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Oil Prices: Ignore Human Nature At Your Peril

By John Richardson

JUST four months after the blog first moved to Asia, we got the shock of our lives: The Asian Financial Crisis.

We were bewildered and didn’t know what to think, but fortunately, perhaps, there wasn’t much of …

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China Reforms: The Global Implications

By John Richardson

IT can feel logical to assume that the fundamentals of the petrochemicals business in Asia haven’t really changed.

When you think about it, apart from a brief interruption in the region’s success story during the Asian Financial …

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China’s About Turn: The Seven Global Implications

By John Richardson

HISTORIANS will end up concluding that falling emerging market currencies and stock markets – the prelude to what could be a full-blown crisis –  is really about China and not about the US Federal Reserve. The Fed …

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China Slows Down

By John Richardson

CHINA’S economy appears to have slowed down.

Evidence of the lost momentum was provided by manufacturing purchasing manufacturers’ indexes (PMIs) released last week and the release on Monday of service sector PMIs, which all showed lower growth …

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Gas, Gas, And Perhaps Even More Gas

By John Richardson

THE global petrochemicals industry is stepping on the gas as it accelerates both capacity expansions and the restructuring of existing assets. Apologies for the pun.

In the US, of course, some 25m tonnes/year of ethylene capacity is …

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South Korea’s Demographic Challenges

By John Richardson

THE blog has been long on South Korea ever since its first visit in 1997.  Its economic achievements since the horrors of the Korean War are nothing short of amazing.

Bereft of natural resources, all it has …

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Searching For A Manufacturing Revival

By John Richardson

WALK into any airport bookshop and you will see shelf after shelf full of management and “get rich quick” books. How many books are you likely to see on inventing things and manufacturing? Hardly any…..

The danger …

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Grangemouth Viewed Through A Wider Lens

By John Richardson

THROUGH the narrow lens of stand-alone cost competitiveness, the threatened refinery and petrochemicals complex in Grangemouth, Scotland the UK, (see picture) can be viewed as having a very questionable long-term future.

For example, Britain’s refineries are viewed …

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China PE Imports: A Long-Term Outlook

 

By John Richardson

THE chart below is worth revisiting, and pondering again, as we attempt to assess the future of polyethylene (PE) exports to China.

In the case of the Middle East, as the chart shows, it has been …

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Asia Ex-China: The Outlook For 2014 And Beyond

By John Richardson

IN a special series of blog posts over the next few weeks we will re-examine the outlook for the major Asian petrochemical producing countries, ex-China. The posts won’t necessarily appear every day, as important news events may …

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