August 2020

Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing price index up

Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing industries producer price index (PPI) increased by 1.9 per cent from 76.3 per cent in the first quarter, to 77.7 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, according to figures by Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (Scad).

The latest PPI covers the manufacturing sector and its design is based on the main list of products of the industrial manufacturing activities in the International Standard Industrial Classification-revision 4, ISIC4, which covers all manufacturing economic activities. According to Scad, the PPI in the first quarter however fell by 0.5 per cent when compared to the same period in 2019, down from 78.2 per cent to 77.7 per cent this year.

Comparing the figures of the first quarter of 2020 with the fourth quarter 2019, the activity of ‘Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products’ for which prices increased by 5.4 per cent, contributed 80.8 per cent to the overall change. In addition, the activity ‘Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products’ contributed 15.1 per cent to the overall change, for which prices increased by 2.7 per cent, said the Scad report.

Prices of the ‘Manufacture of electrical equipment’ group decreased by 6.5 per cent during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, and contributed 15.1 per cent in reducing the overall increase, it added.


71pc of WTO trade measures impacted by Covid-19

Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) implemented 363 new trade and trade-related measures between October 2019 and May 2020, with 256 of the measures (about 71 per cent) linked to the pandemic.

Of the total number of new measures, 198 were trade-facilitating and 165 trade-restrictive.

“The report makes clear that a substantial share of world trade continues to be affected by new and accumulated import-restrictive measures, which is cause for concern at a time when economies will need trade to rebuild from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis,” said Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, who presented the report to WTO members.

The report notes that 56 new trade-restrictive measures not related to the pandemic were implemented between mid-October 2019 and mid-May 2020 - mainly tariff increases, import bans, exports duties and stricter exports customs procedures. The new import restrictions covered traded merchandise worth an estimated $ 423.1 billion, the third-highest value since October 2012. WTO estimates indicate that the cumulative trade coverage of import-restrictive measures implemented since 2009, and still in force, amounts to $1.7 trillion or 8.7 per cent of world imports. This figure has grown steadily since 2009, both in value terms and as a percentage of world imports.


Global ammonia industry shows signs of resilience

The global demand growth of ammonia is expected to remain sluggish between 2020 and 2030 due to a Covid-19 led reduction in economic activities in addition to flattening population growth, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Despite the severity of the impact of the pandemic, the top ammonia producers are likely to march ahead with their upcoming ammonia projects. The top ten countries are expected to contribute a total of 46.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), of which the top four account for more than two thirds of the capacity or 33.2 mtpa. India and Iran lead with 9.2 mtpa and 8.7 mtpa, respectively. Global ammonia projects currently under the initial stages of development could face startup delays due to increased certainty regarding phasing and completion timelines, but it depends largely on the duration and severity of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Dayanand Kharade, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The pandemic has seen mixed reactions from major ammonia producers, with only a few companies announcing capex cuts for the current year, as an immediate and proactive measure. Companies aim to dynamically optimise production and plan their investments in order to maintain long term competitiveness and growth.”

Yara International, a Norwegian chemical company whose largest business area is the production of nitrogen fertiliser, remains committed to investments. However, the company has stated that optimisation due to Covid-19 may postpone some spending. Producers continue to evaluate their capital structure to identify further cost-effective investment opportunities.


Oilfield chemicals market ‘to hit $32bn by 2027’

The global oilfield chemicals market, which was worth $19.74 billion in 2019, is expected to reach $32.18 billion by 2027 growing at a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period, said a Stratistics MRC report.

Growth in oil exploration and production activities and the emergence of eco-friendly oilfield chemicals are the major factors propelling market growth. However, crude oil price fluctuations and an increase in environmental concerns are hampering the market growth, the report said.

By geography, North America is going to have a lucrative growth during the forecast period owing to the growth in oil gas activities with the advancement in hydraulic fracturing and drilling processes. Moreover, technological advancement and the rise in drilling activities are expected to increase the demand for oilfield chemicals shortly.

Some of the key players profiled in the oilfield chemicals market include Baker Hughes, Schlumberger Limited, Halliburton, Solvay, Ecolab, Newpark Resources, BASF SE, Lubrizol Corporation, Akzonobel NV, Albemarle Corp, E I Dupont, Clariant AG, and Stepan Company.


Abu Dhabi non-oil foreign trade hits $21.84bn

The value of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil foreign trade reached AED80.23 billion ($21.84 billion) during the first five months of 2020, the Abu Dhabi Customs has announced.

Exports value reached AED23.20 billion ($6.32 billion) and the re-export value hit AED14.79 billion, while imports amounted to AED42.24 billion. Saudi Arabia remained the top trading country with Abu Dhabi during the period with the trade reaching AED17.91 billion.

Pearl, precious stones, precious metals, and their manufactures topped the list of most exported non-oil goods with a value of AED6.27 billion during the first five months of this year, followed by common metals and their manufacture with a value of AED5.92 billion. Transportation equipment was first on the re-export list with a value of AED5.59 billion, while machines, recording devices, and audio and visual broadcasting equipment topped the import list at AED9.65 billion.

Saeed Saad Al Qahtani, Head of Khalifa Port Custom Centre, in his statements to Emirates News Agency (Wam) said Khalifa Port Custom Centre had witnessed a growth in standard containers entry by about seven percent during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.  

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