Saltigo to specifically develop its range of services

(Lanxess) -- Saltigo, a wholly owned subsidiary of specialty chemicals company Lanxess, is looking to specifically develop its range of services beyond its core business of customized and exclusive synthesis. It wants to tap additional business in the field of non-exclusively manufactured fine chemicals. Dirk Sandri, head of Marketing & Sales in Saltigo's Agro & Fine Chemicals business line, sees this segment as an attractive growth market: ⌠With our expertise and technical possibilities we consider a doubling of our sales in the next five years in the field of multi-customer products to be realistic.

The company wants to use the Chemspec Europe tradeshow in Geneva, Switzerland as a platform for showcasing its expertise in the non-exclusive synthesis of sophisticated intermediates and important synthetic building blocks.

Saltigo now has a small but thoroughly attractive range of such fine chemicals available on an industrial scale. These include a selection of toluidine derivatives and products from phosgene chemistry, such as the chloroformates product group or the individual product carbonylbisimidazole. Owing to its years of experience, Saltigo is a recognized expert in the handling of demanding reagents such as phosgene and passes this knowledge on to its customers all over the world in the form of corresponding products.


LyondellBasell to seek a buyer for a refinery in France

(PRNewswire) -- LyondellBasell today announced its intention to seek a buyer for the 105.000 barrels-per-day refinery at Berre, France operated by its subsidiary, Compagnie Petrochimique de Berre S.A.S (CPB). An investment banking firm will be retained to assist with the sales offering. The refinery, acquired in 2008 by LyondellBasell's former management, has not fulfilled economic projections made at the time of the acquisition.

The Berre site also has a steam cracker and world-scale polypropylene and polyethylene plants that are owned and operated by a subsidiary of LyondellBasell. The company is not looking to sell the olefins and polyolefins units at Berre.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies. The company manufactures products at 58 sites in 18 countries.


China's styrene butadiene rubber prices have hit historical highs

(ICIS) -- China's styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices have hit historical highs and are expected to increase further by the middle of June because of tight supply and strong demand, industry sources said on Monday.

The prices of SBR non-oil grade 1502 surged by yuan (CNY) 1.300-1.500/tonne (USD 200-231/tonne) to CNY29.000-29.150/tonne EXWH (ex-warehouse) in east China on 27 May, according to data from Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

The prices of SBR oil-extended grade 1712 was up by CNY800-1.000/tonne to CNY24.700-25.000/tonne EXWH in east China in the last two weeks, the data showed.

The prices of the two grades of SBR soared by CNY4.300/tonne and CNY3.800/tonne respectively, compared with those published in the middle of March, according to Chemease.


Asian spot ammonia prices are expected to remain firm

(ICIS) -- Asian spot ammonia prices are expected to remain firm for at least another month, supported by limited availability and healthy demand in the region, sources said on Monday. Spot supply from the Middle East - Asia's main source of ammonia - is tight even though production has increased in recent months with the start-up of SABIC's new 1.1m tonne/year Ma'aden plant in Saudi Arabia in February this year, they said.

Ammonia prices have been rising for more than three months and were last assessed at USD 555-575/tonne (EUR 389-403/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) Asia in the week ending 27 May, up by about 1.2% from mid-February, according to ICIS data.

Middle East spot material is snug as global ammonia demand is strong and most production has been committed to term customers, sources said.

Saudi producer SABIC is reported to be a sold-out position for June, even though its newly started Ma'aden ammonia unit is now running at full rates.

Japanese trading company Mitsui purchased one of the few June spot cargoes available from SABIC, a source said on the sidelines of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) conference in Montreal, Canada, which ran from 22-25 May.


Goodyear declared force majeure on styrene butadiene rubber

(ICIS) -- US-based tyre producer Goodyear declared force majeure on styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) and other butadiene (BD) derivatives because its supplier is short of the monomer, the company said on Friday.

BD is a key feedstock for styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), used to make tyres, belts, hoses and numerous other products.

Domestic BD supply is tight because of an ongoing turnaround by one producer that is expected to last until the middle of June.

Other factors are the sales control from another producer following production issues earlier in the year and limited crude C4 exports from Libya in the first quarter. Crude C4 is the feedstock for BD.

The shortage has driven BD spot prices to the USD 2/lb (USD 4.409/tonne, EUR 3.130/tonne) mark, while contract nominations for the June BD settlement were USD 1.50-1.65/lb, according to ICIS.