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China’s Gasoline Export Surge Was Entirely Predictable

By John Richardson

WHEN it first became apparent earlier this year that China was aggressively expanding diesel exports, we were told not to worry as this was said to merely reflect the replacement of China’s old economy with its new …

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Brexit: Global Short And Long Term Implications

By John Richardson

IT IS clear that the Remain campaigners were not exaggerating the short term impact of a successful Leave vote during the EU referendum campaign. They have instead very probably underestimated the immediate effect on the UK and …

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Britain’s EU Exit Vote Reflects Lack of Trust In Expert Opinion

 

By John Richardson

MOST politicians, central bank governors, economists and business leaders told everyone that there was no way that the US housing market could drag the world into a global financial crisis.

Then we were told that China’s …

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US Economy: More Of The Same Will Not Work…

 

By John Richardson

US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s solution for the failed monetary stimulus policies of the last seven years? More of the same, which is a further signal to investors desperate for yield that they have little …

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Brexit, Other Uncertainties Undermine Seasonal Pricing Confidence

By John Richardson

FOR many, many years, seasonality has been a great guide to short term pricing patterns in Asian chemicals and polymer markets.

Take high-density polyethylene (HDPE) injection grade as just one example, which is used to make a …

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China PP Import Decline Challenges Global Markets

By John Richardson

THE latest data on China’s polypropylene (PP) imports should set alarm bells ringing in polyolefin company board rooms:…

China’s PP production was up by 14% in January-April 2016 versus the same four months last year, with imports

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Oil Prices: Beware Return Of The Financial Bears

By John Richardson

THE above chart shows the extent to which this year’s oil-price rally has been led by futures markets. What is significant, though, is that futures activity seems to have plateaued.

Sure, futures activity could easily go the …

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US Auto Sales: Recovery? What Real Recovery?

By John Richardson

IF you look at last year’s US auto sales in isolation, the plan to transform the fortunes of economically struggling Wilkes County in North Carolina makes every bit of sense. In 2015, 17.5m vehicles were sold in …

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China’s “Teapot” Refineries: Example Of The Bigger Picture

By John Richardson

IT is all about jobs, jobs and more jobs in politics. Promising to create and maintain employment is how politicians win office. And delivering on these two pledges keeps them in power.

But let’s not by cynical …

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Asian Polyethylene: Challenge The New Paradigm

By John Richardson

IT would be very interesting to go back to 2000 and compare the strength of positive sentiment towards the future of the Asian polyethylene (PE) industry to the above chart.

The chart shows spreads between naphtha costs, …

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