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.    
Whether Beijing blinks over Evergrande is the biggest issue for global petchems
22nd September 2021

By John Richardson WILL BEIJING blink? The answer to this question could pretty much set the direction of the global petrochemicals industry over the ...

The perils of Evergrande for China and world polyolefins demand
20th September 2021

By John Richardson ON THE PLUS side of the H2 China polyolefins demand ledger are the Golden Week Holidays between 1-7 October and the Singles’ Day ...

China PP arbitrage to the US goes through the roof despite surging freight costs
15th September 2021

By John Richardson IT IS VERY HARD to see how we will get out of this container crisis anytime soon. The crisis looks set to last until at least the m...

Latest data show China could become PP net exporter by 2026 and net exporter of 3.7m tonnes in 2031
13th September 2021

By John Richardson DO YOU WANT the good news or bad news first? This is of course a rhetorical question because I cannot hear what you are saying. I h...


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.
PlasticsEurope calls for mandatory 30% recycling target for packaging by 2030
12th September 2021

The European plastics industry last week took the crucial first step in moving away from virgin plastics towards a circular economy. It supported the ...

Housing markets face long-term downturn as central banks abandon stimulus
5th September 2021

Last month saw the beginning of the end for the central banks’ 20-year experiment with stimulus. They thought they could overcome demographic pr...

The blog returns on 5 September
21st August 2021


Businesses set for transformation as supply chain chaos combines with Net Zero targets
15th August 2021

‘Business as usual’ seems a most unlikely outcome as we look forward over the next 6 months. The pandemic may well bring further trials for us...


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 stuck in bullish mood
21st July 2021

Spot LNG prices remain firmly in bullish mood, with little prospect of an immediate easing of tight market conditions. Low storage levels in Europe, g...

Spot LNG strong as China equals Japan
18th June 2021

Spot LNG strong as China equals Japan Spot LNG prices remain bullish as China’s demand growth continues and Australia enters a period of heavy maint...

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...


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.
Market danger set to lurk in the Gulf
25th August 2021

Time to keep a watchful eye on the Gulf of Mexico. Apropos of the approaching peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, there is growing chatter among me...

Chemical, resin plants may be hurricane-ready, but markets are not
29th June 2021

Forecasters of this year’s hurricane season expect above-normal activity, and so far that seems on point with the naming this week of the Atlantic...

Logistics making inflation worries more than transitory
15th June 2021

How bad are things on the logistics front? A COVID-19 outbreak at the Port of Yantian in China is causing container ships to back up or to be diverted...

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...