Archive | March, 2007

Is ExxonMobil taking a gamble?

Will China relax the price controls that have led to wallopping great losses for domestic refiners, thereby justifying ExxonMobil’s Fujian investment?
As we can see from this Bloomberg article, Exxon is pinning many of its hopes on these controls being …

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Oops a daisy, here we go again

A boring topic to harp on about again I know, but this article from my colleague Nigel Davis from the Insight section of ICIS news supports what I have been saying for the past two years.
The industry has overbuilt, …

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What’s the point in building a plant if you’ve got nobody to run it?

No point obviously. As this report from Deutsche Bank Download file notes, the global skills shortage is not just in the west.
In the engineering sector, and perhaps this applies to petrochemicals, Deutsche Bank claims that the huge outpouring of …

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Oh my goodness, when will it end?

We heard about this rumour last year, but it’s emerged again – Reliance is now said to be in advanced discussions for acquiring Nova Chemicals. Nova’s Alberta-based cracker and PE production might be attractive because of pretty competitive, locked-in gas …

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Could Pride Come Before A Fall?

This article from Reuters highlights the danger of overpaying for assets in the current India M&A frenzy.Perhaps its point about the overall of over-confidence is valid, especially given that previous deals were small scale. Other Indian companies, following Tata Steel’s …

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The case for investing in Indonesia

Indonesia before 1997 had three cracker projects and huge demand growth. It was mentioned in the same breath as China. And, of course, then came the crisis.
But this year GDP growth could be the highest since the crisis with …

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Could drug dealers be rehabilitated into the petchem industry?

An interesting question, and one that Def Poet Tommy Buttons, the rap artist with a difference (he has a brain) might want to address.
Click on this highly amusing link and listen to how he compares the life of a …

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The flawed art of supply & demand forecasting

A guest blog – see Vanishing Post Boxes on this great blog by the authors of the book Freakonomics put me in mind of all those demand and supply forecasts that are invariably wrong.
Yes, I know I’ve written about …

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China facing permanent demand destruction?

An interesting debate is emerging over the growth of the recycled polymer market in China. Sinodata, the Beijing-based consultancy, estimates that 5.8m tonnes of all types of recycled polymers were imported into China last year, an 800,000 tonnes increase over …

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I told you so – Reliance firms up Jamnagar cracker

I had a feeling in my bones that Reliance was laying the groundwork for a major project announcement with its endlessly bullish forecasts about the Indian market (see my earlier blog ‘Is India about to crash?’).
And low and behold, …

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