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ACC: US chemical volumes to slump

According to the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Mid-Year 2020 Chemical Industry Situation & Outlook, chemical volumes will contract by 9.3% this year, while shipments will decline by 13.5% on the back of a shrinking GDP and demand in key end use industries. Next year, they will grow by 12.3% and 14.5% respectively as the economy rebounds.

Syngenta Group launched

Syngenta Group, which describes itself as “a new global leader in agricultural science and innovation”, was formally launched on 18 June. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, it combines Syngenta itself, Israel’s Adama and the agricultural businesses of Sinochem, based in China.

The new entity has 15 production sites and 100 R&D sites, with 48,000 employees in more than 100 countries, turning over $23 billion in 2019. Erik Fyrwald, CEO of Syngenta, will remain as CEO of the group, with former Adama CEO Chen Lichtenstein as CFO. The group has four business units:

Syngenta Group launched

Syngenta Group, which describes itself as “a new global leader in agricultural science and innovation”, was formally launched on 18 June. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, it combines Syngenta itself, Israel’s Adama and the agricultural businesses of Sinochem, based in China.

The new entity has 15 production sites and 100 R&D sites, with 48,000 employees in more than 100 countries, turning over $23 billion in 2019. Erik Fyrwald, CEO of Syngenta, will remain as CEO of the group, with former Adama CEO Chen Lichtenstein as CFO. The group has four business units:

Feature article - Three ways the chemicals & materials industry can benefit from digital transformation

Dr Nina Kaun, product director, chemical industry solutions, at Elsevier, looks at how the Covid-19 pandemic could help to drive digitalisation

While many industries have taken advantage of technology developments in recent years, the chemicals and materials sector has been slower to digitalise. This attitude is now changing: 87% of chemicals and materials executives believe companies will ‘lose their edge’ or ‘face extinction’ unless they embrace digital transformation, including adopting more automation and applying artificial intelligence (AI) to some processes.

Feature article - How to start making hand sanitiser formula

Dr Russel Walters, freelance scientist at Kolabtree, shares his expertise on how to start manufacturing a hand sanitiser quickly, easily and compliantly

In order for a virus to infect a human host, the host needs to be exposed to a sufficient viral load, typically hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of viral particles. Hand sanitisers dramatically reduce the viral load on the skin and therefore can reduce infections or perhaps infection severity.

Change at the top for CDMOs

Two of the major global pharmaceutical CDMOs, Lonza and Alcami, have announced the appointments of new CEOs in early June. There have also been changes in senior positions at Corden Pharma and, imminently, at Cambrex.

Arkema continues speciality focus

Arkema has complete the sale of its Functional Polyolefins business to SK Global Chemical as previously announced. This is said to be in line with the company’s strategy of refocusing on speciality materials by 2024, as is another new deal with integrated agricultural company Nutrien in the US.

Functional Polyolefins was part of Arkema’s PMMA activity, making ethylene copolymers and terpolymers for the food packaging, cable, electronics and coatings markets. It had sales of about €250 million/year, an and 130 employees, all of whom will transfer to SK.

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