Evonik Industries increased its production capacity for amino acid glycine by 50 %

(Evonik) -- Essen, Germany-based Evonik Industries has increased its production capacity for the pharmaceutical amino acid glycine by 50 percent due to rising demand. This was achieved by efficiency gains in the production process. Evonik is a major provider of glycine and manufactures the amino acid at its Chinese Nanning site in accordance with the strict requirements of cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) and the European Pharmacopoeia (CEP; Certificate of Suitability of Monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia). Evonik is investing in a new plant in Nanning to expand its portfolio of specialty chemical products by milling and sieving processes. The new qualities are expected to come on the market at the end of the year.

By upgrading its technologies particularly in the purification process, Evonik has further improved product quality. "We're now able to provide glycine in all crystalline forms and particle size distributions requested by customers," notes Dr. Jean-Louis Philippe, the responsible marketing manager for the pharmaceutical amino acids.

Evonik is the creative industrial group from Germany. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2010 more than 34,000 employees generated sales of around EUR 13.3 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of about EUR 2.4 billion.


Dak Americas to acquire the PET business

(BNAmericas) -- Dak Americas, a subsidiary of Mexican conglomerate Alfa (BMV: ALFA), has agreed to acquire the PET business of US plastic packaging company Wellman in a deal worth approximately USD 185mn in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities, Alfa said in a filing with the Mexico City bourse.

The acquisition involves a 430 KTa PET plant in Bay St Louis, Mississippi, which employs 165 people, and is expected to close during the second quarter this year, subject to regulatory approval.

"With this transaction, our subsidiary Dak Americas will increase efficiency, gain flexibility and expand its product range to better serve the needs of its customers," said Alfa general director Alvaro Fernandez Garza.


Crude oil prices fell by more than USD 1 on Monday

(Reuters) - Crude oil prices fell by more than USD 1 on Monday, extending last week's losses, with risk aversion rising after euro zone finance ministers postponed a final decision on emergency loans to Greece. By 1200 GMT, Brent crude fell by USD 1.50 a barrel to USD 111.71 a barrel, while U.S. oil lost USD 1.30 a barrel to USD 91.71 a barrel.

"The crisis in Greece has resulted in higher risk aversion, which is weighing on oil prices," Commerzbank analysts led by Eugen Weinberg said in a note.

Euro zone finance ministers postponed a final decision on extending 12 billion euros (USD 17 billion) in emergency loans to Greece, pending approval of the introduction of harsh austerity measures by Athens, which pushed the common currency lower.


US polypropylene June contract prices fell by 14%

(ICIS) -- US polypropylene (PP) June contract prices fell by 14%, pressured by a 15 cent/lb (USD 331/tonne, EUR 235/tonne) drop in feedstock costs, market sources said on Friday.

US PP contract prices for June were assessed at 93-95 cents/lb DEL (delivered), down 15 cents/lb from May, reflecting the pass-through of lower propylene prices.

The June contract price was down from 108-110 cents/lb DEL in May, according to ICIS.

Most of the US PP market has a monomer-based contract that follows the monthly polymer grade propylene (PGP) cost. With the 15 cent/lb drop in propylene, US PGP settled at 82 cents/lb for June, pressured by loosening supply and lower spot prices in recent weeks.

Some buyers who do not use the monomer-plus pricing tried to seek greater discounts, based on market weakness, but those efforts were not successful, market sources said.


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.