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German Bond Yields Go Negative On End Of Economic Supercycle

By John Richardson

OIL markets remain fundamentally long. There is little to support the notion that the recent price rally has anything to do with anything but confidence that US interest rates will be lower for longer than had been …

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Trade Rhetoric Worsens As China Becomes Net PTA Exporter

By John Richardson

TIME Magazine made the “Chinese Worker” runner-up in its 2009 Person of the Year contest (by the way the winner was Ben Bernanke, the then chairman of the US Federal Reserve).

It was the hard graft of …

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Emerging Markets: 67.7 More Years To Catch Up With US

By John Richardson

IF I had a dollar in my pocket for every time I had read or heard the phrase “the rise of the middle classes in the emerging markets” in the context that this was a tremendous opportunity …

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China PP Import Decline Challenges Global Markets

By John Richardson

THE latest data on China’s polypropylene (PP) imports should set alarm bells ringing in polyolefin company board rooms:…

China’s PP production was up by 14% in January-April 2016 versus the same four months last year, with imports

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“Out Of The Box” Solutions Can Prevent Global Trade Tensions

By John Richardson

IF you are a politician in the West, one approach to today’s crisis of global industrial overcapacity is heap most of the blame on China and threaten China with trade barriers. But if China doesn’t respond to …

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Oil Prices: Beware Return Of The Financial Bears

By John Richardson

THE above chart shows the extent to which this year’s oil-price rally has been led by futures markets. What is significant, though, is that futures activity seems to have plateaued.

Sure, futures activity could easily go the …

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US Auto Sales: Recovery? What Real Recovery?

By John Richardson

IF you look at last year’s US auto sales in isolation, the plan to transform the fortunes of economically struggling Wilkes County in North Carolina makes every bit of sense. In 2015, 17.5m vehicles were sold in …

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China’s “Teapot” Refineries: Example Of The Bigger Picture

By John Richardson

IT is all about jobs, jobs and more jobs in politics. Promising to create and maintain employment is how politicians win office. And delivering on these two pledges keeps them in power.

But let’s not by cynical …

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Asian Polyethylene: Challenge The New Paradigm

By John Richardson

IT would be very interesting to go back to 2000 and compare the strength of positive sentiment towards the future of the Asian polyethylene (PE) industry to the above chart.

The chart shows spreads between naphtha costs, …

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Oil Storage, China Credit Threaten Crude-Price Rally

By John Richardson

MANAGE your naphtha and other raw material inventories incredibly carefully over the next few months, as you cannot afford to believe the hype that oil prices have definitively, without doubt, bottomed out.

This has to be the …

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