Dalian Nov10.pngChina’s Dalian futures market has become a hotbed of speculation over the past 2 years, since the government doubled bank lending to $1.4trn during 2009, equal to 1/3rd of GDP. Traders have particularly focused on the assumed linkage between LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene) and crude oil, with price movements mirroring each other most months.

But now there are signs the authorities are getting worried. Their concerns are focused on the agricultural sector, as speculative buying has helped cause food prices to rocket, in turn driving inflation to a worrying 4.4% in October. Thus the regulators have been told to “beef up supervision over the futures market to curb excessive speculation“.

Hopefully, this will also dampen speculation in polymer markets, which have become a major factor in setting physical prices in China, as well as in Asia and globally. As the chart shows, LLDPE volumes (blue line) reached a record 93 million tonnes in November, nearly 4 times total annual global production.

Interestingly, however, Dalian’s record volume did not lead to higher prices (red line), even though crude oil remained above $80/bbl. This may be the first sign that shrewder traders have decided it might be time to take profits and exit the market. Friday’s decision to tighten monetary policy also suggests betting against the government is probably not going to be a winning trade.

PREVIOUS POST

US housing markets could weaken further

04/12/2010

US housing was the prime cause of the current financial crisis. US banks spent m...

Learn more
NEXT POST

US auto market enters the New Normal

07/12/2010

US auto sales have slowed again. We seem certain to end 2010 at the bottom end o...

Learn more
More posts
The next billion phone users will be buying $10 smart feature phones, not $1000 iPhones
10/11/2019

Smartphone sales plateaued in Q3, down 9% since Q3 2017’s peak of 1.55bn, as the chart shows....

Read
Budgeting for paradigm shifts and a debt crisis
27/10/2019

It is now 8 years since John Richardson and I published our 10-year forecast for 2021 in Boom, Gloom...

Read
Paradigm shifts create Winners and Losers
20/10/2019

MY ANNUAL BUDGET OUTLOOK WILL BE PUBLISHED NEXT WEEK Next week, I will publish my annual Budget Outl...

Read
Companies ignore the Perennials 55+ generation at their peril
13/10/2019

Nearly a third of the the world’s High Income population are now in the Perennials 55+ generat...

Read
Markets face major paradigm shifts as recession approaches
06/10/2019

Major paradigm shifts are occurring in the global economy, as I describe in a new analysis for ICIS ...

Read
$50bn hole appears in New York financial markets – Fed is “looking into it”
29/09/2019

Most people would quickly notice if $50 went missing from their purse or wallet. They would certainl...

Read
Auto markets set for major disruption as Electric Vehicle sales reach tipping point
21/09/2019

Major disruption is starting to occur in the world’s largest manufacturing industry.  Hundred...

Read
No Deal Brexit still a likely option if opposition parties fail to support a new referendum
15/09/2019

Canada’s normally pro-UK ‘Globe and Mail’ summed up the prevailing external view of Brexit las...

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