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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 Import Tariff Decision: Impact On Polyethylene And The Global Economy

By John Richardson

THE PROSPECT of a US-China trade war has edged closer as a result of President Trump’s announcement yesterday that the US will impose 25% import tariffs on steel and 10% import tariffs on aluminium. Countries hit hard …

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Climate Change, Extreme Weather: Implications For Chemicals Companies

By John Richardson

The greater frequency of extreme weather events presents a huge challenge for chemicals companies.

Take Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma as the most obvious current examples. Weather forecasting service AccuWeather writes in this article:

This is the …

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US Polyethylene Industry: Scenarios For 2017-2020

By John Richardson

IT has been a remarkably strong few years for the US polyethylene (PE) business. The shale gas revolution has sent ethane costs plummeting, resulting in the kind of margins that you can see in the above chart. …

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Global Deflation At Risk Of Returning On End Of China Commodities Bubble

By John Richardson

THIS time last year it was deflation that seemed to be the problem for the global economy. Despite many years of US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BOE) etc. economic stimulus, consumer …

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Southeast Asia: Confronting The Real Downside Potential

By John Richardson

SOUTHEAST ASIA’S (SEA) economies can be divided into two main categories. These are the heavily export-exposed economies of Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore and the two countries with the biggest internal demand drivers – Indonesia and the …

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Ageing Populations Threaten A Repeat Of The 1930s

By John Richardson

THIS is an era of the populist strongman, and also a woman if Marine Le Pen wins this year’s French presidential election.

We have been here before, of course, many times in history, most notably in the …

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The Hypnotic Allure Of Emerging Markets

By John Richardson

A GLEAMING new skyscraper in downturn Beijing, Bangkok, Mumbai, Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur made for fantastic TV viewing, especially if a photogenic reporter was standing in front of such a building.

The reporter would then talk about …

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The Chemicals “Recovery”: Seeing Through The Flawed Logic

By John Richardson

AROUND 90% or more of the price movements in most chemicals and polymers are tied to crude oil.

Add to that the pick-ups in buying than can occur from time to time, based on supply and demand …

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The World Is Turning Upside Down

By John Richardson

A COMMON view is that Asia’s petrochemicals markets are merely suffering from a temporary destocking phrase, driven by the collapse in crude-oil prices.

So when crude oil prices settle down, everything will be fine.

Many people also …

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