China creates the world's largest chemicals group

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Two giant Chinese groups, ChemChina and Sinochem, are planning to merge next year, creating the world’s largest chemicals group. This follows ChemChina’s purchase of Swiss agrochemicals leader Syngenta, amid more consolidation of the global agrochemicals industry. David Oakley discusses the significance of these multi billion dollar deals with the FT's Don Weinland, Ralph Atkins and Arash Massoudi.

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AGA Regional Business Unit Northern Europe

Industrial gas is being used all over the world, all the time, day and night. Regardless of area - welding, cooling, heating, industrial cleaning or the lab analyses - gas is present. Industrial gases from AGA play a crucial part in metallurgical processes, in chemical industry, food industry, environmental protection, while manufacturing glass and electronics, construction, pharmaceutical industry and research and development.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Global polyolefins for the rest of 2021: supply to lengthen as demand muddle continues

Article | May 2, 2021

SOMEHOW, despite the still very serious container freight shortages that have limited imports, buying sentiment seems to have weakened in the European polyolefins market, according to my outstanding ICIS colleague, Linda Naylor.

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What's the Most Toxic Chemical?

Article | May 2, 2021

People say America doesn’t make things anymore. But what about toxic chemicals? We make so many of those, we throw half of them in rivers, for free. The problem is, it can be hard to get a handle on which of those chemicals are extremely toxic and which of them are merely somewhat toxic. If one or another shows up in a scan of your stomach, should you freak out or just be grateful it wasn’t something worse? For this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to a number of experts to find out what the most toxic chemical is.

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SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

More data show how far we still have to go to solve the climate and plastic waste crises

Article | May 2, 2021

SEE THE END section of this blog post for a dystopian version of our environmental future. In a follow-up post – which I will publish on Thursday, 1 July – I will offer some suggestions about how we can avoid an outcome that nobody of course wants.Both posts are meant to be provocative, challenging and controversial because only through debate, and sometimes outright argument, will we get to the answers. If you disagree after either or both posts have been published, great, that would be good. In fact, I would love to hear from you whatever your views at john.richardson@icis.com. The petrochemicals industry can do this; we can fix this if we create the right forums for ideas and then solutions. Let me provide the background first. Let me start by examining developments in the refinery industry and the implications for petrochemicals as important background. Then I will look at a sample of ICIS petrochemicals demand growth forecasts for 2020-2040. I will conclude by providing the bleakest of bleak outcomes for the world in 2025

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Petrochemicals markets complexity is only going to grow and grow

Article | May 2, 2021

NICE WORK, if you get can get it. A trucking company in Fort Worth, Texas, is offering to pay experienced drivers $14,000 a week – $728,000 a year – as the US struggles with a nationwide shortage of truckers or lorry drivers. This reminds me of perhaps an apocryphal tale, from the height of the last Australian mining boom. Before iron ore prices collapsed in late 2014, there was a story about workers at mining site road junctions who operated manual “Stop and Go” signs. They were said to be earning more than Australian dollar (A$) 200,000 a year. Before you pack in your job as, say, a petrochemicals sales manager and head to Texas or mine sites in Western Australia, there is the risk that when you arrive at the door of your new prospective employer, the bubble might have already burst. This is assuming we are in bubble conditions.The pressure is clearly building in petrochemicals and other commodity markets as prices in some regions remain at record highs or continue to rise. Today’s prices are the results of shortages of commodities supply (for example in petrochemicals, an outcome of the US winter storms), very strong demand and supply chain disruptions.I am beginning to believe that the latter is the biggest reason for commodity price inflation which is feeding through into sharp rises in the cost of finished goods – and a lack of goods availability. It is delivering and manufacturing enough stuff that seems to be at the heart of today’s problems due to shortages of everything from container freight space and semiconductors to wooden pallets, tin cans, metal drums, cardboard – and US truck drivers.

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Spotlight

AGA Regional Business Unit Northern Europe

Industrial gas is being used all over the world, all the time, day and night. Regardless of area - welding, cooling, heating, industrial cleaning or the lab analyses - gas is present. Industrial gases from AGA play a crucial part in metallurgical processes, in chemical industry, food industry, environmental protection, while manufacturing glass and electronics, construction, pharmaceutical industry and research and development.

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