Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chemical and Material Shortage Alerts – November 2013

The purpose of this blog is to identify chemical and material shortages reported on the Internet.  The sources of the information reported here are primarily news releases issued on the Internet.  The issue period of the news releases is from the middle of October 2013 to the middle of November 2013.

Section I below lists those chemicals and materials that were on previous Chemical and Material Shortage Alerts lists and continue to have news releases indicating they are in short supply. Click here to read the October 2013 Chemical and Material Shortage Alerts list.

Section II lists the new chemicals and materials (not on the October list).  Also provided is some explanation for the shortage and, when appropriate, geographical information.  The blog attempts to list only actual shortages situations – shortages are being experienced currently as of the news release.   Chemicals and materials identified in news releases as only being in danger of being in short supply status are not listed.

Section I.   Chemicals and materials that continue from October to be reported as in short supply are: aluminum scrap; coal (coke); palladium; styrene; and urea.  See the October list (click here) for explanations for the shortages and for geographical information.

Section II.   Shortages Reported in November Not Found on the Previous Month’s List

Copra (Coconut Oil).  Reports from India and Sri Lanka indicate a shortage of coconut oil due to lower production levels of copra (obtained from coconuts).

Natural Gas (China).  Natural gas shortages are being reported in China.  Apparently a main reason is the government’s requirements on reducing the use of coal.  This is increasing natural gas demand as a replacement for coal, outstripping internal natural gas supplies.

Platinum.   Platinum has reached global shortage levels not seen in several years, with demand exceeding supply.   Increased demand from the chemical, electrical, and glass industries apparently account for the imbalance.

Timber.  Insufficient timber supplies are being reported in the United Kingdom and the United States.  In the Untied Kingdom, a reason reported is increased government regulations, e.g. requiring local timber use.   In the Untied States, timber production has recently been less than demand.

Reasons for Section II shortages can be broadly categorized as: 

1.  Mining not keeping up with demand: platinum.
2.  Production not keeping up with demand: copra; timber – US.
3.  Government regulations: timber – UK; natural gas – China.

4.  Sources no longer available: none.

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