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US Polyethylene’s Weak Pricing Power

By John Richardson

HERE is the thing: Petrochemicals pricing for just about every product in every region is usually pretty much set by crude oil and yet in the US, the correlation between polyethylene (PE) pricing and oil has been …

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Global Polyethylene: A Painful Balancing Act

By John Richardson

HERE are a few important facts about polyethylene (PE):…

China accounted for 30%, or 2.35m tonnes , of global imports of linear low-density PE (LLDPE) in 2013 (see the above chart).
It accounted for 43% of high-density

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US Petrochemicals: The Way Forward

By John Richardson

ANYBODY out there prepared to make a guess? How long are these fantastic earnings for US petrochemicals companies in the key polyolefins space going to last? Six months, 12 months, 18 months or perhaps even longer?

The …

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Ten Reasons Why US Petrochemicals Should Think Again

By John Richardson

IT is incredibly hard to “stare a gift horse in the mouth” when your share options have soared in value and you annual bonuses, based on your company’s record-breaking profitability, have been nothing short of fantastic for …

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European Petrochemicals: Making Money Despite Deflation

By John Richardson

THE European petrochemicals industry has done staggeringly well since 2008 thanks to operating rate discipline, skillful inventory management and feedstock flexibility – for example, the INEOS and SABIC initiatives to import low cost ethane from the US.…

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China Capacity Closures? Stop Whistling In The Dark

By John Richardson

Measured in US dollars, the price of US imports from China has risen just by 4% over the last ten years, but measured in Yuan, it has actually fallen by no less than 20% (see our above …

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Thirty Reasons Why Ethylene Will Not Be Tight Until 2019

By John Richardson

THERE is a very common view out there that the ethylene cycle will tighten from next year until around 2019, when the big flood of new US capacity is expected to hit the market.

This is supported …

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China Coal-To-Olefins “A Net Water Producer”

By John Richardson

IT has become the accepted wisdom over the last few years that the coal-to-olefins (CTO) process in China consumes a lot of water.

This theory has been expressed in so many conference papers and in research papers …

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Global Petchems Industry Must Prepare For More Difficult 2015

THE direction of Asian polyethylene markets, once again, serves as a good guide for the overall global petrochemicals industry.

Producers in every region and in every sector of our industry should, therefore, take note of what follows. They must prepare …

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China Excess Phenol Capacity A New Strategic Tool

By John Richardson

STANDARD Western cost-per-tonne analysis has never really been applied in China’s petrochemicals industry – and it never will be applied.

In the past, we have seen how petrochemicals plants have often been run at operating rates of …

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