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Chemical market whack-a-mole

Anyone ever play whack-a-mole? The image here comes from the 1990s, a time of ill-fitting T-shirts and no smartphones, so entertainment came from games such as whack-a-mole that sprung up (literally) to test our hand-eye coordination as well as our ability to deal with a new problem cropping up just as soon as we had […]

Decoupling talk is decoupled from reality

It was supposed to be a harmless press conference honouring the US Labor Day holiday, but President Donald Trump made a statement about possible changes in the US-China relationship that if implemented would have substantial implications for chemical markets. In vowing to bolster US manufacturing by reshoring jobs from China should he be elected to […]

The US economy’s hall of mirrors

The US economic recovery from pandemic-induced shutdowns is about as disjointed an endeavour as I can recall. Recent data releases and surveys paint a quite jumbled picture. Take this week’s Beige Book release from the Federal Reserve, which distils inputs from regional Reserve bank surveys into the following summation: Employment – Up overall since falling […]

No time to waste in solving ocean plastic dilemma

It feels like we could all use some good news, so how about this: We already have the capabilities to reduce ocean plastic waste by about 80% by 2040. That jolt of positivity comes from Breaking the Plastic Wave, a newly issued report by The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ and thought partners – the […]

Helping the chemical supply chain not be BlackBerry

Market-driven economics work, even if they at first are overwhelmed by unprecedented demand. Such is the case with isopropanol (IPA), whose demand for use in sanitation remains at levels stronger than before the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world. But US IPA prices continue to fall from the stratospheric heights achieved in April when initial demand […]

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