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The Rebirth Of Naphtha Cracking

  By John Richardson Might cracking naphtha in Asia, Europe, and perhaps even the US, once again become so attractive that it starts to challenge the big advantage currently being enjoyed by cracking ethane? Yes, perhaps. Opportunities could arise to take advantage of distressed supplies of naphtha from refiners under severe loss-making pressure. Shutting many […]

Guaranteeing The “Trickle Down” Effect

By John Richardson THE average-paid worker in a US company has to work for more than a month to earn what her or his CEO will earn in just one hour, according to this video from Adam Mordecai – the social and political commentator. And in 2012, the richest 1% of the population took home […]

No Ethylene Margins Peak In 2016

  By John Richardson FORECASTS of European capacity closures and project delays and cancellations have led some financial analysts to the conclusion that there will be a peak in ethylene margins from 2016 onwards. This will provide a few years of very strong returns for the global industry before the big wave of US capacity […]

Searching For A Manufacturing Revival

By John Richardson WALK into any airport bookshop and you will see shelf after shelf full of management and “get rich quick” books. How many books are you likely to see on inventing things and manufacturing? Hardly any….. The danger is that whilst we busy ourselves with pouring spurious knowledge into our heads about how […]

Grangemouth Viewed Through A Wider Lens

By John Richardson THROUGH the narrow lens of stand-alone cost competitiveness, the threatened refinery and petrochemicals complex in Grangemouth, Scotland the UK, (see picture) can be viewed as having a very questionable long-term future. For example, Britain’s refineries are viewed as small, old and lacking in sophistication. And it can be argued that they are […]

China’s Debt Crisis Comes To A Head

By John Richardson HOW much longer will China’s central government continue to kick the can down the road? The answer to this question might well turn out to be the biggest single determinant of chemicals and polymers demand growth over the next few years. When the great rebalancing really kicks  in, the wind could be […]

Global Petchem Markets Turn Bearish

By John Richardson EXCESSIVE inventory building down all the major petrochemical value chains is a global rather than just a Chinese problem, according to Paul Satchell – the UK-based chemicals analyst with global investment bank  Canaccord Genuity in his latest Volume Proxy research note. “The Volume Proxy continues to decline, with the index now in clear […]

Malaysia’s Scary Investment And Spending Bubbles

Source: http://www.globalpropertyguide.com   By John Richardson Will this time really be different in Southeast Asia? Everyone hopes so. But the arguments put forward by economist Jesse Colombo back in January – about investment bubbles building up across the region – served as an early warning that it is possible we are heading for another economic crisis […]

China And The Need To Keep On Digging

Sources: ICIS Consulting, World Bank and China’s NBS   By John Richardson POLYETHYLENE (PE) demand growth in China during 2007-2012 was essentially a story of: Firstly, excessive stimulus which compensated for the global financial crisis. And then from April 2011 up until the third quarter of 2012, a reduction in stimulus as the Chinese government […]

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