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Asian Chemical Connections

Researching China Credit And Growth

By John Richardson A lot of the focus in polyethylene (PE) markets at the moment is on supply and on what impact this might have on the key China market during 2014. Crunching this data will always remain a crucial part of assessing all petrochemicals markets, but, in China, do we need other tools as […]

China’s November Plenum: The Verdict So Far

By John Richardson THE November Plenum is over and now the analysis has begun. Some commentators view the formal communiqué about the plenum – which was released by the government on Tuesday – with tremendous enthusiasm. Others, however, are disappointed, while a third group of commentators are sitting on the fence. This might not seem […]

China’s Reform Process Jeopardised

By John Richardson LAST week’s decision by China to give its banks the freedom to compete for borrowers, by removing the floor on lending rates, has been praised by most analysts. “This is one of the biggest steps they could have taken. It tells you something about the trajectory,” Mark Williams, chief economist at Capital […]

A Delicate Balancing Act

XI Jinping (see picture), the country’s new president, is being described either as a nationalist, who has set China on an overly aggressive course or as someone who will skilfully and harmoniously guide the nation through major domestic and international reforms. According to Robert Lawrence Kuhn , an international investment banker and author, Xi’s nationalism, or […]

Sinopec A Litmus Test For Reform

By John Richardson CHINA’s new leaders are under increasing pressure to do something about the dreadful pollution that blights the lives of hundreds of millions of people. One Shanghai resident told the blog, “The air quality is so bad here I have taken up smoking again. I figured that as my health was already in […]

China’s Internet Decision

By John Richardson CHINA’S polyethylene (PE) market sentiment rebounded in mid-December on greater confidence that the country’s new leaders meant business on economic reform. And since then, commodity prices in general, including those for iron ore  have rebounded thanks to a slew of data that indicates a recovery in growth. Some of the renewed confidence in […]

China’s Can-Kicking Temptation

By John Richardson THE China bulls will no doubt claim that the shadow-banking system isn’t a systemic risk to the country’s financial system and thus, of course, the world economy and the investment strategy of many chemical companies. They might be right. Or they might be wrong. Assuming they are right is dangerous. “The economic slowdown […]

China: 2013 Growth To Slow Again

By John Richardson A detailed study of some of China’s positive economic data for November adds a lot more weight to the point we made yesterday: The “recovery” is unlikely to last into 2013. November marked the first time in over a year that both the official China manufacturing PMI and the final HSBC/Markit Economics […]

China PE Imports Rise On Recovery Theory

By John Richardson A SURGE in polyethylene (PE) shipments to China has exerted further stress on a market that continues to perform exceptionally badly. Total PE imports in August (the latest figures availabe) rose to 817,277 tonnes from 681,100 tonnes in July. Low-density PE (LDPE) shipments rose by 27%, high-density (HDPE) by 21% and linear low-density […]

China GDP Growth 4-5% in 2013-2020

Canton Trade Fair. Source of picture: http://www.vatti-china.com/News/83.htm   By John Richardson IT would be nice to believe that the improved mood at this week’s Canton Trade Fair represents a long-term turnaround in China’s economic direction. This reflects a 9.9% increase in overall exports in September, much higher than the 5.5% median estimate in a Bloomberg […]

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