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China PP May16

Clouds gather over global polymer markets as China imports drop

Difficult times lie ahead for global polymer markets.  It would be bad enough that downstream users have been busy building stock in recent weeks as the oil price rose, as Linda Naylor reports on polypropylene (PP) for ICIS: “PP demand is slow, slower than many expected, and the strong growth of recent months is now […]

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UK’s Brexit referendum is about peace and prosperity

40 years ago, the vast majority of the British people were in favour of joining the European Economic Community. 67% voted in favour, in the 1975 referendum to confirm the UK’s entry.  Virtually all mainstream politicians were in support, with only the left-wing of the Labour Party strongly anti on the grounds that it was […]

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Deflation Jul13

Central banks head for currency wars as growth policies fail

The world’s central bankers would have been sacked long ago if they were CEOs running companies.  They would also have been voted out, if they were elected officials. Not only have they failed to achieve their promised objectives – constant growth and 2% inflation – they have kept failing to achieve them since the Crisis […]

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US GDP Q1 forecast at just 0.1%; global chemical output slows

“Confusion now hath made his masterpiece”.  This quotation from Shakespeare’s great tragedy, Macbeth, aptly sums up the state of the world economy. Policymakers refuse to accept that the BabyBoomer-led economic SuperCycle is over.  And so they continue to believe that adding vast amounts of electronic money to the financial system will return the economy to SuperCycle levels […]

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Index Apr16

Reality battles illusion in world financial markets

“Buy on the rumour, sell on the news” is one of the most reliable definitions for a weak market.  And that seems to have been the picture in Q1 across commodity, stock and bond markets. The key issue is the ongoing battle between Reality and Illusion: Reality accepts that ageing populations have lower levels of […]

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China’s cotton auction key pointer for global economy outlook

Cotton markets are poised for another testing month in April.  The outcome will also have potentially major implications for the polyester chain – and in turn for commodities markets more generally. The reason is that China has announced that its long-awaited cotton auction will take place in the second half of the month.  Cotton stocks […]

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Landing page Infographic

The end of the Economic SuperCycle

A paradigm shift is underway in global petrochemical and polymer markets, as I discuss in a new article for ICIS Chemical Business. Previously successful business models, based on the supply-driven principle, no longer work. As our new study, “Demand – the New Direction for Profit”, explains, companies now need to adopt demand-led strategies if they […]

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Brexit vote will hit UK, Eurozone and global economies

Slowly, but surely, a UK vote to leave the European Union is becoming more likely.  In any referendum, the Yes campaign (in this case called Remain) have to argue a positive case.  But  this is not happening in the UK – and the vote is less than 3 months away.  Unsurprisingly, therefore, as the poll […]

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Central banks cannot control economic fortune of 7.3bn people

Trillions of dollars have been spent on stimulus by central banks in the developed world since the financial crisis began in 2008.  Clearly these policies haven’t worked – but they are now lining up to do more of them. In this interview with Tom Brown, deputy editor of ICIS news, I argue that their analysis […]

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China’s rising exports: less about growth, more about exporting deflation

China’s move towards self-sufficiency is radically changing global oil and petrochemical markets,as I describe in my latest post for the Financial Times, published on the BeyondBrics blog Markets used to cheer when China’s exports rose, believing this showed the global economy was in good shape. They are still hopeful today, despite the 25 per cent fall in February’s […]

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