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US styrene another petchems sector at risk from trade war

By John Richardson

THE US decision to pick a fight with China over trade and geopolitical influence could backfire very badly from the perspective of new US investments in petrochemicals capacity – most notably polyethylene (PE) and ethylene glycols (EG).…

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Middle East, India, SEA petchems winners in new trading blocs

By John Richardson

JACK MA, the founder of Alibaba, said of the US/China trade war, “It’s going to last a long time, maybe 20 years. It’s going to be a mess. It’s not a trade war, it’s about competition between …

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China’s time poor, cash rich will want less PP and not more

By John Richardson

LAST month I gave you the downside of urbanisation in China and how this could result in 7m tonnes of lower polyethylene (PE) demand in 2030 than we assume in our base case.

A very good contact …

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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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