How is the Coronavirus affecting chemical markets


Coronavirus takes its toll on chemical markets

As you’re reading this, chemical markets across the globe are reeling from the threat of the coronavirus outbreak. While many of us may never have previously heard of Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, the virus has very much put the city on the map. In this article we address how coronavirus is affecting chemical markets.

COVID-19 continues to strengthen its grip and is dominating the news headlines. It is clearly having a marked effect on the petrochemical sector – affecting both how we source material and meet with peers, colleagues and friends. Production has been affected, deliveries disrupted, and events and conferences cancelled.

Producers, distributors, traders and pretty much everyone throughout the supply chain are having to adapt their working practices and reassess how they operate on a day-to-day basis.

How can technology help in this difficult trading environment?

Demand, output and growth rates are being impacted, while it is becoming increasingly difficult to anticipate how certain markets will perform in the coming months, let alone the rest of the year. ICIS has published some key changes in the chemical markets.

We all know that uncertainty is not conducive to a successful chemical business – but what can we do to mitigate the impact?

Ensuring you can operate as effectively as possible in this difficult trading environment is essential. Moving forward, we believe technology will become an even more important tool to help manage the situation and overcome these hurdles.
Studies show that even before this virus took hold, digital technologies were a proven way of boosting sales and productivity. Now, with travel restrictions in place and the added difficulties sourcing material, digital solutions have never been more important.

Is it time to implement an e-commerce platform?

Whereas in the past, our operations may have been crippled by not being able to get out of the office to meet customers, that’s not quite the case with the advent of digitalisation and ecommerce. And think of those occasions where you’ve been short of material and were scrambling around to find a few tonnes of product, frantically calling everyone in your database… now it is possible to go online and safely search for chemicals, find the right grade and quantities, place an order, and track everything without ever leaving your desk.
Remember, your customers are under pressure and still need product. Ecommerce allows them to buy it – quickly, simply, safely and without having to travel or meet them face to face.

Our industry is resilient – and when tried and tested ways of working are under pressure, we always adapt and innovate. Making use of these new tools and technologies can help us navigate even the most difficult and testing of times.

If you would like to learn how digitalisation and ecommerce can help improve your customers’ experience and provide an alternative sales channel, get in touch with our team to find out how Impratech can help.

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