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Asian Polyethylene: Challenge The New Paradigm

By John Richardson

IT would be very interesting to go back to 2000 and compare the strength of positive sentiment towards the future of the Asian polyethylene (PE) industry to the above chart.

The chart shows spreads between naphtha costs, …

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European Polyolefins: Rebuilding The Bridges

 

By John Richardson

SHOULD any petrochemicals value chain be a zero-sum game – a constant battle between suppliers and customers to determine who emerges as the single winner in any one month or quarter?

No, absolutely not. It is …

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Reliance On Any China Polymer Deficit Will Not Work

 

By John Richardson

THE “last big man standing’, as polyethylene (PE) was described to me during my visit to Shanghai last week, is widely expected to remain in major deficit in China for the next decade at least.

As …

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China: Defining The Real, Future Profit Motive

By John Richardson

IF you picked up the phone and talked to the right people, or sat down with them face to face, it was possible to in the past come away with the impression that creating and maintaining jobs …

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US Ethane Shipments And The Broader Picture

By John Richardson

THE first shipment of ethane from the US to Europe, which is set to arrive on Wednesday to feed the INEOS cracker at Rafnes in Norway, will be widely interpreted as meaningonly one thing: That nothing in …

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How To Grow Sales In A Deflationary World

By John Richardson

CHINA hugely increased its propylene and derivatives capacity to the point where by 2011, it became the first region or country where downstream propylene consumption surpassed that of ethylene.

This didn’t mean booming actual demand for propylene …

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China: Wrong Questions Will Give You The Wrong Answers

By John Richardson

IF you start with the wrong questions about China, you are obviously going to end up with the wrong answers.

In the case of China’s polyolefins industry, too many people are still asking themselves this wrong question: …

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Investors Mislead US On Oil Versus Natural Gas

By John Richardson

DID you raise the right concerns during board meetings before the end of great oil-price bull run? If you didn’t, this is not intended as a criticism because it would quite likely have been career suicide to …

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The Risks Ahead For Polyethylene

By John Richardson

TOO many people will look at the chart on the left and think, “Crisis? What crisis?” But glance to the right for what it is like in another petrochemicals value chain. What is happening on the right …

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This Is Not Just Another Economic Downcycle

By John Richardson

ECONOMIC upcycles come and go, but in the end, the fundamentals don’t change. This is the message I have picked up from conversations with senior industry executives over the last two weeks.

“All we have to do …

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