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Asian Chemical Connections

Living In Hope Rather Than Expectation

By John Richardson HOPEFUL theories espoused by traders can sometimes sound a little hollow – as was the case with the one doing the rounds in Asian polyolefin markets late last week. “We think the latest interest rate rise in China will be the last this year and so, in a way, the announcement was good […]

European PE, PP Contracts Likely To Fall

By John Richardson EUROPEAN polyolefin converters seem quite justified in pressurising their suppliers for further price reductions, given weak macro-economic fundamentals and still-excellent profitability at the cracker end of the value chain. The news from China continues to get worse. China’s Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said last week that the government’s 2011 targets for GDP growth and […]

Chemicals Buying & The IEA Decision

  By John Richardson CHEMICALS and polymer demand looks even less likely to be supported by “buying forward” following yesterday’s decision by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to release 60m barrels of crude into the market. Here is a bit of context first before we look at the implications of the IEA decision, which, along […]

Misplaced Faith In China Recovery

By John Richardson WEAKER domestic consumption-growth in China represents a major challenge to the argument that global petrochemicals demand, and therefore pricing, will see a strong recovery during 2011. Price declines continued last week with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) down a further $20-50/tonne as the polymer, as we have reported before, continues to be dogged by […]

Ethylene And PE Markets Decline Continues

By John Richardson THE decline in Asian and European ethylene and polyethylene (PE) markets continued last week with no sign of the recovery that producers still hope will take place by end-June at the latest. Asian ethylene prices slipped by a further $60-70/tonne to $1,130-1,170/tonne FOB Korea to reach a six-month low, according to our […]

Saudi Crackers Could Soon Be At 100%

By John Richardson SAUDI ARABIA’S crackers could soon be running at operating rates of 100% again following widespread reports quoting the al-Hayat newspaper that the country’s crude production is set to rise to 10m barrels a day in July. Al-Hayat, a Saudi newspaper, is seen as a reliable indicator of government intentions. We reported last week how […]

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 […]

Boom, Gloom and the New Normal published this week

    Today, the blog is proud to announce the publication the first Chapter of its new eBook: ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal: how Western BabyBoomers are changing global chemical demand patterns, again’ It is co-authored with Paul Hodges of International eChem – author of the Chemicals & Economy blog. A new chapter will […]

Boom, Gloom and the New Normal

  The blog is delighted to announce the title of its new eBook, jointly authored with fellow blogger, Paul Hodges. It explains how Western BabyBoomers are changing chemical demand patterns, again. We believe it will become vital reading for all those working in the global chemical industry. The first chapter of the book will be […]

European Petchems & Future Competitiveness

By John Richardson Dear Reader We hope and pray that the nuclear crisis in Japan will be resolved and that the rebuilding process following the earthquake and tsunami can be begin. My colleagues at ICIS news are doing a comprehensive job in covering the disaster in terms of how it is affecting the petrochemicals industry […]

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