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China By Itself Is Not A Strategy

By John Richardson

SOMETIMES a bit of data is worth many thousands of words – and so my choice of chart for today.

It shows that in one major petrochemical, polyethylene (PE), China’s imports in 2014 continued to hugely overshadow …

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Stand Back And Think: Can This Oil-Price Rally Really Last?

By John Richardson

THE talk in oil markets right now is largely about falling US rig counts and how this has resulted in tighter supply.

But it is very important to note that this focus on the rig count is …

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Take Stock And Plan For the Post-New Year China

By John Richardson

NOBODY involved in the Asian chemicals industry is likely to have been surprised by Saturday’s announcement that January’s official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slipped into negative territory for the first time in more than two years.

The …

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Don’t Bet On A Post-Lunar New Year Rebound

 

By John Richardson

THERE is a very risky theory that I have picked up in my conversations with Asian polyolefin industry players over the past few days:

Strong underlying demand growth in China, low stock levels held by the …

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China: Again, Please Listen To Us: “No Change In Direction”

By John Richardson

China’s Premier, Li Keqiang, could not have been clearer in comments that he made on Monday during a meeting with some of the country’s top corporate leaders.

He told business leaders that the government aimed to create …

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New Silk Road Part 2: How China Will Win

Here is the second part of my thinking on what China’s New Silk Road means for the global chemicals industry. Part One appeared last Thursday.

 

By John Richardson

PER capital GDP in Yunnan province in China’s southwest was just …

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China Would Be The Only Winner From A Price War

By John Richardson

IT IS dangerously wrong to still think of China as just a cheap, copycat low-value manufacturing nation. Yes, cheap, agreed, and to begin with, as was the case with the US, it has copied other countries’ technologies.…

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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,

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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 …

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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

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