Tag Archives | Japan

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Boom/Gloom index signals rising austerity

Q1 was a very strong quarter for Western companies operating at the upstream end of the chemicals value chain: • Plants were generally operating well, with few force majeures • Most importantly, the crude oil price jumped 20%. Many buyers had reduced inventory in December for working capital reasons. Then they found they had to […]

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The Potential Impact of the Japan Disaster – an Update

Sadly, the blog needs to update its March 16 post, which analysed the potential impact of the Japan disaster. Earlier hopes of a quick end to the problems have proved false:•250000 people are now in refugee accommodation•The death toll is still rising, and is likely to reach at least 18000•The head of the International Atomic […]

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Japan – the Fukushima nuclear problem explained

It is nearly a week since the Japanese earthquake/tsunami which led to the nuclear emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi complex. Yet information on the actual nature of the problems has been very difficult to obtain. In case readers have experienced the same issue, the blog is reprinting in full the article below from today’s Wall […]

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The Potential Impact of the Japan Disaster

Japan’s prime minister has described the current situation as “the country’s worst tragedy since World War 2″, whilst the emperor has said he is “deeply worried“. Certainly, never in our working lives have we faced the combination of an earthquake, a tsunami and a potential nuclear meltdown – all taking place in the world’s 3rd […]

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Japan’s petchem exports focus on PX and styrene

The blog is still shocked by the terrible events in Japan. It would like to express its deepest sympathy to all those who have suffered loss. For those of us far away from the disaster, life has to go on. It will be some time before its full impact becomes clear. But in a crisis […]

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OECD indicators signal slower growth

The OECD’s leading indicators for the global economy suggest that GDP growth is continuing to slow. As the above chart from the American Chemistry Council shows, the OECD’s three key indicators have all slipped from H1 2010′s peaks. The composite indicator (blue) has fallen sharply to +5% from +13%, whilst industrial production (red) is down […]

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USA aims “to inflate the rest of the world”

If you only read one newspaper article this year on the economic outlook, then the blog would recommend Martin Wolf’s recent analysis ‘Why America is going to win the global currency battle’. Wolf is a former EPCA speaker, and he sets out very convincingly the rationale for the US Federal Reserve’s planned move to restart […]

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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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Regional competition set to grow in Asia, as export opportunities reduce and imports increase

The above chart presents an excellent snapshot of the development of Asia’s chemical industry over the past 20 years. It comes from the American Chemistry Council’s global production report, and shows volume growth in each country/region, with a base of 100 in 2002. • China (blue line) has seen the largest growth over the past […]

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Anti-Dumping cases on the rise

Anti-dumping duties (ADDs) are on the rise, as countries seek to protect their own manufacturers. The most publicised ADDs so far, of course, were those by the US on Chinese tyres in September. In retaliation, China hit companies such as BASF with duties on US produced nylon 6. Separately, India imposed an ADD on caustic […]

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