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.

Big divergence between Europe PE and PP markets continue, creating seller and buyer opportunities
16th May 2022

REGULAR readers of the blog will know that I first highlighted the big polyolefins market divergence in April 2021. Back then, I said that: Asia and M

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China zero-COVID: 2022 impact on local and global demand for nine major polymers
12th May 2022

Instead of demand for the nine polymers growing by 7m tonnes in 2022 under our base cases, my downsides see consumption falling by 6m tonnes.

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PE and PP production decisions become super-critical amid Ukraine-Russia, zero-COVID complications
11th May 2022

Every tonne you don’t produce, when you correctly assess that the demand isn’t there in a particular market, will be important in preserving cashf

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New scenarios for 2022 Eurozone and UK PE growth as inflation and debt pressures build
9th May 2022

The ICIS Supply & Demand Base Case growth for Eurozone and UK PE demand in 2022 over last year is 1%. Downside 1 assumes consumption will contract

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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.

Europe’s plastics companies need to step up the pace on recycling if they want to stay in business
8th May 2022

Europe's plastic industry is at a critical turning point. Profitability is falling as the recession bites. But it cannot just cut back and hunker down

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The chemicals industry continues to be the best leading indicator for the global economy
1st May 2022

Central banks and investors believed stimulus programs had created a "New Paradigm" where asset prices would always increase. Now they are starting to

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Time to focus on the danger of corporate and household leverage as “subprime on steroids” comes to an end
24th April 2022

The seeming genius of many private equity funds in recent years has been based on this ability to borrow at cheap rates during the ‘up’ part of th

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World Bank, IMF warn of famine risk as Russia’s war hits wheat output and hikes fertilizer costs
17th April 2022

Essentially, the problem is a timebomb which is set to explode next winter unless governments work together to increase arable planting, establish eme

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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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Volatile resin markets require rethinking 2022 contracts
5th November 2021

Negotiations on annual contracts are under way for many in the plastics supply chain, and the market conditions looming over the bargain table have ra

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