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Asian Chemical Connections

The New Global Financial Crisis: Emerging Market Bonds

By John Richardson EXACTLY how the new global financial crisis will gather momentum is becoming clearer by the day. Greatly adding to this clarity was the latest Bank for International Settlements (BIS) quarterly report, which was released earlier this week. The BIS warned that: Off-shore lending in US dollars had soared to $9 trillion, and, […]

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 […]

Gas, Gas, And Perhaps Even More Gas

By John Richardson THE global petrochemicals industry is stepping on the gas as it accelerates both capacity expansions and the restructuring of existing assets. Apologies for the pun. In the US, of course, some 25m tonnes/year of ethylene capacity is due to be added, most of it after 2017, thanks to big volumes of cheap […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Taiwan Growth Underlines Long Term Shift

By John Richardson EVIDENCE that China is no longer acting as the growth engine of the world, because it is too busy dealing with internal adjustments, is mounting. For example, on Tuesday of this week Taiwan announced that its year-on-year Q1 2013 GDP growth had fallen to just 1.5%. This was less than half of […]

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