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Asian Chemical Connections

Action in the propylene market

By Malini Hariharan Just when Asian propylene prices started easing comes news of disruptions in production and price hikes in the West. Propylene availability in Europe was hit after a strike by Total’s refinery workers early in the week resulted in the closure of 36% of France’s C3 capacity. This forced Total to declare force […]

China PVC Capacity Binge Clobbers Northeast Asia

By John Richardson CHINA’S capacity expansions in industries including steel, aluminium and petrochemicals continue to astound. Take polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for example., where, according to a new report by ChemSystems, “capacity (in China) has expanded from 5m tonne/year in 2003 to over 15m tonne/year in 2009, almost 90 percent of total global capacity expansion over […]

Wearing blinkers is a job requirement

“Take it from me, peripheral vision isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially if you want to get a decent annual bonus….”   Source of picture: www.whipnspurs.co.nz   Here’s a rant for Tuesday – with thanks to Paul Hodges for informing some of the thinking (I’d like to lay credit to certain parts of this…) Purchasing […]

How do Asian cracker operators compete?

Source of Picture: www.autospies.com Not an easy answer and not one much suited to a few paragraphs of blogging. But here’s one thought as the competitive environment becomes a great deal more difficult due to new Middle East capacity and the potential for China to move towards self-sufficiency in polyethylene and polypropylene: Have a chat […]

Excessive Confidence A Risk

Confidence along all the chemicals value chains is always a key issue because of the ability to aggressively manage inventories, according to the London-based chemicals analyst Paul Satchell. So there’s the ever-present risk of sudden and very disruptive de-stocking. The longer the current rallies in commodity prices and stock markets continue, the greater might be […]

If manufacturers started buying up their suppliers….

This excellent article from The Economist about vertical integration got me thinking that if, say, auto makers start buying up parts suppliers in developed markets (in developing markets the plastics processing industry is too fragmented) we could end up facing a whole new set of industry dynamics. Buying up your supplier, or at least offering […]

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