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Asian Chemical Connections

European Petrochemicals: Making Money Despite Deflation

By John Richardson THE European petrochemicals industry has done staggeringly well since 2008 thanks to operating rate discipline, skillful inventory management and feedstock flexibility – for example, the INEOS and SABIC initiatives to import low cost ethane from the US. And in 2014, the region’s cracker operators have even been able to increase average operating […]

Coming To Terms With Global Deflation

By John Richardson YOU used to be able to take, say, a World Bank report on GDP growth forecasts, plug that into your spread sheet, look at low per capita consumption of chemicals and polymers in the developing world and your job used to be pretty much done. As a researcher working for any chemicals […]

China: Don’t Get Caught Naked

By John Richardson THAT’S it then, the evidence is in that the September surge in China’s exports was, indeed, as I thought, substantially down to fake invoicing. “The gap between China’s reported exports to Hong Kong and the territory’s imports from the mainland widened in September to the most this year, suggesting fake export-invoicing is […]

China A Nation Of Cheap Copycats? Nonsense

By John Richardson COMPLACENCY is the enemy of  good analysis and one particular piece of complacent, and quite frankly lazy, analysis is to dismiss China as being permanently stuck in the category of a” low value copycat nation”. Beware the smartphones business. Anybody who was complacent enough to believe that the Chinese couldn’t make the […]

China’s “Vast Pit Of Debt”

By John Richardson THE consensus has further shifted in our direction, as this editorial in yesterday’s Financial Times indicates. This mainstream newspaper pulled no punches when it talked about the struggle that China would face in emerging from a “vast pit of debt”. Back in February, the BBC also backed many of the arguments that […]

Want To Keep Your Job? What To Tell Your Boss

By John Richardson THE economic data on China was very useful yesterday if you had already gone long on oil or US equities. Both crude and the S&P 500 rallied on positive interpretations of Q3 GDP and industrial production data, which included the following: “China’s gross domestic product increased by 7.3% in the third quarter, […]

No Other Choice But To Tackle “Group Thinking”

By John Richardson WE are proud to work with Paul Hodges, chairman of the UK-based chemicals company, International eChem, who in this superb FT Beyondbrics blog post, provides the kind of “connect the dots” top-down vision of the global economy that is all too rare out there. Someone else that we highly rate is Gillian […]

China: How To Chart The Future

By John Richardson THE chart below should not be printed out and pinned on any chemicals company boardroom wall. If you accidentally press the “print” button, you must throw the print-out in the bin, without pause, just in case somebody happens to walk past the office printer and think it important or relevant. Here is […]

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