The dead cat has bounced. Now what?

OK, this blog is supposed to focus on the long term, but in line with just about everybody else, all I can think about is the immediate and my collapsing share portfolio and the value of my home.

As a bit of light relief (and also, by the way, because it’s my job) I’ve been taking a

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close look at polyoefins markets over the past week. More to follow on aromatics later.

It does appear as if current price levels are unsustainable, that buyers know it and that some modest further price gains are possible.

Some modest re-stocking was inevitable after the inventory-loss disaster of H2.

And the world economy hasn’t completely stopped. Maybe we are only (?!) talking about 10-20% of lost demand into mainly consumer durables.

Perhaps also crude can’t fall that much further, providing a floor for polyolefin pricing.

But the question now is how long pricing will remain around this new level, fluctuating by small increments with buyers maintaining an incredibly cautious approach.

If quarters turn into years, who will be left to pick up the pieces when the economy finally recovers?

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