Gas Short increase price squr - The Chemical Company

Europe’s Gas Shortage May Effect Global Prices

Natural gas prices have increased approximately 35% in the past month as many countries worry there is not enough gas stored for the 2021 winter season, especially in the northern hemisphere. Natural gas is an important fuel for heating, with an estimated 40% of U.S. households alone relying on gas through the fall and winter months to stay warm. Europe’s gas reserves are at an all-time low, where the U.S.’s reserves have fallen 8% below the five-year average. The tipping point could come in several months when it becomes clear what type of winter is ahead for Europe, and also the U.S. Some analysts say in an extreme scenario, U.S. prices could double if there is an extended cold spell, particularly in Europe where shortages could get severe. An article published by CNBC takes an in-depth look at the gas shortage and what the nation may expect months ahead. Read the article here.

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china winter olympics thumb - The Chemical Company

Tensions Mount for Upcoming Beijing Olympics

China is moving forward with opening its borders to the world in 2022 in celebration of its hosting the upcoming Winter Olympics. While this news comes as a shock for most of the world, considering China has one of the strictest zero-tolerance policies regarding Coronavirus, frequently shutting down busy ports and shipping terminals when even a single case is detected, the residents of Beijing seem to be excited about the quadrennial event. With emergency backup plans in place to shut down various methods of transport from “high-risk” districts during Olympic events, which will be heavily monitored, the Chinese government seems confident in its abilities to derail any threat of spread among the winter game participants and onlookers. While many residents and workers are busy preparing for the influx of Olympic attendees, pressure from world leaders and human rights groups are urging reconsideration of supporting the Winter Games in Beijing, in light of their past and continuous treatment of other religious ethnic groups. A recent article published by the BBC outlines the current turbulence surrounding the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

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Shipping Crisis Continues Across the Globe squr - The Chemical Company

Global Shipping Crisis Continues to Affect Supply Chains

Pandemic lockdowns led to a massive decrease in retail purchases, with a sharp increase in demand as economies suddenly opened their borders again. At present, container shortages continue to play a heavy part in supply and demand congestion, with hundreds of container ships in the queue at overloaded ports, mostly in China and the U.S. In addition, driver shortages throughout the U.S. and Europe contribute to the growing container shortage, as this complicates the transport of containers to and from their intended destinations. A recent article by BBC examines the “perfect storm” that is the global supply chain.

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Plastics cutting carbon emissions Thumbs - The Chemical Company

Lightweight Plastics to Create Cleaner Future

The Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee report includes significant funding to support lower-carbon vehicles and to drive development of new technologies that use lightweight materials. According to Joshua Baca, vice president for plastics at the American Chemistry Council, “Lightweight plastics help automakers build safer, more fuel-efficient cars and are essential to creating our nation’s low-carbon infrastructure.” The American Chemistry Council released an article applauding the House of Representatives’ continued recognition in the important part lightweight plastics and polymer composites play in reducing carbon emissions and increasing automobile safety.

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Thumbs Farmers in Deadlock - The Chemical Company

Farmers Cannot Ship Crops, New Crops Coming

Supplies are available, demand is high, but the means of transportation and delivery are far behind schedule. This is leading to another issue altogether: with a new season on the way and a warehouse full of produce ready to be distributed from last season, farmers are not sure how they will store their fall crops, or if their produce from the current season will survive long enough to make it to their final destination. Exports are struggling to make themselves more attractive to shipping companies who seem to be focused on taking advantage of the historically high-paying incentives set by Asian imports. NPR released an article detailing the struggles currently faced by farmers around the country regarding supply and demand.

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