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.

Read Asian Chemical Connections

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.    
China’s PP production growth could lead to big declines in 2020 imports
1st June 2020

By John Richardson PLEASE DON’T say I didn’t warn you. China is rapidly moving towards polypropylene (PP) self-sufficiency. There is every chance ...

Coronavirus, impact on the developing world and the scale of demand losses
29th May 2020

By John Richardson ALL OF us are struggling to come to terms with a collapse in the global economy that is poised to be worse than the Great Depressio...

Coronavirus, reshoring and the polyester industry: Good luck with that
27th May 2020

By John Richardson POLITICIANS, not just including the Populist variety, are talking a lot about reshoring or bringing back home manufacturing supply ...

Beware of the fragile nature of the oil and petrochemical price recovery
22nd May 2020

By John Richardson RECENT rises in oil and petrochemicals prices should not in my view be taken as a signal that the worst phase of the coronavirus cr...


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.

Read Chemicals and the Economy

Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The blog aims to share ideas about the outlook for the chemical industry and the global economy. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas including the warning signs over the outlook for the global economy; geopolitics and the rise of populism;  oil and energy markets; sustainability and the rise of the circular economy; and key areas of chemical demand including autos, housing and electronics.
Hertz goes bankrupt as non-essential consumer demand disappears
24th May 2020

The US Federal Reserve has now spent $7tn bailing out Wall Street. But it couldn’t save the 102-year old Hertz rental company from filing for Ch...

Debt, deflation, demographics and Brexit set to challenge London house prices
17th May 2020

London property websites haven’t used the word “reduced” for many years. But it’s starting to appear again on homes for sale a...

Smartphone sales head into decline as affordability becomes key
10th May 2020

The smartphone sales decline accelerated in Q1, as Strategy Analytics report: “Global smartphone shipments fell 17% to reach 275m in Q1. This is...

The bill for two decades of doomed stimulus measures is due
3rd May 2020

The Financial Times kindly made my letter on the risks now associated with central bank stimulus their Lead Letter One has to agree with your editoria...


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.

Read Energy Connections
Spot LNG gains on US shutdowns
19th May 2020

Spot LNG prices remain at historically low levels, the result of ongoing structural oversupply in the market after recent years in which new supply pr...

Spot LNG plunges to record lows
16th April 2020

Spot LNG prices have continued to plummet in recent weeks as the demand destruction brought by the coronavirus adds pressure to what was already an ov...

Oil crash closes gap to spot LNG
16th March 2020

Spot LNG held largely stable around $3.00/MMBtu levels from mid-February to mid-March, but a huge crash in the global oil markets narrowed the gap bet...

Spot LNG falls below $3 after mild winter, virus
18th February 2020

Spot LNG prices have dropped to record lows under $3.00/MMBtu after a mild winter combined with the coronavirus outbreak in China to bring strong cuts...


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.

Read Chemical Connections

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.
Automobile demand woes taking polypropylene for ride
29th May 2020

There are a few time-tested principles you take for granted when dealing with chemical data: Crude oil price movements will be a direct or indirect in...

Disrupted marketplace requires active, informed negotiating stance
22nd May 2020

Five months into 2020, here’s where we are: Companies literally and figuratively have ripped up their plans and guidance on 2020 business expect...

Opportunity lies in recognising the next renaissance
20th May 2020

Here’s a blasphemous statement: There really is no “new normal.” The only “new normal” is the “new normal” of calling current condit...