Tag Archives | European petrochemicals

ICIS_powerpoint_template_Aug12-1.png

Death By A Thousand Cuts

By John Richardson

COST cutting and disciplined operating rates have been two of the factors that have helped maintain European cracker and polyethylene (PE) profitability at pretty healthy levels since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008.

So …

Continue Reading
Al-Mady.jpg

SABIC’S Al-Mady Issues Europe Warning

By John Richardson

MOHAMED Al-Mady, the CEO of SABIC, told the Financial Times yesterday that he worries about Europe losing out on petrochemical investments because of its reluctance to embrace shale gas.

“Some European companies already made the decision to go …

Continue Reading
C2Margins3.png

European Petchems Face Tough Choices

 

By John Richardson

AT LEAST one global polyolefins producer is rumoured to be shipping increased volumes of resin from the US to Europe in response to the shale gas-derived shift in competitiveness.

“Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris is making …

Continue Reading
US.bmp

Dysfunctional Oil Markets

By John Richardson

“HOW do a I tell my customers that polyethylene (PE) price rises are justified by more expensive naphtha, when the market is so weak?” asked an Asia-based sales and marketing executive with a major producer earlier this …

Continue Reading
HDPEMarginsJuly2012.jpg

Global Polyethylene Margin Picture

By John Richardson

ASIAN high-density polyethylene (HDPE) margins have improved in June and July compared with the rest of the year, according to the above chart from the ICIS Weekly PE Margin Report.

But the overall year-to-date trend illustrates how …

Continue Reading
HDPEMarginsJune2012.jpg

Northeast Asia PE Weakest Margins

 

Source: ICIS pricing Weekly Asian PE Margin Report

 

By John Richardson

The slide above shows how Northeast Asian naphtha-based polyethylene (PE) producers are struggling as a result of the weak China market (dark blue bars).

And it confirms …

Continue Reading
EuropeanEthyleneCapacityTrackingMay2012.png

France’s Difficult Future

By John Richardson

Francois Hollande, who has the won the French presidential election, talks about cutting the retirement age to 60 from 62 for people who have worked for 41 years.

This is a handy slogan for an election campaign.…

Continue Reading
PEEurope26April.jpg

Europe’s “Recovery” Falters

 

By John Richardson

THE mood in European ethylene and polyethylene (PE) markets has changed over the last two weeks, according to my ICIS pricing colleagues, Nel Weddle and Linda Naylor.

“A drop in crude oil and naphtha values saw speculation …

Continue Reading

Confidence And Petrochemicals

By John Richardson

CONFIDENCE is a strange thing. It can be derived from solid reasons for optimism over the future or from temporary factors that can rapidly disappear.

And what is the value of publicly-expressed confidence? Is it often politically …

Continue Reading

Inventories And Price Recoveries

By John Richardson

THE role of inventory management in European petrochemical price recoveries needs to be re-examined, given persistently weak underlying economic fundamentals.

In Europe, as this ICIS Insight article from my colleague Mark Victory points out, benzene contract prices have …

Continue Reading