European Petrochemicals: Making Money Despite Deflation

By John Richardson

THE European petrochemicals industry has done staggeringly well since 2008 thanks to operating rate discipline, skillful inventory management and feedstock flexibility – for example, the INEOS and SABIC initiatives to import low cost ethane from the US.…

Continue Reading

China Capacity Closures? Stop Whistling In The Dark

By John Richardson

Measured in US dollars, the price of US imports from China has risen just by 4% over the last ten years, but measured in Yuan, it has actually fallen by no less than 20% (see our above …

Continue Reading

Coming To Terms With Global Deflation

By John Richardson

YOU used to be able to take, say, a World Bank report on GDP growth forecasts, plug that into your spread sheet, look at low per capita consumption of chemicals and polymers in the developing world and …

Continue Reading

China: Don’t Get Caught Naked

By John Richardson

THAT’S it then, the evidence is in that the September surge in China’s exports was, indeed, as I thought, substantially down to fake invoicing.

“The gap between China’s reported exports to Hong Kong and the territory’s imports …

Continue Reading

China A Nation Of Cheap Copycats? Nonsense

By John Richardson

COMPLACENCY is the enemy of  good analysis and one particular piece of complacent, and quite frankly lazy, analysis is to dismiss China as being permanently stuck in the category of a” low value copycat nation”.

Beware the …

Continue Reading

China’s “Vast Pit Of Debt”

By John Richardson

THE consensus has further shifted in our direction, as this editorial in yesterday’s Financial Times indicates.

This mainstream newspaper pulled no punches when it talked about the struggle that China would face in emerging from a “vast …

Continue Reading

Thirty Reasons Why Ethylene Will Not Be Tight Until 2019

By John Richardson

THERE is a very common view out there that the ethylene cycle will tighten from next year until around 2019, when the big flood of new US capacity is expected to hit the market.

This is supported …

Continue Reading

Want To Keep Your Job? What To Tell Your Boss

By John Richardson

THE economic data on China was very useful yesterday if you had already gone long on oil or US equities.

Both crude and the S&P 500 rallied on positive interpretations of Q3 GDP and industrial production data, …

Continue Reading

No Other Choice But To Tackle “Group Thinking”

By John Richardson

WE are proud to work with Paul Hodges, chairman of the UK-based chemicals company, International eChem, who in this superb FT Beyondbrics blog post, provides the kind of “connect the dots” top-down vision of the global economy …

Continue Reading

China: How To Chart The Future

By John Richardson

THE chart below should not be printed out and pinned on any chemicals company boardroom wall. If you accidentally press the “print” button, you must throw the print-out in the bin, without pause, just in case somebody …

Continue Reading