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Asian Chemical Connections

Japanese gloom builds as earnings fall

Yet more gloom – the world’s second-biggest economy appears to be slowing down as the effects of the sub-prime crisis spread. What will this mean for Japan’s chemical industry, which in the first half of the current financial year suffered badly from the highly cylical electronic chemicals sector? All will, of course, hinge on the […]

Could China be the new Japan?

Quite possibly not, according to a Deutsche Bank report. However, as the report makes the clear, the same types of imbalances are building in the Chinese economy which led to Japan’s “Lost Decade” of the 1990s. Time to take stock and have a contingency plan?

Is the world heading for a naphtha crisis?

Quite possiby says International e-Chem and Wood Mackenzie in a new study which predicts that by 2015, China could have a deficit of as much as 35m tonnes. When you consider that total global output is around 300m tonne/year, this is quite staggering. On paper, China should be balanced on naphtha because of a huge […]

Will Japan’s rate rise do any good?

The Bank of Japan has decided to raise interest rates – from 0.25 to 0.5%. This could weaken the yen, thereby damaging the country’s export-led recovery. For the petrochemical players, the benefits of a 21-year low yen have been offset by the increased cost of importing naphtha. The bank is also banking on last summer’s […]

Japan is still in search of a consumer recovery

Japan’s fourth quarter GPD growth of 4.8%, which was released today, exceeded economists’ expectations. However, although consumer spending rose by 1.1% on an annualised basis, this merely compensated for the 1.1% decline in Q3. In addition, wages rose by only 0.2% last year, barely up from a decade-long decline. Companies are preferring to pay down […]

Basell predicts tough times for polyolefins in 2009-10

Paul Cherry of Basell gave an excellent paper at the recent ICIS Olefins Conference – Download file Paul offers some hints on how to survive the next downturn, and provides some sobering predictions on operating rates. I bet that after 2009-10, or whenever the next downturn arrives, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan will further restructure. […]

How To Get Rid Of Management Consultants

Fed up with receiving those obscenely large bills from trendy management consultants populated by wet-behind-the-ears Harvard graduates? Ever thought that a great deal of commonsense is all you need to run a business rather than theoretical nonsense? These guys, as the Financial Times reveals in its article about the Japanese mob, have restructured without the […]

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