Spot purified terephthalic acid prices in Asia may fall further

(ICIS) -- Spot purified terephthalic acid (PTA) prices in Asia may fall further after falling to a six-month low last week, on soft downstream demand and huge capacity additions in China over the next three months, industry sources said on Monday.

PTA spot prices shed USD 12-17/tonne (EUR 8-12/tonne) week on week to USD 1178-1.193/tonne CFR (cost & freight) CMP (China Main Port) on 17 June, after hovering at around USD 1.190-1.220/tonne CFR CMP for more than a month, according to ICIS.

Most market players are pessimistic about the PTA market in the third quarter with a total 2.7m tonnes/year coming on stream in China through August, amid a slowing down of demand from the downstream textile industry.


Prices of polystyrene in the Middle East to decline

(ICIS) -- Prices of polystyrene (PS) in the Middle East have declined during the region's peak demand season from late April to June this year, market sources said on Monday.

A trader in Jordan said the political unrest in Syria has dampened business dealings in the region, causing the poor performance of downstream businesses.

Another east Mediterranean-based trader said the polymers market has weakened, which is causing the market to become bearish. Buyers are withholding their bids, forcing PS producers and/or sellers to reduce their offers.

Cargoes of general purpose PS (GPPS) for loading in June were heard to be traded at USD 1.590-1.630/tonne (EUR 1.113-1.141/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) east Mediterranean (MED)/Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on 17 June, while those in the Iranian market were assessed at USD 1.550-1.600/tonne CFR Iran 17 June because of lower buying and selling indications, according to ICIS.

Small parcels of high impact PS (HIPS) for delivery in June were heard to be traded at USD 1.800-1.850/tonne CFR east MED/GCC. The prices of HIPS in Iran were assessed at USD 1.740-1.800/tonne CFR Iran on 17 June because of lower buying and selling indications.


BASF increases prices for polymer dispersions, powders, resins and additives

(BASF) -- Effective today, June 20, 2011, or as contracts allow, BASF will increase prices in Europe, Africa and Western Asia for polymer dispersions as well as additives by EUR 85 per metric ton and acrylic resins and redispersible powders by EUR 140 per metric ton. This price increase is necessary due to continuingly high costs of raw materials and freight.

The products affected by the price increase are used as polymers for adhesives, fiberbonding , architectural coatings and construction chemicals.

BASF is the world's leading chemical company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and agricultural products to oil and gas. BASF posted sales of about EUR 63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109.000 employees as of the end of the year.


AkzoNobel to upgrade its 165 KTa chlorine plant in Germany

(ICIS) -- AkzoNobel will invest EUR 140m (USD 200m) in new membrane electrolysis technology to upgrade its 165 KTa chlorine plant in Frankfurt, Germany, the Dutch paints and coatings company said on Monday. The plant's capacity is expected to be raised to 250 KTa and the upgraded plant will come on stream in the fourth quarter of 2013, the company said in a statement. The upgrading work has already begun, according to a company official.

The company operates three chlorine plants in Germany and two in the Netherlands through its subsidiary AkzoNobel Industrial Chemicals, the company said. These facilities ⌠exceeded 1m tonnes in total production last year, it added.

Chlorine is used in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), epoxy resins and polyurethane (PU). It is also commonly used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, according to AkzoNobel.


China and East Asia ideal for petrochemical investment - industry leaders

(Focus Taiwan) -- Taiwan should turn to the Chinese and East Asian markets to ensure that its petrochemical industry can thrive, industry leaders said during a meeting at the Ministry of Economic Affairs Friday. Although Taiwan has managed to raise the added value rate of its petrochemical products at home, it should also search for investment opportunities in foreign countries if it wants to survive the increasing international competition, they said. To be more specific, Taiwan should work with developing countries with large market demand for petrochemical products, said Wenent Pan, chairman of China Technical Consultants, Inc.

As China implements the centralized economic development guidelines between 2011 and 2015, said Chen Chung-yu, vice president of Taiwan Synthetic Rubber Corp.Chen said, the country will need to rely heavily on Taiwan's specialty petrochemicals. Through cross-strait cooperation, he said, Taiwan can expand its spending on petrochemical R&D - a major factor in raising the added value rate -- and attract foreign investment.