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Asian petchems: A H2 Outlook

Petrochemical markets, as is the case with stock markets, are I believe in the midst of a bear-market rally.

As chemicals consultant Paul Hodges predicted on his blog last year, restocking in Q1 was inevitable after the great inventory run-down …

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US petchem exports to lessen the pain?

There are reports, confirmed by one consultant, of a flood of US polyolefin exports from the US to Asia, China in particular.

Staggering polyolefin import figures for China in January-February show big percentage increases both year-on-year and month-on-month. The March …

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If manufacturers started buying up their suppliers….

This excellent article from The Economist about vertical integration got me thinking that if, say, auto makers start buying up parts suppliers in developed markets (in developing markets the plastics processing industry is too fragmented) we could end up facing …

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Alice In Wonderland economics

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 …

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Lack of visibility makes planning a nightmare

Is it just me or is sentiment in chemicals markets even more erratic than usual? Only two weeks ago people were talking about an imminent supply glut in polypropylene, but now the talk is of tightness and stable prices.

Perhaps …

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Trade protectionism on the rise

India has launched a petition for PP anti-dumping action against Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Oman. This is the first case of this type in India.

Producers, as we predicted on this blog earlier on, will be increasingly attempting to protect …

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Short-term gain could equal long-term pain

In the depths of the Asian financial crisis an American industry executive said, “I don’t know why Korea has a petrochemical industry. It should be just shut down.”

There were also widespread complaints over “soft” government-directed loans that supported Asian …

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I don’t want to gloat but I told you so….

It looks like olefins and aromatics prices are on the retreat in Asia as I predicted earlier this month.

I only feel slightly smug because it seems obvious that naphtha was a big driver – and that markets were being …

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Go to the bottom of the class and stay there

A recent briefing by The Economist Intelligence Unit warned that because of the mess the West has made of the world economy, managers in Asia might face unrealistic targets.

Does this sound familiar? All answers will be treated in the …

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How to make money in a downturn Part 1

Herein begins an occasional series where I offer advice on how to make a little cash.

By the way, is it me or do I get the sense that a lot companies haven’t woken up to the severity of the …

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