By John Richardson
CHINA’s polyethylene (PE) demand growth was up just 4% in January-October of this year compared with the same period in 2010, as the chart above from Global Trade Information Services (GTIS) indicates.
And yet in January, many of the people the blog spoke to were confidently predicting double-digit demand growth for 2012.
What has gone wrong?
Few people recognised the painful transition process that China is undergoing. We can expect low petrochemicals demand growth in general for several years to come as this process plays out.
Meanwhile, further evidence has emerged that China’s economic “recovery” might amount to little more than a temporary, unsustainable dose of government stimulus designed to make the leadership transition easier. Total exports were up by just 2.9% in November, compared with analysts’ expectations of a 9% increase.