COVID-19 Impact on Asphalt in Chemical and Materials Industry
The black cementing agent known as asphalt has been used for road construction for centuries in all overall the world. Asphalt is black or brown petroleum-like material that has a consistency varying from viscous liquid to glassy solid. Although, asphalt is present in two types which are used in the natural deposits of asphalt and rock asphalt. Asphalt is obtained either as a residue from the distillation of petroleum or natural deposits. Natural asphalt which is also called Brea, and formed during an early stage in the breakdown of organic marine deposits into petroleum. Asphalt is produced from the constituent of most petroleum products which are isolated through the refining process of distillation. While production of the asphalt consists of compounds of hydrogen and carbon with minor proportions of sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen.
Since asphalt includes bitumen, which is a hydrocarbon substance soluble in carbon disulfate, asphalt is sometimes called a bituminous material. For the harmful distillation of acquired soft coal tar containing bitumen as well. Bituminous materials are known as both petroleum asphalt and coal tar. Petroleum asphalt consists entirely of bitumen, and the bitumen content in coal tar is relatively poor.
Asphalt has various properties that increase asphalt application in the construction industry. On the heading of the asphalt become elastic under a various heating temperature. Asphalt is more used as the binder or adhesive in construction activities. The principal application of asphalt is in road surfacing in which asphalt is used in a variety of ways. Asphalt is mixed with a variety of solid and liquid substances which help to build the hard surface. Small structure granular is added to an asphalt coat, and other materials for the road surface are mixed with the asphalt. The asphalt helps to bind the different materials which have a different chemical composition and increase the strength of the surface to hold more pressure.
Other important applications include linings of canals and reservoirs, dam faces, and other harbor and sea works; asphalt may be a sprayed membrane, thin, covered with soil for weathering and mechanical damage protection, or thicker surfaces, often containing riprap (crushed rock). Asphalt is also used for floor tiling, soundproofing, roofing, waterproofing coating, and other components of building construction.
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE ASPHALT MARKET
Asphalt is the material that is more used in the construction industry as the asphalt is used as the adhesive for binding the material and increases the strength of the surface. Several types of equipment are used in the asphalt market such as cold bins for storage of graded aggregate, a dryer for drying and heating material which are required for mixing at a different temperature, a pug mill for combining the graded, heated aggregate and liquid asphalt cement according to specified mix formulas and tanks for storing the liquid asphalt.
COVID-19 has affected the asphalt market, including asphalt content and the various equipment used in the manufacture of asphalt. As the lockdown was enforced in all the regions that have made the situation difficult for all sectors for development, the pandemic has hit the economy very hard word wide and the developing assets would also be done in a stager manner.No sector is excluded from the impact of COVID-19 because of the COVID-19 situation, all the producers in the regions have faced ups and downs in the company.
With the increasing spread of the COVID-19 in the developing countries, the government or the high authority are taken stick action to stop the spread of the COVID-19. The new rules are impacting the businesses to a larger extent due to which manufactures are facing the huge losses as import and the export of the petroleum products are on halt and manufacture are facing difficulties in the raw material which are used in the production of the asphalt.
The economy of the developing nation has gone down due to the COVID-19 which resulted in less of the infrastructural development and constructional activity. In coming years also the main focus of the nation would be to increase the GDP and not to more invest in the construction businesses. With the declining of the infrastructure and construction sector in the developing nation the demand of the asphalt have decline. The construction of the roads in the pandemic has been put on hold due to the lockdown in the countries. The manufactures are unable to sale of the asphalt products which leads to the increase in the inventories and manufactures are not able to manufacture more.
Manufactures also facing the problem for the production of the asphalt of different grades which can increase the strength and can be mixed with the solid substance easily according to the demand in the market due to which manufactures are not able to generate revenue during the COVID-19. The demand of the asphalt in the infrastructural and construction industries have fallen down by approx. 25%-28% during the COVID-19 as the construction activity fallen down. Several industries production was on halt as due to lack of labor force during the COVID-19 which is the challenge for the manufacture.
The another thing which also effecting the asphalt market as the construction of the roads are also done with the cement products which are more lifelong than the asphalt and also need less maintains which is also effecting the global asphalt market.
