Volume 5 Issue 6
The United States Customs and Border Patrol agency has directed the nation’s ports to seize shipments of palm oil and palm oil derivatives from Sime Darby Planatation Bhd after concluding the Malaysia company uses forced labor. The January 28 finding came 13 months after the agency said that it was investigating the company. At that time Customs and Border Patrol told ports not to release Sime Darby shipments entering the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a long, large, global run-up in base oil prices, as well as profit margins, with the latter increasing anywhere from two- to five-fold by last summer. Since then, however, prices and margins have plateaued, and some market insiders predict the industry is headed back to pre-pandemic conditions, when a chronic surplus of capacity exerted downward pressure on prices and compressed margins.
Afton Chemical posted decreased operating profit for the fourth quarter and full year 2021 along with increased sales, while Valvoline saw an increase in sales and mixed results in operating income for its two segments for its fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31.
Passenger car registrations in Brazil declined in December but were higher for full year 2021, showing a slight recovery in spite of the ongoing global semiconductor shortage, according to data released by Brazil’s automobile manufacturers association. The country’s vehicle exports and production improved, as recovery continued from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts in 2020.