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.

Your complete and updated outlook for global polyethylene in 2023
30th January 2023

The strength of China's post zero-COVID recovery in 2023 will be crucial, as will local operating rates as self-sufficiency further increases. Another

Assessing confidence and the China PE demand recovery: More scenarios are needed
26th January 2023

Scenario 2, my preferred scenario, would see China 2023 PE demand at approximately 38.5m tonnes – an average of 2% higher across the three grades than

Cracker project announcements continue despite all-time high oversupply
23rd January 2023

Companies behind the crackers due on-stream over the next four years emphasise the low-carbon output. The planned new plant also have excellent econo

Coming to terms with the new China is essential for sensible forecasting
18th January 2023

Even our base case sees global PE capacity in excess of de</mand at 22m tonnes in 2023 compared with a 10m tonnes/year annual average in 2000-2022.


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.

Global auto fleet goes electric as “the electrification of everything” begins
22nd January 2023

The 'digitalization of everything' has transformed the global economy over the past 30 years. The rise of the internet is just one example. Now electr

The end of stimulus, and the growing importance of demographics, means the economy could face a major downturn
15th January 2023

‘Business as usual’ has been a great strategy for the past 40 years. But nothing lasts forever. It has now – like the central banks’ stimulus

“FANGs” lose their teeth as stock markets relearn their key role of price discovery
8th January 2023

Now, we are all starting to suffer for the central banks mistake in adopting Bernanke Theory. The bubbles they created are finally starting to burst a

Chart of the Year – Our Sentiment Index proved a great guide to the S&P 500 in 2022
18th December 2022

Nobody knows how markets will develop. But past performance is the best guide that we have. This is why our Sentiment Index is my Chart of the year fo


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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