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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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Oil In Free Fall: What It Means For Petchems

By John Richardson

AS crude heads to perhaps as little as $10-15/bbl, you have  evaluate the immediate, or first order, effects on the petrochemicals industry and then move to stage two – what it means in the longer term.

Right …

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Global Polyethylene Priced Off US Ethane. Why Not?

By John Richardson

WHEN you have spent several billion dollars building a brand new US steam cracker complex, you will of course do everything to maximise operating rates to pay back your debts, even if it means pricing off your …

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Collapsing Crude: What To Do Next

This is business critical now, as the new global economic crisis, centred on China and other emerging markets, gathers momentum. Putting aside the specific monumental problems represented by China, as the Financial Times pointed on Monday, the last decade has …

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Polyethylene The “Last Man Standing”. For How Much Longer?

By John Richardson

POLYETHYLENE (PE) remains almost the “last man standing”. Whereas most of the other chemicals and polymers markets in China, including phenol,  polyvinyl chloride and purified terephthalic acid, are mired in almost vanished imports and poor profitability because …

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