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Asian Chemical Connections

Europe’s Dinosaur Destiny

By John Richardson DINOSAURS became extinct, scientists think, because of an event beyond their control – either an asteroid colliding with the earth, volcanic activity, an ice age, disease or gradual climate change. With all due respect to the former inhabitants of our planet, they were not the brightest of species. Thus, even if they […]

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 […]

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