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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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“Fragile Five” Now “The Exposed Eight”

By John Richardson

IT used to be just the “Fragile Five” – Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey.

But last week, the Financial Times, drawing on data and analysis from Schroders, added three more countries to the list of …

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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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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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China Market Intelligence Still Contradicts PE Demand Rise

By John Richardson

The debate continues as to exactly why polyethylene (PE) apparent demand (domestic production plus imports) in China rose by 13% in January-June of this year compared with the same period in 2011.

Why the anxiety? Because most …

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Taiwan Growth Underlines Long Term Shift

By John RichardsonEVIDENCE that China is no longer acting as the growth engine of the world, because it is too busy dealing with internal adjustments, is mounting.

For example, on Tuesday of this week Taiwan announced that its year-on-year Q1 …

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Northeast Asian PE Margins Positive

By John Richardson

THE latest Northeast Asian high-density polyethylene (HDPE) chart from ICIS (see above) hardly suggests a tremendous increase in profitability, despite the improvement in sales volumes and sentiment in China that we first highlighted in December, and provided more …

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US Threat To Asian Polyolefins

So far so good…lack of arbitrage in 2012

By John Richardson

Despite a strong recovery in China’s polyethylene (PE) prices and sales over the last month-and-a-half, producers are viewing the coming year with great trepidation.

One of the wild cards …

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