China Chemical Imports Fall On Affordability

By John Richardson

China’s petrochemical imports continued to decline in June on tight credit conditions and price rises that deterred consumers, according to our colleagues at ICIS news.

Linear-low density polyethylene (LLDPE) imports fell by 18% month-on-month and 3% year-on-year, …

Continue Reading

Cotton corrects; will polyester follow?

By Malini Hariharan

After last year’s stunning rise, cotton prices have plunged 53% in the last four months from a 140-year peak of $2.15/lb on 4 March.

Prices have fallen 38% in July with cotton for December delivery quoted at …

Continue Reading

The Edginess, The Nervousness Continues

By John Richardson

THE edgy and nervous nature of the recovery in Asian polyolefin markets became even more apparent from discussions the blog held with traders and producers during a visit to Singapore last week.

Such was the uncertainty that …

Continue Reading

Dow-Aramco Set To Start Al Jubail JV

By Malini Hariharan

Dow Chemical appears to be ready to take a final decision on its huge cracker and derivatives joint venture with Saudi Aramco in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Media reports in the last two days indicate that the …

Continue Reading

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