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.    
Iran may gain 48% of total China HDPE imports, 85% of LDPE imports by 2025 because of new deal
6th April 2021

By John Richardson IRAN and China earlier this month signed a wide-ranging economic and security agreement that has been under negotiation for five ye...

China early data points to 42% fall in 2021 HDPE imports
30th March 2021

By John Richardson China’s high-density polyethylene (HDPE) imports in 2021 look as if they might collapse versus last year, according to the early ...

China early data point to PP imports collapsing by 78% this year with SM 67% lower
28th March 2021

By John Richardson CHINA’S apparent demand for polyethylene, polypropylene (PP), styrene monomer (SM) and paraxylene  fell during the first two mon...

China’s environmental policies: scenarios essential for impact on local and global petrochemicals
25th March 2021

By John Richardson WE MUST develop very nuanced, broad ranging and constantly updated scenarios about what could happen in China over the next 20 year...


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.
COP 26 set to accelerate development of the 15-minute city
28th March 2021

One of the good things to happen in the pandemic over the past year is that ‘cooking has become the new commute’ for many people. Working ...

Circular economy set to replace today’s broken global supply chains
21st March 2021

The Great Freeze in Texas has confirmed once again the problems with today’s global supply chains.  As the New York Times has highlighted: “T...

China’s dual circulation policy aims to reduce debt reliance
14th March 2021

Every now and then, people wake up to the fact that debt is only good news when it adds to growth. Otherwise, it simply destroys value. China is usual...

Rising US interest rates, US$ and oil prices set to pressure financial markets
7th March 2021

Everyone who has ever played the Beer Distribution Game on a training course knows what is happening in supply chains today. A small increase in under...


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 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 ...

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...


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.
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...

Great news buried beneath recent vaccine headlines
3rd February 2021

With news bubbling up about coronavirus variants, here is a variant message of my own: Look past the recent coronavirus headlines and you will find so...

Three markets to watch amid stimulus efforts
8th January 2021

The Democrat Party sweep of the Georgia runoff senatorial elections this week means President-elect Joseph Biden will take office on 20 January with h...