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What A “Low Growth World” Really Looks Like

By John Richardson

ONLY six new  US crackers would be built over the next five years because of rising construction and labour costs, said Dow Chemical’s CEO, Andrew Liveris, in an earnings conference call last week. This would be out …

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China Coal-To-Olefins: Water Not An Issue

By John Richardson

CONVENTIONAL wisdom has it that the water issue stands in the way of the growth of the coal-to-olefins (CTO) industry in China.

The process consumes a lot of water  – between 15-20 tonnes for every tonne of …

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European Political Suicide Seems Unlikely

By John Richardson

For once, we are not going to talking about demand but will instead focus only on supply.

“In all scenarios, the US captures market share away from Europe,” the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) chief economist, Kevin Swift, …

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China: When Sentiment Tells Us Something Important

By John Richardson

THE blog once asked a seasoned petrochemicals industry consultant what the price of polypropylene (PP) was.

“It depends on whether the Hong Kong traders are in a good or a bad mood this morning,” was his reply.…

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China’s Methanol Industry: Through The Looking Glass

By John Richardson

AT first glance, some of the facts relating to China’s methanol sector sound like Jabberwocky  sounded to Alice when she firs discovered the language of that name in the marvellous Lewis Carroll novel, Alice Through The Looking …

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China To Keep Polyolefins Imports Out

By John Richardson

THERE has been a lot of talk about how fully integrated coal-to-polyolefins plants in China will compete exceptionally well with naphtha crackers on a variable cost basis.

OK, in terms of capital costs, the whole coal-to-polyolefins chain …

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Australia At An Economic Crossroads

By John Richardson

THERE is no such thing as level playing field when it comes to the chemicals industry and, for that matter, probably any other industry.

China has long-subsidised many of its industries through soft loans for new projects, …

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China Reforms: The Global Implications

By John Richardson

IT can feel logical to assume that the fundamentals of the petrochemicals business in Asia haven’t really changed.

When you think about it, apart from a brief interruption in the region’s success story during the Asian Financial …

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The “Why” Behind Sinopec’s Investment Freeze

By John Richardson

SINOPEC has announced that it will halt some of its new petrochemicals investments. This could involve the postponement of up to three cracker projects with a combined ethylene capacity of 2.8m tonnes/year, according to this excellent story …

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The “Logic” Of US Ethane Exports

By John Richardson

THE search for feedstock advantage is constant, given that some 80-90% of variable costs for any petrochemicals producer consists of the cost of acquiring raw materials.

Hence, my colleague Nigel Davis, in this excellent Insight article, writes:…

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