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More arguments against M-E price setting

The article below, from Sean Milmo of ICB, makes the case that the Middle East will not be able or willing to lead pricing in Europe during the next downturn because of the control that European producers will be able …

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The idiocy and hypocrisy of biofuels

I am having a go at the US here (see article below) – a pretty big target – but don’t worry, Asia is the next in line on this blog: the opportunistic, shallow and downright unpleasant palm oil-based biodiesel industry …

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The Middle East may set polyolefins pricing

This was the warning from Bob Bauman of Nexant ChemSystems at last week’s 25th Annual Petrochemical Conference in Houston, Texas.

Read below for some rather gloomy predictions of where markets could be heading in 2011-12

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How clean are coal-to-liquids? Does it really matter?

Paul Hodges, in his excellent chemicals and the economy blog, talks about the recent Shenhua Energy listing on the Shanghai stock exchange and how it shares jumped by 93% following the IPO.
Now it has ample cash to pursue its …

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Another great year for Asian polyolefins but……

……how long will it last is the inevitable question. Demand growth has been so strong so far this year with very little new production coming onstream that while crude oil and the price of monomers have set a floor for …

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The world goes Upsize barmy

Standing in the queue for Starbucks (not McDonalds – no way, and my son’s going nowhere near that place) it’s so easy to opt for the half bucket-sized Grande option because, after all, we are all rich these days and …

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Lots of froth makes one giant global bubble

Alan Greenspan refused to categorise conditions in the US housing market as a bubble when he was chairman of the Fed.
But now he’s retired and while plugging his memoirs, he admitted in a TV interview the other day that …

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Methanol – a Dickens of a good or bad tale

Methanol producers have been enjoying the best of times, but to paraphrase good old Charles Dickens, they may not necessarily be heading for the worst of times.

There is a staggering amount of capacity due on stream by 2012. By …

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Could new laws threaten your supply chain?

I am at logistics conference at the moment where the major theme is a chronically tight global container shipping market because of booming exports from China. Ports are congested, waiting times are increasing, freight rates have in some cases doubled …

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Is the elephant about to fall off the bike?

As Paul Hodges notes in his Chemicals and the Economy blog http://www.icis.com/blogs/chemicals%2Dand%2Dthe%2Deconomy/, China’s Finance Minister quit this morning – either over his role in a sex scandal or because inflation and the stock markets are out of control.
Petrochemical demand …

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