The fall in the production and consumption of soda ash (sodium carbonate) on the American market was precipitated by the declining demand in the consumer industries and exacerbated by the Covid crisis. The cut introduced in 2021 in terms of royalty rates for soda ash production to enable producers to reestablish competitive prices and regain their positions on the export markets.
Increasingly stringent environmental legislation and the emergence of new gigawatt-scale electrolyzers indicate that hydrogen fuel boasts the future potential to develop as a strong competitor to traditional energy resources.
Despite the decline in production of the downstream industries during the period of covid restrictions in the EU, the projected demand for acetone in Europe is to grow steadily over the next 5 years. Even in the face of stricter environmental requirements, acetone remains one of the safest solvents, that could be obtained from renewable sources of raw materials.
Increasing demand for PET packaging and urgent need for eco-friendly refrigerants to become the main drivers of the ethylene glycol market growth.
Global polyethylene production is set to grow rapidly due to the launch of new capacities in Asia. The construction of new plants for the processing of recycled polyethylene becomes urgent. The shutdowns of the U.S. plants affected by the storm and increased freight rates led to higher polyethylene costs on the stock exchanges.
The negative impact of the COVID crisis on the PVC market is offset by growing demand in the Asian construction industry and the global packaging market.
The pandemic shifted the demand for soap and detergents. Amid the increased market competition and increased environmental concerns, soap manufacturers expand eco-friendly product lines. These shifts are to persist in the medium-to-long term even when the pandemic starts to wane.
The use of ethanol as a fuel additive became unprofitable in 2020, which threatens countries' plans to switch to environmentally friendly fuels, but the demand for alcohol-based disinfectants increased significantly.
The U.S. paint and coating market was seriously hurt by the pandemic, with the drop in demand observed for all types of paints. From the second half of 2020, growing suburban construction promotes a revival of the industry. China currently features as a key export market. However, India's government-driven residential construction plan could make the country an attractive destination for American exporters.