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Polyethylene: A World Turned Upside Down

By John Richardson

THE recent history of polyethylene (PE) shows a global competitive landscape very different from that which most people expected two years ago.

Two years ago, we were told that the natural price for oil was $100/bbl because …

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The US And China: Saudi Arabia’s Big Picture Oil Strategy

By John Richardson

THE above chart should tell you a great deal of what you need to know about Saudi Aramco’s interest in buying the LyondellBasell Industries (LBI) refinery that’s located in the Houston Ship Canal in the US:…

Between

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Had Enough Of Experts? Fair Enough, But Facts Still Matter

By John Richardson

MANY millions of people have had enough of the political and economic establishment in the West because:…

It failed to predict the US sub-prime and European sovereign debt crises, resulting in people losing their homes and/or their

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Tackling Gender Inequality, Climate Change Etc Key To Future Chemicals Growth

By John Richardson

IF you think that progress towards tackling issues such as gender inequality in sub-Saharan Africa has nothing to do with forecasting chemicals and polymers demand growth, then you are going to face some severe difficulties over the …

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US Economic Rescue Fails On Missing Human Factor

By John Richardson

THE US Federal Reserve thought it understood how the world worked, thanks to its FRB/US (Ferbus) computer model.

“Assuming that the FRB/US model does a good job of capturing the macroeconomic implications of declining house prices, such …

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Oil Market Jigsaw Puzzle: Putting The Pieces Together

By John Richardson

THE data has long told us that the efficiency of the US shale oil process is constantly improving.

For instance, the above chart shows that in just in one shale-oil field in the US – the Bakken …

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How To Battle For Value In Oversupplied Markets

By John Richardson

FOR the moment all is good, as the chart above illustrates, which details the premiums that C6 metallocene-grade linear-low density (LLDPE) have enjoyed over standard commodity grade C4 LLDPE in the key China market.

The October 2010 …

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The New World Of Demand, Trade And Competition

By John Richardson

TOMORROW nearly always ended up being better than today for the polymers industry, thanks to the resilience of demand growth during the Economic Supercycle.

What also made life easy was the assumption that global free trade would, …

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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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