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China Commodity SpeculationThreatens Price Correction

By John Richardson

A SMOKING gun that points to more market-distorting high levels of speculation in China’s commodity markets? Have “circular trades” have made a comeback, where one commodity is bought merely to speculate in another commodity or even in …

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China Polyolefins: An Outlook For The Rest Of 2017

By John Richardson

AS THE chart above shows, China is suffering from a bout a polyolefins indigestion right now as a result of a sharp rise in both imports and domestic production. This helps to explain the recent falls in …

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Shift In Lending Patterns Indicate Slower 2017 China Growth

By John Richardson

WE HAVE now seen two months of a very important shift in the pattern of credit growth in China:…

In January, new local-currency bank loans were Rmb2.13 trillion ($310bn).. This was far above December’s Rmb994bn, but there

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Oil Prices Start To Catch Up With Supply And Demand Realities

By John Richardson

I HATE to say “I told you so,”, but I have been telling you that this would happen. Oil prices on Thursday fell below $50, and were at their lowest levels since December as the realities of …

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China Credit And Economic Growth To Slow Again

By John Richardson

Since early 2014, China’s economic history has been one of start, stop reforms.

First of all, President Xi Jinping (pictured right) was in control as his “Princeling” political faction began to effectively implement the bold reform vision …

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Supply-Driven Petrochemicals Success Under Threat

By John Richardson

THE OLD joke goes like this: “If oil and gas exploration is the gorilla, refining the dog and petrochemicals the tail on the dog, what does the gorilla say when he looks at the dog? He says, …

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Asian Polyethylene: The Butadiene “War Chest”

By John Richardson

HERE we go again. The above chart shows how the spread between CFR Japan naphtha costs and CFR Northeast Asian (NEA) butadiene prices has been steadily climbing over the last few months. In January of this year …

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Polyethylene Markets To Become More Regional, Less Global

By John Richardson

THE GREAT US author Mark Twain, pictured on the right, needed to pay off his debts. So in May 1897, he was in London during a round-the-world speaking tour designed to raise the money to pay off …

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China Polyethylene Operating Rates To Rise On Govt Policies

By John Richardson

EARLIER this month I reported on how China’s state-owned refineries faced increased competition from their domestic private competitors in 2016 in gasoline, diesel, kerosene and other refined-product markets. This forced Sinopec and PetroChina to reduce their overall …

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Tackling China’s Latest Steel Bubble: Implications For Petrochemicals

Note: A technical fault meant I was unable to update the blog on Wednesday and Friday last week. Business as usual returns this week.

By John Richardson

THE stop, start nature of economic reforms in China, which is the result …

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