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So Much For The Bonus From Cheaper Oil

By John Richardson

THE big turning point in Asian petrochemicals markets can be traced back to around the end of July for three big reasons:

• It was broadly accepted from then onwards that China wasn’t going to change its …

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Policymakers Have Failed The World

By John Richardson

WHEN the economic, social and political history of 2008-2014 ends up being written, there are two groups of people who are going to end up bearing a lot  of the blame for  the new global financial crisis. …

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The World Is Turning Upside Down

By John Richardson

A COMMON view is that Asia’s petrochemicals markets are merely suffering from a temporary destocking phrase, driven by the collapse in crude-oil prices.

So when crude oil prices settle down, everything will be fine.

Many people also …

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Asia’s Petchems Decline: Reject Tried And Trusted Analysis

By John Richardson

ASIA’S petrochemicals traders and producers have on the whole done fantastically well over the last 20 years by sticking with tried-and-trusted ways of assessing markets.

It is very tempting, therefore, to think that today’s weak demand will …

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Chemicals Demand Is Not Going To Return To Normal

By John Richardson

EUROPEAN cracker operators are rushing to snap-up naphtha prices before prices rise again, reports my colleague Nigel Davis, in another of his excellent Insight articles.

“The lower crude price seems to be driving downstream demand. Europe’s crackers …

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China Excess Phenol Capacity A New Strategic Tool

By John Richardson

STANDARD Western cost-per-tonne analysis has never really been applied in China’s petrochemicals industry – and it never will be applied.

In the past, we have seen how petrochemicals plants have often been run at operating rates of …

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China Transformation Webinar Tomorrow

By John Richardson

EVERYWHERE you look is the same,  according to the Asia ICIS pricing reports for the week ending 5 September. For example:…

Purified terephthalic acid operating rates were just 52-53% at the end of last week, down from

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China’s “Whack-A-Mole” To Accelerate

By John Richardson

Mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) is the latest petrochemicals product to be caught up in real estate-linked collateral trading, an industry observer recently told the blog.

“To some extent, MEG has been bought not for real demand, but instead …

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China Commodities Fraud: The Global Implications

By John Richardson

An eerie calm has descended over financial and commodity markets with volatility at a record low.

The calm is eerie because it reminds us of the build-up to September 2008.

Back then, not one single mainstream economist …

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China Pulls Back From Funding Other Emerging Markets

By John Richardson

IT important to be relentlessly realistic about the risks no confronting emerging markets in general, now that China is focusing much more on its own internal problems and needs.

One of these risks – reduced funding of …

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