‘Collapse’ is not a word that should be used lightly in business. But there is no other way to describe June’s US auto sales figures:
Three major themes ( ICIS Jun08.pdf ) emerged from our Asian Conference last week, co-organised with ICIS: • Change. The world is clearly changing very rapidly. Feedstock prices are rising. At the same time, major new capacity is starting to come on-stream in the Middle East, and in Asia. • Complexity. There are many more […]
Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom, believes ‘that OPEC doesn’t have any real influence on the global oil market nowadays’. Interviewed by the Financial Times, he claimed that ‘not a single decision has been passed of late that would really influence the global oil market’. And he repeated his suggestion that oil could reach $250/bbl, noting […]
Oil prices at $140/bbl caused plenty of debate in Bangkok this week at our Asian conference (jointly organised with ICIS). Delegates also heard from Reliance’s President of Fibre Intermediates, Rajen Udeshi, on the potential for a new commodities ‘Super Cycle’ to be underway. Discussing the above chart, he pointed out that the industrialisation of China […]
Higher oil prices will change the way that Procter & Gamble operates its supply chain. The world’s largest consumer products company describes its current operations as being ‘upside down’. ‘They were implemented in the 1980s and 1990s, when oil was 10 bucks a barrel’, according to Keith Harrison, P&G’s head of global supply.
The US has now confirmed what oil traders have been suspecting – that Israel is preparing for a bombing raid on Iran’s alleged nuclear facilities. According to Bloomberg and the New York Times, around 100 Israeli aircraft took part in a full-scale training exercise in early June. The distance it involved, 900 miles, is apparently […]
I’ve read several reports on the outcome of the Jeddah oil ‘summit’, and still feel no wiser than last week:
A first visit to Cambodia. I’m here en route to our Asian Conference in Bangkok, and the picture shows the famous line of Buddhas at Angkor Wat. But the main topic of conversation when talking to local people is the high cost of food and energy. With wages averaging $30 – $35 a week, these […]
John McCain, Republican Presidential candidate, is making waves in the US political scene with his suggestion that the ban on offshore drilling for oil might need to be lifted. Barron’s, however, notes rather ironically that in fact, drilling is already underway off the Florida coast. It points out that ‘Cuba is allowing Chinese energy companies […]
Linda Naylor, ICIS’s polymers guru, has just written a market analysis that took me straight back to 1980. She described how current feedstock prices meant that ‘many of Europe’s cracker operators were losing money’, and noted that Dow was being ‘very firm’ in trying to recoup these losses via higher polymer prices. However, her research […]
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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.