China freezes energy costs, bans plastic bags

Currencies, Economic growth, Futures trading, Oil markets

Reaction to $100 oil has been swift. Yesterday, the Chinese State Council decided to freeze the prices of oil products, natural gas and electricity, as well as public transportation. A measure of the government’s concern is that the meeting to approve the freeze was attended by premier Wen Jiabao.

Chinese inflation is now at 6.9% and the Council noted that ‘China faces relatively large pressures of further price increases (as) prices of crude oil, grains and other primary products are still rising on the international market’.

So as expected, $100 oil prices are already having an impact on psychology. The Chinese government has been most aggressive in searching for new sources of oil imports. But even they are now starting to worry about the implications of unlimited consumption of oil and oil-based products.

Earlier this week, the State Council also announced a decision to ban ultra-thin plastic bags, and to charge customers for thicker plastic bags. China uses around 3bn plastic bags a year, which requires 37m bbls of crude per year. But even if the ban is totally successful, it will save less than two days of total oil consumption.

If major energy importers such as China have decided to prioritise oil use, and have started by banning plastic bags, what other petchem products will be next affected? And if other countries follow this lead, what will be the impact on petchem demand generally?

PREVIOUS POST

Ford warns on auto sales

09/01/2008

US autos are one of the major uses for chemicals. The ACC recently calculated th...

Learn more
NEXT POST

Financial players increase their bets on crude

14/01/2008

Financial investors are already quite disruptive in crude oil markets. And their...

Learn more
More posts
Oil market weakness suggests recession now more likely than Middle East war
11/08/2019

Oil markets remain poised between fear of recession and fear of a US attack on Iran. But gradually i...

Read
UK, EU27 and EEA businesses need to start planning for a No Deal Brexit on 31 October
28/07/2019

New UK premier, Boris Johnson, said last week that the UK must leave the EU by 31 October, “do or ...

Read
London house prices edge closer to a tumble
21/07/2019

After the excitement of Wimbledon tennis and a cricket World Cup final, Londoners were back to their...

Read
G7 births hit new record low, below Depression level in 1933
14/07/2019

If a country doesn’t have any babies, then in time it won’t have an economy. But that...

Read
From subprime to stimulus…and now social division
06/07/2019

The blog has now been running for 12 years since the first post was written from Thailand at the end...

Read
Resilience amidst headwinds is key for H2
30/06/2019

Resilience is set to become the key issue as we look forward to H2, as I note in a new analysis for ...

Read
Perennials set to defeat Fed’s attempt to maintain the stock market rally as deflation looms
23/06/2019

Never let reality get in the way of a good theory. That’s been the policy of western central b...

Read
Europe’s auto sector suffers as Dieselgate and China’s downturn hit sales
16/06/2019

Trade wars, Dieselgate and recession risk are having a major impact on the European auto industry, a...

Read

Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more

Analytics

Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more