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Polyethylene: A World Turned Upside Down

By John Richardson

THE recent history of polyethylene (PE) shows a global competitive landscape very different from that which most people expected two years ago.

Two years ago, we were told that the natural price for oil was $100/bbl because …

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China’s One Belt, One Road: What It Means For PP and PVC

By John Richardson

MONDAY’S blog post on China’s One Belt, One Road initiative has produced a very strong response. I thus thought it was important to discuss in detail  what what One Belt, One Road could mean for two major …

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How To Battle For Value In Oversupplied Markets

By John Richardson

FOR the moment all is good, as the chart above illustrates, which details the premiums that C6 metallocene-grade linear-low density (LLDPE) have enjoyed over standard commodity grade C4 LLDPE in the key China market.

The October 2010 …

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The New World Of Demand, Trade And Competition

By John Richardson

TOMORROW nearly always ended up being better than today for the polymers industry, thanks to the resilience of demand growth during the Economic Supercycle.

What also made life easy was the assumption that global free trade would, …

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China And A Breakdown In Free Trade: Scenarios For Petrochemicals

By John Richardson

MY blog post last Friday, on the threat to the petrochemicals industry of a retreat in global free trade, has gained a great deal of interest. This is good as this is an essential debate.

Today I …

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As Global Free Trade Unwinds, Where You Have Built Becomes Critical

By John Richardson

THE assumption that global free trade will continue to grow has successfully underpinned the strategy of petrochemicals producers for many years. Companies have been able to plan new capacities in just about any location secure in the …

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Oil Below $30, Trade Barriers Etc: Implications for US Polyethylene

By John Richardson

FOUR years ago it seemed like an absolute “no brainer”.

Just about everyone thought that China’s economy was going to expand at double digit annual rates, virtually forever.

You also had the surge in ethane availability in …

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China PP Import Decline Challenges Global Markets

By John Richardson

THE latest data on China’s polypropylene (PP) imports should set alarm bells ringing in polyolefin company board rooms:…

China’s PP production was up by 14% in January-April 2016 versus the same four months last year, with imports

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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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