As we bid goodbye to what was one of the most challenging years in recent history, we look back on the most read pieces in 2020 which aimed to provide insight into the implications from the coronavirus pandemic, the changes in the chemicals market landscape as well as the economy. Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 dominated the headlines in the last 12 months, with petrochemical leaders across the region and globally seeking to gain more clarity into the ongoing impact from the pandemic on their supply chains, petrochemical and feedstock prices, workforce, and production as well as chemical markets abroad. In this compilation of the ‘Top, most read pieces in 2020’, we present you with the 10 most visited articles on the GPCA website over the last 12 months and a summary of their contents.

#10 Covid-19’s impact on chemical supply chains: How to emerge stronger

By Arun Bruce, Managing Director and Partner; Benjamin Wahl, Principal; and Mayank Saxena, Project Leader, Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

In a poll conducted as part of the recent BCG-GPCA webinar, over 96% of respondents indicated that they had experienced some delay in procuring items, with over 35% reporting a considerable impact on production as a result of such delays.

#9 Top 10 digital innovations to disrupt the chemical industry

By Aditya Krishnan, Research Analyst, Frost & Sullivan

As with all other industries, digital technologies are being rapidly implemented in the global chemical industry. In this piece, we look at the top 10 digital innovations which are poised to disrupt the chemical landscape in the coming years.

#8 A collaborative model for generating sustainable growth

By Saori Dubourg, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF

Saori Dubourg, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF, provides a new perspective for making investment decisions and optimizing system value.

#7 Commodity markets in a post COVID-19 world

By John Baffes, Senior Economist, Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment, World Bank

Almost all commodity prices experienced a sharp decline since January 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened.

#6 IMO 2020: It wasn’t supposed to be like this

By David Fyfe, Chief Economist, Argus

January 2020 saw the introduction of tighter marine bunker fuel sulphur specifi­cations overseen by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Current market disruptions mean enforcement may be very different from what was originally imagined.

#5 Crude oil-to-chemicals: a gamechanger for the chemical industry

GPCA analysis

Because of its sheer scale and the volume of products that can potentially be produced, crude oil-to-chemicals (COTC) technology could be one of the most important trends ever to impact the global chemical industry.

#4 Crude oil crash flattens global ethylene cost curve

By James Wilson, Jonathan Scelle and Ciarán Healy, ICIS Analytics

Exclusive analysis on interim results from new modelling shows how the previous ethane cost advantage has disappeared with falling oil and naphtha prices.

#3 Impact of COVID-19 on the specialty chemicals industry

GPCA analysis

Specialty chemicals play an important role in maintaining public health and safety and national security. How is COVID-19 impacting the specialty chemicals segment, what are the recovery recommendations, and what are the lessons for the GCC specialty chemicals industry?

#2 The impact of COVID-19 on GCC petrochemicals exports

By John Richardson, Senior Consultant, Asia, ICIS

The coronavirus crisis means that global growth across most if not all petrochemicals will be negative in 2020 over 2019.

#1 COVID-19’s impact on the petrochemical industry

By Mirko Rubeis, Managing Director and Partner, BCG, and Marcin Jedrzejewski, Managing Director and Partner, BCG

The pandemic is expected to lead to a full-year volume demand drop of up to 10% on average, depending on application markets.