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Asian Chemical Connections

Ten Reasons To Plan For A Difficult H2

By John Richardson LACK of clear thinking about the challenges ahead worries me at the moment. I am concerned that petrochemicals companies, because of the strong profitability they have enjoyed so far this year, might well not be adequately prepared for the fault lines opening up the global economy. Here are ten themes that you […]

Good Luck Isn’t The Same As Good Planning

By John Richardson The tail has long wagged the dog in Asia’s polyethylene (PE) market. Whilst the spot merchant ethylene market accounts for only around 5% of the total amount of ethylene that is produced in the region, ethylene spot prices drive polyethylene (PE) spot prices – with just about everyone buying and selling PE […]

Oil, Gas,Chemicals: A Trove Of Financially Toxic Assets

By John Richardson OIL and gas companies might very well find themselves holding on to what Izabella Kaminska of the FT has aptly called “a trove of financially toxic assets” as a result of the growing, and irreversible, consensus that climate change is man-made. She was basing her phrase on the work of the consultancy, […]

Burying Your Head In The Sand Is Not The Answer

By John Richardson YOU are a US polyethylene (PE) producer or any other chemicals producer in a country that remains on the wrong side of the new consensus about climate change. Sure, you can choose to bury your head in the sand and pretend that this shift in this consensus isn’t permanent. But with your head […]

Pricing Climate Change Into Import Tariffs

By John Richardson SO, following on from my blog post yesterday, how might developing countries calculate import tariffs on petrochemicals in response to the rising social, political and economic costs of climate change? One good starting point in just a few years’ time, when these tariffs are sure to be under serious evaluation, might be […]

Trade Flows In A Low Carbon World

By John Richardson YOU will have no doubt seen many charts similar to the one above, which shows lots of arrows indicating the direction of global petrochemicals trade flows – in this example, polyethylene (PE). The actual numbers, are, of course, missing from beneath each of these arrows, but if you are interested, you can […]

The US: Worrying About What Really Matters

By John Richardson I WAS involved in a debate recently over how a glut of propane in storage in the US had led to propane prices in the States being so low that propane-fed crackers in the US had become more competitive than those in the Middle East. This was just about the first time that […]

Pump Oil Hard Now Or Live To Regret Production Cuts

By John Richardson OIL producers face a very straightforward choice: Pump crude as hard as possible right now or run the risk of your most important economic asset being left in the ground for good. One of the reasons is that, regardless of what you might think about the science behind claims that burning fossil […]

China’s Three Measures Of Real Growth All Weaken

By John Richardson YOU have to again conclude from the above chart that the China so many thought they understood remains very, very different. The chart shows electricity consumption. Along with credit creation and rail-freight movements these are the three measures of real GDP growth that have been identified by China’s Prime Minister, Li Keqiang. […]

Peak Oil? Yes, Absolutely – Peak Oil Demand

By John Richardson YOU should never bet against the capability of oil investors to turn the world completely upside down. A great example occurred on Wednesday of last week, as Arthur Berman argues in this excellent Oilprice.com article. He points out that Brent crude surged from $62 a barrel to $65 a barrel on 10 […]

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