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Asian Chemical Connections

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 […]

Global Polyolefins At A Tipping Point

By John Richardson A GLOBAL slowdown in manufacturing is already being reflected in European and US polyolefin markets as anxiety in the industry grows over the prospects for the rest of this year. European June contract prices for ethylene and propylene have declined after seven consecutive months of increases. Ethylene contracts have slipped by Euros45/tonne […]

Supply Constraints Should Mean A Healthy China

By John Richardson THE extent of the weakness in China ‘s polyolefins market has become more apparent as a result of reports that a much-anticipated increase in Middle East production hasn’t happened. Back in February, oil production in Saudi Arabia had been raised to 8.9m barrels a day from around 8.5m barrels in January, a […]

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 […]

Polyolefin Producers Maintain Their Control

Source of picture: Dallhouse University, Canada   By John Richardson THE incredibly smart way in which polyolefin producers have managed production since the great collapse of September 2008 continues to defy what appear to remain some very uncertain, and some cases weak, macro-economic fundamentals. As we discussed on Wednesday, China faces a significant demand-growth gap […]

Gaping Chasm Between Effective, Real Op Rates

By John Richardson A gaping chasm has opened up over the past 18 months between nameplate capacities and effective operating rates, resulting in much greater focus on the latter. It isn’t easy and it is getting ever-more complicated to assess the actual volumes likely to hit markets. There is a considerably well-supported school of thought […]

December Polyolefin Price Rises Flounder

“I am so happy to be supporting polyethylene film pricing”…. Source of picture: Canada-China Agriculture and Food Development Exchange   By John Richardson IT looks as if attempts by polyolefin producers to raise prices for December deliveries have, as we predicted last week, been largely unsuccessful. Some grades of polypropylene (PP) edged up by $10-20/tonne […]

The Threat From a Resurgent China Vinyls Industry

The price of coal….. Source of picture: www.guardian.co.uk   By John Richardson A big shake-up in China’s chlor-alkali to carbide-based polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry is underway which could have major implications for the global industry, we have been told by industry observers. In a clear demonstration that it is better to be lucky as well […]

The Strange Story of China Rate Cuts & Emissions

By John Richardson A rumour emerged a few weeks ago that Sinopec would be required by the government to cut its operating rates in order to either or both help China achieve its 11th Five-Year Plan emissions targets and/or increase diesel production. China is attempting to hit the targets under the plan before the next […]

Polyethylene And The Stories People Tell

  …..quite possibly, yes, but it matters not what you say, only how you tell it   Source of picture: freelancefolder.com     By John Richardson THIS poor mug might well have been the victim of rumours designed to move the daily price of polyethylene (PE) in China late last week. The author of this […]

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