Europe, emerging economy travails, and geopolitical challenges in the Middle East.Continue reading
Kline, a respected provider of world-class consulting services and high-quality market intelligence, today announced recent additions to the company’s executive team. Kline is proud to announce the appointments of Annie Jarquin as Director in the Energy Practice and Hardeep Parmar as Director in the Chemicals Practice of Kline’s Management Consulting business. Their respective experience will help to strengthen Kline’s abilities, reputation, and, most importantly, add value for our clients within the energy/lubricants and chemicals industries.Continue reading
In this, the Year of the Snake, many well-established companies are finding the dramatic changes in China to be a serpent that is hard to grasp. Myriad rapid social, economic, and governmental evolutions in this turbulent economy have left many executives scratching their heads and, in some cases, feeling bitten. Multiple economic and industrial factors have changed in China, including the following:
- Government growth priorities are shifting towards a more domestic focus with greater environmental concerns
- The contrast between traditional values and modern habits is becoming more pronounced, between the graying China’s population – an estimated 40% will be over age 50 by 2020 – and the younger generation’s rapid adoption of the Internet, e-commerce, and social networking
- Increasing wealth and the emerging middle class are fueling greater mobility and urbanization, resulting in new housing and infrastructure in development for approximately 300 million new city dwellers
Competitive knowledge is critical for every business in order to maintain market positioning, develop and fine-tune new product, business, and pricing strategies, improve cost position, and make capacity decisions. Knowing what your competitors are doing right now—or planning to do in the future—enables your company to make smarter, more proactive decisions to stay ahead, rather than constantly playing catch-up.
The Internet has certainly made a tremendous wealth of company data readily accessible, but the most salient and important details simply aren’t available by searching Google or dissecting annual reports, and most common sources fall short of delivering the most valuable bits of information. Read more…
The M&A scene has become increasingly fickle. Evolving priorities, global market trends, and industry threats and opportunities can change on a dime, leaving growth-driven companies scrambling to align their strategy with the latest developments.
With companies accruing hordes of cash in the wake of the market crash, private equity continuing to raise more money, and companies scratching at every opportunity to gain a competitive advantage, most companies approach M&A candidates with an immediate need to strike a deal while the iron is hot. Read more