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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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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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The Real Story Behind The Commodities Price Rebound

By John Richardson

THE job of anybody involved in financial markets, whether equities or commodities, is to of course make money – whether by going long or short. What matters, therefore, is not whether an economic theory ultimately turn out …

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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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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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New ICIS Study To Measure The Trump Effect

THE global economic and political landscape is in a state of flux and we face levels of uncertainty not seen for decades, as the three scenarios I outline above indicate. Politics is dominating Boardroom debate around the globe.

Will President …

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China And US: Different Approach To Same Challenge Risks Only One Winner

By John Richardson

WHAT do Xi Jinping and Donald Trump have in common? Both confront the challenge of income inequality.

President Xi’s approach is centred on the One Belt, One Road initiative, which involves an attempt to create the world’s …

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Oil Prices: Speculation Reaches New High, As Do Risks For Real Economy

By John Richardson

HEDGE funds and other speculators had amassed a record amount of futures contracts of 885m barrels by 31 January, according to the Financial Times. These contracts were equivalent to almost nine days of actual, physical demand. And …

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