Ongoing heavy smog causes transportation issues in China
Players operating in the petrochemical markets report that the smog is causing transportation problems. A trader stated, “The foggy weather causes delays in transportation and players in the southern parts of the country are receiving less cargoes from the north nowadays. However, these delays have a minor impact on the market which is already muted amidst weak demand ahead of the approaching Chinese New Year holidays.”
The Ministry of Environmental Protection reported that in 186 cities in China, pollution was at medium or high levels last Tuesday. 25 cities have issued red alerts and 62 cities have issued health alerts so far, the reports revealed, in addition to many flights which had to be cancelled due to the dangerous conditions of air.
In mid-December, Beijing municipal government had ordered 1,200 factories to close or curb their output. It had also said that more than 700 plants in the city which were likely to pollute the air were shut down and 500 more were asked to curb their production as part of the plan to reduce severe air pollution. Beijing Jingmei Chemical Industry Co. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp were among the factories to curb their production.
The officials said on Tuesday that the current situation could remain until January 7 and accordingly, 20 cities extended their orange alerts, indicating the second highest level.
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