Falling China license plates a lead indicator?

hu.jpg

Source of picture: Chinaenvironmentallaw.com

Talk around the water-cooler in Shanghai offices at the moment is the fall in the cost of a car-license plate in September to a lowest bid of Yuan 27,000 ($3,953) from around Yuan 36,000 in August.…

Continue Reading

Western Polymers: Get Out Or Get Cleverer?

2009-frankfurt-motor-show-theme.jpg

MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION (SORRY, OUCH….!)

Source of Picture: www.autospies.com

The automobile industry in the West has been bought more time by economic stimulus, as this article in The Economist points out.

But some of the discussions at the …

Continue Reading

Equities, Futures, Sentiment = Recovery?

NYMEX-DataWalls.jpg

Forget supply and demand, just record the index cards….

Source of picture: Heatusa.com

This amateur pundit is beginning to think he got it very wrong.

“I’ve been thinking the same thing – I was as gloomy as you a few …

Continue Reading

What’s China’s real consumption growth?

china_shopping_article.jpg

Source of picture: millermmccune.com

How quickly is China shifting its economy away from exports towards stronger domestic consumption?

The answer to this question is, of course, critical to the global chemicals industry.

On the surface it looks good: Retail sales …

Continue Reading

“Steal a little and they throw you in jail…..

bobdylan-infidels.jpg

Source of picture: rateyourmusic.com

…steal a lot and they make you a King,” wrote the great Bob Dylan in A Sweetheart Like You on his great 1980s album, Infidels.

This seems appropriatea as we commemorate exactly 12 months to the …

Continue Reading

Taking Back Control Of Crude Markets

Goldman Sachs is talking about crude oil at $85 a barrel by the end of the year.

Sound familiar? Not quite forecasts of $200 a barrel, but is there a danger of repeating the mistake that the James A Baker …

Continue Reading

A New Series: It’s A Mad World

homer_the_scream.jpg

Source of Picture: pupillageandhowtogetit.wordpress.com

And now for something completely different.

I am launching an new and occasional series, hopefully fed by anonymous contributions, on the daftest examples I come across of company strategies.

A friend works for a global training …

Continue Reading

West To Exert More Cost Pressures

backtoschool_166184a.jpg

The US back-to-school buying season

Source of Picture: theglobeandmail.com

As regular readers will remember, last Friday I linked through to this article from the New York Times on the likelihood of a disappointing back-to-school sales season in the US.

I …

Continue Reading

Dalian Swings In Favour Of The Buyers

Dalian%20Sept09.jpg

Polyolefin producers doing RMB business in China were delighted when price increases on the Dalian Commodity Exchange linear-low density polyethylene (LLDPE) futures contract started leading the physical market on the way up.

“We used the exchange to justify charging higher …

Continue Reading

The more you look at the data…..

large_01gleaners.jpg

Deep in the heart of the great wealth gap

Source of picture: Blogmlive.com

….the more convincing seems to be the argument that financial and commodity markets have got way ahead of the recovery in the real economy.

Take a recent …

Continue Reading