Crude oil prices are rising at a rate at which passing on the increases downstream is proving untenable in some markets. Its volatility will spur further volatility in those chemical and polymer markets, heightening risks for supply chains across the world.
The packaging supply chain needs to come to grips with inflation, but in a context few are considering at the moment – the sustainability movement. Escalating prices for recycled plastics were expected. Escalating prices for everything else was not, and that poses new challenges for those who transact in the plastic supply chain and those tasked with steering their companies’ plastics circularity objectives.
Prices precipitously falling from their highs after months of feverous run-up is typical commodity market behaviour, but the conditions in which the current moves are occurring remain unusual. While indexes in the three major IPEX regions fell, the yawning gap between them remains atypically wide with little indication of towards deviating back to the historical norm.
Negotiations on annual contracts are under way for many in the plastics supply chain, and the market conditions looming over the bargain table have rarely been as complex and vexing. After a year of ever-increasing resin prices on the back of strong demand and the potent cocktail of supply and logistics issues, diverging market pictures […]
Time to keep a watchful eye on the Gulf of Mexico. Apropos of the approaching peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, there is growing chatter among meteorologists about the possibility of a significant storm building in the southern Gulf’s Bay of Campeche by early next week, with the possibility that this could evolve into a […]
How bad are things on the logistics front? A COVID-19 outbreak at the Port of Yantian in China is causing container ships to back up or to be diverted as services and deliveries are delayed. The port is critical to exports from China’s Pearl River Delta, a major manufacturing center in the world’s major manufacturing […]
Supply tightness in key commodities such as chemicals, polymers, lumber and steel has been a major story of 2021, but increasingly logistics are taking centre stage in this story as production of many materials ramps up only to find difficulties in moving products downstream to customers. Shortages seen in the plastics and chemicals markets are […]
Get ready to open your wallets a bit more. Whether you are in the chemical business, the services industry or the business of feeding people, the cost of business continues to rise. As those costs rise, so too are the number of questions surrounding the emergence of inflation into economies hoping to emerge from the […]
Mid-February’s prolonged freeze on the Texas-Louisiana coast has juiced up market commentary as much as it has most petrochemical and polymer pricing. Just days after the storm, a polyethylene (PE) trader said that the freeze’s effects on regional and global supplies would be “worse than Hurricane Harvey”. Perhaps so, because not long after, a PE […]
With news bubbling up about coronavirus variants, here is a variant message of my own: Look past the recent coronavirus headlines and you will find some extremely hopeful developments. The remarkably high efficacy rates for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines quickly spoiled us after health experts for months said that anything over 50% effective would […]