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Asian Chemical Connections

Post-War Fabric Of Europe Under Threat

The excellent article below from Paul Taylor at Reuters, which with his permission we publish in full below, describes how the European crisis is far from over, despite the hopes of financial markets following Mario Draghi’s pledge “to whatever it takes” last year. The crisis is, in fact, getting worse. 18 ‎March ‎2013, ‏‎20:39:26 | Paul […]

China’s PE Cycle Repeats Itself

By John Richardson THE above chart shows that China’s polyethylene (PE) demand growth has been well below that of overall GDP for most of the years between 2006 and 2012. This supports the argument that economic growth has been too heavily focused on investment rather than consumption, given that the majority of PE goes into […]

Average Babyboomer Turns 55

Today is a day for celebration, as it marks the day that the average Western BabyBoomer, born in 1958, will join the New Old 55+ generation! This is a truly remarkable moment. Even 100 years ago, as the chart above shows, this generation simply didn’t exist. Western life expectancy (green column) was just 46 years […]

European Petchems Face Tough Choices

  By John Richardson AT LEAST one global polyolefins producer is rumoured to be shipping increased volumes of resin from the US to Europe in response to the shale gas-derived shift in competitiveness. “Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris is making a call on the global economy – one of multi-year slow growth – and adjusting […]

China Politics Before Economics

By John Richardson CHINA’S manufacturing activity did, at least, stabilise in September after hitting a nine-month low in August, according to the latest preliminary HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI). The PMI improved to 47.8% in September compared with 47.6% in August. Elsewhere, as the chart above shows, Eurozone and US PMI indices declined. The […]

Europe Markets Lure Asian Polyolefins

By John Richardson EXACTLY the same scenario is playing out in European polyolefin markets, as in Latin America and possibly the US, my ICIS colleague Linda Naylor reported last Friday. High polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) prices in Europe have led to increased offers for re-exported material from China, according to Linda – our European […]

Doing More With Less – The Products Of The Future

THE global economy is moving into a difficult period, as it transitions to the New Normal. Debt levels are high, and incomes are under pressure, particularly for the large numbers of people moving into retirement. Cost must be the key criteria when examining the opportunities for new product development and research. Chapter 8 of our free […]

China Downside Continues To Surprise

  By John Richardson  THE statistics speak for themselves. For example: *The full HSBC August manufacturing index for China, which was released last Friday, showed that manufacturing input costs were rising at their fastest rate for four months, suggesting that the battle against inflation is a long way from being won. Although the final HSBC […]

Chem Companies And The Oil Delusion

By Nigel Davis and John Richardson On the financial markets it depends when investors feel confident enough to step back into shares. An analyst on Tuesday asked who would be willing to catch a falling knife? But there are already indications of a mini-rally following the slump on global markets of the past week. Stock […]

Europe Not Clutching At Straws

By John Richardson EUROPEAN ethylene and polyethylene (PE) market participants seem a million miles away from buying into the idea that the recovery in Asia is sustainable. This is a realistic view following last week’s interest rate rise in China, the fifth in eight months – and with the announcement over the weekend that inflation in June […]

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