Acetylene PVC prices grow due to deficit in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PVC demand keeps up growing in Russian market. Limited supply of resin with K=66-68 from China and some Russian producers straighten the deficit, the prices went up to the level of RUB45.000 - 46.000/mt, according to MRC Price Reports.

Trouble with rolling-stocks of one of traditional Chinese acetylene PVC suppliers and domestic demand have led to delay of Sg-5 grade resin deliver terms. In March over 2.4 kt of Sg-5 grade PVC were delivered into Russian market, and most part of the material was delivered to final consumers. The similar import figures were fixed in the first 3 weeks of April. Some Russian producers have limited shippings of resin with K=66-68 for May.

Insufficient Russian PVC offer and limited resin supply from China have led to serious deficit in the market. Prices for acetylene PVC for the second half of May in some cases went up to the level of RUB45.000 - 46.000/mt, including VAT, FCA. According to market experts, significant PVC supplies from China are expected to partly cover the deficit.


For more information about PVC market in Russia please refer to MRC Price Reports.

Big orders see Polykemi invest ┬4.3m in expansions

( -- Scandinavian thermoplastic compounds producer Polykemi says it will this year invest SEK42m (┬4.3m) in expanding in Sweden and China.

The company is investing SEK32m (┬3.3m) in Sweden and SEK10m (┬1m) in China, where part of the money will be spent on buying the previously leased Polykemi China buildings.

⌠The investments decided exceed the normal level by about 100%, spokesperson Lars Hugosson said in a statement. ⌠Our efforts and hard work to get big new orders has been successful but we have also been fortunate that quite substantial projects have also started up earlier than anticipated.

In Europe, the investments will mainly be spent on two new production lines for thermoplastic compounds, the company said, adding: ⌠We are able to make these investments because we have come through the crisis relatively unscathed, and as we are family owned and independent we are not part of any large group.


Clariant's business improves in first quarter 2010

(plasteurope) -- Business improved for troubled Swiss speciality chemicals producer Clariant in Q1 2010. EBIT totalled CHF 183m (EUR 127.7m) after a loss of CHF 13m in the 2009 quarter. EBITDA before exceptional items increased to CHF 235m from CHF 43m and net profit swung to EUR 10m after a loss of CHF 91m. While sales rose 16% to CHF 1.8 bn, ⌠clearly behind pre-crisis levels, management said figures ⌠improved significantly compared to a year ago. Sales growth in the plastics-related businesses Pigments and Masterbatches was ⌠above the group level.

For the full year, CEO Hariolf Kottmann said the economic recovery is expected to remain fragile and raw material prices are believed to rise further heading into the seasonally weaker second half. ⌠We do not anticipate an operating performance at the same strong level of the first quarter, he said, but added that the EBIT margin is likely to be above the 6.6% figure of 2008.

Clariant's Pigments business unit posted EBITDA of CHF 54m in the first three months of 2010, after a CHF 5m loss in January-March 2009, and the EBITDA margin swung to a positive 19.2% from a negative 2%. Sales rose 17% to CHF 281m. De-stocking has come to an end, the group said, and ⌠some replenishment of stocks took place in the first quarter. The recovery was driven by automotive, decorative paint and ⌠the upswing in the plastics industry that started some months ago. Growth in emerging markets was strongest, but Europe and North America stabilised. Margins improved thanks to an ⌠aggressive reduction of personnel costs. The production network will be further optimised during 2010.

In Masterbatches, the recovery that began in the third quarter of 2009 was ⌠confirmed in the first quarter of 2010, Clariant said. While ⌠demand was robust across all markets and regions, Germany saw ⌠an unexpectedly strong recovery in automotive applications. Margins remained stable, despite rising costs for polyolefins, along with ⌠certain pigments and additives. Through ⌠selective price increases, the unit plans to pass on ⌠the higher input costs that are expected for the remainder of 2010. Going forward, Masterbatches will continue to optimise its cost structure and hopes to make further inroads into medical applications and the liquid masterbatch field.


AVK Group takes over insolvent injection moulder

(plasteurope) -- Danish AVK Holding on 26 April acquired the insolvent injection moulder Klindt Plastindustri. As a result of the transaction, AVK has renamed the company AVK Plast and attached the new division to its subsidiary AVK Plastics, according to Henrik Lund-Olesen, managing director of the new AVK Plast. The holding group takes over 35 former Klindt employees.

Before the insolvency, the workforce of Klindt Plastindustri numbered around 50. The injection moulder was first created when the two former companies Micotron (Sonderborg / Denmark) and Ripladan (Ribe / Denmark) merged.

AVK Holding develops, produces, and markets valves, hydrants, and accessories for water and gas supply, sewage treatment, and fire fighting. Netherlands-based AVK Plastics manufactures plastics pallets and street caps and offers custom moulding services.


Bayer MaterialScience leads group forward in Q1 2010

(plasteurope) -- A strong turnaround at Bayer MaterialScience fuelled the sales and earnings upswing of the Bayer group in the 2010 first quarter. The decline in business momentum currently being seen at sub-groups HealthCare and CropScience is being offset by the recovery at MaterialScience, ⌠which is progressing faster than expected, retiring CEO Werner Wenning said, addressing his final annual general meeting.

Bayer group figures show an overall 5.3% rise in sales revenue to EUR 8.3 bn, with EBITDA after special items up 11% to EUR 1.8 bn. At BMS, the sales increase of nearly 36% to EUR 2.2 bn was coupled with a positive EBITDA of EUR 287m following a EUR 128m loss in the 2009 quarter. HealthCare saw Q1 sales and EBITDA improve by the same margin, 0.7%, to EUR 3.9 bn and EUR 1.1 bn respectively, while CropScience recorded a sales decline of almost 8% to just under EUR 2 bn and an earnings setback of 30% to EUR 511m.

For MaterialScience, Wenning pointed to a ⌠clear recovery in a stabilising market environment. The positive result in Q1 was due mainly to ⌠considerably higher volumes and the related increase in capacity utilisation, he remarked, noting that the polymers arm saw a sales gain of nearly 10% against last year's fourth quarter. The greatest increase in demand from individual markets came from automotive. The geographical star performer was Asia-Pacific, but volumes ⌠also rose appreciably in Europe and North America, which had been hardest hit by the economic crisis.

Sales of the BMS Polyurethanes business unit surged forward by 31% in the 2010 first quarter to EUR 1.1 bn, with revenue in all product groups, including TDI, MDI and polyether, rising by double-digit percentages. Volumes were also higher on the whole. Price increases in Asia-Pacific could not fully offset declines in Europe and North America. The Polycarbonates unit posted a nearly 54% sales increase to EUR 575m. Both resin and PC sheet / semi-finished products benefited from higher demand in all regions and saw ⌠substantial volume increases. Selling prices moved up across the board, with slight declines in Europe, North America and Asia more than offset by gains in Asia-Pacific.

As the global economic recovery continues, Wenning said MaterialScience expects to see improvement in all of its markets. Consequently, the sub-group is doubling its targeted full-year sales increase, on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis, to 20% from the 10% predicted earlier this year - see of 01.03.2010. The PC and polyurethanes giant plans to more than double its EBITDA before special items. Despite BMS' role as Bayer's performance driver in Q1, the financial press renewed its speculation that CEO-designate Marijn Dekkers will divest MaterialScience.


MRC Reference

The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PS - 0.7% (ABS - 7.2%).

Annual sales growth in Russia over the last 5 years:
PS - (-10%).

Polymers processing technologies:
injection molding.