Covid-19 Has Had A Huge Impact On Many Chemical Products Industries

Use our series of data assets to evaluate how the chemical products industry responds to covid-19 and other major events.

In 2019, the total trade volume of organic chemical products is 846 billion US dollars, which is about 10% lower than that in 2018. 2019 is a turbulent year, China's economic growth slows down, and the Sino US trade war has a significant impact on Global trade. China, the United States and Germany are still the three major chemical giants, occupying a dominant position in the import and export activities of their respective regions, with 12% in China, 11% in the United States and 8% in Germany.

Covid-19 has obviously had a huge impact on Global trade in many industries. Globally, it will be the most influential event since World War II. Real world GDP is expected to fall by 6.0% by 2020 - the biggest decline since the 1940s. Weak global demand, supply chain disruption, lower consumer spending, and less tourism have all led to a sharp decline in trade and GDP. The record low oil price in 2020 will undoubtedly have an impact on the chemical and petrochemical industries. As a result of the blockade, the demand for fuel has decreased, resulting in a reduction in the production of many chemicals, which can usually only be produced through cooperative production processes. Compared with 2019, the overall trade of organic chemical products has decreased by nearly 10% on average so far this year.

Using our AIS tracking and integrated port data, we can identify port calls on a global basis. We can limit it to the types of ships such as chemical carriers, so as to understand the quantity of global transportation. Looking at the global port calls of chemical tankers, we can see a decline in activity from April to June and a slight increase in July - which has a lot to do with what we expect based on the blockade activity. Looking at China, we can see that when China was under blockade in February, it dropped by 6%. Then we see the recovery from March to July. It is also related to the reduction of blockades and the normalization of trade and demand.

Looking at the United States, we see a much more intense situation. Compared with the level in 2019, it dropped by 33% in April, and the situation was even worse in July, with a 50% reduction in tank cars. We can use our trade data to see the number of goods arriving in the United States and then entering the United States. So far, the situation in 2020 is like a roller coaster. There are a lot of high points in 2020, and a surprising low point after the 14th week (the end of March). After the blockade, the quantity and shipment began to decline. We can also calculate the transportation efficiency, that is, to see the tonnage of each shipment compared with the average level. With the coming of 2020, shipping efficiency is getting higher and higher. There is no doubt that with the decline of quantity and shipment, people pay more and more attention to improving the transportation efficiency to reduce the cost, so as to increase the quantity of each batch of goods, although these shipments are only a small part of the "normal" look.

Ethylene is one of the largest petrochemical products in the world. In addition, due to its size and wide range of uses, ethylene is often used as a benchmark for the performance of the petrochemical industry. Ethylene demand is mainly driven by the growth of polyethylene based consumer goods; bottle and packaging requirements; and increasing requirements for PVC in construction and pipeline applications. The trade in refrigerated liquids often makes long-distance transportation prohibitive. As a result, most ethylene is either transported through direct pipelines or used for regional trade.