Oil At $100 Was “A Rich World Luxury”

By John Richardson

THE attitude towards lower oil prices in the developing world  is “bring it on”, as it is an opportunity for hundreds of millions more people to escape poverty (see the above diagram).

Once people start earning, say, …

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Why Should China Be Any Different From The US?

By John Richardson

THE complacent, yesterday’s wisdom about China is that it will remain a major importer of lots of petrochemicals for many years to come.

If you have already stuck your neck out to support a project that will …

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Japan: “I Really Don’t Know How We Go Forward”

By John Richardson

THERE is no debate. Everyone agrees that Japan simply must overcome its demographic challenges. Here are a few sobering facts which indicate the scale of these challenges:…

Should current trends continue, Japan’s population will have fallen to

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Abenomics Are Wrong For Japan And The World

 

By John Richardson

TEN years, a Japanese contact told me, “When we eventually work out the right set of economic policies to get us out of our problems, we will all get behind those policies.”

I gave him a …

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China’s Next Target: Paraxylene Self-Sufficiency?

By John Richardson

ONLY a few years ago, people were discussing the great opportunities in purified terephthalic acid (PTA) as a globally traded product. I can remember confident talk of strong opportunities for export-based projects – especially, of course, projects …

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Saudi Arabia Can Withstand Years Of Lower Oil Prices

By John Richardson

QUITE a common argument out there is that if and when higher cost US shale oil production shuts down, oil prices will start creeping up again  – and they will soon reach close to $100 a barrel …

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South Korea: No Room For Complacency

By John Richardson

I have long loved South Korea, ever since I first visited the country back in the late 1990s. The sheer guts, determination and get-up-and-go of South Koreans have to be admired, especially when you put this into …

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South Korea: Coming To Terms With Demographics

By John Richardson

ACCUMULATING yet more debt was the very last thing that South Korea  needed and here is why:…

South Koreans had average debts 1.6 times their disposable incomes before July of this year.
This compared with 1.4 times

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Global Polyethylene: A Painful Balancing Act

By John Richardson

HERE are a few important facts about polyethylene (PE):…

China accounted for 30%, or 2.35m tonnes , of global imports of linear low-density PE (LLDPE) in 2013 (see the above chart).
It accounted for 43% of high-density

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China Exports: Whatever It Takes To Boost Volumes

By John Richardson

HERE is a reminder of some key facts about the Chinese economy:…

Investment, in the form of local real estate, infrastructure and industrial capacity accounts for around 50% of the country’s GDP.
China’s total investment levels are

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