REGULAR readers of the blog will know that I first highlighted the big polyolefins market divergence in April 2021. Back then, I said that:
Asia and Middle East producers needed to sell more to Europe.
Buyers should secure more resin supplies from Asia.
By John Richardson WE NOW HAVE enough data to make some firm conclusions about what the Chinese polyethylene (PE) market will have looked like in 2021. We can also make some early estimates about the shape of the market in 2022. The slide below details what the ICIS apparent demand data for January-October 2021 (our […]
By John Richardson UNTIL ALL of us are adequately vaccinated none of us are sufficiently protected is a point I’ve been making since late last year. So, providing the developing world with the $66bn it needs to be adequately vaccinated – and we appear to be nowhere near raising that figure – would not be […]
By John Richardson WE ALL NEED TO ASK ourselves whether the global patterns in polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) pricing and margins that we have seen over the last year represent a long-term divergence in global markets or something temporary. As discussed on Monday, when I examined linear low-density PE (LLDPE) market (and the same […]
By John Richardson THE BALTIC DRY INDEX, one of the excellent barometers of overall economic activity, was late last week at its lowest level since June on a slowing Chinese economy, easing congestion at Chinese ports and a fall in Chinese coal imports (more on this in a moment). “The index was around 1,000 a […]
By John Richardson AGAIN, DON’T say I didn’t tell you. In my 11 October blog post, having talked to people who know what they are talking about, I flagged up the possibility that China’s energy shortages could be fixed a lot quicker than many people were suggesting. Those in the know about China told me […]
By John Richardson TRADE DATA when combined with price assessments, supply and demand estimates and market intelligence is the modern-day equivalent of alchemy with a rather important difference: we can genuinely convert numbers and conversations with the market into gold, unlike the bogus science of alchemy. A great example is the chart below, the first […]
By John Richardson RARELY, IF EVER, have events felt so bafflingly complex in the global polyethylene (PE) business. Take as an example the chart below listing the factors that have reshaped demand since the beginning of the pandemic. Let’s go through these factors one by one, box by box. It is reasonable to assume, starting […]
By John Richardson CONFUSED BY the above chart? Once again I certainly hope so, provided confusion is not followed by blind paralysing panic. The chart, showing three scenarios for China’s net polypropylene (PP) imports in 2021-2031, follows last week’s chart of 2021-2031 high-density polyethylene net imports. Confusion is valuable because we need to go back […]
By John Richardson IF YOU THINK that forecasting the direction of China’s petrochemicals demand has become complicated enough because of Common Prosperity, the new complexities around demand pale into insignificance compared with the tangle of fresh variables shaping local capacity growth. The above slide is just my back-of-the-envelope attempt to chart some of […]