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Oil Prices: Did You Heed All The Warnings?

By John Richardson

THE $30 a barrel price of crude at or below which some Asian naphtha cracker operators could be forced to exit the business is an increasing possibility.

Here is why:…

This January’s stockpile of crude in the

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China Would Be The Only Winner From A Price War

By John Richardson

IT IS dangerously wrong to still think of China as just a cheap, copycat low-value manufacturing nation. Yes, cheap, agreed, and to begin with, as was the case with the US, it has copied other countries’ technologies.…

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Asian Polyethylene: Inventory Losses Threaten Survival

By John Richardson

HERE are some observations, from several discussions with market participants this week, about what is happening in China’s key polyethylene (PE) market:…

If the oil price stays at $40-50 a barrel then payment collection from local customers,

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Chemical Sales, Capital Spending In A Weaker Oil-Price World

By John Richardson

THE above chart shows the top 23 of the latest ICIS Top 100 ranking of global chemicals companies by sales in US dollars for 2013.

When the 2014 numbers have been fully compiled and released later this …

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How To Get Through 2015 In One Piece (More Or Less)

By John Richardson

EVERY time the oil price stabilises for just a few days there is pretty widespread talk of the market having found a bottom  and that a rebound is about to begin.

A case in point was last …

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Oil Markets In One Word: China

By John Richardson

A COMMENT I have heard so many times over the last two months is that once oil prices settle down, China’s petrochemicals buyers will have to come back in large numbers in order to replenish what must …

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Europe: Three Very Easy Predictions For 2015

By John Richardson

HERE are some alarming facts about Europe:…

 If you include all the people who have become disheartened and so have dropped out of the labour force, the Spanish employment rate fell from 66% in 2007 to just

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China Polyethylene: Three Predictions For 2015

By John Richardson

THE  chart  below serves as an excellent illustration of the big shift in consensus thinking about China’s overall economy, as it shows that:…

PE imports surged in January on the belief that China would “blink” – and

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The Emperor’s New Clothes: Time To Spot The Obvious

By John Richardson

IF enough of the right kind of people say something enough times then everybody starts believing what they say, regardless of whether or not they have done the right kind of research.

Part of this is down …

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Starting All Over Again: A Ten-Point Guide For 2015

By John Richardson

AS chemicals companies go back to their budget plans for 2015, and redraw them entirely, here are ten things that they must take into account:…

The oil price is not going to return to $100 a barrel

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