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Asian Chemical Connections

China: GDP And Forgetting What You Already Know

By John Richardson THE blog has a terrible confession to make: We sometimes get it very badly wrong. How’s that for modesty? A couple of months ago we got it very badly wrong when we kept waffling on and on, in post after post, about whether China would hit GDP growth of 3-4%, 5%, 6% […]

China Coal-To-Olefins: Water Not An Issue

By John Richardson CONVENTIONAL wisdom has it that the water issue stands in the way of the growth of the coal-to-olefins (CTO) industry in China. The process consumes a lot of water  – between 15-20 tonnes for every tonne of olefins produced – which compares with 0.80-2.17 tonnes of water for every tonne of oil […]

China Commodities Fraud: The Global Implications

By John Richardson An eerie calm has descended over financial and commodity markets with volatility at a record low. The calm is eerie because it reminds us of the build-up to September 2008. Back then, not one single mainstream economist saw the sub-prime-led collapse coming and at the moment, the same feels as if it […]

China’s Methanol Industry: Through The Looking Glass

By John Richardson AT first glance, some of the facts relating to China’s methanol sector sound like Jabberwocky  sounded to Alice when she firs discovered the language of that name in the marvellous Lewis Carroll novel, Alice Through The Looking Glass. Here are some examples of what we are talking about, from our colleagues at […]

The “Why” Behind Sinopec’s Investment Freeze

By John Richardson SINOPEC has announced that it will halt some of its new petrochemicals investments. This could involve the postponement of up to three cracker projects with a combined ethylene capacity of 2.8m tonnes/year, according to this excellent story from my ICIS colleague, Fanny Zhang. The company confirmed that the 1m tonnes/year Qingdao Petrochemical […]

China: More Credit For Less Growth

By John Richardson REMEMBER this time last year when a surge in credit availability occurred in China,  thanks to the shadow-banking system? This helped support a pick-up in economic activity in the second half of the year, including stronger chemicals and polymers markets. What a difference a year might have made. The People’s Bank of […]

US Housing Recovery? What Recovery?

  By John Richardson A SUSTAINED US housing recovery is vital for the global petrochemicals industry because, without it, far too much of the 64% of ethylene capacity, which is due to be added in the States, will have to be exported in the form of derivatives. One of the reasons is that some $16,000 […]

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