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Buoyant, Calm Financial Markets Fail to Reflect Growing Risks

By John Richardson

THE Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) volatility index fell to its lowest level since 1993 on 8 May.

But we knew then that the China economy was slowing down – and that very probably, the Trump administration …

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China’s Drive To PX Self-Sufficiency Again Shows Failure Of Conventional Thinking

By John Richardson

BACK in November 2014, when I first suggested that China might move to self-sufficiency in paraxylene (PX), my blog post was met with widespread scepticism.

At that time, China was moving from a major import position in …

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China’s Lock-Step Moves On Credit, Pollution Threaten Global Economy

China’s renewed efforts to tackle excessive lending and pollution are closely linked as progress on deflating the 2016 credit bubble will also see progress towards cleaning-up the environment. This will lead to quite a sharp slowdown in GDP growth during …

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China To Drive Return To Global Deflation

By John Richardson

THE Wall Street Journal agrees up with my blog: Two months after I warned that a slowdown in lending growth in China was a major threat to the global economy, its 1 May front-page article echoed my …

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China Polyethylene Self-Sufficiency: The Right Questions To Ask

By John Richardson

THERE is a lot of talk right now about now China’s coal-to-olefins (CTO) capacity additions are slowing down on rising concerns over the emissions produced by the technology.

A further factor behind the widespread view that capacity …

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Global Economic Recovery To Weaken On End Of China Stimulus

By John Richardson

THE extent to which the global economic recovery has been dependent on China will become all-too apparent over the rest of this year, and into 2018, as China once again reduces lending. As UBS writes in a …

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Credit, Commodities And China: History May Soon Repeat Itself

By John Richardson

YOU should be getting that strong feeling that history might be about to repeat itself when you look at the January-February data on China’s petrochemicals markets. In polypropylene (PP), polyethylene, styrene, mono-ethylene glycol, phenol and acetone, the …

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Global Deflation At Risk Of Returning On End Of China Commodities Bubble

By John Richardson

THIS time last year it was deflation that seemed to be the problem for the global economy. Despite many years of US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BOE) etc. economic stimulus, consumer …

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China Crude Imports: Low Growth Could Again Mean Fall In Oil Prices

By John Richardson

RIGHT now, of course, oil prices are on the up again because of disruptions to Libyan production and confidence that OPEC will extend its production cuts.

Libya might of course be a temporary factor, and it depends …

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New Petchems Business Model Based On Trading Blocs

By John Richardson

THE above chart should give every analyst who thinks low feedstock costs are by themselves guarantee of success in petrochemicals pause for thought:…

US net polyethylene (PE) exports in 2016 were 5,000 tonnes lower than in 2015,

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