Tag Archives | China

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China’s interest rates “have to go up more” – World Bank

What happens if you suddenly double bank lending in a country, and make it equal to 1/3rd of total GDP? And, as part of the experiment, add a further 13% of GDP via a $580bn stimulus programme? We don’t know yet, because it has never been done before. But we are about to find out. […]

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Duty barriers continue to rise on chemical exports

The chemical industry has been one of the great beneficiaries from globalisation over the past 25 years. Today, it is hard to remember just how restricted markets used to be. Tariffs often applied within Regions, as well as between them. In his early years as a product manager, the blog would often spend days trying […]

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Aromatics face challenges ahead

Attendees had a fascinating two days at our annual European Aromatics & Derivatives Conference in Berlin this week. As always, it was co-organised with ICIS, and featured a strong list of speakers: Sven Royall, VP at Shell Chemicals, put forward an optimistic outlook for benzene derivatives. He argued that substitution of PS by PP had […]

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China forecasts 20% property price drop in 2011

China’s government tends not to like surprises. Its usual tactic is therefore to talk about policy changes well in advance. And this is what seems to be happening with regard to the real estate bubble. Back in September, premier Wen Jiabao said it would probably take 2 – 3 years to cool the bubble properly. […]

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China to halt property loans till year-end

China’s export-led economy was badly hit when the financial Crisis began in Q4 2008. In response, the government moved quickly to stimulate domestic consumption, in order to keep people employed. It doubled bank lending overnight, and introduced a $580bn stimulus programme. Worth 13% of GDP, this alone was far larger than any seen elsewhere. Doubling […]

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China, USA, give cash subsidies to electric autos

Greater use of electric autos is a win-win for the chemical industry. They will not only reduce competition with gasoline for feedstock, but also increase polymer demand – to replace steel and glass. So China’s entry into the market could be very important. As always, the blog has been brought up to date by its […]

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Indonesia consolidates, as China’s imports reduce

The battle lines are definitely being drawn up in South East Asia, following Honam’s July move to acquire Malaysia’s Titan. The context for this is Asian producers need to develop new strategies, as export opportunities to China dry up. China’s ethylene production grew 26% in H1 versus 2009, with Sinopec increasing its output by 41%. […]

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US consumers turn to Dollar stores

Major changes are taking place in US retailing. They echo the changing focus of emerging Asian markets. Taken together, these must have important implications for chemical demand. US retail markets have been evolving over the past 3 years, as the Crisis began to hit, and the baby-boomers moved beyond the peak 25 – 54 age […]

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Japan leads round of competitive devaluations

The blog remains very concerned that, overall, the economic policies adopted during the current Crisis are leading the world economy to the worst possible outcome. This outcome is totally predictable. Indeed it has been predicted by reputable experts for some years. Yet most policymakers still seem intent on dealing with symptoms rather than causes. As […]

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China’s house prices “still too high”

Early last year, China’s leadership faced the prospect of social unrest, as 23 million people lost their jobs as Western demand dropped for China’s exports. The government bought itself time to deal with this problem by throwing money at it – $1.4trn of bank lending, and $580bn of stimulus. Earlier this year, the government then […]

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