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China coal to benzene threatens

With naphtha prices so high, heavy aromatics and pygas feedstock for producing benzene are not only expensive but are also in tight supply due to operating rate cutbacks.

Longer term also, as we’ve already discussed here, there are major doubts …

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Will Dow ever crack India?

The two big gaps in the US major’s Asian presence (and gaping gaps they indeed are) are cracker complexes in India and China.

China could be fixed through the alliance with PIC – meaning, Dow has leverage to get a …

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How dependent is Chinese growth on the US?

According to this article from The Economist, total China exports account for less than 10% of China’s GDP when “value add” is stripped out – much less than the headline 40% figure for 2007, which includes imported and domestic inputs. …

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Japanese gloom builds as earnings fall

Yet more gloom – the world’s second-biggest economy appears to be slowing down as the effects of the sub-prime crisis spread.

What will this mean for Japan’s chemical industry, which in the first half of the current financial year suffered …

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Can India compete with China?

India is already being held back in mass manufacturing by restrictive labour practices and poor infrastructure – meaning the answer to the above question is already a resounding no in some sectors.

The rise of the rupee is also a …

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Bali doesn’t go anywhere near far enough

At least the US is on board, but the pact to reduce emissions by 25-40 per cent by 2020 might well not be sufficient to prevent the 1.5 centigrade rise in global temperatures that will be disastrous for the planet.…

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Where does Dow/PIC go from here in Asia?

What Andrew Liveris didn’t address when interviewed over the Dow/PIC deal is what the $19bn olefins and polymers deal could mean for Asia, the Middle East and commodities.

All the talk was of specialities with speculation sure to be rife …

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More talk of credit tightening in China

Call me a bitter old cynic, but some of the talk in this ICIS news article about a government lending crackdown might be from a few traders taking positions.

But still, it does seem as if the government is taking …

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China inflation to threaten growth?

Yes, if it persists despite the best efforts of the government to cool down the economy.

The point is that this is not just crude oil and food prices, but the pace of underlying inflation is picking.

As the Financial …

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More Indonesian consolidation on the way?

There are strong rumours circulating that the hopelessly fragmented Indonesian petrochemical industry might undergo some more restructuring.

This would follow Titan Petrochemical’s purchase of troubled polyethylene producer PT Peni, now renamed PT Titan, for a bargain price.

Common ownership between …

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