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 | over-capacity
The decline in China’s electricity consumption growth highlights the remarkable slowdown underway in its Old Normal economy, as the chart shows: Consumption growth took off in 2009 under the influence of the stimulus programme It rose 6.5% in 2009, and then accelerated further in 2010 when it was up 14.7% 2011 growth stayed at double-digit […]
The red line in the above chart from the Financial Times shows how far Eurozone growth has diverged since 2008 from the previous SuperCycle trend (in blue). Unfortunately, most companies failed to spot what might happen as a result of Europe’s ageing population. Instead they spent $bns on new capacity in anticipation of a strong economic […]
In early March, the blog described itself as feeling like “a lonely voice, focused on what is really happening in the real world”. But gradually since then, the consensus view on growth and commodities regulation has begun to shift in its direction. For example, a recent New York Times article on China by Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman could have […]
Last April, China’s polyester market provided an early warning signal that the current downturn was about to start. Now, it is flagging an important change in relative positions within the value chain. 9 months ago, the divergence between crude oil prices and those for the C8 chain highlighted slowing end-user demand. The chart above updates […]
There is now general agreement that we are in a global recession. The World Bank’s new ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report expects global GDP growth of only 2.5% this year, and just 0.9% growth for 2009. This is well below the 3% level that signals recession. And the Bank also forecasts that world trade will contract […]
Andrew Liveris, Dow CEO, has consistently warned that we are facing a major recession. Today, in a Bloomberg interview, he spells out the need for “radical actions” to “take out capacity”. He notes that Dow’s volumes are down 10%-20% this quarter, and expects this to continue into H1 next year. And he forecasts that “we […]
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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.