Manufacturing collapse intensifies


While Albo is busy spending $27bn of your money on industrial bandaids, existing manufacturing continues to go bust at an alarming pace:

Another major Sydney chemicals maker is set to close as the shockwaves from the collapse of Qenos reverberate through the manufacturing sector.

Thai chemicals major Indorama told workers and customers it will shutter its Botany manufacturing plant at the end of June as a direct result of the Qenos failure, with the decision likely to cost about 110 jobs.

The decision was forced by the announcement that Qenos’ new owners, property developer Logos, would permanently shutter the company’s nearby manufacturing plant, customers and staff were told.

Indorama uses ethylene previously supplied by Qenos to make soil wetting agents used by farmers, flotation agents used by the mining industry for processing ore, and chemicals used in biodegradable detergents and personal care products.

Without a chemical manufacturing industry, you have no manufacturing supply chain because all the inputs come from overseas, largely China.

For instance, Australia will soon be unable to make plastics, so how will we make solar panels independently of global supply chains?

Dip them in golden syrup, I guess.


I was listening to the radio this morning, and it was droning about Australia being a renewable energy superpower.

But how is that true when, very soon, we won’t be able to make any of the inputs that go into renewable energy panels?

We will be a government-funded but uneconomic assembly plant for Chinese components.

This is a hilarious inversion of the developed versus emerging market dynamic that typically predominates.


In a final insult, all of these components will be made with the very Australian gas that we can’t get our own hands on to make them here.

Reserve gas now!

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.