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Asian Chemical Connections

Good Chance Of Polyolefin Trough Delay

By John Richardson THE betting remains on trough conditions arriving for polyolefins at some point later this year with new supply expected to begin to severely lengthen markets towards the end of Q2. A temporary buying strike in China that dragged on for too long – following overbuilding of local resin inventories – has helped […]

Co-Monomer Shortage Provides LLDPE Respite

By John Richardson AN enormous amount of new linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) output should, in theory, be destabilising Asian markets right now due to recent start-ups and increased production at plants brought on-stream last year and in early 2010. But the big question is to what extent global production is being constrained by a shortage […]

China’s GDP Growth Out Of Official Comfort Zone

By John Richardson China’s first-quarter GDP (gross domestic product) growth of 11.9% – the number released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics – is way above the 9.5% that the chairman of a major local bank has reportedly said is the maximum the economy can sustain for the full year. “It (too-rapid growth) will […]

China Polyolefins Growth Forecast To Slump

Follow us on Twitter By John Richardson CHINA’s polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) demand growth is set for a dramatic decline in 2010-12, according to the latest estimates from Shanghai-based commodities information service CBI (see table at the end of this blog post). This year was probably never going to be as good as 2009 […]

Commodity Stockpiles A Risky Bet

  By John Richardson Inventories of copper, aluminium, lead and nickel have risen as prices for all these commodities have also surged, says this article in The Economist.   Source of graph: The Economists   Copper stocks total half a million tonnes in metals-exchanges warehouses in what HSBC analyst Andrew Keen describes as a market […]

Polyolefins: A view from the ground

By Malini Hariharan H2 is just two months away but one China-based market participant says that there is still a total lack of clarity on price direction for the rest of the year. Buying activity picked up last week but he is not confident that this can be sustained. And he is certainly not expecting […]

China Polyolefns: Trying To See Through The Data

  Source of picture: www.wrh.noaa.gov/hnx/newslet/sum…mber.htm   By John Richardson Hope springs eternal when it comes to trying to fathom the direction of the polyolefin market in China. One particular hope rests on March import numbers from China Customs, due to be released later this month. The data might just give a pointer to the extent […]

China: Playing the Devil’s Advocate

Jim Chanos gets it right more than 70% of the time (unlike Alan Greenspan)   Source of picture: New York Post   Somebody has to play the devil’s advocate, but having just finished reading Gillian Tett’s excellent Fool’s Gold about the financial crisis, this is about more than just trying to provoke a response; it’s […]

China Polypropylene Market Tightens

By John Richardson Polypropylene (PP) appears to have become very tight in China over the last week as a result of a reduction in import availability and a resurgence in buying activity. “PP is incredibly tight right now because the supply from North America is no longer available for delivery to China,” said a Singapore-based […]

Muddled Messages Over Yuan Revaluation

  Source of picture: www.thewecc.com   By John Richardson Confusing messages continue to emerge from Beijing over whether a revaluation of the Yuan is imminent, a debate that has major implications for the chemicals industry. The Financial Times reported this morning that senior government economist Ba Shusong had said that China could widen the currency’s […]

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