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US LNG exports and the gasoline situation

Very interesting comment from Jim Cramer on CNBC’s Mad Money last night on US gasoline prices – that part of the reason they are high is because US refiners are choosing to export gasoline. The US LNG export debate is analogous to what’s happening with US gasoline. The US is producing much more oil from […]

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Planned US LNG export projects parallel cracker slate

As you look over the impressive list of planned projects for North American liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, you can see a parallel in the heavy project slate for planned new world scale crackers in the US. Both are being driven by the US shale gas boom. Yet there is the potential for one to […]

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Latin America’s shale

The spotlight on petrochemical investment in the Americas has shone on the US shale gas boom and the resulting rash of planned new ethane crackers that could increase US ethylene capacity by about 32% by 2017-2018. But Latin America’s game-changer could be Brazil’s pre-salt oil and gas bounty, as well as shale gas formations in […]

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Time to reload the policy guns

Wild swings in global stock markets are emblematic of chaos in the collective mindset. Confusion reigns, and who can blame the participants? Wednesday’s 520 point, or 4.6% decline in the US Dow Jones industrial Average marked a third day of heightened volatility. The market was up 4.0% on Tuesday, after a 5.6% crash on Monday. Caught in […]

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Japan’s coming reconstruction

The unimaginable tragedy that struck Japan in the form of the record-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, compounded by the ongoing nuclear crisis, presents one of the greatest challenges ever for the nation. The images of the destruction and impact it is having on the people are heartbreaking, and we hope the country will recover soon and […]

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Chemicals must seize the year!

The International Year of Chemistry (IYC) US kickoff event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania featured an impressive panel – two major chemical company CEOs, the founder of a pharmaceutical firm and several distinguished members of academia and research institutions. The discussion on the world’s major challenges such as population growth and the growing need for food, water […]

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Goodbye to SOCMA’s Joe Acker

One of the historic ICIS Top 40 Power Players, Joe Acker, former president of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA), passed away on December 6, 2010. Joe died on the night of the SOCMA’s 89th Annual Dinner in New York, following a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer. He retired from SOCMA last December, […]

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Fear not the QE2 backlash

Nothing lasts forever. You never know what’s going to derail a fantastic bull run – at least temporarily. After unimpeded optimism over several months fueled by the continuing global economic recovery, some serious concerns are coming out of the woodwork. Expectations for an interest rate hike in China to tame growing inflation threw cold water […]

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Chemical earnings engine roars

As they say in US NASCAR racing – gentlemen, start your engines! After a blip down in world stock markets on Tuesday, October 19, sparked by China’s quarter-point hike of a key interest rate as well as continuing fears in the US about the consequences of an ongoing investigation into improper foreclosures, bourses were back in the […]

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The money spigots are on

As central banks around the world open the money spigots, prepare for a major reflation (or inflation) of asset prices. The impact is poised to hit commodities of all kinds – oil, fuel, metals and chemicals. Last week, the Bank of Japan announced it will pump $60bn into its economy by buying government bonds, corporate […]

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