The View from Jamestown: June 2018

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Market Updates

The “New Norm” of Logistics, Downstream Effects on the Chemical Industry

The logistics industry is accustomed to seasonal tightness, as well as issues with specific lanes based on weather or laws that last up to a few months. Rather than typical tight conditions, the recent trends in the freight appear to be the “new normal”, with long-term downstream effects in store for the specialty chemical industry and beyond.

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U.S. & China Relations Improve, Tariffs Appear on Hold

In May, the Trump administration made meaningful actions to halt the looming trade war with China, leaning on both sides of the bargaining table to repair the relationship and proceed with the global economy in mind.

Both sides appear to have come to an agreement, with China agreeing to buy an undisclosed additional amount of U.S. goods in coming years.

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Introducing: The View from Jamestown Mobile App

The Chemical Company is committed to being more than a product and service provider. TCC strives to be one of your most valuable assets, by being a partner in all of your business operations.

As part of these continued efforts, we are proud to introduce our dedicated mobile application, “The View from Jamestown: Mobile App.”.

Pricing trends, market news and analysis, events and conferences, and much more is available through the app, along with additional features and capabilities in the months and years to come. Click the icon below to download.

Security of Supply | The Chemical Company

Security of Supply defines The TCC global strategy to ensure safety, and accountability as well as honest, long-term organic growth.

Our team includes a local technical sales staff based throughout the Americas, a dedicated EH&S team, our integrated logistics managers, vertically integrated producing partners, and committed high-quality customer expert team.

We monitor short-term trends and long-term opportunities, acting and investing when the market is right to bring the best value to our business partners and customers.

The View from Jamestown: Podcast Edition is our bi-weekly podcast series that includes content from The View, interviews with industry professionals and business partners, tradeshow previews, and much more.

Stream the June “View from Jamestown” podcast by clicking the image, or via the link below.

June 2018 The View from Jamestown Podcast The Chemical Company
The Chemical Company Weekly Market Update Benzene Ethylene Propylene PGP RGP Crude Natural Gas June 5, 2018

The Chemical Company produces weekly graphics with raw material market information and price changes. To follow along, follow TCC your platform of choice, including LinkedInFacebookInstagram & Twitter, and of course make sure you’re subscribed to The View.

Featured Product: June 2018

Mining Product Category

TCC is committed to continuous growth and expansion of our product portfolio, and the mining product category is our newest expansion.

Click the image or title above to view our expansive line of products for the mining industry. For specific product information and availability, contact product manager Javier Fernandez.

Old lamp in a mine


All products are subject to availability, which fluctuates daily. Most products are available from TCC with approximately a one-week lead time.

For more information, click the graphic of the product, or visit

Monthly Market Movers

Crude Oil: $64.75 / bbl
Natural Gas: $2.93 / bbl
DOW: 24,819
Nasdaq: 7,631

As of: 6/5/2018, Yahoo Finance (Approximate monthly changes)

Dollars & Cents

$1.00 USD =

.854 EUR
.747 GBP
109.756 JPY
12.397 MXN

As of: 6/5/2018,

American Coatings Show

Indianapolis, IN

TCC's Booth at NPE 2018

NPE 2018

Orlando, FL

The TCC team pursued a busy spring tradeshow schedule, attending the AFPM, American Coatings Show & NPE all in a matter of weeks.

We are proud to welcome all current and new business partners at each show, and are looking forward to following up in the coming weeks!

The Chemical Company’s tradeshow floor team at the 2018 American Coatings Show in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The View from Jamestown: Podcast Edition
Episode 006: The View, June 2018

Did you catch our Security of Supply campaign placement in the recent AFPM ICIS print magazine?
If not, click the graphic to learn more!

The Chemical Company is committed to giving back to our local community, and to the chemical industry as a whole. Our Love Chemistry campaign encompasses our fundraising and charitable efforts year after year. 

The “New Norm” of Logistics, Downstream Effects on the Chemical Industry

A variety of factors drives the specialty chemical market and chemical industry as a whole. Material availability, price fluctuations, geopolitical issues on a local and global scale and more, all contribute to cost changes, either for or against profitability. However, all potential hiccups to a production timeline are at the mercy of the transportation & logistics industry, one that accounts for 10 cents of every dollar in the U.S. economy (Donald Broughton / MSN).

The first half of 2018 saw unprecedented changes across the logistics industry. The average age of truck drivers continues to sit around the age of retirement, approximately 65 years old, an age that continues to skew older as ELD mandates are fully enacted, and today’s millennials choose not to enter the logistics marketplace. This tightness is clearly reflected in the rising cost of dry van trucking, raising the spot price from $1.41 in 2014 to $1.85 per mile in 2018 (MSN).

As of April 1, 2018, ELD Mandates proposed and enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) officially went into effect, meaning drivers found out of compliance may be ticketed, and placed out of service until their trucks comply. Acutely opposed to significant industry changes, many older drivers have chosen to retire or find other work rather than submit to a new way of working, an issue that continues to push drivers out of the market faster than they are coming in.

