Soft Brexit, Hard Brexit, No Brexit, A Labour Govt – Take Your Pick

By John Richardson

IT was of course a gamble that backfired hugely. The UK’s General Election would, according to Prime Minister Theresa May, bring certainty and stability to politics during this very important period in British history.

Instead, though, the …

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China PP Market Underlines Return To Global Deflation

By John Richardson

CHINA’S polypropylene (PP) net trade, which is imports minus exports, fell by 31% on a month-on-month basis in April to around 316,000 tonnes. That was to be expected given the 42% surge in net trade in Q1 …

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China’s “Appetite For Pain” Makes $35/bbl Crude More Likely

The Chinese government is showing great determination in its latest battle against excessive and highly speculative lending. This will carry on as a cushion of strong GDP growth has been created, allowing a slowdown that will surprise many people with …

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US Climate Decision: Chemicals Company Winners And Losers

By John Richardson

CHINA is set to introduce a carbon emissions trading scheme later this year for steel and aluminium,, with the chemicals  and polymers sectors set to join at a later date.

Next January, China is also set to …

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How China Stands To Win From US Climate Decision

By John Richardson

How might China benefit from its decision to stick with the COP21 climate-change deal as the US withdraws? Here are some thoughts.

Easier to Escape the Middle Income Trap

China is already leading the global charge on …

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US Polyethylene Industry: Scenarios For 2017-2020

By John Richardson

IT has been a remarkably strong few years for the US polyethylene (PE) business. The shale gas revolution has sent ethane costs plummeting, resulting in the kind of margins that you can see in the above chart. …

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Why Oil Prices Could Be At $35/bbl Or Lower By Q4

Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC may regret their decison to cut production, as this has led to a resurgence in US shale-oil production – and a further wave of innovation in shale technologies. Combine this with a slowdown …

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Why The US Will Fail To Reach 3% GDP Growth

By John Richardson

THE WHITE House has to clear two major barriers if it is going get anywhere close to its target of raising US GDP growth to 3% a year. Over the past decade, the economy has grown at …

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China Moves Towards Commodity Grade PE Self-Sufficiency By 2025

By John Richardson

THE argument I’ve been making for a couple of years now is that the history of petrochemicals in China suggests a constant drive towards much greater self-sufficiency. No value chain is immune, I have kept contending.

The …

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Buoyant, Calm Financial Markets Fail to Reflect Growing Risks

By John Richardson

THE Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) volatility index fell to its lowest level since 1993 on 8 May.

But we knew then that the China economy was slowing down – and that very probably, the Trump administration …

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