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Asian Chemical Connections

China PE Imports Rise On Recovery Theory

By John Richardson A SURGE in polyethylene (PE) shipments to China has exerted further stress on a market that continues to perform exceptionally badly. Total PE imports in August (the latest figures availabe) rose to 817,277 tonnes from 681,100 tonnes in July. Low-density PE (LDPE) shipments rose by 27%, high-density (HDPE) by 21% and linear low-density […]

China PE Growth Disappoints Again

By John Richardson CHINA’S polyethylene (PE) market, along with probably most of the rest of petrochemicals, continues to disappoint as the above chart illustrates. Overall demand in 2012 (red column) was up by just 1 percent in January-August 2012 compared with the same period in 2010. One, or perhaps a combination of both of the […]

China PE Demand Weakness Continues

 By John Richardson LET’S put this into context: China’s polyethylene (PE) demand grew by 53 percent in 2008-2010. Growth during the first seven months of this year was just 1.7 percent over Januuary-July 2011, according to Global Trade Information Services (GTIS). And when compared with the same seven months in 2010 growth was flat, as the […]

No Relief For China SMEs

By John Richardson THE consensus view is that China’s economy bottomed out in H1 and will see a recovery in GDP growth during the second half. Much hope has been attached to more government stimulus delivering a short-term boost to growth, even if there are concerns over the long-term damage that further investment-driven GDP could cause. […]

PVC’s Unsustainable China Growth

By John Richardson POLYMER markets continue to tell us that China’s 2009-2010 economic stimulus programme delivered unsustainable demand growth. China’s demand for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) surged from 10.9m tonnes in 2009 to 13.2m tonnes in 2010, according to Global Trade Information Services (GTIS).  Demand then reached 14.1m tonnes in 2011. The slowdown in growth reflected government […]

China PE Demand Down 3 Percent

 By John Richardson GROUND level economic conditions in China are still a lot weaker than headline GDP (gross domestic product) numbers suggest. For example, a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sales and marketing executive said: “PVC demand growth is going to be in minus territory this year. Carbide-based producers are likely to continue to have to run […]

China’s Unreliable GDP Data

  By John Richardson THE economic slowdown throughout Asia became more apparent last week with the release of disappointing data, prompting interest rate cuts in China, Vietnam and South Korea. China’s key polyethylene (PE) market responded as trading volumes fell and sentiment weakened for the week ending 13 July, according to ICIS. Market participants, however, expressed […]

China Deflation

The second of our series of blog posts on China’s economic challenges over the next 12-18 months focuses on deflation.   By John Richardson DEFLATION has now become a major concern for the Chinese economy following the release of official data earlier this week that showed a 2.1 percent decline in producer prices in June […]

June China Lending Disappoints

  By John Richardson POLYETHYLENE (PE) and polypropylene (PP) offer prices were reportedly on the rise across Asia earlier this week on increasing geopolitical tensions over Iran that led to a hike in crude prices. “Butene-grade linear-low density (LLDPE) offers have increased by $40-50/tonne,” said a source with a major producer. September LLDPE futures contract […]

Managing China’s Political Challenge

By John Richardson Getting on with politicians is always pretty useful for doing business anywhere. And in China right now, it is a case of working key relationships with the right set of senior politicians who are set to take control of the Politburo later this year, after the once-in-a-decade leadership transition has taken place. […]

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