Uncategorized

China’s housing market moves from boom to bust, with $3.9tn of unsold properties on the market

China’s housing inventory is now at a record 25 months. Prices/demand continue to fall. And local government land sale income has already fallen 1/3rd since 2021 to $800bn, with a further 10% fall to expected this year. And Daiwa suggest total local government debt has already reached $14tn.

China’s housing market moves from boom to bust, with $3.9tn of unsold properties on the market Read More

The energy transition powers ahead, as Electric Vehicle sales continue to ramp up

The mobility market is repeating the transformation seen a century ago, when cars replaced stagecoaches.  Autos are the world’s largest manufacturing industry, employing millions of people directly and in supply chains.

Those companies that learn to ride the wave will likely be very successful for years to come.

The energy transition powers ahead, as Electric Vehicle sales continue to ramp up Read More

An Asian debt crisis would shake the global economy, now the ‘Presidential Cycle’ effect is over

The Presidential Cycle is now over. Instead, worries about the recession and the US debt ceiling talks are moving centre-stage. But Asian currency markets are sending a warning signal. A rising US dollar and US interest rates, and a falling yen and yuan, could soon raise the risks of a major Asian debt crisis.

An Asian debt crisis would shake the global economy, now the ‘Presidential Cycle’ effect is over Read More

“We now understand better how little we understand about inflation”, Jay Powell, US Federal Reserve Chairman

We are facing a perfect storm of global food, energy and financial crises set off by the war in Ukraine.  Analysts need to stop focusing on monetary policy and the inversion of the yield curve. They need to look out of the window and start dealing with the geopolitical reality of Putinflation. 

“We now understand better how little we understand about inflation”, Jay Powell, US Federal Reserve Chairman Read More

World Aromatics Conference focuses on key industry challenges

Maintaining a competitive edge in a low cost feedstock scenario is the theme of next week’s World Aromatics & Derivatives Conference in Amsterdam on 17 – 18 November.  Co-organised as always with ICIS, we will benefit from the insight of key executives from the global industry including: Covestro’s Global Procurement head, Dirk Jan de With Dow Chemicals’ Corporate Chief […]

World Aromatics Conference focuses on key industry challenges Read More

Why have oil prices fallen? Will China’s growth recover in 2015?

Chemistry & the Economy:  2014 Year-End Review Some excellent questions have already been submitted for my year-end webinar tomorrow with the American Chemical Society. Why have oil prices fallen? Will China’s growth recover in 2015 – and if so, will it be back to the ‘bad old ways’ of stimulus? Why are the stock prices […]

Why have oil prices fallen? Will China’s growth recover in 2015? Read More

Blog readers were prepared for this headline on 18 August

Above is today’s front-page headline from the Financial Times.  As readers will remember, I launched a series of major posts in the blog on 18 August, forecasting a collapse of oil prices to “$70/bbl, and probably lower“, and that the US$ would see ”a strong move upwards“.  The headline confirms I was right. The posts in the series were as follows: […]

Blog readers were prepared for this headline on 18 August Read More

Asian markets panic as polyethylene glut begins to develop

The word “panic” crept in to ICIS chemical market news reports this week, as its pricing specialists surveyed the Asian market.  Polyethylene (PE) was particularly highlighted, with headlines such as: China PE tumbles $30-80/tonne on panic-selling Price war in Pakistan as panic sets in among PE suppliers At the same time, ICIS was reporting that: “Middle East suppliers may […]

Asian markets panic as polyethylene glut begins to develop Read More

Time for a new approach to aromatics production

We had another excellent Conference in Berlin last week on the challenges and opportunities facing the global aromatics industry.  These developments are starting to impact most industries as we arrive in the New Normal of lower growth, deflation and growing protectionism. Our speakers included senior executives from ExxonMobil, Shell, Dow Chemical and BASF, as well as the International […]

Time for a new approach to aromatics production Read More

Great Unwinding sees dollar rise, oil prices fall

The day after our China Economic Transformation webinar last week, Premier Li Keqiang confirmed its key message: “There’s already a lot of money in the pool, and we can’t rely on monetary stimulus to spur economic growth…Facing the New Normal state of the Chinese economy, we have remained level-headed and taken steps to tackle deep-seated challenges….in the […]

Great Unwinding sees dollar rise, oil prices fall Read More

The blog’s 6th birthday

This week is the blog’s 6th birthday.  Remarkably, its audience remains extremely loyal, with around half reading it weekly and a quarter on a daily basis.  It is also global, now being read in 150 countries.  The top 10 countries …

The blog’s 6th birthday Read More

More credit crunch jokes

With public holidays in many parts of the world this weekend, my colleague Andy Gibbins has kindly collated a new selection of credit crunch jokes: You know it’s a credit crunch when… • The cashpoint (ATM) asks if you can

More credit crunch jokes Read More

BASF warns on 2009

Back in August, the blog noted that BASF chairman Jurgen Hambrecht was forecasting that “the world will still continue to grow respectably”, although he foresaw a temporary slowdown into H1 2009. Yesterday, however, this mood of relative optimism had disappeared

BASF warns on 2009 Read More

OPEC bites the bullet

Events have moved quickly in oil markets in recent days. Last week, when oil was at $80/bbl, the blog argued that OPEC risked having to defend a $50/bbl price, by delaying production cuts until its 18 November meeting. Last night,

OPEC bites the bullet Read More

EU agrees bank rescue

Finally, as the blog noted with relief last week, there is a workable plan on the table to rescue the global banking system. On Saturday, the IMF warned of potential ‘meltdown’ if the plan was not approved. In the blog’s

EU agrees bank rescue Read More