The craving for anonymity in petchems

We had visitors in the ICIS office a few days ago from a big new pan-European multi-product privately owned petrochemical company. We drank coffee together and talked about the structure of their company versus the structure of ours. It was a friendly and constructive meeting in the spirit of Glasnost, but I’m not going to mention their company name here, because there is still a culture of fear amongst some major chemical companies about being named in print, no matter how harmless the context.

At ICIS we respect all information given to us in confidence, but when news is already out in the public domain, then that will be reported with as much detail as can be confirmed.

There are, in fact, very few companies which are forbidden to confirm news reports, at least through their press offices.

When it comes to plant shutdowns, news generally comes out through the plant’s customers, or co-producers, and most producers are prepared to give their version of events to ensure that they are correctly reported, along with the right company name, location and capacity.

Is naming companies in production news a good thing? Post a comment here.

, , , ,

One Response to The craving for anonymity in petchems

  1. Ashok 24 September, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    I am sure there are production companies that are paranoid about their plant data. As they probably should be, since they may perceive that any information available in the market would invariably harm their position.

    The opposing “free market” view suggests that the market actually knows everything. If a plant situation makes them act on the market, their action will price that situation accordingly.

    On a broader plane, aggregated production & consumption information about the industry can only help the industry. For example, CEFIC should totally release aggregate data each month or each quarter as soon as it is available for anyone who wishes to subscribe to it. Apart from anything else, this will increase the onus on the reporting companies to be accurate about the data going into the mix.

    Garbage in = Garbage out!

Leave a Reply