Polymers Petrochemicals Biodegradable Plastic 16-02-2019

The eurozone’s chemicals and pharmaceutical industry’s output would fall by 0.3 percentage points below initial forecasts by the end of 2020 in the case of a no-deal Brexit, according to a study by analysts at Oxford Economics.

A no-deal Brexit would lead to increased trade frictions between the UK and the eurozone, reducing demand from the UK for eurozone-manufactured chemical products.

“[The fall in demand for chemicals would occur] either via lower direct sales, or supply chain linkages … as demand from downstream sectors, such as automotive, falters,” said to ICIS Oxford Economics’ senior economist Stephen Foreman.

“Ireland would experience a larger 0.7 percentage point hit in the level of chemical and pharmaceutical output by the end of 2020, relative to our baseline forecast.

Polymers Petrochemicals Biodegradable Plastic

Brent crude oil tops $66 a barrel for the first time this year, while U.S. crude rises towards a three-month high near $56.

Analysts say both oil prices benchmarks are trading in a region that could portend a further rally.

Output cuts from OPEC and Saudi Arabia are helping crude futures overcome concern about potential demand destruction caused by global economic slowdown.

Analysts say oil prices are approaching breakout levels, and the final day of trading this week will offer clues about whether crude futures can keep rallying.

Brent crude on Friday topped $66 a barrel for the first time this year, hitting a nearly three-month high. The international benchmark for oil prices is set for a more than 6-percent gain this week.

Polymers Petrochemicals Biodegradable Plastic

Sustainability has become increasingly important at ISPO and this trend continued to develop, as a growing number of brands and suppliers presented more environmentally friendly and low impact materials and production processes at this year’s event. This is a positive indication that the industry is willing to take more responsibility for the manufacture, use and end-of-life of their products and is beginning to make sustainability a significant element of the innovation process.

Reused and recycled materials

The most obvious material trend continued to be the use of recycled materials, as many outdoor and snow sports brands are following in the footsteps of recycling pioneer Patagonia, whose collection comprises reclaimed cotton, recycled polyester and nylon and recycled wool and down products.

UK chemicals companies and their trading partners will lose out on EU free trade deals under a no deal Brexit because other countries are unwilling to simply cut, paste and transpose them to the UK.

On 13 February, Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox admitted that the country has only managed to roll over deals covering seven countries covered by EU trade deals, or around £16bn out of £117bn in international trade.

With the 29 March Brexit day fast approaching, it seems highly unlikely that many further deals can be struck in time, meaning the UK chemical sector will likely lose out on important free trade deals with Canada and Japan.

Bemis will divest its medical packaging business in Europe as part of the merger with Amcor

The European Commission has approved the flexible packaging merger between Amcor and Bemis, contingent on the latter divesting its medical packaging business in Europe.

Amcor agreed to buy US rival Bemis for $6.8 billion last August, in a deal aimed at strengthening its foothold in the Americas. Both firms make rigid and flexible packaging products across the food, consumer, medical and pharmaceutical industries.

The Commission identified that Amcor and Bemis are the most significant players in the European Economic Area (EEA) for the supply of flexible packaging for medical use and have been competing closely.

Business for Trinseo showed signs of recovering in January, but the outlook for the rest of 2019 is still unclear, the CEO of the US-based styrenics producer said on Thursday.

That uncertainty is why Trinseo’s guidance for the year is so wide, said Chris Pappas, CEO. He made his comments during an earnings conference call.

Like many petrochemical producers, Trinseo saw a sharp decline in demand and margins during the end of November and in December.

Customers had destocked because of sharp declines in oil prices.

Demand in China was weak across a number of end markets, Pappas said. For the automobile and tyre markets in general, demand was also weak.

A coalition of at least 10 manufacturers and distributors in the beverage industry have agreed to impose a cess on polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, bottles, funds from which will be paid to Recycle Partners of Jamaica, RPJ, as the businesses join with the Government in cleaning up the environment.

Wisynco, in a notice to the Jamaica Stock Exchange, said the beverage industry, effective February 1, 2019, is applying the self-imposed cess of $1 per bottle.

The cess is to enable RPJ “to move with alacrity” in establishing depots to collect and recycle PET bottles, Wisynco said.

Economic contraction has had a significant effect on Turkish import levels of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) in 2018.

Full year data from the Turkish data agency, Turkstat has revealed a halt to the healthy growth of the Turkish plastics industry last year.

Many players had already commented on an overall drop in run rates at converters, brought on by the collapse in value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar.

December figures were released at the start of February and reveal that high density polyethylene (HDPE) suffered a major drop in demand, down 170,000 tonnes from 2017.

This is likely to be due to a combination of the weak economy and a charge on plastic bags introduced on 1 January. Sources have already confirmed that this severely disrupted order levels for HDPE film.

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