SUPPLY-CHAIN problems continue to disrupt the global chemicals and polymer industries more than two years since the pandemic began.
Right now, the centre of attention of supply-chain anxiety is China.
By John Richardson IF WE ARE involved in a new protracted Cold War, this will change just about everything for the petrochemicals industry. Or, of course, we could go back to the Old Normal. Corporate planners must therefore press on with drawing up short, medium and long-term scenarios and then apply these scenarios to tactics […]
By John Richardson The first point to make as I write a final review of China’s polypropylene (PP) market in 2021 – also including a further outlook for the rest of this year – is that ICIS supply and demand and trade data is pure gold dust. The data inform commercial decisions that can save […]
By John Richardson MOST people now accept that China’s real estate sector, worth some 29% of the country’s GDP, is deflating with significant long-term implications for petrochemicals growth. But because China’s GDP growth is very likely to still grow and because China’ existing demand is already so big the common view is that there is […]
By John Richardson THE OMICRON outbreak is piling further pressure on already extremely stressed supply chains as Europe struggles to cope with the highly infectious variant. As my ICIS colleague, Tom Brown, said in this ICIS Insight article, tapping into market intelligence from our pricing editors: “The supply chain pressures that have dogged the European […]
By John Richardson IT IS A FANTASTIC song from a great band. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen underlines the versatility of a band that could not be pinned down. They never stuck to a genre, but instead adhered with the strength of epoxy resin-based glues to excellent song writing and performing. When analysing […]
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 […]