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US-Asia Propylene arbitrage closes

As flagged up on this blog last week, ICIS news has confirmed that the US-Asia propylene arbitrage has shut following a rise in US domestic refinery-grade C3 prices.

This could be good news if West-East arbitrage in general becomes more …

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Is it better to be right for not quite……

……all the right reasons than to be wrong altogether?

Sounds a dumb question, perhaps – unless you take particular pride in being one of those know-it-alls.

The point I am trying to make (and assuming that chemicals pricing doesn’t collapse …

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It’s getting darker and darker out there

It would be nice to start the weekend with a little cheer, but I’m afraid no amount of gormless optimism would work.

DuPont, as you can see from this excellent piece from my colleague Nigel Davis at ICIS, has revised …

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The China Recovery Conundrum

Good news, bad or indifferent? It was hard to gauge a clear picture from the Q1 macroeconomic numbers for China.

While retail sales grew at 14.7% in March compared with 11.5% in February, exports fell 20% during the first quarter.…

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Some important new petchem trends

To keep you updated on what we believe is happening in petrochemicals, here are some important recent trends:

*Futures markets in China are playing an increasingly important role in influencing pricing in polyolefins, methanol and PTA. Trading volume on the …

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Asian petchems: A H2 Outlook

Petrochemical markets, as is the case with stock markets, are I believe in the midst of a bear-market rally.

As chemicals consultant Paul Hodges predicted on his blog last year, restocking in Q1 was inevitable after the great inventory run-down …

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US petchem exports to lessen the pain?

There are reports, confirmed by one consultant, of a flood of US polyolefin exports from the US to Asia, China in particular.

Staggering polyolefin import figures for China in January-February show big percentage increases both year-on-year and month-on-month. The March …

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Lack of visibility makes planning a nightmare

Is it just me or is sentiment in chemicals markets even more erratic than usual? Only two weeks ago people were talking about an imminent supply glut in polypropylene, but now the talk is of tightness and stable prices.

Perhaps …

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Short-term gain could equal long-term pain

In the depths of the Asian financial crisis an American industry executive said, “I don’t know why Korea has a petrochemical industry. It should be just shut down.”

There were also widespread complaints over “soft” government-directed loans that supported Asian …

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I don’t want to gloat but I told you so….

It looks like olefins and aromatics prices are on the retreat in Asia as I predicted earlier this month.

I only feel slightly smug because it seems obvious that naphtha was a big driver – and that markets were being …

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