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Liquid chemicals trade drops over 7% at Port of Antwerp

October 19/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Port of Antwerp says imports of liquid chemicals have fallen by 11.5% year on year (YOY) for the first nine months of 2020. Liquid chemical exports rose by 2.8% YOY over the same period, resulting in an overall decrease in liquid chemicals trade of 7.3% for the period to end-September, reported Chemweek.

Total liquid bulk volumes dropped by 5.7% compared to the first nine months of last year, although oil derivatives have started to pick up especially on the export side, which suffered greatly as a result of the reduced demand due to the corona crisis and the plunging oil price, it says. The dry bulk throughput of fertilizers declined by 4.5% YOY, it says.

Container volumes in September, however, rose to more than one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), the first time it has passed this level since April, according to Port of Antwerp. Larger volumes have been recorded since July in container handling, after reaching rock bottom in May and June, it says. In the third quarter, growth occurred mainly in container traffic to the Far East and within Europe, it notes.

Total throughput at the port decreased by 4.4% for the nine-month period compared to last year. The automotive sector also continues to feel the consequences of the crisis, it says. After rising volumes were seen in June and July, these decreased in August, with no clear recovery in September, it says. The total throughput of new vehicles at the port decreased by 30%, with that of second-hand vehicles falling by 23.7% for the first nine months of 2020, compared to last year.

The impact of the standstill of the global supply chain as a result of the corona crisis can still be felt, says Jacques Vandermeiren, Port of Antwerps CEO. The prospect of Brexit also leads to uncertainty in the market.

As MRC wrote before, on 15 October, The European Commissionadopted the EU's chemicals strategy for sustainability, describing it as the first step towards a zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment announced in the European Green Deal.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in August 2020 by 5% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals increased year on year by 5.3% in the first eight months of 2020, according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the January-July output. August production of benzene fell to 102,000 tonnes from 95,300 tonnes a month earlier due to scheduled shutdowns for maintenance at several producers. Overall output of this product reached 918,300 tonnes over the stated period, down by 0.9% year on year.

At the same time, August production of primary polymers rose to 888,000 tonnes against 838,000 tonnes in July due to increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim, Stavrolen and Gazprom neftekhim Salavat. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 6,630,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 15.2%  year on year.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PP, PS, PE, benzene, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Russia.
Category:General News
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