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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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US Risks Losing Access To 82% Of Global PE Consumption Growth, 80% Of Exports

By John Richardson

PERHAPS this week’s low-level trade talks between the US and China shouldn’t only be judged on the basis that they are low level, involving officials of mid-level seniority who are therefore not empowered to achieve major breakthroughs.…

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China Innovation Success Versus Failure: Electric Vehicles As Case Study

By John Richardson

WHAT is the best route to innovation? Pure capitalism with a minimum amount of state interference or state-led investment programmes?

The answer is likely to of course vary sector by sector. In some industrial sectors, the capitalist …

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China’s Xi: Squaring Circle Of Poverty Alleviation, Environment

By John Richardson

THE ONLY China that most foreigners have visited, including myself, is the southern and eastern seaboard provinces where all the talk is about booming poylolefins and other polymers demand on the rise in middle class consumption.

So …

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Four Billion Tonnes of Plastic Waste And Counting: The Threat To Petchems Growth

By John Richardson

THE world will have produced a total of 6.9bn tonnes of the 11 synthetic polymers I’ve detailed in the above chart between 1978, when our data begins, and the end of 2017.

Using the assumptions behind an …

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Chemicals Companies Must Be The Solution And Not The Problem

By John Richardson

MORE than 40 years after the launch of the first universal recycling symbol, only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling. When additional value losses in sorting and reprocessing are factored in, only 5% of material …

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Tomorrow’s Economic Supercycle: Only If We Build A lot More Toilets

By John Richardson

AFTER my presentation yesterday during the 4th ICIS Asian Polyolefins Conference in Bangkok, someone asked me a very good question: “Where is the next Economic Supercycle going to come from?”

My answer was as follows:

Quite possibly…

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China And A Breakdown In Free Trade: Scenarios For Petrochemicals

By John Richardson

MY blog post last Friday, on the threat to the petrochemicals industry of a retreat in global free trade, has gained a great deal of interest. This is good as this is an essential debate.

Today I …

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Oil Prices, Chemicals Markets Face Steep Declines

By John Richardson

THERE are three things you need to know about today’s global chemicals markets:

Oil prices are now retreating back to quite probably below $30/bbl, and so of course there will be a chemicals destocking process. But the…

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Go Where The Money Is: Sanitation And Water

By John Richardson

HOW do you define global progress? Is it the number of extra people each year who are able to afford to buy a smartphone, or is it the number of additional people who are given access to …

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