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.    
Container freight crisis requires new approaches to cash in on strong underlying demand
20th June 2021

  By John Richardson I MADE THE argument last Thursday that until or unless the world is fully vaccinated against the pandemic, container freight...

Container freight crisis could continue until or unless the developing world is fully vaccinated
17th June 2021

By John Richardson IF YOU WANT to understand when container-freight chaos will fully come to an end, look at the graphic above from Our World in Data,...

Global polyethylene demand boom likely, increasing the sustainability challenge
15th June 2021

By John Richardson IT FEELS LIKE several lifetimes ago. If you recall, way back in November-December 2019 Asian variable cost integrated naphtha-based...

The pandemic, climate change, plastic waste and the great divide: the world in 2025
13th June 2021

By John Richardson NOBODY SHOULD be surprised that the developing world has fallen behind in the battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as the regi...


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 New Normal Consulting, and serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The blog focuses on the major paradigm shifts now underway in the global economy - changing demand patterns; the transition to energy abundance and the end of the Oil Age; the reshoring of supply chains; moves towards the circular economy and advanced manufacturing. I hope it will help businesses and investors to move quickly up the learning curve in today's New Normal world, and implement new strategies for success.
Brand-owners start to focus on renewable carbon
13th June 2021

The original debate on plastics recycling owed its prominence to Ellen MacArthur, the yachtswoman who was appalled by the volume of plastic waste in t...

Friends of the Earth v Royal Dutch Shell – what did the Dutch Court rule, and what does it mean for Shell’s business?
6th June 2021

My Dutch colleague, Daniël de Blocq van Scheltinga, is a graduate of Leiden University in the Netherlands, with a Master of Law degree and a specialt...

ACS Chemistry & the Economy webinar on Thursday
2nd June 2021

Please join me for the next ACS Chemicals & Economy webinar on Thursday, at 2pm Eastern Standard Time, USA, when we will discuss: How businesses c...

“One size no longer fits all” as the global smartphone market breaks down into different segments
30th May 2021

The pandemic was very good news for some companies, with demand for online activities rocketing. But whilst many parts of the developing world are sti...


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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Spot LNG bullish on storage, summer peak
21st May 2021

Spot LNG bullish on storage, summer peak Spot LNG prices have broken back into double figures, over $10/MMBtu, as Europe continues to pull in gas to r...

Asia, Europe LNG converges as US turns cold
16th February 2021

Spot gas markets in Europe and Asia have re-aligned after splitting apart during last month’s cold weather and price spikes in east Asia. But it may...

Spot LNG spikes on limited flex
19th January 2021

Spot LNG prices in east Asia have rocketed higher during January, with trades seen over $30/MMBtu. That compares with levels around $11/MMBtu in late ...

LNG spot prices surge on outages, shipping congestion
18th December 2020

LNG traders are questioning how long a surge in Asian spot prices can last, after dramatic price increases caused by unexpected outages, strengthened ...


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.
Fundamentals will matter to plastics markets again, and be careful when they do
18th May 2021

Supply tightness in key commodities such as chemicals, polymers, lumber and steel has been a major story of 2021, but increasingly logistics are takin...

Can consumers afford the price rises commodities are portending?
9th April 2021

Get ready to open your wallets a bit more. Whether you are in the chemical business, the services industry or the business of feeding people, the cost...

End result of Biden’s ambitious infrastructure proposal may underwhelm
1st April 2021

Reinvestment in infrastructure has finally made it to centre stage of US political discussions, but prepare to be underwhelmed by what ultimately resu...

Immense challenges facing chemical, polymer procurers
12th March 2021

Mid-February’s prolonged freeze on the Texas-Louisiana coast has juiced up market commentary as much as it has most petrochemical and polymer pricin...