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The H2 Recovery Story

By John Richardson

THE majority of chemicals analysts have yet to wake up and smell the coffee, according to an industry observer.

“South Korean stocks have come off by 15-30% since their big recovery in January, but it is only …

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Costly Oil Hurts US Industry

 

By John Richardson 

THE higher that oil prices go the more the US petrochemical industry’s margins have expanded.

Petrochemical prices are oil-driven and, therefore, have to go higher as crude becomes more expensive, whereas the cost of shale gas-based ethane …

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Chems Trade Finance Threat

By John Richardson

NEW banking regulations could severely restrict the ability of small and medium-sized (SMEs) companies to access trade finance. This would hit Asia particularly hard, as the majority of chemicals and polymer business involves SMEs.

Under the Basel III …

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China Economic Optimism

By John RichardsonECONOMISTS think China’s growth has bottomed out, thanks to unexpectedly strong March bank lending.

They also think that interest rates will stay low for a long time, even if rates cannot be cut because of the inflation problem. 

New …

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US Euphoria

By John Richardson

THE shale gas advantage, along with the revival of the US economy, made for a euphoric atmosphere at last week’s International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC)* in San Antonio, Texas.

China was only a blip on the corner of …

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Foxconn And Chemicals

By John Richardson

THE recent investigation by the US-based Fair Labor Association into Foxconn is a further indication of how China is transforming its economic model.

It was found that Foxconn breached several Chinese regulations, including a maximum working week …

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China’s March Inflation

By John Richardson

THE importance of reliable market intelligence on China was further emphasised on Monday with the release of the March inflation data.

Last week a sales and marketing executive with a polyolefins producer told us: “”Although the overall inflation …

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MEG’s Fading Star

 

By John Richardson

CHINA’S mono-ethylene (MEG) market was supposed to be very strong this year.

But instead, to date we have seen persistently weak market conditions that few people, least of all the traders, seem to have anticipated.

The …

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Confidence And Petrochemicals

By John Richardson

CONFIDENCE is a strange thing. It can be derived from solid reasons for optimism over the future or from temporary factors that can rapidly disappear.

And what is the value of publicly-expressed confidence? Is it often politically …

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Wen’s Last Reform Push

By John Richardson

Wen Jiabao has been at it again. His extraordinarily strong comments on Tuesday follow those he made last month about the risks of a return to the economic chaos of the Cultural Revolution.

On this latest occasion, …

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