Golden Week in China

Golden Week in China

China expects a huge tourism rebound in domestic travels during the upcoming October holiday. Starting October 1st with Chinas National Day, online travel platform trip.com estimates that 600 million trips could be made until end of the festival on 8th October (782 million trips last year).

Traveling to other countries is almost no option these days. Not only strict entry policies in other countries but also mandatory 14 days quarantine in a designated hotel upon return to China forces citizens to travel only nationwide this year. Domestic travel bans have been lifted, but there are still some restrictions. Schools in Beijing and Shanghai for example have asked parents and students not to go away for the holidays unless strictly necessary.

USD – EUR Exchange Rate Development

USD – EUR Exchange Rate Development

Over the past year the EUR USD exchange rate was quite stable at around 1.10 with ups and downs to 1.12 or 1.08. Since June however, the EUR steadily gained against the USD and reached a two-year high of 1.1965 this Tuesday.

On the one hand the Euro is getting stronger, mainly because the European economy seems to find a better way out of the Covid crisis. On the other hand the USD faces losses against almost every currency recently. Since beginning of July it dropped 6.4% against Swedish Krona, 2.5% against the Japanese Yen and even against emerging market currencies such as the Brazilian Real or the Mexican Peso it fell 6.0 and 4.9%.

In case the United States will struggle to contain the pandemic in near future, financial experts predict that the EUR further gains against the USD, going beyond the psychological mark of 1.20 very soon.

Summer Break

Summer Break

Every year around this time we feel business activities going down. Some clients shutdown completely for several weeks, others just go on holidays individually. This year it seems even quieter because of COVID. Some of our colleagues are taking annual leave, but most of them stay home or at least don’t fly to other countries.

Why don’t use the time and saved money to renovate your house or garden? That’s what many people are doing these days. Do-it-yourself chains like Hornbach or OBI report sales records in the last months. Number of swimming pools sold are on a record high in many European countries.

If you can’t go on holiday to your favorite country, why not investing in your house or apartment to make life at home more enjoyable.

Photo: Petrex GmbH garden

Petrex Code of Conduct

Petrex Code of Conduct

Petrex code of conduct is a set of rules which is written to protect our business and inform customers, suppliers and employees about the company’s expectations.
A well-designed code of conduct is a foundation for an effective ethics and compliance program. It should foster a dialogue among employees and business partners concerning the company’s code and its culture.

You will find our Code of Conduct in the Imprint section on our website or here

UK will leave ECHA REACh

UK will leave ECHA REACh

UK Minister Rebecca Pow confirmed earlier this month that the United Kingdom will end the participation in REACh, the central system of the European Union to regulate and improve the protection of human health and environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals.

The UK will activate its independent REACh regime from 1 January 2021 when the Brexit transition period ends. According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) the chemical sector is amongst the industries that benefits the least from the Brexit scenario. Main reason is the fact that the chemical industry is already heavily regulated and 60% of the chemical exports in the UK are going into the EU. Leaving the ECHA REACh and starting an independent REACh system means more complexity and work on documentation and regulation for all players participating in the supply chain of UK chemicals.

Petrex will monitor regulative changes closely and do everything possible to assure a reliable delivery performance to our UK business partners according to applicable regulations like in the past.

In case you would like to learn more about REACh topics, please do not hesitate to contact us.

China: Environmental policies to protect the Yangtze River

China: Environmental policies to protect the Yangtze River

In 2018, President Xi Jinping visited Hunan province to check on environmental protection measures. Decades of industrial development had a bad influence on the water quality of the world’s third-longest river. The Yangtze River is the main source of drinking water for nearly 400 million people. To recover the water quality and nearby nature, more than 1600 companies from different industries with insufficient waste water treatment have been closed since 2018. Until end of 2020, all remaining companies located within 1 km distance to the river have to prepare an environmental report. However, there are still around 400.000 small companies located in that area. The “greening” of the industry is a tough battle for the Chinese government, as those 400.000 companies make up 46% of the total chemical industry in China. The main goal now is to relocate factories to chemical parks where environmental protective measures can be better controlled.

Spring has arrived!

Spring has arrived!

Despite the challenging period we are currently in with the Covid crisis, the weather is wonderful. And in most European countries people are still allowed to leave the house for exercising. Our employees use the late afternoons for a run, cycling trip or a walk through the forest. Since there is no vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 yet, maintaining a strong immune system increases your chances of developing only mild symptoms if you happed to contract the virus. So if your local regulations allow, we strongly recommend to exercise outside. It is not just good for your immune system, but also provides mental stability.

Such a crisis breaks routines. A forced slow down, a new way of working, the joy of an empty schedule, all this is a great opportunity to be more mindful and reflect where we are stuck in a rut, come up with new ideas and start powerful into the next chapter.

“Home Office” and “Team Work”

“Home Office” and “Team Work”

Currently there are barely any physical meetings being held in companies around the globe due to the corona virus. But how can you still work on projects in a team if you are forced to do home office?

The answer is modern software like Webex, Microsoft Teams or others. Nowadays you cannot just hold conference calls but even see your colleague or business partner on the screen. However, it still remains challenging to communicate effectively with people who work in another location.

The key to a successful video conference is having a host who leads through the call in a structured way. Before starting the conference, he should send out an agenda and announce the goal of the call. When starting the conference, like in a physical meeting everyone should introduce themselves in case they are not familiar. If technology allows, the host might share his screen to all participants and lead through the agenda or show important slides or figures during the conference. He should always keep the goal in mind and as when nearing the end of a call summarize what the group has accomplished, relate it to the goal and propose next steps.

You might receive an invitation for a video conference in the next weeks. And if it’s perfectly structured, everyone can join immediately, webcam and voice works without problems, we would call that “unusual”.

The effect of measures against Covid-19 on the supply chain

The effect of measures against Covid-19 on the supply chain

The governments of most countries around the world implemented lockdown policies to slowdown the spread of Covid-19. While some European countries like Italy and Spain are already struggling to keep their health system running, developing countries like India or many African countries are aware of their rather weak healthcare system and therefore start implementing protective measures at an early stage.

India, with just 500 confirmed cases so far, implemented travel, work and movement restrictions in all big cities across the country. Most of the factories, shops and even public transportation have been shut down until March 31 at least. If those policies are being continued in April, we expect huge supply shortages all around the world.

Although many European countries are already impacted heavily by the virus, the supply situation of feedstock is still okay for most industries. All main European ports are operating. With most Chinese suppliers working as usual again, the lead time of goods from Asia is currently up to 40 days (usually 30) due to delays at European ports of discharge. Onward trucking across European countries is possible but often subject to heavy delays at borders.

Petrex will keep monitoring and analysing the consequences for our suppliers and customers. Please keep in mind, public health is the basis for success and satisfaction!

Business travel in times of Covid-19

Business travel in times of Covid-19

Global players like Amazon, Nestle, L’Oreal and many other companies are trying to keep their employees healthy by banning business trips. While some companies still allow essential trips or domestic travels, other companies like Twitter go even further and ask their employees to work from home. With the increasing number of infections in Europe, our clients as well as our own team cancelled meetings and hesitate to plan future business trips.

While companies from different industries suffer from restrictions to fight the virus, the travel industry is especially affected. According to the Global Business Travel Association, business travelers account for around 26% of total travel spending (1.5 trillion USD). Ford Motor Co.’s CEO Jim Hackett asked their nearly 200.000 employees last week to meet with business partners only by phone or virtually.

Usually we feel that personal contact is the best way to do business. However, we see a chance in the current circumstances to arrange more video conferences instead of business trips in general. In case you are interested in arranging virtual meetings please contact our team directly.