“It’s quiet out there… too quiet…”

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Peter Salisbury, aromatics editor at ICIS pricing, reflects on what to do in the office when the markets are quiet …

A European styrene trader who shall remain unnamed spent November and the first two weeks of December in Argentina, the lucky sod, working from his mobile (full disclosure: I got a couple of weeks in there myself). It seems he had had a pretty good quarter and decided to take things easy for a while.

His fellow traders probably wish that they could do the same thing as a long, slow December begins, with no real way of knowing what the new year will bring. Trading volumes are diminishing every week; demand is awful, I am reliably informed, and there really isn’t much going on.

Even if there aren’t many deals being cut, an ICIS aromatics reporter can find ways to keep himself occupied – calculating arbitrage values, checking out plant capacities, discussing the economy with contacts via Yahoo! messenger.

So it comes that in the odd idle moment I find myself doing a bit of Googling, and come across this article from July of this year — and find it rather apt. If you are tired of doom, gloom, and inactive markets, then the Onion is probably as good a place as any for a bit of a satirical giggle.

I hope it amuses those of you with a little bit of time on your hands.

Cheers

Peter

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