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Challenges for chemicals trading in Q4

The views of two Singapore-based chemicals traders explain some of the fundamental shifts in production, logistics and demand since the economic crisis began.

“I have done reasonable business this year and made quite good returns, but volumes are way down,” said …

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How do Asian cracker operators compete?

Source of Picture: www.autospies.com

Not an easy answer and not one much suited to a few paragraphs of blogging.

But here’s one thought as the competitive environment becomes a great deal more difficult due to new Middle East capacity and …

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Don’t You Wish You Could Be Yourself?

Picture: The Daily Mail

Ok, I lied – I am having trouble getting back into my petrochemicals bubble and so this post is not about polypropylene. Apologies to all those disappointed C3 H6 molecules out there.

I was sharing lunch …

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Micro-management gone too far?

“Nobody can see until the end of the month – never mind into the third quarter,” commented an olefins trader recently.

“The reason is that very senior managers are too busy micro-managing everything, from getting involved in trying to track …

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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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Trade protectionism on the rise

India has launched a petition for PP anti-dumping action against Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Oman. This is the first case of this type in India.

Producers, as we predicted on this blog earlier on, will be increasingly attempting to protect …

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As this is the season of goodwill…..

…why not forgive debts as Nail Ferguson suggested in his article in the Financial Times last Friday.

His suggestion about giving those in mortgage arrears a break by converting their loans to longer term durations with fixed interest rates is …

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Obama’s impact on Asian petchems

For many years, many an Asian country has wanted a petrochemical industry as much as car or a textile industry.

Some of those countries have pursued investment even though their competitive advantages in petrochemicals have been somewhat dubious.

Singapore can …

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Uncle Karl is back in fashion

Yes, indeed, with all the talk of the collapse of capitalism and with liberal economists running for cover, dear old Karl might once again be the flavour of the month.

Oh how I remember those dewy-eyed days, standing on the …

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Crikey, did I eat that much?

The old saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” has at last been proved true with the virtual collapse of the global financial system – and with it, quite possibly, the world’s economy.

But for the last decade …

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