Archive | February, 2007

Is Thailand heading for the rocks?

A huge amount of petrochemical capacity – some $12bn worth – is being built in Thailand, way in excess of the quantity added before the Asian financial crisis.
This is all predicated on Thailand becoming a manufacturing hub for Southeast …

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Is Indonesia poised to take off?

I can just about remember when Indonesia was talked about in the same breath as China – huge latent demand, lots of foreign direct investment and great natural resources.
Then came the Asian financial crisis and economic ruin. But now, …

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Should we now discount Iran’s Olefins No 11, 12 and beyond?

The news that Iran is accelerating its uranium enrichment process brings the country closer to United Nations sanctions and quite possibly a military strike by the US or Israel.
The No 9 and No 10 Olefins projects are far too …

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Iran could stop exporting oil by 2015

Quota cheating, lack of investment in oil infrastructure and incredibly low domestic gasoline and other oil-product prices mean that Iran could be forced to exit oil export markets by as early as 2015, according to Roger Stern of John Hopkins …

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Bringing the sceptics and the greenies together

The famous “Skeptical” environmentalist (unfortunately, the American spelling and therefore the wrong spelling), Bjorn Lomborg argues against the Kyoto Protocol in this article from the special green edition of our magazine, ICIS Chemical Business.He says, in short, that all the …

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The weird and not so wonderful world of biofuels

The petrochemicals industry generally gets a bad press, but producers are unlikely to ever be charged with depriving the public of food. In fact, plastic packaging could go a long way to solving problems such as India’s – where 40% …

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Reliance predicts a big India polymer deficit

The optimism seems infectious: Reliance’s market capitalisation breached the RS3 trillion level today, placing the giant in an elite group of only three Indian companies.And the petrochemicals major is predicting 12.59m tonnes of polymer demand in India in 2011-12 with …

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Will Japan’s rate rise do any good?

The Bank of Japan has decided to raise interest rates – from 0.25 to 0.5%. This could weaken the yen, thereby damaging the country’s export-led recovery. For the petrochemical players, the benefits of a 21-year low yen have been offset …

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Prepare for a legislative flood

Global leaders from the Group of Eight rich nations plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa have agreed that developing countries will have to face targets for cutting emissions as well as developed countries.If these noble words are followed …

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Japan is still in search of a consumer recovery

Japan’s fourth quarter GPD growth of 4.8%, which was released today, exceeded economists’ expectations. However, although consumer spending rose by 1.1% on an annualised basis, this merely compensated for the 1.1% decline in Q3.
In addition, wages rose by only …

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