ICIS: Trump Versus Xi Fuels Growing Uncertainty Across Global Petrochemical Supply Chains

LONDON, April 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

The Trump administration is struggling to find a consistent policy direction and it is unclear what is going to happen next. Take last week's summit between President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China. Ahead of the meeting came bellicose language from the US side about being tough towards China on trade, but the summit itself failed to live up to the tone of President Trump's Tweets. This indicates that anti and pro-free trade forces within the White House continue to compete for influence. Meanwhile, China, like everyone else, has to try to second-guess the US as it confronts major domestic social, political and economic challenges.  

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In response to the current uncertainty, leading petrochemicals market intelligence provider ICIS, in partnership with consultancy International eChem, has launched the first in a series of quarterly reports to assist petrochemical companies and their investors as they navigate the challenges and opportunities created by global instability.

Report co-author John Richardson, of ICIS, says: "Our aim with this quarterly report series is two-fold:  to provide a clear understanding of the tectonic shifts now under way in the world's two largest economies, and to offer a detailed road map outlining the potential impact of these developments on business and investments."

The petrochemicals industry must brace itself for significant and far-reaching effects. If President Donald Trump remains in office for the next eight years, and President Xi Jinping's term is extended for a further five years at the October Communist Party Congress, the decisions made now will have long-lasting effects on the medium- and longer-term outlook. Now is the time to begin preparations ahead of the major disruption that clearly lies ahead for supply chains.

This initial report in the Uncertainty Study series is entitled War of Words and is co-authored with Paul Hodges of International eChem. The core of the report is a detailed analysis of the four critical value chains - ethylene, propylene, benzene and paraxylene (PX) - commonly seen as the building blocks of the entire petrochemicals and plastics industry.

Subscribers will benefit from an analysis of the inter-regional moves that dominate trade between the US and China, along with the key risks and implications for producers, consumers, traders and investors in the major regions. The likely impact of Trump's various new policies, as well as China's retreat from stimulus are examined in detail. Other key questions addressed include how the East-West relationship may change, as well as the subsequent impact on the global landscape.

"It seems most unlikely that the globalisation model of recent decades - whereby raw materials are routinely shipped half-way around the world, and then returned as finished product - will survive for much longer," says Paul Hodges.  

Clearly, the business-as-usual scenario is the least likely outcome for the years ahead. This latest study from ICIS and International eChem gives petrochemical leadership teams the insight and analysis needed to better prepare for an inevitable change to the industry status quo.

Find out more about the study [https://www.icis.com/services/analysis/quarterly-icis-iec-study ].  

About ICIS 

ICIS is an independent price reporting agency focusing on global energy, petrochemical and fertilizer markets. Our aim is to give companies in global commodities markets a competitive advantage by delivering trusted pricing data, high-value news, analysis and independent consulting, enabling our customers to make better-informed trading and planning decisions. We have more than 30 years' experience in providing pricing information, news, analysis and consulting to buyers, sellers and analysts.

With a global staff of more than 800, ICIS has employees based in Houston, Washington, New York, London, Montpellier, Dusseldorf, Karlsruhe, Milan, Mumbai, Singapore, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Yantai, Tokyo and Perth. Some 350 of ICIS's staff are journalists engaged in reporting market prices and news, and ICIS is fully committed to upholding the highest journalistic principles of verification, corroboration and authentication. ICIS has a compliance framework that along with its methodologies and business processes adheres to the requirements of the IOSCO PRA Principles.

ICIS is a division of Reed Business Information [http://www.reedbusiness.com ], part of RELX Group plc [http://www.relxgroup.com ].

About International eChem 

We are trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry and its investment community. Our team has an in-depth understanding of the issues, and of the 'real world' in which clients operate, due to our experience in working with many of the world's major companies and financial institutions.

About Reed Business Information Reed Business Information provides information, analytics and data to business professionals worldwide. Our strong global products and services hold market-leading positions across a wide range of industry sectors including banking, petrochemicals and aviation where we help customers make key strategic decisions every day. RBI is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional customers across industries.


About RELX Group RELX Group is a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs approximately 30,000 people of whom almost half are in North America. RELX PLC is a London listed holding company which owns 52.9% of RELX Group. RELX NV is an Amsterdam listed holding company which owns 47.1% of RELX Group. The shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX and RENX. The total market capitalisation is approximately GBP31.2bn/ EUR36.5bn/ $38.8bn. www.relx.com [http://www.relx.com ]

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