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Asian Chemical Connections

How clean are coal-to-liquids? Does it really matter?

Paul Hodges, in his excellent chemicals and the economy blog, talks about the recent Shenhua Energy listing on the Shanghai stock exchange and how it shares jumped by 93% following the IPO. Now it has ample cash to pursue its ambitions. Shenhau is just one of numerous companies involved in coal-to-liquids projects in China which […]

The world goes Upsize barmy

Standing in the queue for Starbucks (not McDonalds – no way, and my son’s going nowhere near that place) it’s so easy to opt for the half bucket-sized Grande option because, after all, we are all rich these days and anyway it costs hardly anything to “Upsize”. Walk around Starbucks and you’ll notice numerous Grande […]

Lots of froth makes one giant global bubble

Alan Greenspan refused to categorise conditions in the US housing market as a bubble when he was chairman of the Fed. But now he’s retired and while plugging his memoirs, he admitted in a TV interview the other day that lots of froth in different parts of the US made up what was, in reality, […]

Methanol – a Dickens of a good or bad tale

Methanol producers have been enjoying the best of times, but to paraphrase good old Charles Dickens, they may not necessarily be heading for the worst of times. There is a staggering amount of capacity due on stream by 2012. By that year, global capacity will stand at 66m tonne/year according to Mark Berggren of consultancy, […]

Could new laws threaten your supply chain?

I am at logistics conference at the moment where the major theme is a chronically tight global container shipping market because of booming exports from China. Ports are congested, waiting times are increasing, freight rates have in some cases doubled in the last two months(for example, the Middle East-Asia route) and there is no immediate […]

Is the elephant about to fall off the bike?

As Paul Hodges notes in his Chemicals and the Economy blog https://www.icis.com/blogs/chemicals%2Dand%2Dthe%2Deconomy/, China’s Finance Minister quit this morning – either over his role in a sex scandal or because inflation and the stock markets are out of control. Petrochemical demand growth has been booming in China because, as a bureaucrat put it shortly after WTO […]

The global credit crisis is going to last

The collective sigh of relief was almost audible late last week when the Fed cut its discount rate – the rate banks charge each other for lending. Action from other central banks, including the European Central Bank, could follow this week. Analysts also rate the likelihood of the Fed cutting its formal interest rate at […]

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