China's sulphur market will be firm in May amid rising international prices

(ICIS) -- China's sulphur market will be firm in May amid rising international prices, high downstream demand and shrinking stocks at ports, industry sources said on Friday.

The market price of sulphur is expected to stay firm in May, but its forecast to soften in June will depend on the prices of nitrogen phosphorus, industry sources said.

The sulphur price in the Jiangsu market has risen by yuan (CNY) 100-150/tonne (USD 15-23) to CNY1,770-1,870/tonne on 1 April-5 May, according to Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

The sulphur price rose by USD 10-40/tonne (EUR 7-28) to USD 230-245/tonne CFR (cost & freight) CMP (China Main Port) on 1-28 April, according to data from Chemease.

The active international market is a result of global tight supply, which has subsequently caused a domino effect on the Chinese market.


LOTTE invested in the Pakistan PTA project

(Plastemart) -- LOTTE has invested USD 200 mln in the Pakistan PTA project and 48 MW co-generation power plant, as per Pakistan Observer. LOTTE, the Korean Conglomerate is ready to make additional investment of USD 400-500 mln more to expand the LOTTE Pakistan project which is the main stay of the polyester-chain and key supplier of raw material for a large part of Pakistan's exports. LOTTE is also keen to enter several more areas of industry in Pakistan, in the fields of construction, food processing, beverages and petro-chemical industries.


The supply of orthoxylene in Asia is likely to remain tight over the next few months

(ICIS) -- The supply of orthoxylene (OX) in Asia is likely to remain tight over the next few months because of cutbacks in production rates amid soaring feedstock isomer-grade xylene (IX) prices, sources said on Thursday.

Key OX makers in South Korea said they will scale back on production rates to limit their losses. South Korea's SK Chemical Global said it will cut operating rates at its two100 KTa OX units at Ulsan, but declined to disclose further details on the extent of the reduction.

SK Chemical Global has since been actively bidding for spot OX to make up for any shortfalls in meeting contractual obligations.

KP Chemical said it has halved operating rates at its Ulsan-based unit with a combined nameplate capacity of 230,000 tonnes/year because of eroded margins.

In Taiwan, CPC and Formosa Chemical and Fibres Corp (FCFC) have ceased their exports of spot OX since the middle of April. They will focus their production efforts on paraxylene (PX), which is the more lucrative commodity at present, they said.

The demand for the material may ease towards the third quarter of the year when JX Nippon Oil & Energy is expected to restart its production facilities at Sendai and Kashima. The facilities were damaged in the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan's northeast region on 11 March.


Re-export of PE from Asia grew in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A number of offers for re-export supply of polyethylene (PE) from Asia to the CIS markets has considerably grown recently, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Low demand for polyethylene in China and efficient supplies form external suppliers resulted in a considerable surplus of offers. This made many companies re-export PE. At the end of March the first offers of PE re-export from Asia appeared in some CIS countries. A month later a number of both offers and bargains for PE supply grew.

Over the last week of April a level of prices for re-exported PE was within USD 1.480 - 1.520/mt, FOB, for HDPE, and USD 1.490 - 1.520/mt, FOB, for butane types of LLDPE. Also there are many offers for LDPE supply but the prices are high: USD 1.840 - 1.870/mt, FOB.

Some Russian and Ukrainian companies have already contracted test volumes for late May-early June supplies. The Russian market because of 10% import tax is now interested only in offers for LLDPE supplies but strengthening of ruble against dollar soon can make HDPE supplies beneficial as well.

The Ukrainian market because of euro strengthening against dollar and a considerably high level of export prices for the Russian PE is interested in offers for HDPE and LLDPE supplies.


DSM tenders Danisco shareholding

(DSM) -- Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, announces that it has tendered its 4.95% stake in Danisco to DuPont. Upon completion of the DuPont offer of DKK 700 per ordinary Danisco share, DSM expects cash proceeds of EUR 222 million and to report a book profit of EUR 140 million before tax as an exceptional item.