29 August 2008 11:29 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Tropical Storm Gustav swept over Jamaica on Friday morning, heading for the US Gulf coast where it was expected to hit with hurricane strength, sparking fears of devastation similar to that caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Gustav ripped off roofs in the eastern parish of ?xml:namespace>
The National Hurricane Center said at 05:00 eastern time (09:00 GMT) on Friday that the centre of Gustav would leave Jamaica in the next few hours at maximum sustained winds of 65 miles/hour and approach western Cuba on Saturday, when it could become a Category 2 or perhaps a Category 3 hurricane.
Gustav was forecast to make landfall on the coast of
Traders recalled the memory of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which pushed oil prices to record highs and also saw petrochemical production in the US and major shipping routes disrupted.
Spot benzene in Europe had shot up as much as $180/tonne in the week ending 2 September 2005 on the back of surging oil prices and spot values in the
With as much as 25,000 tonnes of benzene making its way to the
“There is a lot of petrochemical production in
Fertilizer market participants, meanwhile, discussed the “massive disruption” seen in their markets as
One chemical shipping trader said there would be delays in the region but should the hurricane prove to be a category four or five then a repeat of Hurricane Katrina was a possibility.
“We haven’t been advised of anything yet as there is still some time before the hurricane hits the US Gulf but if it is as strong as experts are speculating then it could be a disaster all over again.”
Another chemical shipping broker was concerned of potential disruption to ports in the region.
There are more than 4,000 oil and gas installations in the Gulf. In 2005, Katrina and Rita destroyed 109 oil platforms and five drilling rigs.
Oil and chemicals companies said on Thursday that they were preparing for the possibility that Gustav could hit installations and plants in the next couple of days.
Peter Salisbury and Dan Horlock contributed to this story
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections