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India: Muddling Through Won’t Do

By John Richardson

Indian friends of the blog, many of whom work in the country’s chemicals industry, have long expressed their view that their country will always muddle through.

Their trust in government to solve long-standing infrastructure and logistics problems …

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The Butadiene Rollercoaster

By John Richardson

The remarkable rollercoaster that is butadiene, and its derivatives, continues.

Although the synthetic rubber market for tyres in China appears to be strengthening, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) remains under pressure.

And, in a reflection of what is …

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Threat of Oil “Permafrost”

By John Richardson

Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali al-Naimi on Tuesday did his best to calm the oil markets by arguing that the kingdom had met all its customers’ requests for crude, and was ready to raise output to full …

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China Synthetic Fibres Fall Further

By John Richardson

CHINA’S synthetic fibres chain continues to show serious signs of distress as a result of weak domestic and export demand, according to my ICIS colleagues, Judith Wang and Becky Zhang.

Traders in monoethylene glycol (MEG) must have believed …

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China’s Shale Gas Potential

By John Richardson

THE shale-gas revolution, which, of course, is already well underway in the US, could also have major implications for petrochemicals in China.

China has 1,275 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale-gas reserves, according to the Energy Information …

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Depressed China Demand Continues

By John Richardson

ANOTHER week and sadly a repeat of the same old story: Depressed polyolefins demand in China.

Pricing did, however, increase – by $10-50/tonne in the case of polyethylene (PE) and $10-40/tonne for polypropylene (PP), according to assessments …

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China’s Leadership Struggle

By John Richardson

IT is still an article of faith among some people in the chemicals industry that all you have to do is concentrate on cost-efficient supply and the demand in developing countries such as China will inevitably continue …

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Inventories And Price Recoveries

By John Richardson

THE role of inventory management in European petrochemical price recoveries needs to be re-examined, given persistently weak underlying economic fundamentals.

In Europe, as this ICIS Insight article from my colleague Mark Victory points out, benzene contract prices have …

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PX Goes Green

By Malini Hariharan

Work on commercialising a green route to paraxylene (PX) purified terphthalic acid (PTA) and other aromatics is speeding up.

US companies are at the forefront of recent developments. Virent is looking to produce a sugar-based ­aromatics stream …

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China Polyester Chain Weakens

By Malini Hariharan

The polyester chain is feeling the strain of poor Chinese demand.

Weak export demand and Chinese government policy are also impacting this sector, as is the case in polyolefins.

A further factor behind the problems in the polyester …

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