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Asian Chemical Connections

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 […]

Construction crisis? What crisis? China leads the way

As the Middle East struggles to find labour and raw material supply with contractors’ order books bursting at the seams, the Chinese seem to have no difficulty in executing their projects. See below for detailed analysis of what’s happening with the current wave of Chinese crackers. Suffice to say here that nearly all of China’s […]

The fallout for petrochemicals from Iraq

As everyone focuses on when the next downturn might arrive, macro issues such as the implications of a likely US withdrawal from Iraq are rarely publicly discussed. But if I were on the board of any company making investment decisions, I’d be worried. If the US withdrawal from Iraq is well managed then fears such […]

China attempts to move up the value chain

Petrochemical markets are being badly ruffled by two recent Chinese government decisions. In late June, there was the decision to change the VAT export rebate system for yuan-priced product. And then this week there was a widening of the deposit rules governing import duty and VAT rebates on petchem imports priced in US dollars. But […]

China’s crackers are on track. Is this bad news?

The consultants, traders and producers I spoke to last week insist that the current wave of new Chinese ethylene capacity due on stream in the current Five-Year Plan (2006-10), Download file is more or less on track to be completed on schedule. Also see on these slides the ICIS insight Asia list of crackers after […]

China will choke itself to death

I think it’s about time that the developing world stopped saying “you did it, so why can’t we?” when the West raises concerns over rising pollution levels in China, India etc. In the “good” old days my home country, the UK, had lots of dark, gritty and satanic mills, which were almost as ugly as […]

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