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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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Chemicals Companies Need Security Of Demand

By John Richardson

MUCH of the focus of last week’s Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Singapore  once again seemed to be about feedstock advantage.

This included several charts ranking the competitiveness of the three major categories of ethylene producers …

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The Chemicals Industry: The Ten Key Challenges

 

 

By John Richardson

AS delegates gather for this year’s Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Singapore, there are ten challenges that they need to address during their discussions over the next three days:…

AN Economic Supercycle, which made

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China Complexity: The Wrong And Right Kind Of Spending

                                                                         China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative – the right kind of spending

 

By John Richardson

SOME people might too quickly assume that last week saw yet more evidence of the reformers and anti-reformers within the Chinese government pulling in …

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China’s PP Import Decline: Did you See This Coming?

By John Richardson

THE smart people in the polypropylene (PP) business will have already adjusted their strategies in response to evidence, from 2009 onwards, that China was very aggressively expanding its PP capacities.

They would have tracked the rapid rate …

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US Water Crisis: Be Part Of The Solution, Not The Problem

By John Richardson

IT SHOULD be pretty obvious to all of us that there is a huge gap in the provision of basic needs in the emerging world. Just look, for example, at the some 2.3bn people who in 2015 …

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