July imports of PVC-S to Russia reached 50 KT

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of suspended PVC (PVC-S) to Russia remains still high and exceeds demand. In July, the total import made around 50 KT, according to MRC analysts. This year the peak of PVC-S imports was in May, when the total import exceeded 55.4 KT.

June and July demonstrated a slight decline in imports on the back of prices hike for American PVC and delay in resin supply from China. However, import figures are still far exceed the demand.

US suppliers still prevail in the market: imports of American resin made more than 20KT. Then go the producers of acetylene resins from China.

Karpatneftechem (Lukoil group) keeps enhancing its position in PVC-S market in Russia. Over July, about 2 KT of its resin were delivered to the Russian market, with the first volume appearing in the Southern region of Russia.

Despite the excess of resin in the Russian market, local companies don't want to decrease purchases of PVC from foreign markets. Besides, Russian companies have not received yet a considerable amount of resin, contracted yet in May - June in China and the U.S. In August a significant reduction of PVC-S imports to the Russian market is not expected.


LyondellBasell board authorizes dividend increase

(PRNewswire) -- LyondellBasell today announced that its Supervisory Board has authorized the company's Management Board to declare a dividend of USD 0.20 per share, double the amount of the company's initial dividend paid in May 2011. The dividend of USD 0.20 per share will be paid on Sept. 7, 2011 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 17, 2011, subject to the adoption of a resolution by the Management Board, which is expected to occur on August 17.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies. The company manufactures products at 58 sites in 18 countries. LyondellBasell products and technologies include packaging, electronics, automotive parts, home furnishings, construction materials and biofuels.


US-based Westlake plans to increase ethylene capacit

(ICIS) -- US-based Westlake plans to increase ethylene capacity by nearly 226.8 KTa by expanding its two crackers in Louisiana, the polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer said on Tuesday.

The company is also considering plans to convert its cracker in Calvert City, Kentucky, to crack ethane instead of propane, said chief executive Albert Chao during the company's second quarter earnings call.

The first expansion will come in the second half of 2012 at one of the company's crackers in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The project will increase capacity by about 108.8 KTa. Then in 2014, Westlake plans to expand the second Lake Charles cracker by 113.3 KTa. Currently, both crackers have a combined ethylene capacity about 1.1m tonnes/year, according to ICIS plants and projects.


Asia PET up USD 50-70/tonne

(ICIS) -- Asian polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle chip producers hiked their offers for August to at least USD 1.700/tonne (EUR 1.190/tonne) this week, USD 50-70/tonne higher than last week's assessed prices, on the back of surging raw material costs, industry sources said on Wednesday.

Offers from two Chinese producers advanced to USD 1.700-1.720/tonne FOB (free on board) China, from last week's level of USD 1.650/tonne FOB China. Some deals were heard concluded at USD 1.670-1.680/tonne FOB China early this week for exports to South America and Africa. But a producer has yet to conclude deals at the new offer level.

PET offers in Asian on Wednesday were up USD 50/tonne from the start of the week, while some sellers refrained from making offers given the ongoing instability in raw material costs. Market sources expect one PET producer will likely resume offers this afternoon at USD 1.720/tonne FOB NE (northeast) Asia.


BASF to return lower-than-expected profits in 2011

(ICIS) -- Petrochemicals giant BASF will return lower-than-expected profits in 2011 but remains undervalued on the German bourse, analysts at US-based Bernstein Research said on Wednesday.
BASF's earnings per share (EPS) will be an estimated EUR 6.57 (USD 9.39) in 2011, the Bernstein analysts said, down from the EUR 7.13 they forecast earlier in 2011. They also cut their target share price for BASF by 3.9%, from EUR 77 to 74.

The lower outlook for the company comes after a second quarter in which the company failed to meet analysts' expectations, pushing its share price down 5%.

However, Bernstein believes that the company remains significantly undervalued, and their target share price is well above the EUR 59.76 seen in trading on Germany's DAX on 3 August. Bernstein's earnings forecast remains as much as 10% above other analysts', the research company said, giving BASF's shares an Outperform rating.