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Asian Chemical Connections

Operating rate cuts the only option

By Malini Hariharan News of operating rate cuts is pouring in. Crackers in Japan, Taiwan and parts of southeast Asia have been running at reduced rates of 80-90% in October. But now there is also talk of rate cuts at crackers in South Korea. More importantly, a Sinopec source confirmed yesterday that the Chinese major […]

Buying resumes but will it last?

By Malini Hariharan A spurt in polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) buying in China over the last few days has raised hopes among sellers that the market has bottomed out and prices should rise in the coming weeks. After hand-to-mouth buying for the last three months buyers are said to be replenishing stocks which should […]

Middle East Still Confident For Now

By John Richardson Confidence among Middle Eastern petrochemical producers remains high because they obviously now that as long as oil prices do not collapse they will continue to make excellent money, said a chemicals analyst. The blog believes that there is a very strong chance that crude will collapse to as little as $25 a […]

Chandra Asri stake up for sale?

By Malini Hariharan Indonesia’s sole cracker operator Chandra Asri faces yet another ownership change with Singapore’s Temasek Holding reported to be looking at divesting its stake in the company. The news report in the Wall Street Journal said several companies from Thailand, South Korea and Japan have shown interest in Temasek’s stake, including Thailand’s PTT […]

China And Bouncing Dead Cats

By John Richardson Fifty per cent of the blog (John Richardson) is on leave for the next two weeks. Next week Paul Hodges will be posting on Asian Chemical Connections. Paul runs the ICIS Chemicals & Economy blog.Then from the week starting 22 August my fellow ACC blogger, Malini Hariharan, returns from her leave and […]

Q2 setback for Korea

By Malini Hariharan The margin pain experienced in Asia in the last quarter is clearly evident in the recently released results by South Korean majors Honam Petrochemical and LG Chem. Honam’s operating profit for Q2 declined 36.8% from the previous quarter to Won36.1bn. LG Chem’s operating profit was down 7.2% at Won775.4bn while its petrochemical […]

The US Debt Crisis And Asian Chemicals

By John Richardson THE consequence of either a failure by the US to raise the debt ceiling and/or a downgrading of the country’s Triple A debt rating would have obviously have serious consequences for the Asian and global chemicals industries. Just how serious nobody really knows as we are in uncharted waters. At the very […]

Pressure builds up as manufacturing growth slows

By Malini Hariharan Government measures across Asia to ease inflationary pressure are finally yielding results. The latest economic indicators from China and India confirm a loss in manufacturing growth momentum which is likely to put further pressure on troubled polyolefin markets. In China, the official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), from the China Federation of Logistics, […]

APIC Delegates Focus On Capacity

By John Richardson THE article of faith publicly expressed at last week’s Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Fukuoka, Japan, was that the current problems with demand in China and India were only temporary. Discussions the blog held were packed with the conventional wisdom that not enough capacity would be built over the next few […]

Korea escapes from China slowdown

By Malini Hariharan The blog has been scanning equity analyst reports of South Korean companies and has noticed that earnings expectations for the year are being revised upwards despite market uncertainties. Companies such as S-Oil are expected to benefit from a recovery in refining and paraxylene (PX) margins. Woori Investment & Securities has raised its […]

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