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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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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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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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Trumponomics And A Global Recession

By John Richardson

FIRST of all there was no chance he would win the nomination. No chance at all.

Then nearly all the election pundits said it was almost impossible that he could beat Hillary Clinton because he had such …

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China And A Breakdown In Free Trade: Scenarios For Petrochemicals

By John Richardson

MY blog post last Friday, on the threat to the petrochemicals industry of a retreat in global free trade, has gained a great deal of interest. This is good as this is an essential debate.

Today I …

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As Global Free Trade Unwinds, Where You Have Built Becomes Critical

By John Richardson

THE assumption that global free trade will continue to grow has successfully underpinned the strategy of petrochemicals producers for many years. Companies have been able to plan new capacities in just about any location secure in the …

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Machiavelli’s “New Order Of Things”: Risks and Rewards

By John Richardson

IF you get it, you understand what is really happening out there, there is no guarantee that you will be successful as Machiavelli (see below right) – the great Italian Renaissance historian, politician, philosopher and writer etc. …

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China’s Yuan: Making Sense Of All The Noise

By John Richardson

LAST year nearly $1trn was moved out of China as rich people lost confidence in the direction of the economy. Much of this was moved if not illegally, then through stretching the rules to the very edge …

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Negative Interest Rates Will Not Work

By John Richardson

WE are entering an almost surreal world where Western central bankers, rather than admit they are wrong, have either already opted for, are in the case of the Fed are openly discussing, negative lending rates.

If the …

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Deflation Threatens Asia’s Ethylene-Polyethylene Link

By John Richardson

AS you can see from the above chart, ever since April 1997, when we first started providing price quotes for spot Northeast Asian (NEA) high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film grade, it has been spot ethylene rather than spot …

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