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Supply-Driven Petrochemicals Success Under Threat

By John Richardson

THE OLD joke goes like this: “If oil and gas exploration is the gorilla, refining the dog and petrochemicals the tail on the dog, what does the gorilla say when he looks at the dog? He says, …

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Asian Polyethylene: The Butadiene “War Chest”

By John Richardson

HERE we go again. The above chart shows how the spread between CFR Japan naphtha costs and CFR Northeast Asian (NEA) butadiene prices has been steadily climbing over the last few months. In January of this year …

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Polyethylene Markets To Become More Regional, Less Global

By John Richardson

THE GREAT US author Mark Twain, pictured on the right, needed to pay off his debts. So in May 1897, he was in London during a round-the-world speaking tour designed to raise the money to pay off …

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China Polyethylene Operating Rates To Rise On Govt Policies

By John Richardson

EARLIER this month I reported on how China’s state-owned refineries faced increased competition from their domestic private competitors in 2016 in gasoline, diesel, kerosene and other refined-product markets. This forced Sinopec and PetroChina to reduce their overall …

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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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