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Asian Chemical Connections

China PVC Capacity Binge Clobbers Northeast Asia

By John Richardson CHINA’S capacity expansions in industries including steel, aluminium and petrochemicals continue to astound. Take polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for example., where, according to a new report by ChemSystems, “capacity (in China) has expanded from 5m tonne/year in 2003 to over 15m tonne/year in 2009, almost 90 percent of total global capacity expansion over […]

Beware The Motives of Optimists

By John Richardson IT is always useful to make a note of both what economists are saying and where they are coming from. To give you an example, I was at a conference last year when I heard a ridiculously rosy outlook for both emerging and developed economies, delivered by an economist working for a […]

China Latest Credit Tightening Blow To Chemicals

By John Richardson CHINA’S decision to temporarily halt lending by some banks – which was announced yesterday – as it attempts to further cool the economy will likely have a significant effect on chemicals demand and pricing. This follows last week’s decision to raise bank reserve requirements and two increases in the inter-bank lending rate […]

Asia Olefins-Polyolefins To Stay Tight Till April

By John Richardson The tight supply olefin-polyolefin supply that has characterised markets since the first quarter of last year continues with no sign of relief for resin buyers until at least early April. But whereas production problems and start-up delays are likely to remain aplenty, the argument for further price hikes has been undermined by […]

China Govt’s Next Moves Critical For World Economy

By John Richardson CHINA’S decision yesterday to increase the amount banks must set aside as reserves and two interbank interest rate rises in the space of a week are designed to tighten monetary conditions as worries grow over overheating and inflation. Lending reached Yuan 600bn ($88bn) in the first week of this year, not far […]

China Inflation Threat To Chemicals

  Sky-high living costs? Source of picture: www.shanghaiist.com   By John Richardson CHINA’S imports surged by 55.9 per cent last December, raising concerns among chemicals traders and producers that this points to increasing inflationary pressure and a possible interest-rate hike later this year. The country’s current official borrowing rate stands at 5.31%. “The government has […]

Cash Will Remain King in 2010

Still too crowded… Source of picture:www.tripadvisor.com   By John Richardson   Dear Readers – Welcome Back. Having spent the last two weeks lying on Western Australian beaches, drinking beer and reading books on European history – while also building sand castles etc with my three-year-old son – I have given little thought to chemicals. But […]

China Polyolefin Demand Set To Rise By 30%

By John Richardson in Shanghai and Malini Hariharan China is set to see polyolefins demand growth of 30% or more this year, depending on the which particular grade, according to preliminary estimates prepared by companies and market analysts. Even if you take into account last year’s relatively low growth rates (I say relative because despite […]

Naphtha Highest Level For More Than A Year

 Shelf-space to be in short supply again? Source of picture: www.zrdata.com   ASIAN naphtha prices hit their highest level for more than a year yesterday – reaching $701/tonne CFR Japan for second-half December open-spec material on “improved market conditions”. Earlier this week we picked up more reports of bleak demand in styrenics and fibre intermediates that […]

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