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Asian Chemical Connections

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 […]

Weak demand haunts China PE markets

By John Richardson IS China’s polyethylene (PE) market going through a temporary lull or are we seeing a sea change in conditions that could spell problems for the rest of this year? This was the question, to paraphrase Hamlet, facing the global industry late last week as lacklustre post Chinese New Year (CNY) demand continued. […]

Polyolefin numbers look good

By Malini Hariharan Pic source: www.brandft.co.uk The blog is in undertaking the difficult task of collecting demand numbers for polyolefins across major Asian markets. Preliminary estimates show that demand growth has been quite healthy in the two major markets – China and India. Chinese polyethylene (PE) demand (measured as local production plus imports minus exports) […]

India’s OPaL inches forward

By Malini Hariharan Regular readers of the blog will remember a November post that had highlighted delays at ONGC Petro-Additions Ltd’s (OPaL) 1.1m tonnes/year cracker project at Dahej on the west coast of India. This time there is some progress to report. OPaL has finally selected Chevron Philips Chemical to provide technology for a standalone […]

Dalian offers hope …but naphtha continues to climb

By Malini Hariharan The good news for polyolefin producers is that prices in China are inching up supported by an upward movement in the key linear low-density polyethylene (lldPE) futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE). The arbitrage window has opened with the Dalian contract for May at CNY12,800/tonne and spot prices at CNY11,100-11,300/tonne. […]

Delays at yet another cracker project

By Malini Hariharan The blog is hearing about fresh delays at ONGC Petro-Additions Ltd’s (OPaL) cracker project at Dahej on the west coast of India. Conceived a few years back, the dual-feed 1.1m cracker project, based on ethane separated from LNG and naphtha supplied by parent ONGC, has been jinxed from the start. There have […]

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