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Brexit, US-China Trade Talks: Time Is Running Out

By John Richardson

BY MARCH 2019, Britain needs to have successfully negotiated the terms of Brexit – and be certain that when the clock stops ticking the terms of the deal will work in practice.

And the task of hitting …

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Credit, Commodities And China: History May Soon Repeat Itself

By John Richardson

YOU should be getting that strong feeling that history might be about to repeat itself when you look at the January-February data on China’s petrochemicals markets. In polypropylene (PP), polyethylene, styrene, mono-ethylene glycol, phenol and acetone, the …

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Trump-Xi Summit Highlights What’s At Stake For US Petchems

By John Richardson

THE above chart, showing US linear-low density polyethylene (LLDPE) expansions and rising surpluses, is just one jigsaw piece of only one global manufacturing chain that could be completely reshaped by the Trump administration’s approach to free trade. …

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New Petchems Business Model Based On Trading Blocs

By John Richardson

THE above chart should give every analyst who thinks low feedstock costs are by themselves guarantee of success in petrochemicals pause for thought:…

US net polyethylene (PE) exports in 2016 were 5,000 tonnes lower than in 2015,

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Oil Prices Could Fall By 50% On Demand As Well As Supply Realities

By John Richardson

THE REAL crude-oil supply story is becoming more commonly understood – hence, the recent declines in pricing. As I discussed in early March, before oil prices started heading south again,  supply has been long for a substantial …

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China Polyolefins: An Outlook For The Rest Of 2017

By John Richardson

AS THE chart above shows, China is suffering from a bout a polyolefins indigestion right now as a result of a sharp rise in both imports and domestic production. This helps to explain the recent falls in …

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Shift In Lending Patterns Indicate Slower 2017 China Growth

By John Richardson

WE HAVE now seen two months of a very important shift in the pattern of credit growth in China:…

In January, new local-currency bank loans were Rmb2.13 trillion ($310bn).. This was far above December’s Rmb994bn, but there

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Supply-Driven Petrochemicals Success Under Threat

By John Richardson

THE OLD joke goes like this: “If oil and gas exploration is the gorilla, refining the dog and petrochemicals the tail on the dog, what does the gorilla say when he looks at the dog? He says, …

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Asian Polyethylene: The Butadiene “War Chest”

By John Richardson

HERE we go again. The above chart shows how the spread between CFR Japan naphtha costs and CFR Northeast Asian (NEA) butadiene prices has been steadily climbing over the last few months. In January of this year …

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Polyethylene Markets To Become More Regional, Less Global

By John Richardson

THE GREAT US author Mark Twain, pictured on the right, needed to pay off his debts. So in May 1897, he was in London during a round-the-world speaking tour designed to raise the money to pay off …

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