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.    
Petrochemical companies must invest more in new methods of assessing demand
17th January 2021

By John Richardson INVESTORS must look beyond measures of GDP growth if they are going to understand what is really happening in the global economy, w...

New China pandemic outbreak China single-biggest risk for global petchems in 2021
14th January 2021

By John Richardson CHINA FACES another test of its pandemic control capabilities because of new outbreaks in Hebei and Heilongjiang provinces. On Wedn...

The energy transition and how it will define tomorrow’s petrochemical Winners
12th January 2021

    By John Richardson MOST OF the time historical events move at a snail’s pace. The metaphorical tectonic plates are still moving but th...

China polyethylene imports set to remain strong in 2021 despite big local capacity growth
9th January 2021

By John Richardson IT WAS a tremendous year. China’s 2020 polyethylene (PE) demand growth over 2019 averaged 10% across the three grades. This compr...


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 also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The blog focuses on the major changes now underway in demand patterns, in key areas such as energy abundance, the reshoring of supply chains, moves towards the circular economy and advanced manufacturing. The Covid-19 lockdowns have broken down the inertia surrounding work and home-based routines. As a result, businesses and investors need to move quickly up the learning curve in today's New Normal world, and implement new strategies.
Look for Winners and Losers in 2021
10th January 2021

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen”. Lenin’s famous insight was highly relevant to 2020. It was ...

Businesses face “biggest imposition of red tape in 50 years” as Brexit begins
3rd January 2021

Most companies had closed when the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) was finally announced on Christmas Eve. And they are only now start...

Chart of the Year – CAPE Index signals negative S&P 500 returns to 2030
20th December 2020

Each year, it seems there is only one candidate for Chart of the Year. And 2020 is no exception. It has to be the CAPE Index developed by Nobel Prize ...

US chemical companies face ‘wake-up call’ as Biden focuses on the Climate Change agenda
13th December 2020

I worked for many years at a world-leading chemical company, ICI. But sadly, it lost its way as senior management began to focus more on financial met...


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 softens in H1 November
17th November 2020

Spot LNG Prices strengthened in the second half of October on ongoing outages, before softening in the first half of November on increased production....

Spot LNG remains in bullish mood
22nd October 2020

Spot LNG prices continued to strengthen from mid-September to mid-October as the market takes an increasingly bullish turn on the back of unexpected p...

Spot LNG gains on Australia, US problems
18th September 2020

Spot LNG prices strengthened from mid-August to mid-September on the back of ongoing repair work in Australia and after a hurricane swept through the ...

Spot LNG stronger on winter, outages
21st August 2020

Spot LNG prices for front-month cargoes started to climb from their previous rock-bottom levels during the four weeks from mid-July to mid-August. Hig...


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.
3 stimulus possibilities under the Biden administration
22nd December 2020

US president-elect Joseph Biden has called the recently passed $900bn second round of coronavirus-related economic stimulus a down-payment to what he ...

Deteriorating playing conditions mandate quick changes of plans
18th November 2020

A lot can change in 30 days. Thirty days ago, US President Donald Trump felt confident he was on his way to a second term, while election opponent Jos...

All roads following US elections should lead to enactment of infrastructure bill
22nd October 2020

Finding common ground for US Republicans and Democrats is as difficult as ever during these hyper-partisan times, but if there has been one subject th...

Plastic rubbish: the pandemic is increasing rather than reducing the pressure for change
19th October 2020

This is the first of a series of blog posts where I will examine the environmental paradigm shift and what it means for the petrochemicals industry. T...