The impact of COVID-19 was felt in North American commodity resin markets in April, with most materials seeing prices decline.
Economic activity across the region has plummeted as nonessential businesses closed and consumers stayed home as much as possible to prevent the spread of the virus. Major job cuts across many industries also have dampened consumer spending.
On April 29, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that gross domestic product decreased by 4.8 percent in the first quarter. As of May 5, more than 260,000 people have died from COVID-19 around the world.
Brazil’s state-run Petrobras sees no need for cuts in oil production, executives say, as the market for its crude remains robust in China, while domestic demand for fuel picks up amid social distancing fatigue in Latin America’s largest economy.
On a Friday earnings call with analysts, executives credited the company’s strong relationship with independent refineries in China’s Shandong Province, known as “teapots,”‘ for allowing Petrobras to export a record amount of crude in recent months, even as some economies are effectively shut.
Storage capacity for crude oil and gasoline is not proving to be an issue, they added.
The EU plastics industry has said it is being buffeted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and has appealed for help from the European Commission.
Industry group Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) said the pandemic could render recycling unprofitable and hamper attainment of the EU recycling targets. It said converting plants have closed, virgin plastics prices are low and activity has fallen globally, and it called for the EU and member states to include recycling as a sector supported by recovery plans.
“If the situation is to persist and no actions are taken to remedy the sector, plastics recycling will cease to be profitable, hampering the attainment of the EU recycling targets and putting in jeopardy the transition towards circular plastics,” said PRE president Ton Emans.
China’s Chambroad Petrochemical is planning to build two 600,000 t/yr polypropylene (PP) units as part of a 5.17bn yuan ($728mn) propylene plant with 2.04mn t/yr of raw material processing capacity.
The plant, located in the Boxing Chemical Industrial Park at Binzhou in Shandong, will use US engineering firm KBR’s K-COT technology. It is under construction and is expected to start up at end of 2021 or early 2022.
The project will utilise the firm’s existing liquefied gas, petroleum gas, residual oil, various types of diesel and other resources for processing and utilisation. The firm is also known as Shandong Jingbo Petrochemical.
–Italy : For Aquafil quarterly down, but contained Trento. The drop in consumption due to Covid weighs (but only moderately) on Aquafil’s quarterly report. Revenues for the first quarter of 2020 amounted to € 140.7 million, recording a reduction of 3.2% (€ 4.6 million) towards the same period of the previous year.
Revenues from Econyl brand products in the first quarter of 2020 decreased by 1.9% in absolute value compared to the previous year but increased their percentage on fiber sales which rose to 37.9%.
More specifically, the carpet fiber line recorded a 4.4% reduction; that of fibers for clothing registers a reduction of 5.0% and the Polimeri line registers a reduction of 17.2%. EBITDA at March 31, 2020 stood at 18.2 million with a reduction of 4.7%, while the net result was positive for 4.1 million with a decrease of 47.0%.
Giulio Bonazzi, president and CEO, comments: «We have always operated without interruptions and in maximum safety in all the group’s plants, in Italy and in other countries.
Covid had a limited impact in the first quarter but unfortunately it is so far having one more important in the second ».
Covid-19 could usher in global losses of up to $8.8 trillion, as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) more than doubles its forecast economic impact from the pandemic.
The ADB’s updated assessment from its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 in early April said the global economy could suffer $5.8 trillion-8.8 trillion in losses, which is equivalent to 6.4-9.7pc of global gross domestic product. The ADO had forecast Covid-19’s global cost to range from $2 trillion-4.1 trillion.
Economic losses in Asia-Pacific range from $1.7 trillion under a short containment scenario of three months to $2.5 trillion under a long containment scenario of six months, with the region accounting for about 30pc of the overall slump in global output. China, the global driver of energy demand in recent years, could suffer losses of $1.1 trillion-1.6 trillion.
Workers are busy at the melt-blown nonwoven fabric workshop at the China Pingmei Shenma Group in Pingdingshan City, central China’s Henan Province, May 14, 2020.
In order to expand the production capacity of melt-blown nonwoven fabric, a key material for masks, the China Pingmei Shenma Group has accordingly established a production line and officially put it into operation on May 1.
The company now produces 4 to 5 tonnes of melt-blown nonwoven fabric, which can be used for making more than four million medical masks. (Xinhua/Hao Yuan)
MagIQ Non-Woven Electret Plus improves the dielectric properties in face masks, extending filtration efficiency and the length of time masks will hold a charge.
Material supplier PolyOne Corp. has launched a new functional additive for protective face masks as part of its Fiber Solutions portfolio.
Called “MagIQ Non-Woven Electret Plus”, the material is designed to improve the dielectric properties in face masks, extending filtration efficiency, and the length of time masks will hold a charge.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a need for greater numbers of N95 respirators and surgical masks than ever before, resulting in a global shortage that stands at unprecedented levels,” company officials said.
As the textile industry is witnessing a steep downturn globally due to adverse economic impact of COVID-19, the Indian textile industry while fearing to lose out on the orders from the buyers is also seeing an opportunity to get a boost as the businesses have started diverting from China amid the corona crisis.
When asked about the prospects of Indian textile industry, Nikhil Thukral, Director, Maharana of India, told that as an ‘anti-China’ wave is being seen after the spread of coronavirus, the businesses are diverting, which is a good opportunity for the Indian market.