Polyolefins At A Tipping Point

By John Richardson

EUROPEAN polyolefin markets are at one of those fascinating tipping points following the recent price recovery.

Ethylene spot prices rebounded late last week with July sales much better than those in June, wrote Nel Weddle, European ICIS pricing …

Continue Reading

Sleepless in Riyadh

By Malini Hariharan

CEOs of Asian petrochemical companies worried about rising feedstock costs, a weak economic outlook and profitability should have been reassured to read over the weekend that even Mohammed Al-Mady, vice-chairman and CEO of Sabic is having sleepless …

Continue Reading

The Benzene Versus Propylene Debate

By John Richardson

SHELL Chemicals put an argument forward last week that polystyrene (PS) had regained ground from polypropylene (PP) as a result of expensive propylene.

And the petrochemicals major forecast a bright future for both PS and expandable polystyrene …

Continue Reading

Saudi Petchem Production Threatens Recovery

By John Richardson

RISING oil production in Saudi Arabia has resulted in bigger volumes of polyethylene (PE) being delivered into Asia-Pacific markets, a source with a major plastics processor told the blog late last week.

“Saudi Arabia has definitely, in …

Continue Reading

Bullish on styrene and benzene

By Malini Hariharan

Styrene’s addition by the US to a list of ‘anticipated carcinogens’ does not seem to have affected producers demand growth expectations for the product or for its key feedstock benzene.

Speaking at the 5th ICIS Asian Aromatics …

Continue Reading

The China Inflation Muddle

By John Richardson

THE fascinating, but also at the same time frustrating, complexity of the Chinese economy has been thrown into further relief this week in the debate over the implications of the June 6.4% inflation rate.

The rate, the …

Continue Reading

India PP dumping: The story continues

By Malini Hariharan

The fight against anti-dumping duties (ADD) imposed by India on polypropylene (PP) exported by Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Oman is not yet over.

Some of the major companies that face ADD have taken the matter to the …

Continue Reading

Europe Not Clutching At Straws

By John Richardson

EUROPEAN ethylene and polyethylene (PE) market participants seem a million miles away from buying into the idea that the recovery in Asia is sustainable.

This is a realistic view following last week’s interest rate rise in China, the …

Continue Reading

Living In Hope Rather Than Expectation

By John Richardson

HOPEFUL theories espoused by traders can sometimes sound a little hollow – as was the case with the one doing the rounds in Asian polyolefin markets late last week.

“We think the latest interest rate rise in China …

Continue Reading

China’s methanol economy

By Malini Hariharan

China is well set to take on an even larger role in the global methanol industry. The country already accounts for a little over 40% of demand and its share is set to expand rapidly in the …

Continue Reading