One piece at a time

By Malini Hariharan

Yesterday’s announcement by Asahi Kasei, Sabic and Mitsubishi Chemical of a joint-venture acrylonitrile (AN) project in Saudi Arabia fills up one more slot in the kingdom’s petrochemical value chain and supports the move downstream.

Sceptics might question …

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Trouble for PX, PTA and MEG

By Malini Hariharan

All is not well in the Asian polyester chain. Demand has slowed down exerting a steady downward pressure on prices.

Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) spot prices have dropped by $100/tonne in the last week to $1,290-1,300/tonne CFR …

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Global manufacturing set to drift

By Malini Hariharan

China’s status as factory for the world is under threat as rising costs of operating are startingto bite.

Estimates of wage cost hike this year range from 10% to 20%. And if higher prices of raw material …

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Will the US lead the next olefins wave?

By Malini Hariharan

A few weeks back after a post on the rise of shale gas the blog was asked a question about new petrochemical investments in North Americas. Were they feasible? Would ethane prices remain attractive for the long …

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Butadiene – will the good times last?

By Malini Hariharan

A question that every butadiene buyer has been asking for a long time is when will prices ease?

There are no signs yet although buyers are threatening to cut production.

Butadiene rose by more than $200/tonne last …

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The Chemicals Party Is Over

By John Richardson

IT has been a fantastic party. Nobody expected that the drinks would last for so long, thanks to Wen Jiabao and Ben Bernanke working overtime to man the 24/7 off-licence (it is called “liquor store” in the States …

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Petchems Could Enjoy Abundant Naphtha

By John Richardson

THE refining industry enjoyed a golden era before the global economic crisis thanks to a booming economy and gasoline shortages caused by Hurricane Katrina. Inevitably, therefore, as is so often the case with commodity industries, too much …

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China Inflation Impact On Chemicals

By John Richardson

POLYETHYLENE (PE) prices were assessed stable-to-weaker by my colleagues at ICIS pricing late last week as Sinopec was reported to be evaluating a 10% reduction in operating rates.

Sinopec hardly ever cuts production on market conditions as …

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China’s Inflation Struggle

By John Richardson

LIKE the boy who cried Wolf the blog might not be believed as we once again warn about the risks ahead for China’s economy.

We have been worried for a long time that eventually China’s huge economic …

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China outlines shale gas ambitions

china shale gas.jpg

By Malini Hariharan

With all the buzz around shale gas in the US the blog is not surprised to read that China is also turning to this unconventional source of gas.

The country is looking to start shale gas production …

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