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Asian Chemical Connections

No escaping the squeeze

By Malini Hariharan With naphtha crossing $1000/tonne yesterday Asian petrochemical producers reliant on this feedstock remain caught in a tight spot. Costs are continuously rising while market direction for key derivatives is uncertain. Ethylene and propylene prices are holding firm at around $1,350/tonne CFR Northeast Asia and $1,500/tonne CFR Northeast Asia respectively, supported by a […]

PX: Still going strong

By Malini Hariharan Paraxylene (PX) markets are on a roll. Prices have risen by 20% since the beginning of the year and were assessed at around $1,620/tonne cfr Asia late last week by ICIS pricing. One contract nomination for March was out yesterday with JX Nippon Oil proposing a $110/tonne increase to $1,730/tonne cfr Asia. […]

One more view on the cycle

By Malini Hariharan The debate on the next petrochemical upcycle is heating up. After confident forecasts of a “supercycle” the blog is increasingly hearing more cautious assessments Take the recent report from Credit Suisse which stresses that while conditions for a period of bumper margins are favourable there are still many uncertainties. Pic source: avalonwine.com […]

Saudi ethane price revision to be delayed?

By Malini Hariharan The much talked about revision in Saudi ethane prices may not take place in 2012. In a recent report on the Middle East petrochemical sector analysts from Nomura expected the current price of $0.75/mmbtu to continue until 2015. They pointed out that there has been no official update from the Ministry of […]

More action needed at Mitsubishi Chem

By Malini Hariharan Japan’s largest chemical company Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings has been actively restructuring this year but more needs to be done to complete its transformation. High on the list is reorganization of its cracker operations at Mizushima. Mitsubishi and Asahi, which also has a cracker at the same site, have been talking since 2007 […]

The West can still be the best

It is very easy assume that Asia ex-Japan will eventually catch up with the West and become as good at “solution” chemicals as the West. I am excluding Japan because it has long been a major speciality player. All the money that China, for example, is pouring into its state-run research institutes would seem to […]

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