Alice In Wonderland economics

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China appears to be pumping money into ailing companies for social stability reasons, resulting in a build-up in inventory of unsold finished goods.

Anecdotal evidence from ICIS pricing, and analysis by JP Morgan Asset Management and the China Economic Quarterly supports this view.

Comparatively stronger exports to China, as my fellow blogger Paul Hodges points out on his Chemicals & Economy blog, is also evidence that this is happening.

This is understandable given that by some estimates as many as 30m migrant workers have lost their jobs.

But there is a threat of deflation being exported if all these finished goods end up flooding overseas markets. In such an event, petrochemical pricing can surely only head in one direction.

It is time to think hard about your business, plan for the worst and hope for something slightly better.

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