North American chemical stocks surged on Thursday

(ICIS) -- North American chemical stocks surged on Thursday, with several outperforming the overall market as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 423. The index reached 11,143.31, up 3.95%.

The jump followed a report issued by the US Department of Labor, which showed that unemployment claims for the week ended 6 August fell 7,000 to reach 395,000. The figure is seasonally adjusted.

The four-week moving average was 405,000, down 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 408,250, the department said.

The rise in the Dow Jones sent several chemical stocks soaring. In the past few days, chemical stocks have been outperforming the average during its wild swings up and down.


SOCAR to launch refinery construction in Turkey in October

(Trend) -- SOCAR intends to start building a new refinery complex in Turkey in October, SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said at a meeting today. Investments worth USD 5 billion will be required for the construction. The plant will be built to meet the needs of the Petkim large petrochemical complex.

The capacity will be 10 million tons of raw materials. It is expected to be completed in 2015. The construction will meet the needs of petrochemical complex in raw materials and sell finished products on the Turkish market.


Global urea prices slide on economic turmoil and uncertainty

(ICIS) -- The economic turmoil of the past week has seen urea prices fall in most regions, market sources said on Friday. Crude oil losses and stock market volatility have reinforced the fragility of the current global economic situation.

Buyers, still haunted by the economic crash of 2008, have stepped out and prices are sliding.
⌠The financial turmoil has roiled our markets too as some with positions look to cash out any way possible, said a US-based trader.

This week an Egyptian sales tender for 25 KT saw only 8 KT actually sold at USD 500/tonne (EUR 350/tonne) FOB (free on board), USD 18/tonne below sales last week.

In the US, granular urea barge prices slipped by USD 20-25/short ton to USD 470/short ton FOB Nola (New Orleans) during the week, before staging a late rally because of positive crop data.


Hutamaki to acquire the Brazilian film extruder and converter

(Plastics Today) -- Plastics packaging processor Hutamaki has agreed to acquire the Brazilian film extruder and converter Prisma Pack Industria de Filmes Tecnicos e Embalagens Ltda (Camacari,Brazil). The privately owned Prisma Pack, founded in 2001, is a market leader in hygienic films in Brazil and also serves demand for food packaging and other applications. Hygienic films are mainly used in personal care products, such as disposable diapers, feminine protection and incontinence diapers.

Prisma Pack's net sales in 2010 were approximately EUR 40 million. The company has a strong track record of sales growth since its beginning in 2003. The company employs approximately 200. Huhtamaki's Brazilian subsidiary will acquire all of Prisma Pack for a debt-free purchase price of EUR 20 million.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of August 2011.

Huhtamaki Group (Espoo, Finland) had 2010 net sales totaling EUR 2 billion.


Lanxess achieved record results in the second quarter

(LANXESS) -- Lanxess has lifted its full-year guidance for 2011 after achieving record results in the second quarter. The specialty chemicals company now expects EBITDA pre exceptionals to grow about 20 percent year-on-year after previously forecasting a growth of 10-15 percent. EBITDA pre exceptionals in the second quarter rose 26 percent year-on-year to EUR 339 million.

Net debt at the end of the second quarter rose 49 percent from the end of 2010 to about EUR 1.4 billion mainly due to the acquisitions of the EPDM rubber business and Syngenta's material protection business. Operating cash-flow more than tripled to EUR 212 million reflecting the strength of the company's operational business.