Home Blogs Asian Chemical Connections

Asian Chemical Connections

Ageing Populations Threaten A Repeat Of The 1930s

By John Richardson THIS is an era of the populist strongman, and also a woman if Marine Le Pen wins this year’s French presidential election. We have been here before, of course, many times in history, most notably in the 1930s where rising discontent over the failure of mainstream politicians to meet the needs of their […]

The Hypnotic Allure Of Emerging Markets

By John Richardson A GLEAMING new skyscraper in downturn Beijing, Bangkok, Mumbai, Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur made for fantastic TV viewing, especially if a photogenic reporter was standing in front of such a building. The reporter would then talk about “Asia’s rising middle classes” as the camera panned-out to people queueing outside Louis Viton and Cartier […]

The World Is Turning Upside Down

By John Richardson A COMMON view is that Asia’s petrochemicals markets are merely suffering from a temporary destocking phrase, driven by the collapse in crude-oil prices. So when crude oil prices settle down, everything will be fine. Many people also assume that the current widespread “buyers’ strike” is the result of seasonal factors – i.e. […]

The Philippines: What A Fantastic Opportunity

By John Richardson The Philippines is in a demographic sweet spot, according to the CIA factbook. In 2013, for instance, 34% of the population was aged between 0-14 and 19.1 was aged between 15-24. This is potentially fantastic news if the Philippines can do something about its dreadful infrastructure. As the New York Times points out in […]

China: GDP And Forgetting What You Already Know

By John Richardson THE blog has a terrible confession to make: We sometimes get it very badly wrong. How’s that for modesty? A couple of months ago we got it very badly wrong when we kept waffling on and on, in post after post, about whether China would hit GDP growth of 3-4%, 5%, 6% […]

China Reforms: The Global Implications

By John Richardson IT can feel logical to assume that the fundamentals of the petrochemicals business in Asia haven’t really changed. When you think about it, apart from a brief interruption in the region’s success story during the Asian Financial crisis in 1997-1998, everything has been pretty much plain sailing. And in retrospect, the severity […]

“Fragile Five” Now “The Exposed Eight”

By John Richardson IT used to be just the “Fragile Five” – Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey. But last week, the Financial Times, drawing on data and analysis from Schroders, added three more countries to the list of those most-exposed to Fed tapering: Hungary, Poland and Chile. Thus we needed a new handy […]

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 […]

Jump to page: