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Hurricane Beryl Plows Through the Gulf

Hurricane Beryl made landfall on the Southeast coast of Texas in the early morning on Monday and in its path included a 250 mile stretch of major petrochemical complexes and resin reactors from Corpus Christi to Baytown.

Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) had already been facing upward price movement through the end of June. PP and PE production disruptions including repair or maintenance delays due to Beryl will likely continue to provide further price support in the short-to-mid term.

Despite the storm's mild nature compared with past weather related disasters, concerns have been raised at petrochemical facilities and refineries which could get damaged by dangerously high winds, rain and storm surges.

Lyondell Bassell (LBI) preventatively shut down 3 reactor sites at Matagorda, Victoria & Chocolate Bayou, sources said. Formosa Plastics Company (FPC) issued a press release that it shut down operations at its Point Comfort reactor site as a precautionary measure. Although unconfirmed, market sources also said Dow's Freeport site likely performed preventative actions. Plant restarts can be problematic, and repairs needed following this storm remain largely unknown.

Houston area resin warehouses began notifying customers Sunday evening that they would close ahead of the storm. One warehouse reported lost power and was considering how they might resume logistics if power is not restored overnight. Other warehouse facilities are expected to resume operations by Tuesday.

The Port of Houston also closed temporarily limiting incoming cargoes to refineries while also delaying North American PP imports and PE exports.

To add, more than 1 million customers in Texas were still without power late Monday afternoon from as far south as Jackson county to the northeast corner of the state in Marion county. Houston's dominant electric provider, CenterPoint Energy, reported over 2.1M tracked customers were affected. Other news outlets reported 2.7M customers were left without power in Texas statewide.

Our hopes and prayers go out for everyone's safety.

-- The Plastics Exchange

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