Dear customers & partners,
in many European countries, COVID19 incident rates are going up (again) with an accelerated pace. This is a concern as this may lead to lockdowns. Germany is facing an incident rate of > 1.000 in many regions and hospitalization rates have reached critical levels. IC patients are transferred to hospitals in neighboring countries. RKI’s (Robert Koch-Institute) latest update: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Situationsberichte/Nov_2021/202 1-11-19-en.pdf?__blob=publicationFile
All our teams in Europe are well prepared to deal with this situation.
I am very proud of our Spanish team that has been recognized again by the Aragon authorities for Jacobi’s corporate social responsibility activities in and around Calatayud. Corporate social responsibility is one of the eight pillars of Jacobi’s sustainability journey.
Shipping delays, longer transit times and very slow port clearance times continue to combine causing very long delivery times from factory to warehouse.
Since the last update 2 weeks ago, there has been a small improvement in making shipments out of India and Sri Lanka to Europe but big delays continue and are made worse by inland haulage delays from receiving ports to our warehouses. Shipments from The Philippines to all destinations remain very restricted, especially to Australia. Port congestions on the US West Coast, particularly Long Beach CA, continue causing major delays in shipping into the US.
Please find below the delay risk table by origin/destination region which shows no significant change with the most severe delays being to North and South America, Middle East, Africa and Australia..
The overall situation will only improve when global shipping demand drops or shipping capabilities (containers and vessels) increase. It is very difficult to predict when this will happen or in what form and when a “new normal” will arrive, but it is looking likely that we can expect these problems to continue through 2022. The following link shows how Hapag-Lloyd plan to improve reliability by calling at fewer ports:
To illustrate the scale of the cost-uplift in USD for Jacobi from Q3 2020 (reference point) to November 2021, the following table shows the average USD increases on the main routes from Asia to the destination regions. The main cost changes since the last update 2 weeks ago are a reduction from India to Europe and from Sri Lanka to North America, but an increase from Sri Lanka to Europe.
Until August, the largest increases since Q3 2020, both in USD and % terms, were mainly on routes to Europe, especially from China, the Philippines and Vietnam but from August routes from India and Sri Lanka have suffered a very sharp and high rate of increase. The largest of these on average are equivalent to an additional freight cost of approx. $700 per MT. Inland haulage rates have also increased significantly, especially in the USA, which is adding even more to the increase in overall freight cost to final inland destinations.
The cost of the main routes to Europe and North America have stabilised but at a very high rate. The predicted forward trends are shown best in this heatmap format with more yellow and less red since the last report:
Although our plants are running well and things are under control, we continue to be alert. We are testing our operational teams regularly making sure that we prevent the spread of virus. We also continue our vaccination program to protect our People from potentially getting seriously ill.
Our team in The Philippines was able to give 90 individuals their first or second doses yesterday! This group included not only Jacobi employees but also contracted & project employees, relatives and external service providers. As of today, our vaccination rate rose to 96% for employees (71% fully vaccinated, 25% 1st dose) and 70% for contracted & project employees (42% fully vaccinated, 27% 1st dose). See picture:
Big thanks to Villanueva RHU, our Company OH Physician, and the Jacobi HRA Team and ESS Team for the overall event organization and control. Thank you to all the employees who participated.
In Sri Lanka, we had to put 116 people in preventive quarantine as they had been in touch with infected people. We did RTA testing on 76 people of which 1 tested positive. We also did 26 PCR tests of which results are still pending. Last week, we were forced to move to 12 hour shifts but could fortunately move back to 8-hour shifts yesterday. It shows that the situation is still fragile and we should stay alert.
The Jacobi plants in India are running well. The main challenge in the South of India remains the pressure on charcoal suppliers to comply with the Pollution Control Board. Jacobi plays a crucial role in converting the charcoal industry into a sustainable industry with new carbonization technology.
Operations in Vietnam are stable but the situation remains fragile, mainly due to potentially drastic measures by the authorities in case of increased number of COVID cases.
After heavy snow fall in Tianjin, China last week, things are back to normal and the plant is fully operational.
Prices increase Ion Exchange Resins
We continue to see significant increases regarding raw material costs for production of Ion Exchange Resins (IER). This has led to the decision of a general price increase of 10% for all IER shipped on – or after – January 1, 2022.
As long as the situation in the world continues to be volatile as a result of the pandemic, I will continue informing you about the situation and the way Jacobi deals with it. The next update will be in 2 weeks. We continue working towards our vision of becoming the most sustainable supplier to the industry and secure supply the best way we can.
Chief Executive Officer