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Depressed China Demand Continues

By John Richardson

ANOTHER week and sadly a repeat of the same old story: Depressed polyolefins demand in China.

Pricing did, however, increase – by $10-50/tonne in the case of polyethylene (PE) and $10-40/tonne for polypropylene (PP), according to assessments …

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China’s Leadership Struggle

By John Richardson

IT is still an article of faith among some people in the chemicals industry that all you have to do is concentrate on cost-efficient supply and the demand in developing countries such as China will inevitably continue …

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Inventories And Price Recoveries

By John Richardson

THE role of inventory management in European petrochemical price recoveries needs to be re-examined, given persistently weak underlying economic fundamentals.

In Europe, as this ICIS Insight article from my colleague Mark Victory points out, benzene contract prices have …

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China Polyester Chain Weakens

By Malini Hariharan

The polyester chain is feeling the strain of poor Chinese demand.

Weak export demand and Chinese government policy are also impacting this sector, as is the case in polyolefins.

A further factor behind the problems in the polyester …

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Turning The US Story On Its Head

By John Richardson

THE big US petrochemicals story at the moment is, of course, shale gas and the potential it offers for the local industry to substantially expand capacity.

This would, in theory, give producers a strong position to export to …

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Oil Prices And Demand Destruction

By John Richardson

THE danger that high oil prices pose to the global economy, and therefore, of course, petrochemicals demand, has been highlighted by a new report from HSBC.

It makes the point that quantitative easing, which has led to …

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China Auto Sales Point To Long-term Shift

By John Richardson

The impact of Chinese government policy adjustments on petrochemicals demand was further highlighted late last week, when auto-sales figures for January-February were released.

Sales declined by 4.4 percent, the worst two-month start for the industry in seven …

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Butadiene Set To Decline Further

By Malini Hariharan

The drama continues in the Asian butadiene market. Bids this week are about $100/tonne lower than sellers’ price ideas, writes Helen Yan in an ICIS news report. Buying indications have dropped to $3,350-3,400/tonne CFR Northeast Asia.

Butadiene prices …

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China Set To Gain The Most From Inland Boom

 

By John Richardson

LAST week we discussed how inland markets in China – which are booming thanks to government efforts to raise rural income levels – offer huge opportunities for petrochemicals producers.

Here are a few further reasons to …

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PE Margins Lowest On Record

By John Richardson

ANOTHER week has gone by with no evidence of significantly stronger polyethylene (PE) volumes in China.

Rising labour costs, because of mandated government increases in minimum wages, and the shortages of labour post-Lunar New Year, are still …

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