Governments, financial markets and central banks all originally assumed the Covid-19 pandemic would be over in a few days or weeks. But it is now clear they were wrong. And unfortunately, there is little sign of a Plan B emerging. The idea was that consumers would have plenty of money in their pockets after the
Beijing has a population of 21.5 million, but you wouldn’t know it from this BBC video from last Thursday. Normally busy streets and transport systems are eerily empty, with food deliveries often the main traffic on the roads. It’s the same picture in industry, with the Baidu Migration Index reporting only 26% of migrant workers
Oil markets remain poised between fear of recession and fear of a US attack on Iran. But gradually it seems that fears about a war are reducing, whilst President Trump’s decision to ramp up the trade war with China makes recession far more likely. The chart of Brent prices captures the current uncertainties: It shows
This wasn’t the chart that companies and investors expected to see when they were busy finalising $bns of investment in new US ethylene and polyethylene (PE) capacity back in 2013-4. They were working on 3 core assumptions, which they were sure would make these investments vastly profitable: Oil prices would always be above $100/bbl and […]
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As promised, the blog looks today at the performance of US polyethylene (PE) exporters in Brazil.
It was the fastest-growing of the major markets in 2011, as the wider economy benefitted from China’s demand. Since 2008, Brazil’s PE net imports have…