It’s getting darker and darker out there

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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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China’s economy: A case of wishful thinking?


Could the chemicals industry be in danger of wanting to believe something so much that ignores overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

The widespread perception is that China’s economy has reached a turning point.

“The worst of the crisis is over …

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Do you need a Joseph Kennedy moment?


Referring to the famous story about how Joseph Kennedy sold his shares on the eve of the Wall Street Crash after being given investment tips by a shoe-shine boy, my answer to the above is a definitive YES.

Over the …

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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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China polyolefin speculation gets worse


See the piece below.

I suspect polyolefin pricing will fall a lot further:

A Singapore-based polyolefin trader took a telephone call during a lunch meeting a few weeks ago from his counterpart on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE).

“Sell, sell, …

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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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If manufacturers started buying up their suppliers….


This excellent article from The Economist about vertical integration got me thinking that if, say, auto makers start buying up parts suppliers in developed markets (in developing markets the plastics processing industry is too fragmented) we could end up facing …

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Alice In Wonderland economics


China appears to be pumping money into ailing companies for social stability reasons, resulting in a build-up in inventory of unsold finished goods.

Anecdotal evidence from ICIS pricing, and analysis by JP Morgan Asset Management and the China Economic Quarterly …

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