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Asian Chemical Connections

China-Japan Dispute Worsens

By John Richardson THE collapse in Japanese auto sales in China, a result of the East China Island dispute, is just the first phase in what could be a very damaging economic war, the blog understands. Phase two could be the imposition of trade barriers against Japan by an increasingly hard line Chinese leadership eager […]

Paying For China’s Infrastructure

   By John Richardson NEW infrastructure projects in China (see above chart from Rio Tinto) might deliver a boost to chemicals and polymer demand growth in Q4 this year and into 2013. But doubts are being expressed about whether some of these projects can be funded, given the build-up of bad debts in China’s financial system […]

China’s Blown Up Growth

By John Richardson CHINA’S steel production is expected to decline for the first time in 31 years during 2012. Yes, 31 years. “The end of three decades of growth in a key industry will add to hand-wringing over China’s economy,” wrote Chuin-We Yap in this Wall Street Journal blog post. “China makes half the world’s […]

China’s Luxury Goods Risk

  By John Richardson THE “luxury end” of China’s polyethylene (PE) market is being heavily targeted by overseas producers and the results so far have been pretty spectacular, according to one of the producers. “The annual growth in demand for higher value grades has been tremendous – two times GDP,” said a senior executive with […]

BASF Highlights Changes In Growth

  Martin Brudermüller Source of picture: BASF   By John Richardson “THE struggle over China’s future direction seems to be harder fought than we had imagined,” said BASF vice chairman Martin Brudermüller last Thursday, in a German newspaper interview. “There are very intensive discussions being held in China about the direction the country should take. […]

Canton Trade Fair Disappoints

  By John Richardson THE total value of export orders at the latest Canton Trade Fair, which finished this weekend, declined by 4.8% compared with the previous event in October last year. This is the first decline in the value of orders at the bi-annual fair since May 2009, when the world was in the […]

A Polyolefin Trader’s Perspective

By John Richardson Word for word, see below what an Asian polyolefins trader told us yesterday: “This year has been absolutely terrible, the worst I can remember in eight years in this business, and even worse than 2008. There is just no demand out there. “There was supposed to be a recovery after the Chinese […]

Consensus Misses The Point

 By John Richardson The consensus view on China remains that we have reached, or are near, the bottom of the decline in GDP (gross domestic product) growth. This was how yesterday’s release of the preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for April was interpreted. Although the index contracted for the sixth month in a […]

The H2 Recovery Story

By John Richardson THE majority of chemicals analysts have yet to wake up and smell the coffee, according to an industry observer. “South Korean stocks have come off by 15-30% since their big recovery in January, but it is only the timing rather than the overall sentiment that has changed,” said the observer. “The theory […]

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