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Global Polyethylene: A Painful Balancing Act

By John Richardson

HERE are a few important facts about polyethylene (PE):…

China accounted for 30%, or 2.35m tonnes , of global imports of linear low-density PE (LLDPE) in 2013 (see the above chart).
It accounted for 43% of high-density

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US Petrochemicals: The Way Forward

By John Richardson

ANYBODY out there prepared to make a guess? How long are these fantastic earnings for US petrochemicals companies in the key polyolefins space going to last? Six months, 12 months, 18 months or perhaps even longer?

The …

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China Capacity Closures? Stop Whistling In The Dark

By John Richardson

Measured in US dollars, the price of US imports from China has risen just by 4% over the last ten years, but measured in Yuan, it has actually fallen by no less than 20% (see our above …

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Finding A Home For US Polyethylene Expansions

By John Richardson

EVEN if you take a benign view of the future of the US economy (which, separately, we think is the wrong view), the planned increases in US polyethylene (PE) capacity still raise this very important question: Where …

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The “Why” Behind Sinopec’s Investment Freeze

By John Richardson

SINOPEC has announced that it will halt some of its new petrochemicals investments. This could involve the postponement of up to three cracker projects with a combined ethylene capacity of 2.8m tonnes/year, according to this excellent story …

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Europe’s Dinosaur Destiny

By John Richardson

DINOSAURS became extinct, scientists think, because of an event beyond their control – either an asteroid colliding with the earth, volcanic activity, an ice age, disease or gradual climate change.

With all due respect to the former …

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US Shale Gas And Income Distribution

By John Richardson

THE US shale gas and tight oil-driven energy revolution offers fantastic economic opportunities.

Kevin Swift, Chief Economist and Managing Director of the American Chemistry Council, provided a comprehensive and very valuable summary of the opportunities during his …

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Dow Chemical And Back To The Future

By John Richardson

HOW the world has changed. Dan Loeb of the Hedge fund, Third Point, wrote in a letter proposing a spin-off of Dow Chemical’s petrochemicals assets: “We suspect that Dow’s push downstream has led the company to use …

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The WTO “Bali” Deal Versus ASEAN Priorities

By John Richardson

WHY sacrifice national or regional growth for the sake of freer global trade?

This is a question the blog has been asking itself since the breakthrough last week at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Bali. …

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Less Rather Than More Petchems Free Trade

By John Richardson

A LOT of the talk at this year’s GPCA conference in Dubai was of the need for more free trade in petrochemicals.

There seems to be a risk that as more countries develop refinery and petrochemicals businesses, …

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