there is no ammonia and the Chinese sell at 30% less-

Chemistry on alert. Energy prices are skyrocketing and, consequently, also those of some raw materials such as ammonia. Which are now becoming unobtainable and in any case also increasingly expensive. The high costs are putting European companies out of the market: the costs charged by Asian (but also American) competitors are 30 to 50% lower.

Methylmethacrylate, that unobtainable plastic

Let’s take some examples. Let’s take methyl methacrylate, a plastic that resembles glass used in the automotive sector but also in construction (it is used to make shower stalls, for example). In Europe, 60% of producers are stopping. Same goes for the fertilizer factories, at Oci and Ozomures, Skw and Fertiberia. Ammonia companies are on their knees because the costs of the production process are 80% linked to gas. The Ferrarese plant of the multinational Yara has already stopped several times. But ammonia is a basic product in many chemical productions. Angelo Radici, president of the Radici group of Bergamo (3,000 employees, 1.5 billion turnover) says: In the area specialty chemicals we are working in fits and starts: we have shared these issues with customers and are proactively trying to address them. At our sites in Novara and Zeitz in Germany, ammonia is one of the key raw materials. But it is precisely on this material that there is very little availability in Europe. In general – adds Radici – in recent months the group has suffered the increase in energy and gas costs for the operation of its industrial processes and the increase in prices that our suppliers of raw materials have had to transfer in turn. So a double increase that is putting our productions in difficulty.

Competition also from the USA

Donatella Martini, responsible, clearly represents the situation in the sector procurement by Sir Industrial: We produce resins for paints and for building, resins to insulate metal. The prices of finished products are falling but the cost of gas is rising. What hurts the most is that our European raw material suppliers are going out of business due to gas costs. We prefer European petrochemicals but now Chinese and Americans are even 30% cheaper. And again: The market has started to slow down since June. Chinese demand was the first to slow down. Hence the Chinese suppliers of chemicals basically they got scared and flooded the market with cheap products. On returning from vacation, demand slowed sharply in Europe as well. The high alert level also in Coim, 1.4 billion in turnover, an Italian multinational with 1,400 employees worldwide, 500 of which in Italy: Old Chinese competitors who had disappeared from the market today offer prices 30-40% lower than ours . To note: at the moment we are producing at a loss, the products are only enough to cover the costs of raw materials and energy – ceo Giuseppe Librandi extends his arms -. Chinese and Asians are “stealing” the market from European ones without any effort because with their gas prices, selling at 30-40% less than ours means having high margins anyway. To understand, in the US gas costs one seventh compared to Europe and energy just under half. We will resist as much as possible, as a matter of ethics and responsibility. But not indefinitely.

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About Eric Wilson

The variety offered by video games never ceases to amaze him. He loves OutRun's drifting as well as the contemplative walks of Dear Esther. Immersing himself in other worlds is an incomparable feeling for him: he understood it by playing for the first time in Shenmue.

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