Business travel and entertainment are the first things to go as chemicals firms like everyone else aim to cut costs. Attendance at recent conferences and industry events like Southwest Chems Golf in October and early indications for NECA in December has been much reduced (although not enough to halt the constant barrage of emails promoting petrochemical conferences. Today alone, the Blog inbox has emailshots for a refining conference in Kuala Lumpur and a biofuels summit in Houston.)
European chemical travellers who were looking forward to spending their strong euros in glittering malls bedecked with reindeer, but now won't be travelling to the US, might be interested in myus.com which provides you with an American address so that you can buy from bargain-friendly US websites. They then send your purchases on to your home address in Europe.