Texas Freeze Leads to Plastics Crisis

Guest “I couldn’t make this sort of schist up, if I was trying” by David Middleton

Texas Freeze Triggers Global Plastics Shortage
Numerous chemical plants were shut down as state lost power last month, disrupting a global supply chain for consumer goods

By Christopher M. Matthews , Austen Hufford and Collin Eaton
Updated March 17, 2021 9:28 am ET

The February freeze that triggered mass blackouts in Texas led to chemical plant shutdowns that are disrupting global supply chains, causing a shortage of the raw materials needed for everything from medical face shields to smartphones.

The power outages brought the world’s largest petrochemical complex to a standstill, forcing more plants in the Gulf of Mexico region to shut down than during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. A month later, many remain offline, and analysts said it could be months more before all are fully back.

[…]

Wall Street Journal

Who would have guessed that we needed fossil fuels to make “everything from medical face shields to smartphones”?

Weekly Resin Report: Supply Shortages and Soaring Prices Put Processors on Edge

Prices continued to climb, sometimes twice per day, and by the end of the week, average spot polyethylene prices had tacked on $0.10/lb, while polypropylene shot up another $0.12/lb.
PlasticsToday Staff | Mar 02, 2021

The resin market’s wild ride got even hairier last week. Supply shortages intensified, prices rose, and processors flocked to the spot market, scooping up every reasonable offer. After those were gone, they proceeded to grab the unreasonably priced offers, too. Not surprisingly, market prices continued to climb, sometimes twice per day, and by the close of business on Feb. 26, average spot polyethylene (PE) prices had tacked on $0.10/lb, while polypropylene (PP) shot up another $0.12/lb, reports the PlasticsExchange in its Market Update. Though some processors fell off, not willing to chase material in this seemingly ever-rising market, a steady stream of demand persisted along with sometimes strong surges. Some buyers became more liberal with requirements, as crises demand creativity — many have expanded their typical technical specifications and packaging requirements to accommodate available material until better market conditions eventually return.

Resin production meets a perfect storm.

It has been two weeks since a massive winter storm struck the Houston area, knocking out power and shutting down the entire petrochemical-producing region, including some 80 to 85% of US PE and PP production. Resin supplies were already reeling from a series of other disruptions that have plagued the industry for the past six months, notes the PlasticsExchange, so the market was in no condition for another wallop. 

[…]

Read the full Market Update on the PlasticsExchange website.

PlasticsToday

This is just fracking hilarious…

CAREER NEWS 09 MARCH 2021
‘Does anyone have any of these?’: Lab-supply shortages strike amid global pandemic
Scientific labs worldwide struggle to find enough sterile gloves and other basics as supply and manufacturing chains break down.

Chris Woolston

Scientists around the world are scrambling to secure basic supplies in the wake of the COVID‑19 pandemic, which has increased demand for testing materials while disrupting manufacturing and distribution channels.

[…]

Nature

The buffoons (Nature) most desperately wanting to kill fossil fuels are now in full panic mode due to the plastics crisis.

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March 18, 2021 at 12:32PM

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