New data from the International Monetary Fund confirms that last year’s collapse in global GDP was even worse than first reported. As the chart shows,the fall when measured in current dollars was a record $4.7tn, versus $3.3tn in 2009. And GDP was down 6% in percentage terms versus 5.3% in 2009: Even more worrying is […]
Tag Archives | crude oil prices
Global markets are becoming ever more complex as the Great Unwinding of stimulus policies continues. This means that each blog post is now taking much longer to write. It therefore seems sensible to focus on writing 3 posts each week - on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – in order to continue to provide the highest possible […]
I spent most of last week in New York and Boston, meeting with major investors. One key topic on all their agendas was the major downturn underway in the global mining industry. The connection with my visit was that some have already begun to worry that the planned US ethylene expansions may lead to a […]
The oil market was the first to feel the impact of the Great Unwinding of policymaker stimulus nearly a year ago. It had completely lost its key role of price discovery due to the liquidity being supplied by the central banks. This had overwhelmed the fundamentals of supply/demand. And we are still living with the consequences […]
The first half of 2015 was the worst half-year for force majeures in the chemical industry since reliable data became available via ICIS news in 2005. As the chart shows, there were 479 reports of outages, more than double H1 2014 and well above the previous peak of 375 in H1 2011. This is absolutely […]
Oil prices have fallen around $5/bbl, since my suggestion last week that a “New oil price fall was a matter of “when”, not “if”“. It thus seems increasingly likely they are resuming their fall back towards $30/bbl, as we discussed in last week’s pH Report webinar. Financial players clearly misread the market when they assumed […]
Financial players have become convinced in recent months that the oil price will rise. And so far, this has been a self-fulfilling prophecy. Their buying has led to oil being stored all over the world – in tankers floating at sea and in shale oil wells, as well as in storage tanks. Unsurprisingly, prices have […]
Impact of China’s New Normal policies on oil, petchem and financial markets – free pH Report webinar next Tuesday
China was the “saviour “of the global economy after the financial Crisis of 2008. Its massive stimulus was worth over $10tn from 2009 to 2014 – half of the total amount. But now China’s new leadership has changed course, and has introduced its New Normal policies. As a result, its economy is slowing, and its […]
Whisper it quietly to your friends in the futures markets, who are convinced oil prices will soon surge higher. We don’t want to upset them as they work at their spreadsheets, and send their electronic trades down specially constructed lines at near the speed of light. But global oil demand growth has already more than […]
Volatility creates uncertainty. And uncertainty can easily lead to paralysis, if a company hasn’t planned ahead for the range of potential scenarios that might develop. This is the risk highlighted in my usual analysis of quarterly results. A key warning sign is the divide that has developed recently in performance in different regions and industry sectors, […]
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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.