Volatility is one of the blog’s key themes for the next few years, as the world transitions to slower growth and a more regional economy. And the chart above from the latest ICIS pricing Asian ethylene margin report highlights this new trend very well: Margins jumped 42% last week to reach $290/t, based on naphtha […]
Tag Archives | Polyethylene
Anyone not closely studying trade data is likely to make some very expensive mistakes over the next few years. The reason is that economics is no longer the sole driver for purchase decisions. Instead, political and social issues can be of greater importance. The chart above of China’s polyethylene demand highlights this complexity, using Global […]
H1 trade date from leading provider Global Trade Information Services highlights a surprisingly weak overall export performance by US polyethylene (PE) producers. As the chart shows: Net export volumes (blue column) have recovered from the 2012 slowdown (green), but are still only up 11% versus 2011 (red) Volume is currently heavily reliant on sales into Latin […]
China’s polyethylene (PE) demand has seen encouraging signs of growth in H1. As the chart above shows (based on Global Trade Information Services data): Total demand is up 13% in 2013 (red column) versus 2011 (blue) Domestic production is up 7%, whilst imports are up 18% The Middle East is the biggest winner, with its sales […]
The usual flow of China’s polyethylene (PE) production data has been interrupted since the start of the year. But the good news is that normal publication has now been resumed. Thus the chart above shows market developments between January – April, versus 2012 and 2011, including trade data from Global Trade Information Services. PE’s position […]
The 25 years of the BabyBoomer demand supercycle between 1983-2007 cover the careers of most people in the industry. Over this quarter-century, we all grew to accept that low-cost and reliable supply was key to success. Demand would always take care of itself. Today’s world is the opposite. Low-cost supply is no longer enough on […]
China’s polyethylene demand has proved an excellent forward indicator of economic policy. So far, however, the usual data on China’s own production has not been yet been published in 2013. Today, therefore, the blog is instead focusing on trade analysis, based on Global Trade Information Services data. This provides important insight into commercial developments: The […]
The blog is constantly astonished by the lack of interest in many companies in the vital field of trade data. No business today, no matter how large and well-connected, can possibly hope to understand market developments without constant analysis of this data. Ironically, the lack of interest comes at a time when the quality and […]
China’s important polyethylene market (PE) showed little sign of any major upturn in October. Trade data from Global Trade Information Services shows: • Demand was up just 4% versus 2010 levels • Production was up 3%, as China’s refinery operating rates slowed • Imports were up 8%, and exports up 57% These figures are virtually […]
It is tempting to think that oil price volatility is a zero-sum game. For every ‘winner’, one would expect there to be a ‘loser’. But when it comes to downstream industries like chemicals, the answer is more complicated, as Richard Bartlett, BP’s commercial director for aromatics in EMEA, discussed at Novapet’s customer event recently in […]
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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.