PET imports to Ukraine in March reduced by third

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In March supplies of PET-granulates to Ukraine reduced almost by third and made about 10 KT, according to MRC DataScope.

Most of deliveries were made in February. At the end of Q I overall volume of PET supplies to the Ukrainian market made almost 30 KT.

Because of suspension of PET production last month there were no supplies form Belorussia. Starting from mid-last year Belorussian PET had lost its position in the Ukrainian market.

There were no serious changes in the structure of PET granulates imports. In April a serious growth of imports is expected which is stipulated by a seasonal growth of demand.


Graham Packaging bids for machine maker Techne

(Plastics Today) -- The plastic bottle blowmolding giant is adding to its presence in the machine manufacturing market with its decision to purchase Techne, an Italian manufacturer of extrusion blowmolding machinery. The extrusion blowmolding machinery manufacturers' space has been a tough one for years and Techne was not spared; it has been operating under liquidation proceedings since last year.

Graham Packaging used to manufacture its own rotary wheel extrusion blow molding machinery but divested that business many years ago; that business continues to operate as Graham Engineering Corp, and like Graham Packaging also is based in York, PA. The deal for Techne was announced little more than a week after packaging processor Silgan announced that it had agreed to purchase Graham Packaging. As we have previously reported, Graham Packaging has an agreement with Japan's Tahara to manufacture and market that company' all-electric blowmolding machinery in Europe.

The actual purchase of Techne is being conducted by Graham subsidiary, Graham Packaging Company Italia S.r.l., which will pay EUR 8.8 million for Techne (Bologna, Italy). Graham Packaging intends to acquire intellectual property, inventory, fixed assets, customer relationships, and trade agreements, and says it will continue to operate Techne's manufacturing site in Bologna.


Toyota to extend its production cuts in North America and China

(PressTV) -- Toyota said Wednesday that it would reduce its production by 70% from April 26 to June 3, the state-funded BBC reported. The company's North American plants now operate on four-hour shifts, three days a week, from Tuesday to Thursday. The manufacturer is likely to cut its US sales target for the current year. According to Toyota spokesman Mike Goss, nearly 30.000 employees would still be paid during the slowdown in productions.

Reports say the company lost the production of 150.000 parts in North America and 80.000 parts in China from March 11 to June 3. Toyota says its plants in Japan would be operating at 30% to 50% of their capacity from April 21 to June 3 due to the shortage of spare parts. The spare parts that are in short supply are mostly absorbers, body panels and pillar subassemblies.


High naphtha prices in Europe are continuing to push down demand for the prod

(ICIS) -- Ongoing high naphtha prices in Europe are continuing to push down demand for the product, sources said on Wednesday. Driven by crude oil price hikes, naphtha reached a 33-month high on 8 April when the range was assessed at USD 1.054-1.062/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE (northwest Europe). While prices have fluctuated slightly since then, they have remained around the high levels last seen in July 2008, when on 21 July the range stood at USD 1.050-1.060/tonne.

While Brazil continued to show some interest, there was said to be little demand from the gasoline sector, despite the forthcoming US driving season. ⌠The crack has to weaken to open arbs, a trader said. A softer crack spread has a dampening effect on flat prices. ⌠The backwardation should disappear first to bring back demand, a second source believed.


Members of US Congress and the public urge more drilling

(ICIS) -- One year after the BP rig disaster, federal regulators are urging further safety and containment measures, the energy industry complains of slow permitting, and members of Congress and the public urge more drilling as US gasoline prices edge past USD 4/gal (EUR 0.74/litre).

The American Petroleum Institute (API) said that beyond the regulatory and policy issues raised by the 20 April 2010 rig explosion and months-long oil spill, ⌠it is important that we remember the 11 workers who died in the accident, their families and the communities along the Gulf coast that were most affected.

⌠We should also keep in mind our industry's unprecedented response to addressing the spill and to improving safety after the accident, said API president Jack Gerard, noting that federal regulators incorporated a number of industry recommendations in the Interior Department's new and broadened offshore development regulations.

Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar cited the one-year anniversary of the BP accident in convening the first meeting in Washington of a new a government and stakeholder group called the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESC). The 15-member panel includes federal officials, representatives of the offshore oil and gas industry, academics and various research groups.

Salazar said the panel would advise his department ⌠on matters and actions relating to offshore energy safety, including drilling and workplace safety, blowout containment and spill response.