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Asian Chemical Connections

HDPE Premium Likely To Fade

By Malini Hariharan High density polyethylene’s (HDPE) premium over linear low density PE (LLDPE) is likely disappear in the second quarter reversing a trend that has lasted for nearly a year. LLDPE supply is getting tighter with few capacity additions due this year. Additionally plant turnarounds in Asia and the Middle East are also likely […]

Hits And Misses For Indian Projects

By Malini Hariharan The Indian project scene continues to see some hits and misses. Among the projects on track, sources at Gail (India) told the blog last week that expansion of its Pata cracker and a new polyethylene (PE) plant will be completed in Q1 2014. Mechanical completion is due in December 2013,, while commissioning […]

Restocking lifts polyolefins prices

By Malini Hariharan Polyolefins prices in the key China markets inched up last week thanks to an uptick in buying activity. Prices of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) blow moulding and film grades moved up $20/tonne while linear-low density PE prices were up $30/tonne, reports ICIS pricing. Polypropylene prices were also up $10-20/tonne However, opinion continues to […]

Latin America focused on new investments

By Malini Hariharan The blog has been scanning ICIS news reports from the 31th Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) conference in Buenos Aires to gauge the mood at the event. Participants appear to be sanguine despite the global economic turmoil with talk focused on upcoming investments. Braskem is the forefront. Its joint-venture project with Idesa, […]

Operating rate cuts the only option

By Malini Hariharan News of operating rate cuts is pouring in. Crackers in Japan, Taiwan and parts of southeast Asia have been running at reduced rates of 80-90% in October. But now there is also talk of rate cuts at crackers in South Korea. More importantly, a Sinopec source confirmed yesterday that the Chinese major […]

HDPE-LLDPE spread expands

By Malini Hariharan and John Richardson The spread between high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film grade and linear-low density PE (LLDPE) prices in Asia has steadily widened over the last five months to hit a high of $110/tonne, raising questions on how long this can continue. LLDPE has been consistently cheaper than HDPE since May, a reversal […]

PE Market Weakness Spreads To US

By Malini Hariharan After Europe, the US polyethylene (PE) market has started showing increasing signs of weakness. Spot offers have rapidly fallen putting downward pressure on June contracts that are currently under negotiation. Producers may have no choice but to settle at lower levels as exports to Asia is no longer a viable option. Spot […]

US shale gas and petchems

By Malini Hariharan The blog would like to share an interesting analysis in the latest issue of ICIS Chemical Business on the impact of US shale gas on petrochemical producers in the region. Profitability has of course improved as seen in the results posted by majors such as LyondellBasell. Shale gas production in the US […]

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