ASPHALT IS MORE USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
IMPACT ON INFRASTRUCTURAL AND CONSTRUCTION
COVID-19 has hit the construction industry very hard and created several challenges and obstacles for the infrastructural and construction manufactures regarding contractual obligations, deliverables, and health & safety measures, availability of resources, and project delays or cancellations. Infrastructural and construction companies are running into losses and preserving the integrity of their operations, business, and protect their workforce. With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the different countries engineers and workers are not inscribing at the construction sites. COVID-19 has resulted in a halt in the construction industry as due to the lockdown most of the construction sites are running at half of our usual working run rate due to the increasing fear about the corona virus infection in engineers and workers which resulted in attendance at less than 70%.
In India, in the months of April and May 2020, only 847 km of highways were constructed during the first two months of the current financial year, as against 1,692 km in the corresponding period of the previous year.
ICRA reported the loss in productivity and shortage of laborers which is estimated to go down by 22 percent as against the defined targets.
The construction of the roads during the COVID-19 have decline very fast as the government have more focus on the stoppage of the spread of COVID-19. With the decline in the construction of roads and infrastructural development in the nation have resulted in the decline of the asphalt in the global market many construction companies already implemented the travel bans for the employees originating from high-risk states which will led to the shortage of the labor. COVID-19 has impacted the demand construction activities and will result in the stagnant demand for future also which will affect the overall market growth.
In March 2020, Boston state, shut down all construction sites and other areas in Massachusetts areas due to increasing suit of construction delays.
In May 2020, The construction activities in Europe has been rises by 21.2 % compared with the month of April but as compare to previous year the number is fallen by 10.3%.
In European countries, most of the companies re-started their construction work and started taking new projects, due to which the construction activity increases with the rate of 27.9% after the pandemic period.
In May, 2020, 38% of construction project owners halting projects underway in March which also resulted in the with 10% cancelling projects altogether.
In April more than 31% construction cancelled or halted all over the world. Another 16% of respondents reported cancellations already for projects scheduled to start in both May and in June.
The asphalt is also used in the construction of building and residential homes but during the COVID-19 the construction activity have been on hold for more than four months due to which the manufactures of the asphalt have faced several problems. North America have faced the effect of the COVID-19 on the larger extend due to which the construction of high ways and connectivity projects gone on halt due to which the demand of the asphalt have gone in the pandemic period.
IMPACT ON THE PRICE OF THE ASPHALT OR BITUMEN
The price of the asphalt has been affected due to the lower demand in the construction market. The construction of bridge, roads and highways projects are on halt during the COVID-19 and manufactures of asphalt are unable to sell of the stock. Also with the fall in the demand of the asphalt in the construction of roads the price has also fluctuated in the COVID-19 period.
lockdown in the countries, the workforce was not allowed to work at the site due to which the construction projects are on delaying due to which the demand of the asphalt has fallen down which shows the downfall in the price also. In November 2019 the price of the asphalt was 3,023.18 (CNY/T) which increases to 3,163.53 (CNY/T) in December 2020. In January 2020, the price fall to 3,008.15(CNY/T) after the January countries have done lockdown which has stopped all the rood construction project and activity due to which the price followed the downward trend in February 2020 price fall to 2, 8882.83 (CNY/T) in March 2020 price fall to 1861.51 (CNY/T) and in April 2020 gain the price fall to 1,784.21 (CNY/T).
In concluding the COVID-19 crisis has created a pandemic situation widely which affected road construction activities all over the world. As the government imposed lockdown rules for all construction activity and sites which resulted in a halt of construction material manufacturers which lead to a huge loss for both the country and manufacturers and will slow show steady growth in coming years. Most of the construction labor already headed to their homes or villages and doing other work and they are not willing to return and resume their construction work again which causes the shortage of skilled labors in urban areas due to which large projects are running out of time.
With the fall in the demand for the construction material, the price of the asphalt has fallen down during the COVID-19 period and manufacturers have face losses on the inventories. The impact of the halt in work has increased the direct bearing of losses on the company revenues, jobs and project delays. The government has also taken many steps for the upliftment of the construction and building industry as many funds have been opened for the workers and the manufacturers which will increase the demand for the construction material.