Base for Wordpress Thumbs - The Chemical Company

Week 9 thaw results in significant rail traffic increases

A Railway Age article reports that the Association of American Railroads (AAR) statistics announced a continuing rise in rail traffic from week six to week nine due to the thaw from the polar vortex that gripped the country during the month of February.
According to stats provided by AAR, five of the 10-carload commodity groups posted increases compared to the same week in 2020. Coal was up 6,939 carloads, to 65,632; grain, up 5,657 carloads, to 26,451; and farm products excluding grain, and food, up 371 carloads, to 16,794. Commodity groups experiencing declines compared with the same week last year included chemicals, down 3,833 carloads, to 29,591; nonmetallic minerals, down 2,559 carloads, to 27,833; and motor vehicles and parts, down 2,235 carloads, to 15,912.

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polymers facing difficulties - The Chemical Company

Chemical, polymer procurers face significant challenges

An editorial published by ICIS, a leading marketing analysis firm in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries, said that the prolonged freeze on the Texas-Louisiana border is just the latest in a long line of weather and other natural disasters starting with Hurricane Harvey in 2017 to disrupt the chemical industries market.

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Texas freeze and plastic shortage - The Chemical Company

Texas Freeze Brings Worldwide Plastics Shortage and Skyrocketing Prices

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports a global shortage of essential plastics due to chemical plant shutdowns caused by the February Texas freeze. The weather anomaly triggered massive blackouts that brought the world’s largest petrochemical complex to its figurative knees. Plant closures started a global snowball effect that resulted in skyrocketing prices of raw materials needed for manufacturing of consumer products that include auto parts, computers, smartphones, and medical face shields.

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Largest Crude Oil Increase Thumb - The Chemical Company

U.S. crude oil production falls 8% in 2020 — largest decrease on record

A recent Today in Energy article, published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, announced the largest crude oil production decrease in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s records. U.S. production fell from 12.2 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2019 to 11.3 million b/d in 2020, a decrease of 8%. Apparently, the production decline was the result of reduced drilling activity related to 2020 low oil prices.

Low crude prices were the result of the sudden drop in petroleum demand caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The article explains in detail the production decreases from the major U.S. oil production centers in Texas, offshore Gulf of Mexico, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. The Permian Basin in New Mexico and western Texas was the only area in the country that showed a production increase with an impressive 1.04 million b/d, an increase of 15%.

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Crude tall oil thumb - The Chemical Company

Crude Tall Oil Availability

A January 2021 Elsevier Journal of Cleaner Production article presents an in depth study covering the impact of several global policies incentivizing the use of Crude Tall Oil (CTO) and the impact on market demand from emerging competitive applications in biofuels.

The analysis and results presented in the lengthy, comprehensive study stems from research conducted for the project “Global Crude Tall Oil Study Availability, Trade Flows, Policy and Outlook,” a project sponsored in a research agreement with the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

The article examines whether market distortions occur when CTO is diverted from its historical utilisation in the production of bio-chemicals to the production of biofuels.

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