The current energy crisis has reached an unsustainable level for the European chemical industry. For the first time ever, the EU imports more chemicals than it exports, both in volume and value, resulting in a trade deficit of € 5.6 bn for the first half of 2022.
This same energy crisis is making a dent in the competitiveness of the chemical industry, which is one of the most energy intensive in Europe, having to compete on the global market with players from regions with more favourable energy prices.
The EU chemical sector supplies virtually all other value chains, including food, healthcare, construction and transport, and any disruptions it undergoes endanger the EU’s aim to be strategically autonomous.
European companies have been hit hard by Russia’s continued curtailment of natural gas flows. The International Energy Agency’s latest quarterly Gas Market Report shows Russian gas supplies to Europe have declined by 50% since the beginning of the year, which has pushed international prices to new highs.
The IEA expects market tightness to continue well into 2023 and could well get worse.
It may take 2-5 years before internationalisation of gas prices will get to the point where Europe is genuinely competitive on energy prices.
Energy costs are six to seven times higher in Europe compared to the US, and this is severely impacting European competitiveness.
It is predicted that the US chemicals industry will likely attract investment from European-based global players, and possibly from Asia as well, thanks to relatively low energy costs and aggressive tax incentives. The European chemicals industry will lose ground, in particular, if there is no political willingness to increase energy supply from European resources.
In the second half of 2022, China unveiled the details of its data export regulations, providing further explanations to its existing laws and regulations on data.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (also referred to as hormone disruptors or EDCs) are synthetic chemicals that are not produced by the human body and that disrupt the normal functioning of humans and animals.
The shipping industry is now returning to normality and is in a downward spiral. The cost of shipping goods from China has slumped to the lowest level in more than two years as the world economy stumbles, dimming prospects for container carriers that turned in record profits during the pandemic.
No precipitous plunge in container shipping rates, just ‘orderly’ decline.
The global food and beverage market size is expected to grow from $5.8 trillion in 2021 to $6.4 trillion in 2022 at a growth rate of 9.7%. The food and beverage market size is expected to grow to $8.9 trillion in 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 8.7%.
The amendment makes QR codes mandatory on every active pharmaceutical ingredient. The Amendment Rules will come into force from January 01, 2023.
On June 22, 2022, the Commission adopted pioneering proposals to restore damaged ecosystems and bring nature back across Europe, from agricultural land and seas, to forests and urban environments. The Commission also proposes to reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030.
According to New York Times, in a small clinical trial, 18 patients took a drug called Dostarlimab for around six months, and in the end, every one of them saw their tumours disappear.
As the war in Ukraine and pandemic disruptions continue to wreak havoc on supply chains, stagflation is here to stay – marked by low growth and high inflation for at least the next 12 months.
The pandemic as well as the war in Ukraine have stifled supply of commodities and goods and upended efficient distribution through global supply chains, forcing up prices of everyday goods such as fuel and food.