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Petchems Pricing Power, Operating Rates Tell Real Economic Story

By John Richardson

PETROCHEMICALS and polymers pricing power – how easily petrochemicals producers can pass-on higher oil prices to their customers – is a great measure of the strength of the overall global economy.

The reason is that petrochemicals are …

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Asian Naphtha-PE Spreads Collapse By 80% As 2018 Challenges Build

By John Richardson

ASIAN naphtha-to-polyethylene (PE) spreads collapsed by 80% in the first week of January compared with December last year because of the failure to pass on the rise in naphtha feedstock costs resulting from higher oil prices.

In …

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US-China Trade Relations In 2018: Prepare For The Worst

By John Richardson

WE GOT away with it in 2017 by luck rather than design, as there is of course very little that petrochemicals and polymers companies can do to prevent a global trade war other than lobbying politicians.

Part …

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2018 Oil and Petchems: Risk Of Mistaking Apparent For Real Demand

By John Richardson

PERHAPS the most important recent single paragraph of analysis, in the huge volume of analysis out there about oil markets, was this from Nick Cunningham in a 24 December article on oilprice.com:

The [global crude] inventory surplus …

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Global Economy In 2018: Stimulus Withdrawal Threatens Complacent Outlook

By John Richardson

IN TODAY’S world of soar-away stock markets backed up by the notion that the sustained global economic recovery will not be derailed in 2018, there is a need to detail the major risks out there.

Today’s post …

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China Pollution Campaign: 2018 Chemicals Market Opportunities, Challenges

By John Richardson

XI JINPING mentioned the environment no less than 89 times during his three-and-a-half hour opening speech during October’s 19th National Party Congress.

China’s president did, however, refer to the economy 70 times during that same speech, but …

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Cheap Oil Raises Naphtha Cracker Over Investment Risk

By John Richardson

THE ABOVE chart shows that from January 2015 up until November of this year, the Asian naphtha cracker industry has been making a great deal of money.

The orange bars are the premiums in percentage terms between …

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China Environment Campaign Creates Global Inflation Threat

By John Richardson

THE ABOVE chart shows the major role that China has played in driving global inflation, deflation – and now inflation again – since 2008. There is a close link between the movements in China’s Producer Price Index …

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Crude Drives Asian Polyethylene Spreads To Three-Year Low As 2018 Risks Build

By John Richardson

IN MARCH 2016 we gave three scenarios for crude-oil prices:

Collapsing Demand where we saw crude falling to $25/bbl on weak global demand that would make it impossible to repay much of the huge debts that had…

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Peak Oil And The Aramco/SABIC Petchems Project

By John Richardson

THERE is an important connection between this week’s announcement by Saudi Aramco and SABIC of an MoU for a direct oil-to-chemicals complex and the Tesla Semi electric truck, which is being trialled by DHL and other logistics …

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