We have been extremely encouraged by the support we have received since launching the first issue of ‘The pH Report’ last month. The Financial Times and ICIS Chemical Business have also given detailed coverage of our views. I am now delighted to invite you to join our free webinar on Tuesday 25 November. This will take […]
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“Conventional wisdom” never spotted the imminent arrival of the Great Unwinding. Sadly, therefore, the past 3 months have often been a repeat of 2008 for many businesses and investors. Many executives and investors clearly understood and accepted the logic of my August forecast that oil prices would collapse and the US$ strengthen. But sadly, once again, most found it impossible to act […]
Stock markets are floating ever higher on an ocean of central bank money printing. But something else is happening in the real world where we all live and work. Since August, I have been warning that the Great Unwinding of this policymaker stimulus is now underway. The chart above highlights how my 2 core forecasts have now been confirmed: Brent Oil […]
I am just back from my first World Economic Forum meeting, having been invited to join its global chemicals council. My first impression was astonishment - at the complete disconnect between the real knowledge of the experts at the Forum and today’s “consensus wisdom” . China is a great example. The external consensus still thinks the new leadership is focused […]
Sometime over the next year, the US is likely to set a new all-time record for oil production, reversing the pre-2008 trend. Natural gas production has already reached new all-time peaks. As the chart shows: US natural gas production peaked in 1973 at 62 Bcf/day, and then fell by a quarter to 46 Bcf/day in 1986 (blue) […]
It is now almost 3 months since I suggested the Great Unwinding was about to hit oil and chemical markets. As the chart above shows, there has since been a major collapse in most of the markets in our benchmark portfolio. Given their role as leading indicators for the global economy, this major downturn is extremely worrying: […]
There is no “business as usual” scenario possible for the 2015-2017 Budget period. Over the past 15 years (since the ”dotcom bubble” burst in 2000), policymakers have provided increasing amounts of stimulus to support the economy. Now, finally, we are in the endgame, as the Great Unwinding takes place. This presents us all with major challenges: Most executives and investors under […]
“We have for many years addressed the very important issues of how to avoid becoming pregnant, how to avoid sexual diseases, how kids have a right to their own bodies, but we totally forgot to tell them we cannot have children forever.” Suddenly, and it does seem to be a sudden realisation, Western countries are beginning to […]
Be very careful what you wish for. That is the key message coming out of close analysis of China’s latest trade data. Recent media reports were upbeat at news that China’s exports had increased, as it appeared to suggest Western demand was returning. But it seems nothing could be further from the truth. One major concern is that part […]
“BASF, the world’s biggest chemical maker by sales, has slashed its revenue and earnings targets for 2015, following a further weakening of the European economy and a slowdown in China.” Saturday’s Financial Times headline said it all. BASF’s statement adds to the growing evidence of a major slowdown taking place in the global economy, and highlights how […]
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Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry.
The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts.
Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.