ICIS Market Expert Blogs

Asian Chemical Connections

John Richardson’s Asian Chemicals Connections looks at Asian and global commodity chemicals and polymer pricing trends, supply and demand, macroeconomics, energy and environmental issues.

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John Richardson

John Richardson is a highly experienced trainer and chemicals industry consultant, who has been working in the industry for 22 years. Based in Asia-Pacific, John has a deep knowledge of the companies and people who have transformed the region into the world’s major production and consumption region. His aim is to provide insightful, factually-based consultancy of the key issues facing the industry. For any comments our queries on this blog, contact John at john.richardson@icis.com.    
China’s polyethylene demand good so far in 2020 but beware of risks ahead
10th September 2020

Note that all the comparisons in this post are on a year-on-year basis unless otherwise stated By John Richardson THE ABOVE chart, completing my analy...

Ah, I see: China’s booming demand mystery a little closer to being solved
8th September 2020

  Note that all the data comparisons below are on a year-on-year basis By John Richardson THE PROVERBIAL light bulb came on early last month, tha...

The China polyester mystery continues in a world turned upside down
7th September 2020

By John Richardson SOMETHING very strange is happening in China’s polyester industry which has enormous implications for the global industry, as ICI...

China will struggle to boost local retail sales during rest of 2020 with export outlook uncertain
4th September 2020

By John Richardson IF IT were easy, then there would be an oversupply of owners of large yachts in Monte Carlo. But understanding China has never been...


Chemicals and the Economy

Guest blogger, Paul Hodges looks behind today's headlines and studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry over the next 12-18 months. He takes a closer look at oil prices, economic growth and the environment among other things, along with some light-hearted commentary along the way.

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Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The blog aims to share ideas about the outlook for the chemical industry and the global economy. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas including the warning signs over the outlook for the global economy; geopolitics and the rise of populism;  oil and energy markets; sustainability and the rise of the circular economy; and key areas of chemical demand including autos, housing and electronics.
Reality dawns for business as No Deal Brexit approaches
6th September 2020

I warned before the June 2016 Brexit referendum that Brexit was all about politics, and Boris Johnson’s bid to become prime minister: “All...

Local circular plastics solutions to replace mega projects business model
30th August 2020

NEW YORK (ICIS)–There will be a paradigm shift away from mega crackers producing massive volumes of plastics for export, and toward local recycl...

Global chemical industry – key trends for success in today’s New Normal
2nd August 2020

The chemical industry is the best leading indicator for the global economy. On Friday, I had the privilege of discussing a wide range of key issues wi...


Energy Connections

ICIS energy editors post their expert opinions on the major topics facing participants in the European gas, electricity, LNG and oil markets. This blog will look behind the headlines and critically analyse the impact of market developments on the industry, with some more light-hearted posts thrown in for good humour.

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We need to talk about Joe!
20th August 2020

So, once the Democrats conclude this week’s first ever virtual convention held by a US political party, we will finally be able stop calling Joe Bid...

Spot LNG weak despite more cuts
20th July 2020

Spot LNG prices remain at rock-bottom levels despite major cuts to global production, especially from the US. The ICIS EAX price for spot LNG deliveri...

Market volatility is here to stay
1st July 2020

Today marks the first day of the second half of 2020, and as I’m sure you will all agree, a lot has changed in six months. If you can all cast your ...

Spot LNG still weak, despite more cuts
16th June 2020

Spot LNG prices remained very weak in the period from mid-May to mid-June. Growing numbers of US cargo cancellations being planned across the summer h...


Chemical Connections

The ICIS Chemical connections blog delves into the chemicals and commodities behind some of the world’s biggest companies. Daniel tracks and provides analysis on 167 companies in the oil and gas, commodities, chemicals, speciality chemicals, plastics, packaging and fertilizers markets and Jeremy analyses macro and micro trends affecting the North American chemicals industry, from olefins, aromatics and solvents to general-purpose and engineered plastics.

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Jeremy Pafford

Jeremy Pafford leads the ICIS market development strategy for the US, Mexico and Canada. He represents the company and showcases its expertise to the chemicals market and his role draws upon his experience in leading engagement efforts by the Americas team. Previously, Jeremy served as managing editor, Americas, leading the team’s efforts in analysing the ethylene, propylene, polymers, solvents and oleochemicals markets. He has covered several markets, authored research and presented at major events on topics such as the North American shale boom, US-China trade tensions and how macroeconomic developments translate into chemical market trends.
Daniel Fletcher-Manuel
Daniel Fletcher-Manuel is the head of financial markets development at ICIS and has a wealth of experience in chemical analysis and forecasting. He works with banks and investors to develop their understanding of energy and chemical market trends, enhance their risk and forecasting models and build better pitch books. With his ICIS Chemicals Investor blog, Daniel aims to illuminate the physical drivers of a stock’s performance as well as helping analysts to identify the energy and chemical stories that matter.
Decoupling talk is decoupled from reality
11th September 2020

It was supposed to be a harmless press conference honouring the US Labor Day holiday, but President Donald Trump made a statement about possible chang...

The US economy’s hall of mirrors
4th September 2020

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...

The pandemic and petrochemicals demand: a whole new approach is required
1st September 2020

By John Richardson MONITORING demand has never been harder because of the pandemic. One of my colleagues on the ICIS Pricing team was, for example, la...

When feedstock price isn’t the loudest voice in the room
25th August 2020

The question came over innocuously enough. “Market prices for ethylene are structurally the highest in Europe and lowest in US with Asia moving in b...