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China Polyethylene: Increased Local Naphtha Supply Threaten Imports And Margins

By John Richardson

CHINA’S polyethylene (PE) demand grew from around 22m tonnes in 2914 to approximately 25m tonnes in 2016 – an increase of 12.16% based on the exact numbers, according to ICIS Consulting.

Even better news for the global …

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Donald Trump And The Polyethylene Industry: What Happens Next

By John Richardson

EVERYTHING started going very well for the global polyethylene (PE) business from the end of 2014/early 2015 if you look at the spreads, or differentials, between naphtha costs and PE pricing.

Spreads are only a blunt instrument …

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Xi’s Davos Speech: Risks, Opportunities For Chemicals Industry

By John Richardson

CHINA’S President Xi Jinping yesterday delivered a speech to World Economic Forum in Davos that has been widely praised. What made the speech very striking was how its tone and content contrasted with just about everything US …

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Southeast Asia: Confronting The Real Downside Potential

By John Richardson

SOUTHEAST ASIA’S (SEA) economies can be divided into two main categories. These are the heavily export-exposed economies of Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore and the two countries with the biggest internal demand drivers – Indonesia and the …

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Success In 2017: Move Quickly from Denial To Acceptance

By John Richardson

COUNTING the deckchairs on the deck of the Titanic as it heads towards the iceberg is the exact equivalent of assuming that 2017 oil prices will almost be entirely determined by whether or not OPEC and non-OPEC …

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Polyethylene Pricing, Profits In 2017: Three Scenarios

By John Richardson

WE are in entirely uncharted territory because the West looks as if it is about to abandon the economic and geopolitical policy consensus that has been in place since the Second World War.

There is, for example, …

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Bricklaying In Australia And Oil Prices: Important Similarities

By John Richardson

THE bricklayer came around to my house three years ago, quickly surveyed the extent of the job, drew a sharp breath, and said, “It’s going to cost you at least Aus$4,000.” And that was after a four-week …

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The Denial Simply Has To Stop

By John Richardson

THE old petrochemicals business model was so fantastically successful during the Economic Supercycle that it is perfectly understandable why companies and industry analysts are reluctant to even consider that it may no longer work. Why on earth …

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Trump And Other Political Risks: No Room For Complacency

By John Richardson

SINCE my post last week –China Becomes Dominant Superpower: Implications for Petchems – more data and analysis has emerged on the potential downside for the US if it ends up in a trade war with China. An …

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China: Planning For What Once Seemed Almost Impossible

By John Richardson

FIVE years ago, the probability you would have attached to the third Scenario above - China’s polypropylene (PP) imports falling to just 300,000 tonnes - would no doubt have been close to zero.

In 2011 the consensus …

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