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Asian Chemical Connections

Pricing To Struggle For The Rest of 2012

By John Richardson Further confirmation of the themes we raised yesterday emerged from an interview with a senior polyolefin industry source, with some important new analysis. Profitability in Asia is the worst of any of the three regions, he told us, although volumes remain good. In the US, he characterised demand as “pretty reasonable”, but […]

Petchems And The Non-Profit Motive

By John Richardson AS the US contemplates raising its ethylene capacity by up to 29 percent by 2017, we would be fascinated to know whether the companies involved in these proposed expansions, and the “cheer leader” chemical industry observers spurring them on, have ever considered a chart such as the one below:      First […]

The Fragility Of the Recovery Story

By John Richardson A VERY illuminating discussion with a Shanghai-located sales and marketing manager for a major Asian polyolefin producer reveals how the post- Lunar New Year “recovery” story being sold by the investment community is on even more shaky ground than we at first thought. Three points worth highlighting, before we publish verbatim what he said, […]

China Polyolefin Demand Growth Flat In 2011

By John Richardson POLYOLEFINS demand growth in China is likely to be flat in 2011 over last year, a senior industry executive and a consultant have told us. “I am quite pessimistic and don’t see the Chinese government winning the battle to bring inflation below 4% during this year (its target) and so the credit restrictions […]

New Normal Course In Frankfurt On 16-17 June

The blog is excited about its first New Normal seminar in Frankfurt, Germany this month. It follows February’s successful launch in Singapore, and is being held in association with International eChem on 16-17 June. The Workshop aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the factors that will impact the petrochemical market over the next few years: […]

Misplaced Euphoria Threatens Industry

By John Richardson THE euphoria sweeping through the US petrochemicals industry seems to indicate strong support for the “supercycle” theory. Some of the comments made during the first-quarter results season certainly point that way, as does the upbeat mood of presentations made to investors over the past few months. A consensus view appears to have […]

Was NPRA Off The Mark On China?

By John Richardson I HAVE been speaking to my colleagues who attended this week’s NPRA conference in San Antonio, Texas, and it didn’t appear from discussions during the event that a potential slowdown in China was high on anyone’s radar screen. In fact, for many of the delegates it didn’t seem to be blinking on […]

China Quiet Market Persists

By John Richardson LACK of credit and inflation are becoming even greater problems in China, which is reflected in polyolefin markets that remain very quiet indeed. “It is ice cold out there with very little activity. Importers are waiting and hoping for some kind of improvement,” a Singapore-based polyolefin trader told the blog today. A […]

Scenarios For China Refining & Petchem Output

By John Richardson IF exploration and production (E&P) is the dog and refining the tail on the dog, poor old petrochemicals is merely a flee on the tail of the dog, goes the old saying. Hence last November we reported on the strange case of how China’s drive to hit emissions targets under its 11th […]

Job-hopping Causes Post-New Year Demand Dip

Chinese workers are on the hop….   Source of picture: advanced-fibre.com   By John Richardson CHINA’S polyolefin demand in the few days of proper trading that have taken place since the Lunar New Year has been described as “horrendous” and “grim” by two traders the blog spoke to yesterday. This was confirmed by a source […]

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