China loans Jul09.jpg

If you want a loan, go to China. That’s the message from the chart, courtesy of Credit Suisse, which shows the staggering growth in bank lending since the start of the year. Now, even the People’s Bank of China is starting to get concerned.

Lending so far this year has reached $1trn, equal to a quarter of the country’s annual economic output. $223bn was lent in June alone, as local banks scrambled to meet government targets by the end of the quarter.

This is not an academic issue, as far as the global chemical industry is concerned. As a senior executive from a N American company told my fellow blogger, John Richardson, “I keep returning to the fundamentals and cannot understand why prices have risen so steeply since mid-February.”

But what would you do, if the government offered you a cheap loan, and you saw the oil price was rising? Would you buy polymer, and store it? Just as US homeowners took subprime loans at cheap rates and bought houses they couldn’t afford, on the basis that prices couldn’t fall?

The blog hates to be a party-pooper. But it is growing increasingly worried by the ‘China story’, and continues to fear that it will all end in tears.


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