Policymakers would be better off following the fortunes of the chemical industry, if they wanted to forecast the global economy, as I describe in my latest post for the Financial Times, published on the BeyondBrics blog Capacity utilisation (CU%) in the chemical industry has long been the best leading indicator for the global economy. The […]
Tag Archives | BRIC
Auto manufacturers, their suppliers and investors need to prepare themselves for a triple shock from China’s slowing economy, as I describe in my latest post for the Financial Times, published on the BeyondBrics blog The first shock is already under way. As the chart shows, China’s slowdown has caused passenger car volumes to decline in the Bric economies – […]
China’s auto sales moved past Europe’s in 2010, and are now close to US levels. But even China is not expected to maintain this surge in 2014. As the chart above shows, sales soared in the past few months (red line) versus 2012 (green). But as the automotive association explains, this was mainly because: “Panic consumption over […]
Emerging countries such as China and Brazil are very prompt in publishing trade data. So their figures provide a timely snapshot of economic developments. Brazil’s economy is heavily dependent on China, due to its mining industry. Worryingly, July polyethylene (PE) data from Global Trade Information Services thus confirms the slowdown underway in the BRIC countries […]
The blog’s 6-monthly review of major stock markets highlights their continuing volatility. Last September, all the markets were down between 7% – 22%. Germany (dark green column) was the biggest loser, whilst the UK/US (blue, red) were least impacted. Only the US 30-year Treasury bond (light green) had increased, as US interest rates fell. Please […]
Cars are now the largest single market for chemical sales, as housing markets have slowed globally. Each new US car is worth $3297, for example, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), making the US market worth $42bn in 2011. 2011 auto sales were ~59m, up 4% from 2010. The West (EU, USA, Japan) still […]
An abrupt change of direction is never a pleasant experience in global financial markets. Yet unfortunately, the blog’s regular 6 monthly review suggests this has started to occur since March. Investors are beginning to fear we may not be be entering a new Supercycle after all. Some are also worrying that high oil prices may […]
Stock markets around the world are at an important crossroads. The blog’s regular <a href="http://www.icis.com/blogs/chemicals-and-the-economy/2010/09/global-markets-decoupled-over.6 monthly review compares today’s market levels with their 2007/8 pre-Crisis peaks. And as can be seen, none have yet hit a new high. This is quite surprising, given the scale of the G20 and central bank stimulus/liquidity packages over the […]
When elephants fight, those around them need to be cautious. And this is the prospect for 2011-13, as the Western countries try to force the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) to export less and import more, the so-called ‘rebalancing’ strategy. Thus Budgeting for Uncertainty seems the right title for the blog’s annual Outlook for […]
The blog’s 6 monthly survey of major stock markets, now including the US 30 year Treasury bond, shows mixed performance since March: • The worst performers have been Shanghai and Tokyo, down ~12%. They are also the worst performers since the pre-Crisis peak, down ~50%. • In the middle are the US, UK, Russia and […]
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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 as 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.