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Asian Chemical Connections

The Hedgehog And The Fox

By John Richardson Are there more hedgehogs in the chemicals industry than foxes? This thought came to the blog after meetings with industry executives this week during its latest visit to Singapore. Bear with us and we will, we promise, as quickly as possible get to the point. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin, in his famous […]

Asia Ex-China: The Outlook For 2014 And Beyond

By John Richardson IN a special series of blog posts over the next few weeks we will re-examine the outlook for the major Asian petrochemical producing countries, ex-China. The posts won’t necessarily appear every day, as important news events may require immediate analysis, but our aim is to finish the series by mid-October. Last month, […]

Asia, The Fed And Swimming Naked

  By John Richardson WHEN the tide eventually goes out, we will find out who has been swimming naked. This will also be the case in several emerging markets, ex-China, when the Fed eventually draws down its stimulus. Hot money seeking higher returns has flowed into India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, for example, […]

Southeast Asia’s Export Dependency

Source: Petroleum Institute of Thailand   By John Richardson THERE is a lot of excitement about the self-sustaining nature of Southeast Asia’s (SEA) economy thanks to, for example, nine consecutive quarters of GDP growth of more than 6% in Indonesia and rising domestic consumption across the region. But, as we discuss in this Insight article […]

PE Middle East Offers Keep Falling

By John Richardson POLYOLEFIN markets are not going to bottom out until August-September at the earliest, according to several producers and traders who the blog spoke to yesterday. And even if prices do eventually stop declining, confidence has all but disappeared that there will be any substantial recovery in either pricing or demand for the […]

Chems Trade Finance Threat

By John Richardson NEW banking regulations could severely restrict the ability of small and medium-sized (SMEs) companies to access trade finance. This would hit Asia particularly hard, as the majority of chemicals and polymer business involves SMEs. Under the Basel III regulations, due to be phased in from next year, a three-month trade finance loan will […]

Japan Disaster: Immediate Petchem, Refining Impact

By John Richardson THE earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Friday afternoon is still hard to take in. We send our sympathy to everyone connected with this disaster and just hope and pray that the rescue efforts go exceptionally well. As Japan returns to work this morning it will confront the huge cost of […]

Chemicals And Polymer Prices Behave As We Predicted

By John Richardson AS the blog had anticipated would happen, there were sharp retreats in some chemicals and polymers pricing late last week on the steep declines in equity and crude prices. Polyethylene (PE) fell by $70-130/tonne, according to our colleagues at ICIS pricing, as the Dalian Commodity Exchange once again demonstrated that it has become […]

Asian Polyolefin Trade Slows on Free-Trade Muddle

By John Richardson Polyolefin shipments have been held up in ports by lack of awareness among customs officers at some ports in Southeast Asia over how to implement new free-trade deals, an industry source told us. It seems highly likely that the same applies to other chemicals and polymer cargoes. The Association of Southeast Asian […]

Philippines cracker – revival of an epic saga

By Malini Hariharan Some projects never die. JG Summit has been planning a cracker since 1995 but has always had problems in securing funding. The project was revived in 2005 even as questions were raised about its viability. It would help JG Summit secure feedstock for its polyethylene and polypropylene plants, but how would it […]

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