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Asian Chemical Connections

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 […]

Crossing The River By Feeling The Stones

Deng Xiaoping   By John Richardson ANDREW Mackenzie, in his first speech in Australia as BHP Billiton’s new chief executive, said that global demand for commodities would grow by 75% over the next 15 years, driven by continuing urbanisation in China and the growth of Asia’s middle classes. The blog wishes that it shared Mr […]

Adjusting Inventories To Lower China Growth

By John Richardson EXCESSIVE inventory building across a range of commodities in China, including  petrochemicals, continues to worry the blog. One reason, as we discussed yesterday, might be that traders are in the midst of a liquidity squeeze as a result of the late June credit crackdown. They have therefore taken out further very-aggressive positions […]

China Commodities Rally About Protecting Existing Debt

By John Richardson OVER the last few days we have focused on the increased risk-on trade in commodities, including petrochemicals. But maybe the rallies we have seen  in products such as fibre intermediates and polyethylene (PE)  are mainly about traders being forced to increase their risk profiles in order to protect existing liquidity. Here is the […]

More People Wanting To Buy Than Sell

By John Richardson SOME people in the petrochemicals industry are showing great confidence in the future. Perhaps it is no coincidence that several of these people are said to be Chinese domestic traders in polyethylene (PE) and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) who might have long positions to protect. But if PE is in genuinely wonderful shape, […]

Water Shortages to Scupper China CTO Industry

  By John Richardson THE debate about how exactly how much coal-to-olefins (CTO) capacity China will add has been largely around the economics of the process versus that of naphtha cracking. In terms of capital costs, building a CTO complex costs 1.5-2 times more than constructing a naphtha cracker, according to our colleagues at CBI […]

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