PP imports to Russia to grow despite low demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Import supplies of polypropylene (PP) to Russia keep on growing despite low demand. In May, PP imports exceeded 18 KT, among it - about 11 KT of homopolymer propylene, according to MRC DataScope.

Over the five months, overall imports of PP made 84 KT which was 55% more compared to 2010. Supplies of homopolymer propylene increased by 61%.

Moderate demand for propylene in terms of stable work of Russian producers and growing imports resulted in considerable stock of PP. Cheaper import of PP from Turkmenistan and Ukraine significantly pressed Russian producers in some regions.

Reduction of prices for PP in Europe (about EUR 100/t per month) and in Asia (over USD 150/t per 1,5 month) as well as significant import of cheaper material made Russian producers decrease prices in June. Compared to May, prices for homo PP decreased on average by 1.500 - 2.000 RUB/t. Current decrease of domestic prices resulted in reduction of homopolymer propylene prices: over 15 days of June, import supplies made nearly 3 KT.


Berry Plastics added another name to its long string of acquisitions

(Plastics Today) -- Plastics packaging processor Berry Plastics with its most recent purchase it adds another name to its long string of acquisitions. Berry has acquired the beverage and specialty closures business of Rexam PLC, for USD 360m in cash.

Berry's acquisition string began in 1988 with the purchase of aerosol closure molder Gilbert Plastics. The purchases since then include Venture Packaging, the dairy closures product line of Clayton Corp., Poly-Seal Corp., Alcoa Flexible Packaging, Captive Plastics and more; a complete list is at the processor's website. In 2006, the investment groups, Apollo Management and Graham Partners Inc., purchased Berry Plastics from Jack Berry Sr.

The purchase of Rexam's closures business is expected to close in Q3 2011 and is conditional on regulatory approvals. The new Berry business employs about 1500 and is focused on the North American market. Rexam acquired the closures business as part of its acquisition of Owens-Illinois's plastics business in 2007. Rexam's closure business performs both compression and injection molding.


SKC to expand HPPO plant

(Plastemart) -- SKC announced that it will set up production capacity of 600,000 tons of propylene oxide (PO) by expanding its hydrogen peroxide propylene oxide (HPPO) plant.

SKC plans to double production capacity of the HPPO plant from the current 100 KT to 200 KT by 2013 after completing the construction of an additional PO production capacity of 30 KT by H1-2012.


US cellulosic ethanol usage could fall significantly in 2012

(ICIS) -- US cellulosic ethanol usage could fall significantly in 2012 based on a government proposal on Tuesday to cut the amount of that type of biofuel refiners would be required to blend in gasoline.

The mandate for US cellulosic ethanol consumption in 2012 would be cut to 3.45m-12.90m gal (13.06m-48.83m litres), from a previous 500m gal target, under a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA cited a study of "market availability" as the reason behind the reduction, indicating that the US continues to a lack cellulosic ethanol production in the scale needed to meet its targets.

Despite the cut on the cellulosic side, the EPA proposed keeping the overall US target for renewable fuels usage in 2012 steady at 15.2bn gal, an increase of 9.4% from 13.9bn gal in 2011.

For 2013, the government proposed increasing the use of biomass-based diesel by 28% from 2012 to 1.28bn gal.


Borealis will permanently shut its melamine low-pressure plant

(ICIS) -- Borealis will permanently shut its 20 KTa melamine low-pressure plant at Linz in Austria on 27 June, the Austria-based polyolefins maker said on Wednesday. The company earlier decommissioned a 10 KTa melamine low-pressure plant at the Linz site in January last year, Borealis said in a statement. The decision to decommission the plants was made as investments in melamine low-pressure plants ⌠do not pay off in Europe, the statement said.

Major customers will be switching their production to high-pressure melamine, Borealis said, without elaborating further. Customers who can only use low-pressure melamine will continue to be supplied through the 20 KTa plant in the meantime, it added.