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Dalian’s LLDPE contract rises as demand slows

Undertaking fundamental analysis of a market can be a tedious business. You have to try and understand what uses the product might have, and the alternatives for the feedstocks. You might even have to look at inventory, and forecast future supply/demand levels. Luckily, however, for the modern financial investor, these sad disciplines have been resigned […]

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Ineos’ Antwerp ethylene terminal a game-changer for Europe’s C2 business

In business, as in war, defence can often be the best form of attack. This seems to be the principle behind Ineos’s announcement that they intend to build a 1 million tonne deep-sea ethylene terminal to feed their 340KT ethylene oxide/glycol business near Antwerp, Belgium. The glycol business is clearly under threat from the massive […]

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Force Majeure reports show worrying increase

Force majeures can be very costly in a downturn, as they enable competitors to gain market share, whilst the business suffers a loss of revenue and earnings. Yet maintenance spend on plant and equipment, and training, is always a soft target for cutbacks when cash is tight. The blog also knows from its own experience […]

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Companies see strong H1 earnings and volume

The blog is awarding itself a pat on the back this morning. Last December, it made the bold forecast (given the widespread gloom at the time), that chemical companies would see “a strong H1“. Today’s regular snapshot of Q2 chemical company results certainly seems to confirm its optimism. Almost all companies reported stronger revenues and […]

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Quote of the month

“China’s future economic growth will definitely gradually slow down. The issue for China’s economy is the quality of growth, which is why we now have to carry out structural adjustment and transform our development model. The true meaning of this is raising the quality and efficiency of growth. So we should change our attitude, and […]

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Definition of a technology start-up

LinkedIn, the online network for chemical and other professionals, was valued at $2bn this week. Reid Hoffman, its founder, gave a brilliant description of what is was like to be part of a technology start-up: his parallel was “throwing yourself off a cliff and trying to assemble a plane on the way down“. As chairman […]

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India’s economy set for continued growth

India’s economy continues to impress. It has been largely unaffected by the global economic crisis, due to its relatively ‘closed’ nature. This gives its central bank a more traditional role – reducing interest rates when economic activity slows, and increasing them as it recovers. Currently, it is on the latter course, increasing rates to 5.75% […]

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“A real global downturn in the industrial sector”

There are mounting signs that 2010 could prove a Year of 2 Halves in terms of economic growth. Interviewed by Bloomberg last month, the MD of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI), Lakshman Achuthan, warned that their indicators showed “A real global downturn in the industrial sector is starting right here and right now“. They […]

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US company earnings soar, sales disappoint again

The blog’s quarterly look at US company earnings reveals a worrying trend. As Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst for S&P, puts it “”no sales means no jobs, means no recovery“. As the chart shows, Reported Earnings (red line) recovered strongly to $61 in Q1, and were back at Q1 2008 levels. Equally, as the Q2 […]

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ECB’s Trichet backs austerity measures

Last year, governments focused on stimulus measures, to support the global economy. Now Jean-Claude Trichet, head of the European Central Bank (ECB), says that “with hindsight, we see how unfortunate was the oversimplified message of fiscal stimulus given to all industrial economies under the motto ‘stimulate’, ‘activate’,’ spend’!” Writing in the Financial Times, he is […]

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