EU adds methanol, PE to Russia sanctions list

Tom Brown


LONDON (ICIS)–Methanol and polyethylene (PE) grades are among the key chemicals to be added to the European Commission’s latest list of products sanctioned for export from Russia to the EU.

G7 finance ministers in September set out plans to prohibit services which enable maritime transportation of Russia — origin crude oil and petroleum products globally, centred around a cap on pricing.

The European Commission – the EU’s executive body – has announced the eighth tranche of its sanctions on exports from Russia into the EU, with a focus on finished steel products, vehicles, plastics, machinery and appliances, and some chemicals.

The latest announcement also sets out the legal framework for a proposed price cap on Russian crude oil and petroleum products.

The addition of methanol to the list is particularly significant, as Russia is a substantial supplier of the chemical, exporting around 2m tonnes/year of the material, mostly to the EU.

All PE grades are now among the sanctioned chemicals, joining all polymers derived from propylene, styrene, and vinyl chloride.

The gradual ratcheting up of Russia export sanctions by the European Commission since February have remapped trade flows for many chemicals, polymers, crude oil and refined products.

Turkey and China have been among the significant purchasers of Russian product diverted away from Europe.

Slamming the recent votes held in four Russia-adjoining Ukraine states as “sham referenda”, the Commission also set out measures intended to serve as the legal basis for a price cap on Russian oil and oil products, after setting out the terms of the approach in a G7 meeting in September.

Under the approach envisaged by lawmakers, provision of maritime services would only be permitted if oil and petroleum products are purchased at or below a price determined by the coalition of countries adhering to the price cap.

The measures are intended to prevent the Russian government and Russia-based producers from profiting from the current high energy costs, which have been exacerbated further in crude markets by the move from OPEC+ players to drastically cut output last week.

Key sanctioned chemicals  
Polymers of ethylene, in primary forms
Polymers of styrene, in primary forms
Polymers of vinyl chloride or of other halogenated olefins, in primary forms
Polyacetals, other polyethers and epoxide resins, in primary forms; polycarbonates (PC), alkyd resins, polyallyl esters and other polyesters, in primary forms
Polyamides, in primary forms
Polystyrene (PS), in primary forms
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), in primary forms
Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex; carboxylated styrene-butadiene rubber latex
Butadiene rubber, in primary forms or in plates, sheets or strip
Chloromethane (methyl chloride) and chloroethane (ethyl chloride)
Cyclohexane (CX)
Orthoxylene (OX)
Paraxylene (PX)
Dichloromethane (methylene chloride)
Methanol, methyl alcohol
Monobutyl ethers of ethylene glycol or of diethylene glycol
Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide)
Phenol and its salts
Ethylene oxide (EO)
Esters of acrylic acid
Industrial monocarboxylic fatty acids; acid oils from refining; industrial fatty alcohols

Additional reporting by Eashani Chavda

Front page picture source: imageBROKER/Shutterstock 


Global News + ICIS Chemical Business (ICB)

See the full picture, with unlimited access to ICIS chemicals news across all markets and regions, plus ICB, the industry-leading magazine for the chemicals industry.

Contact us

Partnering with ICIS unlocks a vision of a future you can trust and achieve. We leverage our unrivalled network of industry experts to deliver a comprehensive market view based on independent and reliable data, insight and analytics.

Contact us to learn how we can support you as you transact today and plan for tomorrow.