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.    
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...

China petrochemical inventories build on what could be false hopes of a V-shaped rebound
19th May 2020

By John Richardson AS PETROCHEMICALS storage space in China fills up on the hope that the country can lead the world in economic recovery, here are so...

Further polyethylene rate cuts seem inevitable with no certainty on who will blink first
18th May 2020

By John Richardson IT IS NOT just a razor-like focus on petrochemicals demand that will get you through the crisis. Also essential is an equally close...


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 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.
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...

Local supply chains replace global trade as world starts to “do more with less”
26th April 2020

Something quite dramatic is happening in the global economy.  Of course, Wall Street analysts still maintain that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic...


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 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

ICIS editors and consultants give their views on the big questions raised by market events and developments. By analysing market conditions, supply and demand, and other factors influencing future profitability, they set today’s markets into context and provide a near-term outlook.

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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...