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Asian Chemical Connections

Reports of the death of US PP exaggerated

“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” Mark Twain once famously said after his obituary was published before he had died. Similarly, the US polypropylene (PP) industry had been virtually written off late last year after a calamitous collapse in pricing resulted in inventory losses totalling a staggering $700m in November alone. But the day […]

PTA futures growing in influence?

Source of picture: 1st-commoditytrading.us It’s only one comment from one consultant, but this is what he said today about the growing role of the Zhenghou Commodity Exchange‘s purified terephthalic acid (PTA) futures contract. “PTA futures have been exerting a huge impact on spot pricing starting 2H July. “We haven’t seen any increase in physical demand […]

Can what made the US sick make China well?

It seems ironic that in the crazy scramble to protect itself from the consequences of the US collapse of the US debt-growth model, China has headed down the same path. As my fellow blogger Paul Hodges pointed out last Friday, official concerns over the bubbles in equity and property markets are increasing. Zhang Jianguo, president […]

China’s commodity stockpile gamble

Source of Picture: Australiannews.com In this article in the South China Morning Post (you can register for free for 14 days if you are not already a subscriber) Michael Pettis makes the argument that China is taking a big risk by stockpiling commodites such as iron ore, copper and oil. Inventory building is on the […]

What I Want to Know in H2 – Part One

How will this one run? Source of Picture: chemicals-technology.com In the 12 years I’ve been covering the chemicals industry I don’t think I have come across a time of such exceptional market muddle. The traders love it. As a wise man said to me the other day, “When I was a trader I only cared […]

Chemicals company H2 complacency?

Chemical companies as a whole displayed “dangerously complacent” views about second-half 2009 prospects when they released their Q2 results late last week, argues chemicals analyst Paul Satchell in his blog. “They believe that demand has bottomed. Although they can’t see the upturn yet they believe the worst is definitely behind us,” writes Satchell. “This blog […]

China polyethylene inventories are high

      A Mars Bar feast in store if crude hits $30/bbl again Source of Picture: Amazon.com       Polyethylene (PE) inventories in China at the second and third local distributor levels are at very high levels, two reliable industry sources have told us.   This has led to some confusion in the […]

Asia Polyolefins: “Bloodbath” Postponed

Source of Picture : purchasing.com In his own words, here is how one contact describes the current situation with a couple of extra points added by yours truly (with links) “We’ve seen arbitrage close from Europe on polyolefins with no new business since April-May. Some material was delivered in June but this was merely May […]

Where is the real demand recovery?

Have you ever been away on holiday and have cut yourself off from from work, only to return and find that nothing has changed? So it seems in polyolefin markets. As this blog has been writing about for several months, the recovery in pricing seems to have been mainly feedstock-driven as this article from ICIS […]

Back to the Serious Stuff: Fitch issues China warning

As I’ve been warning on this blog for some time, the explosion of credit in China has created a great deal of paper-bottomed optimism over the recovery. Fitch, the ratings agency, has just raised its macro-prudential risk indicator ffor China from category 1 (safe) to category 3 (Iceland et al) because of the lending surge […]

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