Novichok decontamination work in the area where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found poisoned and unconscious in Salisbury, UK. It outlaws the production, stockpiling or research on offensive lethal chemical weapons. Yet chemical weapons have recently featured in the news — such as the recent Novichok poisonings in the UK — and the convention is facing questions.
No comments It was a mixed year for the sector The chemical industry had been hoping that weak demand in the second half of would start to pick up towards the end of the year and then strengthen in the early months of Instead, the outlook suddenly became gloomier as forecasters predicted a much deeper slowdown lasting well into So the industry — at least in the mature markets of Europe, North America and Japan — may have to wait until the second half of for the expected revival in sales.
This will provide a platform for faster growth of 1. Chemical companies in the EU, North America and Japan have tended in recent years to rely on exports to the thriving markets of the emerging economies to boost sales.
But those have started to falter under the pressure of a febrile world economy. Some companies will surely continue to struggle next year. In August, it dropped to 8.
But it went up to Chemical exporters in Japan, for example, have been hit by lower sales in China. Western European chemical producers, which have been building up export businesses in neighbouring eastern Europe, have been suffering from feeble demand in this area.
Eastern European producers in the EU have in turn been hit by the poor sales in the eurozone. Chemicals output fell in Hungary and Slovakia and may even decrease this year in Poland, which was the only EU country not to go into a recession after the financial crisis.
In addition to floundering eastern European economies, multinational European chemical producers have also had to deal with ailing sales in southern EU countries — including Greece, Spain, Portugal and to a lesser extent Italy — which have been the biggest victims of the euro crisis.
As a result, German companies have been reducing their inventories rather than buying more chemicals. The VCI is expecting only a slow improvement in demand in the first half ofwith problems in the markets of some emerging economies starting to have an impact on German chemical exports.
But the slump in output has not been confined to the eurozone. In the three months to October, the year-on-year fall was 7. But it should then expand slightly in by 0. Strength in the US In the US, on the other hand, there are hopes that the chemicals sector will be bolstered in the short and medium term by the surging output of shale gas, which has driven down energy costs and produced a new source of relatively inexpensive feedstock.
Chemicals output softened in the last months of because of doubts caused by the deadlock in Congress over an agreement on tax rises and spending cuts — dubbed the fiscal cliff.
With the increased investment in projects, the ACC reckons that the increase in chemicals production could be as high as 2. With the help of low-cost shale gas, the US is poised to become a major force in exports of petrochemicals and other bulk chemicals not only in the emerging economies of the Asia Pacific, where it will take business away from Middle East producers, but also in mature markets like Europe.May 10, · The Bhopal disaster could have changed the nature of the chemical industry and caused a reexamination of the necessity to produce such potentially harmful products in the first place.
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