Archive | April, 2011

Power shortages strike China

By Malini Hariharan

The problems for Chinese manufacturers are multiplying. Besides having to worry about rising input costs, inflationary pressures and tightening of credit, companies now have to contend with unexpected power cuts.

This is usually the low season for …

Continue Reading

One piece at a time

By Malini Hariharan

Yesterday’s announcement by Asahi Kasei, Sabic and Mitsubishi Chemical of a joint-venture acrylonitrile (AN) project in Saudi Arabia fills up one more slot in the kingdom’s petrochemical value chain and supports the move downstream.

Sceptics might question …

Continue Reading

Trouble for PX, PTA and MEG

By Malini Hariharan

All is not well in the Asian polyester chain. Demand has slowed down exerting a steady downward pressure on prices.

Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) spot prices have dropped by $100/tonne in the last week to $1,290-1,300/tonne CFR …

Continue Reading

Global manufacturing set to drift

By Malini Hariharan

China’s status as factory for the world is under threat as rising costs of operating are startingto bite.

Estimates of wage cost hike this year range from 10% to 20%. And if higher prices of raw material …

Continue Reading

Will the US lead the next olefins wave?

By Malini Hariharan

A few weeks back after a post on the rise of shale gas the blog was asked a question about new petrochemical investments in North Americas. Were they feasible? Would ethane prices remain attractive for the long …

Continue Reading

Butadiene – will the good times last?

By Malini Hariharan

A question that every butadiene buyer has been asking for a long time is when will prices ease?

There are no signs yet although buyers are threatening to cut production.

Butadiene rose by more than $200/tonne last …

Continue Reading

The Chemicals Party Is Over

By John Richardson

IT has been a fantastic party. Nobody expected that the drinks would last for so long, thanks to Wen Jiabao and Ben Bernanke working overtime to man the 24/7 off-licence (it is called “liquor store” in the States …

Continue Reading

Petchems Could Enjoy Abundant Naphtha

By John Richardson

THE refining industry enjoyed a golden era before the global economic crisis thanks to a booming economy and gasoline shortages caused by Hurricane Katrina. Inevitably, therefore, as is so often the case with commodity industries, too much …

Continue Reading

China Inflation Impact On Chemicals

By John Richardson

POLYETHYLENE (PE) prices were assessed stable-to-weaker by my colleagues at ICIS pricing late last week as Sinopec was reported to be evaluating a 10% reduction in operating rates.

Sinopec hardly ever cuts production on market conditions as …

Continue Reading

China’s Inflation Struggle

By John Richardson

LIKE the boy who cried Wolf the blog might not be believed as we once again warn about the risks ahead for China’s economy.

We have been worried for a long time that eventually China’s huge economic …

Continue Reading