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China’s Unreliable GDP Data


By John Richardson

THE economic slowdown throughout Asia became more apparent last week with the release of disappointing data, prompting interest rate cuts in China, Vietnam and South Korea.

China’s key polyethylene (PE) market responded as trading volumes fell …

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Energy, Politics & Economics


Source of graph: 


By John Richardson

DANIEL Yergin’s superb book, The Prize, describes how the history of the 20th century was shaped by oil and gas.

Now we are entering a new era.

Some 600,000 jobs have …

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China And Demographics

OUR last four blog posts have focused on some of the big challenges confronting China’s economy over the next 12-18 months.

Today we again switch our focus to how major changes in demographics could adversely impact longer-term growth prospects.


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China Politics

In the last of our series of blog posts on some of the major challenges facing China’s economy over the next 12-18 months, we look at politics.



By John Richardson

THE outcome of the battle over China’s economic …

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China Bad Debts

In the first of a series of blog posts on the major challenges facing China’s economy over the next 12-18 months, we look at bad debts.


High stakes in Hangzhou. Source of picture: Wikimedia  


By John Richardson

A …

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China’s VUCA Moment


Ben Bernanke. Source of picture: Wikipedia


By John Richardson

OUR next three blog posts will examine some of the threats to a recovery in China’s chemicals and polymer demand growth over the next 12-18 months.

We will look …

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KPMG Warns Of US Overcapacity


By John Richardson

A management consultancy has gone on the record to warn about what the blog has been warning about for months: That the US petrochemicals industry is in danger of pushing itself into oversupply.

KPMG, in a …

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The Water Challenge

Source of picture: BBC


By John Richardson

By 2050, the world’s 10 biggest river basins by population are expected to produce a quarter of global GDP, according to a report commissioned by HSBC, which was released in June.

The …

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Dictating Chemicals Demand



By John Richardson

SOME commodity chemicals companies still assume that, if they build new supply, demand will always eventually catch up with supply.

The risks of not building new capacities, at times of easy financing and feedstock availability, …

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June China Lending Disappoints


By John Richardson

POLYETHYLENE (PE) and polypropylene (PP) offer prices were reportedly on the rise across Asia earlier this week on increasing geopolitical tensions over Iran that led to a hike in crude prices.

“Butene-grade linear-low density (LLDPE) offers …

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