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Asian Chemical Connections

Grangemouth Viewed Through A Wider Lens

By John Richardson THROUGH the narrow lens of stand-alone cost competitiveness, the threatened refinery and petrochemicals complex in Grangemouth, Scotland the UK, (see picture) can be viewed as having a very questionable long-term future. For example, Britain’s refineries are viewed as small, old and lacking in sophistication. And it can be argued that they are […]

Global Petchem Markets Turn Bearish

By John Richardson EXCESSIVE inventory building down all the major petrochemical value chains is a global rather than just a Chinese problem, according to Paul Satchell – the UK-based chemicals analyst with global investment bank  Canaccord Genuity in his latest Volume Proxy research note. “The Volume Proxy continues to decline, with the index now in clear […]

US Petchem Feedstock Costs: Not All Gloom for Asia

YESTERDAY we examined some of the factors shaping long-term outlook for polyethylene (PE) exports to China. And, today, as promised, we go into detail on another part of the story: Influences on future feedstock-cost position of US producers. What follows only scratches the surface. There are many more complexities that we shall examine in future […]

China PE Imports: A Long-Term Outlook

  By John Richardson THE chart below is worth revisiting, and pondering again, as we attempt to assess the future of polyethylene (PE) exports to China. In the case of the Middle East, as the chart shows, it has been a case of “so far so good” in 2013. Overall PE import volumes from the […]

China’s New Petrochemicals Logic

  By John Richardson WINNING approval for petrochemicals projects in China no longer seems to be as straightforward as it used to be because of increasing anger over the state of the environment and new economic priorities. The stalled paraxylene (PX) project at in the city of Kunming, in Sichuan province in southern China, is […]

European Demographics Challenge US Export Assumptions

By John Richardson US feedstock advantages appear to provide an almost overwhelming case for a big wave of cracker and downstream investments, particularly in polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). In contrast, Europe is struggling with much-higher feedstock costs and low economic growth, resulting in the possibility of many more capacity closures. Only last week, for […]

It Is Not A Question Of If, But Rather When

By John Richardson IT is not a question if, but rather when Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang decide that enough is enough and get on with tackling China’s growing financial imbalances. That is if they don’t want the whole house of cards to eventually collapse, which we believe is not the case. These imbalances have […]

Malaysia: Taking The Long View

Source: Malaysia Petrochemicals Association   By John Richardson THE problems in Malaysia have been evident for a long time. But thanks to the irresponsible and failed actions of the US Fed, the flow of funds into the Southeast country had led to a papering-over of the cracks in its economic growth model. The same, as […]

Australia and The US: History Could Repeat Itself

  By John Richardson A PERTH-based businessman who made a very basic piece equipment for the Australian mining industry (details disguised for confidentiality reasons) incurred total production costs of just Aus$6 for each item he produced as a against a sale price of Aus$60 a time. Yes, this is not printing mistake – Aus$60! Quite […]

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