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Asian Chemical Connections

China PP Market Outlook for H2 And 2018

By John Richardson AS IS the case with polyethylene (PE), China’s polypropylene (PP) market continues to catch up with the underlying realities of demand growth. If you recall, in Q1 of this year PP net imports (imports minus exports) grew by no less than 36% over the same period last year to 1.3m tonnes. The […]

Oil Prices: Did You Heed All The Warnings?

By John Richardson THE $30 a barrel price of crude at or below which some Asian naphtha cracker operators could be forced to exit the business is an increasing possibility. Here is why: This January’s stockpile of crude in the US is the highest for more than 80 years, said the US-based Energy Information Administration […]

September 2008: How History Is Repeating Itself

By John Richardson WE know that weak growth in China, Europe and the US will have a major negative impact on the global economy in 2015. But does this really mean a new global financial crisis? Won’t the world’s economy instead just splutter along as it has done, pretty much, since the last crisis in […]

Listen To The Iconoclasts

By John Richardson Does your company employ an independent economist who forms her or his own view of where China is heading, or does it instead just accept the conventional wisdom dished up by the big institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)? A management consultant we spoke […]

APIC And Demand

  Just an anomaly?   Source: American Chemistry Council   By John Richardson FEEDSTOCK advantage is, of course, crucially important, but so is demand. And yet the only subject that most people wanted to talk about in any depth at last week’s Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) appeared to be how to achieve feedstock advantage. Why? […]

US has “23 Years” Of Gas Reserves

By John Richardson Amidst all the continued excitement about abundant supplies of ethane in the US, some sceptics are still warning that all may not as it seems during petrochemicals company investor presentations. “The US does not have 100 years of natural gas supply,” said the author of this post on the Oil Drum blog. […]

Dow and DuPont Make Major Job Cuts

Dupont’s Ellen Kullman   By John Richardson Dow Chemical’s decision to cut 2,400 jobs, as it posted a 32% drop in earnings per share, was the result of what CEO Andrew Liveris said was difficult conditions that “may have extended staying power, as the new reality is that we are operating in a slow-growth and […]

No Eurozone Miracle Cure

Source of picture: Wikipedia   By John Richardson THE eurozone hasn’t been rescued by the programme of sovereign bond purchases, announced a month ago by Mario Draghi. Wolfgang Munchau, in this excellent article in the Financial Times, explains why. This article is worth printing out and pinning on your office wall as a reminder that […]

Polyolefin Demand Remains “Very Weak”

  By John Richardson DEMAND remains “very weak” in China’s polyolefins markets, said a sales and marketing executive with a major Western producer. “I am having real trouble justifying higher prices to my customers, which are partly the result of naphtha having risen in line with stronger crude. What they cannot understand is why crude […]

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