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Asian Chemical Connections

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 […]

Bio-based Local Ethylene Plants A Good Alternative

By John Richardson THE proven approach for success in petrochemicals is, of course, to find cheap feedstocks somewhere and build a world-scale cracker complex. That “somewhere” doesn’t necessarily have to be close to the final customers in emerging markets. For example, the Middle East and more more recently the US can afford to ship large […]

European Chemicals: Rescue Efforts Continue

By John Richardson THE battle to save the European chemicals industry from widespread plant closures  is wider than just at the Grangemouth complex in Scotland, the UK In Holland, for example, the Dutch chemicals industry trade body – Vereniging van de Nederlandse Chemische Industrie (VNCI) – is asking for subsidies and tax breaks from the Dutch […]

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