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Asian Chemical Connections

China inventory sentiment survey

Peering through the fog On the theme of data again, in the ideal world it might be possible to send thousands of hardworking foot solders out into the field in China to chase down every warehouse of polymers and count every single pallet of polyolefins. Not not really – don’t talk nonsense; in reality, this […]

Lies, damned lies and data

“Excuse me, are you sure about that?” Source of Picture: bshort.org A wise man said to me recently: “All data is wrong; all you can do is make sure you are consistently wrong”. Now this is absolutely not meant to be any criticism whatsoever of what consultants or other market observers do for a living. […]

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 […]

Here we go again – 1997 is back…..

I sincerely hope not, but all the signs are there because of: *A financial crisis which nobody again saw coming, this time with global implications *What could prove to be too much spending on new equipment and capacity. This time high equity prices have paid for these investments rather than US dollar-denominated bank loans, as […]

The world goes Upsize barmy

Standing in the queue for Starbucks (not McDonalds – no way, and my son’s going nowhere near that place) it’s so easy to opt for the half bucket-sized Grande option because, after all, we are all rich these days and anyway it costs hardly anything to “Upsize”. Walk around Starbucks and you’ll notice numerous Grande […]

The global credit crisis is going to last

The collective sigh of relief was almost audible late last week when the Fed cut its discount rate – the rate banks charge each other for lending. Action from other central banks, including the European Central Bank, could follow this week. Analysts also rate the likelihood of the Fed cutting its formal interest rate at […]

China attempts to move up the value chain

Petrochemical markets are being badly ruffled by two recent Chinese government decisions. In late June, there was the decision to change the VAT export rebate system for yuan-priced product. And then this week there was a widening of the deposit rules governing import duty and VAT rebates on petchem imports priced in US dollars. But […]

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