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Asian Chemical Connections

US Shale Gas And Income Distribution

By John Richardson THE US shale gas and tight oil-driven energy revolution offers fantastic economic opportunities. Kevin Swift, Chief Economist and Managing Director of the American Chemistry Council, provided a comprehensive and very valuable summary of the opportunities during his speech at the 2nd ICIS Pan American Phenol-Acetone Conference, which took place in Houston, Texas, […]

ExxonMobil, Energy Efficiency And Innovation

By John Richardson SAVING money through energy efficiency, along with innovation, will be two of  the keys to success in the New Normal because  demand-growth patterns will be very different than during the Supercycle. The suspension, which guaranteed success for everybody, has gone. We are therefore going to see some creative destruction amongst chemicals and […]

Dow And Commodities-Specialities Integration

  By John Richardson IS diversification itself a problem in commodity chemicals and speciality companies with operations under one roof, or is it more how this diversification is handled? This is a question raised by this excellent Insight article, from the blog’s ICIS colleague Joe Chang, which revisits the issue of hedge fund Third Point’s […]

Gas, Gas, And Perhaps Even More Gas

By John Richardson THE global petrochemicals industry is stepping on the gas as it accelerates both capacity expansions and the restructuring of existing assets. Apologies for the pun. In the US, of course, some 25m tonnes/year of ethylene capacity is due to be added, most of it after 2017, thanks to big volumes of cheap […]

China In 2014: Some Predictions

  By John Richardson IT was a year to remember, for the right reasons, for anybody who bet on a recovery in Chinese polyethylene (PE) demand. Back in May, it was all doom and gloom. But since May, thanks to a surge in the availability of credit, apparent demand (local production plus imports) has bounced […]

The Minority Isn’t Always Wrong

By John Richardson “I REALLY worry about the ability to export extra capacity from the US as I think global markets will become much more regional,” said a source with a poylolefins producer . “The US is also pretty much a saturated market because of high existing levels of polymers consumption [see the above graph] […]

The US Growth Conundrum

By John Richardson WHERE is the growth in the US economy going to come from to consume the big increase in the country’s ethylene and derivatives production due to take place from 2017 onwards? This is a question that continues to trouble the blog when we study charts such as the one above. It is […]

The WTO “Bali” Deal Versus ASEAN Priorities

By John Richardson WHY sacrifice national or regional growth for the sake of freer global trade? This is a question the blog has been asking itself since the breakthrough last week at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Bali. This follows our earlier thoughts on how regional trading blocs may become much more significant. […]

Less Rather Than More Petchems Free Trade

By John Richardson A LOT of the talk at this year’s GPCA conference in Dubai was of the need for more free trade in petrochemicals. There seems to be a risk that as more countries develop refinery and petrochemicals businesses, free trade  will decline rather than increase. Creating and protecting jobs will, surely, be a […]

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