Asian Polyethylene: Inventory Losses Threaten Survival

By John Richardson

HERE are some observations, from several discussions with market participants this week, about what is happening in China’s key polyethylene (PE) market:…

If the oil price stays at $40-50 a barrel then payment collection from local customers,

Continue Reading

Chemical Sales, Capital Spending In A Weaker Oil-Price World

By John Richardson

THE above chart shows the top 23 of the latest ICIS Top 100 ranking of global chemicals companies by sales in US dollars for 2013.

When the 2014 numbers have been fully compiled and released later this …

Continue Reading

Indonesia: Seize The Day

By John Richardson

IT WAS criminally wrong. Yes, criminally wrong. Financial speculators drove up the price oil to $100 a barrel and more, which forced developing countries to waste many billions of dollars on fuel subsidies.

This was money that …

Continue Reading

This Is No Way To Run Companies In The Future

By John Richardson

WHEN the history of 2015 is eventually written, there will no doubt be some petrochemicals industry executives who will say, “I simply didn’t see this coming”.

This will to some extent be disingenuous as for share price …

Continue Reading

How To Get Through 2015 In One Piece (More Or Less)

By John Richardson

EVERY time the oil price stabilises for just a few days there is pretty widespread talk of the market having found a bottom  and that a rebound is about to begin.

A case in point was last …

Continue Reading

Oil Markets In One Word: China

By John Richardson

A COMMENT I have heard so many times over the last two months is that once oil prices settle down, China’s petrochemicals buyers will have to come back in large numbers in order to replenish what must …

Continue Reading

China Petrochemicals In 2015: Five More Predictions

By John Richardson

HERE are five more predictions for China’s petrochemicals markets during 2015:

1.) Polyethylene, polypropylene (PP), phenol, purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) will be just some of the products that will see declines in imports …

Continue Reading

US Petrochemicals: Three Predictions For 2015

By John Richardson

AS you can see from the table below, there are  no less than 12 US ethane-based cracker projects being planned with lots of associated downstream capacity.

Theoretically, this represents:…

14.8m tonnes/year of new ethylene capacity at these

Continue Reading

Europe: Three Very Easy Predictions For 2015

By John Richardson

HERE are some alarming facts about Europe:…

 If you include all the people who have become disheartened and so have dropped out of the labour force, the Spanish employment rate fell from 66% in 2007 to just

Continue Reading

China Polyethylene: Three Predictions For 2015

By John Richardson

THE  chart  below serves as an excellent illustration of the big shift in consensus thinking about China’s overall economy, as it shows that:…

PE imports surged in January on the belief that China would “blink” – and

Continue Reading