China chemicals storage at bursting point indicates no big new economic stimulus

March 27, 2019

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CHEMICALS markets are a great barometer for weather conditions in the wider economy because they are upstream of so many manufacturing industries. We should therefore take close notice of the above chart, from this excellent article by my ICIS colleague, Yvonne Shi. What the chart shows is that by mid-March, weekly inventory levels for ethylene glycols (EG), styrene, pure benzene, acetone, toluene, xylenes, methanol, acetic acid, polyolefins and other products were at three-year highs. As Yvonne writes: Mainstream tank storage for many products has reached the limit of capacity. Spare, smaller tanks that are usually left unused, are being activated. Taking EG as an example, main storage areas such as Zhangjiagang Changjiang International, Changjiang Petroleum, and Ningbo, have all reached bursting point.

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