The Omicron virus is predicted to be a threat to the global chemical industry. First reported on 24 November 2021, it is expected that the emergence of this new variant will affect the chemical industry by disrupting the supply chain.

Ports Essential for the supply chain.

Ships Loading and Unloading Cargo in a Port

With the rise of the coronavirus, lockdowns, quarantine policies, and strict limitations on travel and cargo were implemented in various countries, such as China and the United States. These policies also caused human resources shortages due to work limitations or massive layoffs of personnel, such as port workers, truck drivers, and factory workers. According to CNBC, countries like China are expected to intensify these policies and add more strict checks on cargo ships entering their countries. Not only will this disrupt the shipping process, but it is also expected that shortages of raw manufacturing materials such as chemical products will persist.

Although the potential increase in limitations due to this new coronavirus is expected, it is also likely that there will be resistance to re-imposing these restrictions. Regardless, these difficulties might setback the supply chain for months, even years. Oxford Economics reports that although the health effects of Omicron and how it will affect the economy is still not apparent, it is expected that global GDP growth in 2022 will decrease from 5.7% to 4.3%.

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