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Asian Chemical Connections

Southeast Asia ‘s Economic Boom

By John Richardson SOUTHEAST (SEA) polyolefins demand grew by 15-20% last year in some of the region’s emerging countries, such as Indonesia, according to a source with a major global producer. Confidence is high as overseas money pours into super-hot property markets in Indonesia and Thailand. In Indonesia, property prices have risen by as much […]

Asia Top Ten Chem Companies

By John Richardson SINOPEC’s remarkable rise in the petrochemicals business continued in 2011 as it jumped two places in the ICIS Top 100 ranking, compared with 2010, to finish second overall, behind BASF. This was the result of a 28.9% rise in chemicals sales in local currency and a 34.9% increase when sales were measured […]

China PE Demand Weakness Continues

 By John Richardson LET’S put this into context: China’s polyethylene (PE) demand grew by 53 percent in 2008-2010. Growth during the first seven months of this year was just 1.7 percent over Januuary-July 2011, according to Global Trade Information Services (GTIS). And when compared with the same seven months in 2010 growth was flat, as the […]

BASF Highlights Changes In Growth

  Martin Brudermüller Source of picture: BASF   By John Richardson “THE struggle over China’s future direction seems to be harder fought than we had imagined,” said BASF vice chairman Martin Brudermüller last Thursday, in a German newspaper interview. “There are very intensive discussions being held in China about the direction the country should take. […]

China PE Demand Falls Six Percent

By John Richardson The 6% decline in apparent polyethylene (PE) demand in China from January to April this year, compared with the same periods in 2011 and 2010, underlines what market participants have been telling the blog for many months. The above chart also further emphasises how, in a weak market, the Middle East is […]

APIC: A Sense Of Shock

  By John Richardson ANOTHER theme that emerged from last week’s Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was the shock at the extent of the price declines in the key China market. In polyolefins, the slump in pricing has been the most pronounced during a period when the consensus opinion was that […]

Chems Trade Finance Threat

By John Richardson NEW banking regulations could severely restrict the ability of small and medium-sized (SMEs) companies to access trade finance. This would hit Asia particularly hard, as the majority of chemicals and polymer business involves SMEs. Under the Basel III regulations, due to be phased in from next year, a three-month trade finance loan will […]

Petchems And The Non-Profit Motive

By John Richardson AS the US contemplates raising its ethylene capacity by up to 29 percent by 2017, we would be fascinated to know whether the companies involved in these proposed expansions, and the “cheer leader” chemical industry observers spurring them on, have ever considered a chart such as the one below:      First […]

There Is No Going Back

By John Richardson “IF we build polymer capacity in India the demand will come,” a very senior industry executive told the blog last year. He amplified this statement by explaining that greater availability of plastics would always stimulate strong demand growth for low-end packaging materials etc in emerging markets in general, as the poor became […]

Petronas set to unveil new refinery and petchem venture

By Malini Hariharan Malaysia’s Petronas is expected to soon announce plans for a new refinery and petrochemical complex Pengerang, Johor, a project that the blog had discussed a few months back. A report in the Malaysian newspaper Star says the project, named Rapid or Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development, would involve an investment of close […]

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