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Asian Chemical Connections

US Oil: Nothing Is Uncertain As Certainty

By John Richardson ALL of yesterday’s excitement about the US overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia by 2017 to become the world’s biggest oil producer – and exceeding Russia to become the world’s biggest gas producer by 2015 – needs to be taken with a very large pinch of salt. The release of the International Energy […]

The US Shale Gas Boom Will End

Don’t follow the herd…  By John Richardson ISN’T it amazing how we keep getting caught out by the unexpected, from the global financial crisis to  China is entering a period of much-lower growth? No, not really. As long as we keep being driven by the short attention-span of financial markets and the demands of quarterly […]

Dow and DuPont Make Major Job Cuts

Dupont’s Ellen Kullman   By John Richardson Dow Chemical’s decision to cut 2,400 jobs, as it posted a 32% drop in earnings per share, was the result of what CEO Andrew Liveris said was difficult conditions that “may have extended staying power, as the new reality is that we are operating in a slow-growth and […]

Dictating Chemicals Demand

    By John Richardson SOME commodity chemicals companies still assume that, if they build new supply, demand will always eventually catch up with supply. The risks of not building new capacities, at times of easy financing and feedstock availability, are also viewed as too great. These include deteriorating economies of scale and loss of […]

Wen’s Last Reform Push

By John Richardson Wen Jiabao has been at it again. His extraordinarily strong comments on Tuesday follow those he made last month about the risks of a return to the economic chaos of the Cultural Revolution. On this latest occasion, he has taken aim at the state-owned banks. China’s premier, who is to relinquish power […]

PX Goes Green

By Malini Hariharan Work on commercialising a green route to paraxylene (PX) purified terphthalic acid (PTA) and other aromatics is speeding up. US companies are at the forefront of recent developments. Virent is looking to produce a sugar-based ­aromatics stream containing benzene, toluene and xylenes using traditional chemical ­catalytic processing, writes fellow blogger Doris de […]

The Changing Landscape For Manufacturers

  The New Normal involves three major transformations in the nature of consumer markets, which are: • The increasing size of the New Old 55+ age group in the West. • Too many young people struggling with higher unemployment. • Large number of people moving out of poverty in the developing world. These are the […]

World Bank Highlights China Risks

By John Richardson A NEW report by the World Bank on China, summarised on the slide below, supports what we argued in chapter 6 our e-book, Boom, Gloom & The New Normal: That without the success of efforts to reform the economy, the country risks a significant slowdown.   Those reform efforts, detailed in the […]

US Petchems: The Bigger Picture

By John Richardson Access to cheap feedstock, access to cheap feedstock and access to cheap feedstock might seem like the three most-important elements to any petrochemicals strategy. Thus, for many in the US, adding capacity based on abundant and therefore low-cost ethane, thanks to the shale-gas revolution, adds up. US ethylene capacity could be increased by […]

Doing More With Less – The Products Of The Future

THE global economy is moving into a difficult period, as it transitions to the New Normal. Debt levels are high, and incomes are under pressure, particularly for the large numbers of people moving into retirement. Cost must be the key criteria when examining the opportunities for new product development and research. Chapter 8 of our free […]

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