Archive | August, 2010

August highlights

Many readers have been taking a well-deserved break over the past few weeks. As usual, therefore, the blog is highlighting key posts during August, to help you catch up as you return to the office. August has been surprisingly busy: Force Majeure reports show worrying increase highlighted the worrying rise in force majeures, which may […]

Continue Reading
China oil Aug10.png

China’s growth in crude oil demand slows

The Petromatrix report is currently a must-read for anyone seeking to understand what is really happening in crude oil markets. Its latest issue analyses China’s demand. It suggests this is not as strong as the bullish investment banks on Wall Street might wish. China’s refinery runs are certainly rising, as its new major capacity comes […]

Continue Reading
genie.png

Questions to the chemical market genie

With the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve saying the outlook is “unusually uncertain“, its time to summon the chemical market genie. Of course, rubbing the lamp is not always successful. And if the genie does arrive, one can only ask 3 questions. So rather than risk wasting them, the blog has learnt to spend […]

Continue Reading
PET bottles.png

Kerbside recycling of PET bottles “no better than landfill” in reducing carbon emissions

Recycling may not be reducing carbon emissions as much as had been hoped. This seems to be the finding of an interesting new report from consultants SRI on recycling of PET bottles. It looks at the benefits of recycling 1.5 litre carbonated beverage bottles made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate). Stricter legislation has led to many […]

Continue Reading

The “real bottom line” in the Financial Times

The blog has had a letter published in the FT this morning, which readers might like to see. It focuses on the problem of using EBITDA measures when analysing a company’s performance. It suggests that analysts should move away from their current reliance on this measure, which ignores the impact of important areas such as […]

Continue Reading

Aromatics Conference ‘Early Bird’ discount till next week

Registrations are already building for our 9th European Aromatics and Derivatives Conference, to be held in Berlin on 23-24 November. Co-organised as always with ICIS, it features a strong line-up of industry speakers including: • Shell Chemicals, Sven Royall, VP Intermediates on ‘What next for Aromatics’? • Ralf Kuhlmann (former Business Director, ExxonMobil Chemicals and […]

Continue Reading
Refinery runs Aug10.png

Lower refining rates support EU petchem margins

Sometimes every cloud does have a silver lining. And that’s currently the case with the fall in demand for oil products. The European petchem industry is based on feedstock from refineries such as naphtha and LPG. And as the chart above from the IEA shows, German refinery runs, like others elsewhere in Europe, are down […]

Continue Reading
US oil stocksAug10.png

Oil prices weaken as inventories continue to build

Oil markets are an accident waiting to happen for the chemical industry. Oil inventories around the world are close to record levels, with the IEA (International Energy Agency) reporting they are over 61 days of demand. Equally, as the Petromatrix chart above shows, they are at record levels in the USA (the world’s largest market), […]

Continue Reading
US savings Aug10.png

Baby-Boomers cut spending, start saving

Consumer spending is 70% of US GDP. And because US GDP is so large, this means the US consumer is 17% of global GDP. This is the same as the combined GDP of China and Japan, who rank 2 and 3 after the USA. So a change in US consumer spending matters. And it particularly […]

Continue Reading
Forest.png

Brainstorming on biomass

The blog has come across a useful new tool for global brainstorming, run out of San Francisco by DiscoveryCast. They have recently organised a major event with Paris-based SpecialChem to review the current state of play in bio-based initiatives. This involved a group of 550 experts from 400 companies (including 3M, Dow, Michelin, DuPont, Arkema, […]

Continue Reading