ICIS Market Expert Blogs

Read our chemical and energy experts’ latest assessment of the market

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.

China could be a net exporter of 9m tonnes of PP by 2040
4th September 2023

CHINA'S PP net imports could total 5m tonnes in 2040, or the country may instead be in a net export position of 9m tonnes.

Big HDPE exporters see another $700m of estimated China sales losses in one month
30th August 2023

NINE OUT OF CHINA’S top 10 high density polyethylene (HDPE) import partners saw their sales to China fall by an estimated total of $1.8bn in January

Global PE capacity may have to be 23m tonnes/year lower in 2023-2030 to end the downturn
25th August 2023

GLOBAL PE capacity in 2023-2030 may have to be 23m tonnes/year lower than the ICIS base case to bring markets back into balance

Global HDPE capacity may have to be 13m tonnes/year lower in 2024-2030 to return to healthy operating rates
21st August 2023

Global HDPE capacity in 2024-2030 would need to be a total of 13m tonnes/year lower than our base case to return to the 2000-2019 operating rate of 88


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.

Food prices set for further rise as energy and fertilizer costs increase
17th September 2023

Economists might like to believe that inflation is somehow a monetary phenomenon. But as we are all likely to learn to our cost over the winter, food

Energy markets could be heading towards a new crisis
10th September 2023

It's too soon to talk of an actual energy crisis. But as the charts showing Brent oil and European natural gas prices confirm, it is certainly time to

US interest rate rises start to threaten the housing market bubble
3rd September 2023

Most Americans can’t qualify for a mortgage today with prices and interest rates at generation-highs. Yet housing starts average a post-2007 record

Asia’s debt crisis edges nearer, as Japan’s interest rates rise and China’s property bubble bursts
27th August 2023

Bubbles are great fun while they last. But they are much less fun when they burst. For the past 20 years, central bank stimulus has created some of th


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.

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.

Ethylene-derivative opportunities take centre stage at IPC
28th March 2022

Huge opportunities are at hand for US producers of ethylene and its derivatives, especially in a world where security of supply remains tenuous in man

Crude oil’s meteoric rise to ripple through supply chains
3rd March 2022

Crude oil prices are rising at a rate at which passing on the increases downstream is proving untenable in some markets. Its volatility will spur furt

Sustainability challenges posed by recycled plastic inflation’s long game
23rd February 2022

The packaging supply chain needs to come to grips with inflation, but in a context few are considering at the moment – the sustainability movement.

Logistics will signal pathway to market normalisation
12th January 2022

Prices precipitously falling from their highs after months of feverous run-up is typical commodity market behaviour, but the conditions in which the c


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