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Cheap Oil Raises Naphtha Cracker Over Investment Risk

By John Richardson

THE ABOVE chart shows that from January 2015 up until November of this year, the Asian naphtha cracker industry has been making a great deal of money.

The orange bars are the premiums in percentage terms between …

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China Environment Campaign Creates Global Inflation Threat

By John Richardson

THE ABOVE chart shows the major role that China has played in driving global inflation, deflation – and now inflation again – since 2008. There is a close link between the movements in China’s Producer Price Index …

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Crude Drives Asian Polyethylene Spreads To Three-Year Low As 2018 Risks Build

By John Richardson

IN MARCH 2016 we gave three scenarios for crude-oil prices:

Collapsing Demand where we saw crude falling to $25/bbl on weak global demand that would make it impossible to repay much of the huge debts that had…

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Peak Oil And The Aramco/SABIC Petchems Project

By John Richardson

THERE is an important connection between this week’s announcement by Saudi Aramco and SABIC of an MoU for a direct oil-to-chemicals complex and the Tesla Semi electric truck, which is being trialled by DHL and other logistics …

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China And Xi Jinping: The Five Big Challenges You Must Understand

By John Richardson

THE above slide, from my speech at this year’s Gulf Petrochemical Association Forum, is a summary of much of the analysis on this blog over the past 12 months. This is another of my print-out-and-keep guides. Please …

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How US Could Be Squeezed Out Of Europe’s Polyethylene Market

By John Richardson

EARLIER this year a commonly held view was that globalisation would slip into reverse gear with the very real prospect of a global trade war.

But this view didn’t take into account China’s One Belt, One Road …

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China’s Pollution/Economic Campaign To Reshape Petchems

By John Richardson

I BELIEVE that China’s environmental crackdown will continue to disrupt petrochemicals and polymers markets for the next few years.

This is not a temporary phenomenon that will largely go away with the end of the September 2017-March …

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China’s Polypropylene Market: The Right Questions You Simply Must Ask

By John Richardson

On the surface, the above chart represents very good news for exporters of polypropylene (PP) to China. As you can see, our base case sees import volumes creeping up from around 3.9m tonnes in 2018 to 4.2m …

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China Govt Policy To Shape Petchems Demand, Pricing In 2018

By John Richardson

NAPHTHA feedstock costs are on the way up, which is of course the result of higher crude prices. So far this year, the naphtha cost for Asian steam cracker operators has averaged $479/tonne CFR China. But our …

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Measuring Crude Prices And Asian Petchems Profitability

By John Richardson

YESTERDAY I posted this slide on LinkedIn, in response to a lot of concern amongst the more than 150 or so delegates at the 5th ICIS Asian Polyolefins Conference in Bangkok about the impact of rising crude …

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