Schutz inaugurated a new production plant in Tianjin

(PlastEurope) -- German industrial packaging manufacturer Schutz at the end of April inaugurated a new production plant in Tianjin (China), the company's second in the People's Republic. Once operational, some 50 employees will work in the 50.000m2 facility, producing intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) as well as F1 screw cap barrels. Schutz has been manufacturing IBCs in Shanghai since 2004.

The site's new production lines - including a triple layer extrusion line for IBCs - boast the latest technological advances and also meet the FDA's standards for the manufacture of containers transporting foodstuffs. Aside from increased flexibility and proximity to its customers, the new site also offers logistical advantages thanks to shorter transport routes.


Indian SBR prices look set to remain firm in May

(ICIS) -- Indian styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices surged past USD 4.000/tonne (EUR 2.760/tonne) this week and look set to remain firm in May as supply is tighter than expected, industry sources said on Thursday. Spot prices for non-oil grade 1502 spiked USD 200/tonne week on week to USD 4.000-4.100/tonne CFR (cost & freight) India on 20 April, ICIS data showed.

Heavy turnaround schedule at regional plants this quarter constrains SBR availability, which is aggravated by supply disruption in Japan and limited material coming from Europe, traders said.

TSRC Corp in Taiwan; Zeon Corp in Japan; and Bridgestone Huizhou Synthetic Rubber, Lanzhou Petrochemical and Gaoqiao Petrochemical in China have scheduled maintenance at their SBR plants in April and May.

In Japan, a number of SBR plants have shut operations or cut production in the wake of the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck the northeastern part of the country on March 11.


SABIC announced interim consolidated financial results for the first quarter

(SABIC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has announced the interim consolidated financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. The net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 was SR 7.69 billion compared to the net income of SR 5.43 billion for the same quarter in 2010 representing an increase of 42%, and compared to the net income for the fourth quarter of 2010 of SR 5.75 billion representing an increase of 34%.

The increase in net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 is attributable to the increase in production and sales volumes and improvement in sales prices for most of the products, and compared to the fourth quarter of last year is mainly due to the improvement in prices for most of the products as well as improved operating performance in SABIC's overseas affiliates.


Japan's economy is expected to slow significantly this year

(ICIS) -- Japan's economy is expected to slow significantly this year on the back of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck the country's northeast last month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in a report on Thursday.

Japan's GDP will expand by 0.8% in 2011, down sharply from a 1.7% growth forecast made in a November report last year, the Paris-based OECD said.

Damage to electricity shortages and the disruption of supply chains is projected to significantly reduce output in the second quarter of 2011, although it is likely to be relatively mild compared with the 20% year-on-year drop following the 2008 global financial crisis, the OECD said.

Material damage from the disasters alone could top USD 300 bln, according to government estimates.

Output is expected to rebound sharply from the third quarter of 2011, driven by reconstruction-related fixed investment, but private consumption could remain subdued for the remainder of the year as a result of weak consumer sentiment, the OECD added.


Difference in prices for colored and uncolored pipe HDPE reached a record

MOSCOW (MRC) -- April didn't bring serious activity to the market of pipe HDPE, demand is still weak. Difference in price for colored and uncolored pipe PE grew to record RUB 7.000 - 10.000/t, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The price offer for the Russian colored PE 80 is within the range RUB 67.000 - 68.500/t, including VAT, FCA, while colored PE 100 is offered on average for RUB 68.000 - 69.000/t, including VAT, FCA Kazan.

A distinctive feature of this year is a serious increase of production of uncolored pipe PE. Only in March Russian producers manufactured uncolored PE100 almost twice as much as colored. Price offer for the Russian uncolored PE100 is within the range RUB 57.500 - 61.500/t, including VAT, FCA. The difference in price compared to colored material is RUB 7.000 - 10.000/t (USD 250 - 350/mt), which is a considerable argument for many producers when choosing a feedstock for PE pipes production.