How Lehman Bros reshaped China and the global PE business

By John Richardson

MOST of the analysis on the tenth anniversary of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) focuses on the effects on Western economies and societies. Economic inequality has risen since 2008 resulting in the rise of populist politics, is …

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US and China heading towards a new Cold War

That didn’t last long – , in fact, less than 24 hours,, when, as far stock markets were concerned, it felt as if US/China trade tensions had eased. In a tweet, President Trump has now raised questions about whether any …

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Rise in sustainable mobility on new social trends: Impact on PP

By John Richardson

ENVIRONMENTAL concerns over wasting the earth’s resources are one factor behind the rise of Uber and other ride-hailing services as a replacement for car ownership in cities.

But in heavily congested cities, large several-tonne lumps of metal …

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Polyethylene versus polypropylene: Expect the unexpected

By John Richardson

IT IS supposed to be a tale of two polymers with these very different fortunes: Whereas our base case assumes that global polypropylene (PP) operating rates will average a healthy 89% in 2018-2025, we see polyethylene (PE) …

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US/China trade war will escalate even if new tariffs are delayed

By John Richardson

BY LATER today we may or may not know whether President Trump will proceed with threats to impose a further $200bn worth of tariffs against Chinese imports.

This decision is of critical importance to the global chemicals …

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US ethylene glycols: The Cost Of Exclusion From China

By John Richardson

IF THE US were unable to export ethylene glycols (EG) to China the economic logic of US capacity expansions would face major challenges.

Between 2018 and 2025, China will account for no less than 84% of global …

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US Economic Strength Of Little Benefit To Global Polyolefins

By John Richardson

THE BETTER that things get in the US (provided you own equities and are not on a zero-hours contract) the worse things become in emerging markets.

Despite a weaker greenback on a trade-weighted basis, the investor sell-off …

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PE Margins Fall As Trade War Threatens Two Entirely Separate Trading Blocks

By John Richardson

LET’S FIRST of all take a close look at what the above chart is telling us about the damage already done to polyethylene (PE) margins before considering what could happen next.

US high-density PE (HDPE) margins are …

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Why Trade War Will Continue Throughout 2019 And Impact On Polyethylene

By John Richardson

A MISCALCULATION by the White House could be one of several reasons why the US/China trade war continues throughout 2019 – and possibly even beyond that.

This is the idea that China is losing the trade war …

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Don’t Forget Turkey And Its Importance To Global Polyolefins

By John Richardson

YOU might well have forgotten the Turkish lira crisis because of the US/China trade war. But Turkey is crucial for the health of the global polyolefins business because of the size of its imports.

Before the US …

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