Unforeseen and unprecedented shortages of OTR (over-the-road) freight options has pushed capacity onto railroad transportation, a medium that saw 6.5% growth in March 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. While railroad may be a savior for particular products or transportation lanes, it is a slower mode of transport, and often requires much further advanced planning and processing, which some shippers aren’t able to provide.

Nearly all goods manufactured, produced and/or sold in the United States are aboard a truck or rail car at some point in their lifespans, whether as early-on raw materials or as last steps before reaching end consumers. In many situations, and especially in the specialty chemical market, goods are moved multiple times as they go from raw materials to usable pieces or portions of final, consumer-ready products.

No industry or product category is exempt from these assumptions, whether it is produce, children’s toys, technology, agricultural or farming product or quite literally, anything else one might see in a shopping mall, industry wholesaler, or grocery store.

A comment from Donald Broughton of Broughton Capital published in a recent report on MSN stated, “Logistics and transportation account for almost 10 cents of every dollar in the U.S. economy. If there is a 10 percent increase in transportation costs, that gives you a 1 percent increase in inflation for the broader economy. That’s real.”

The logistics market is accustomed to tightening and easing market conditions like weather, seasons, seasonal product demand, and available truckers fluctuate. The current major issues in today’s freight market, however, don’t appear to be tightening market conditions. The market seems to be entering the new norm of the logistics industry for what will likely be years to come.



U.S. and China Relations Improve, Tariffs on Hold

Trade relations between the US and China improved this weekend.

The Trump administration made meaningful actions to put the looming trade war with China on hold after Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said they would refrain from implementing significant tariffs on various Chinese goods.

In a joint statement on May 19, China agreed to purchase increased amounts of U.S. goods, including agriculture, energy, and manufactured goods. However, China has not formally released a quantitative figure committing to the amount they will purchase, and when.

The announcement comes after President Trump announced tariffs of $150 billion on Chinese goods, including an initial $50 billion set to take effect in the coming weeks. China retaliated with tariffs of an equal scale, all of which has been in stalemate and a state of uncertainty over the past month.

The U.S. – China trade deficit reached $337 billion last year, by far the largest of any country.

These announcements come through a mix of the joint statement, statements by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, and President Trump’s personal Twitter account.

President Trump is scheduled to meet with North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un in Singapore in early June, and the trade talks with China may be a precursor to assistance soliciting North Korea to give up their nuclear arsenal.

It is unforeseen and unpredictable what may happen with the U.S. and China trade relationship, and tariffs may likely not be entirely off the table. However, the recent news and announcements appear to be a sign toward deescalating potential trade war concerns and economic stability between nations.



The Chemical Company Crude Oil

Crude Oil Inventories & Price in 2018: High Prices, Immediate Impacts

In early January 2018, oil prices hit their highest levels in more than three years. “U.S. crude oil inventories are at their lowest level since August 2015. OPEC is getting closer to its target of reducing OECD industrial stocks to the five-year average,” says PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga.

The Chemical Company Crude Oil

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that crude inventories fell by almost 5 million barrels to 419.5 million barrels in the week of January 5, 2018. This drop is likely due to the extreme cold weather that stopped some onshore output in North America, which was expected to be short-lived. Production cuts led by OPEC and Russia that started in January 2017, and are set to continue throughout 2018, have underpinned charges. There is still downward pressure in the physical market, where the second and third largest OPEC producers have cut their prices to remain competitive.

The oil price decline that began mid-2014, when the price of oil was consistently over $110/bbl, has changed the fundamental economics of the global chemicals industry, and has brought about widespread uncertainty. Additional supply from North American shale oil and continued high production levels from OPEC are likely to make a slow but steady recovery.

Nonetheless, prices will need to recover over time to permit investment in production and exploration. Over the past ten years, oil prices have gone through at least two complete cycles, and more significant swings are likely to happen. During this time of ever-changing prices, setting short and mid-term plans will continue to be necessary.

Oil is one of the key ingredients in the manufacture of various chemicals and related products. Consequently, many chemical firms benefit from lower crude oil prices. However, companies using natural gas as opposed to oil for their feedstock do not enjoy those benefits, resulting in the cost of natural gas affecting chemical firms more than the price of oil in those cases.

Additionally, a substantial decline in crude oil prices would impact the market in other ways. It makes the economics of petroleum substitutes a great deal less attractive, including bio-based and battery chemicals. This issue is causing companies, from global powerhouses to niche firms, to reevaluate their strategies.




DINP Reproductive Toxicity Classification Rejected by ECHA

The European Chemicals Agency’s Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) has concluded that no classification is required for reproductive toxicity for DINP after a lengthy research and analysis period(1,2). The ECHA concluded that there is no required classification regarding issues surrounding fertility and/or development.

The debate surrounding DINP classification was originally submitted by Denmark in 2015(1), leading to a large-scale scientific and industry debate on the proposal and potential hazards of the material.

The 6-page ECHA news release annex, 369-page review report and article from the European Plasticizers trade association are available here and linked below.