China’s power shortages hit growth in the world’s second-biggest economy, threatening more pain for global supply chains, while Europe’s gas squeeze looked set to continue as Russia’s Gazprom showed no sign of hiking exports to the region in October.
Coal, oil and gas prices have all rocketed higher in recent weeks hammering utilities and consumers from Beijing to Brussels, raising inflationary pressures and putting at risk a global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Europe, which relies on Russia for 35% of its gas supplies, has seen its benchmark gas price rise more than 350% this year. As a result, a slew of European firms that supply gas or power to households and companies have folded.
The Czech Republic’s energy regulator took the exceptional step of asking suppliers to provide reassurances that they could supply energy to homes and companies, after another of the country’s electricity and gas groups halted supply.
A dozen or so suppliers have already gone bust in Britain.
In Asia, power provider Ohm Energy said it had exited the retail electricity market in Singapore, the third company to do so in recent weeks.
China, which needs coal to fire up about 60% of its power plants, has been grappling with a shortfall in supplies and surging prices for the most polluting of fossil fuels, leading to disruption in electricity supplies for factories and homes.
A global rebound from the depths of the pandemic-induced slump has left all fossil fuel suppliers struggling to keep pace.
European companies are among those feeling the pinch from the energy price surge, adding to other challenges that include a shortage of memory chips and a lack of shipping containers.
Supply chain volatility has intensified globally said and this headwind is expected to continue in the fourth quarter.
The strictest COVID -19 lockdown in China since the pandemic began has resulted in container goods sitting at Shanghai’s port for nearly two weeks.
New anti-counterfeit technology, called a cyber-physical watermark, leverages edible fluorescent silk to identify medications.
The global economy — already struggling with war in Ukraine and the stagflation risks it’s fanning — is bracing for greater disruption as China scrambles to contain its worst outbreak of Covid-19 since the pandemic began.
Oil prices surged past $100 (£74) a barrel to hit their highest level for more than seven years after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is already dealing a blow to financial markets and the worldwide economy. Global supply chains and growth had been broadly recovering from the pandemic, but now all that’s in doubt, given the stricter sanctions and other punitive measures against Russia that are in the offing.
Given the evolving on-ground situation and newer variant-led infections, the pandemic is far from over. In such a scenario, for businesses to stay relevant, we will need to be flexible and more adaptable to the changes that need to be embraced to keep core business growth drivers resilient.
As the chemical industry moves into 2022, strong demand for both commodity and specialty chemicals should keep prices robust throughout the year. The industry could face margin pressures amid raw material cost inflation, which will likely remain high through the first half of 2022.
Blackouts and power cuts in the world’s second-largest economy have drawn attention to fuel supply problems that could complicate the country’s pandemic recovery.
The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), an apex body of Indian export promotion organizations, has urged the government to provide freight support to all exports including pharmaceuticals till 31st March 2022, as freight rates have skyrocketed and are likely to somber by March 2022.