China's Sinopec H1 profit jumps 11.9%

(ICIS) -- Chinese petrochemical major Sinopec reported on Monday an 11.9% year-on-year surge in first-half 2011 net profit to CNY41.2bn (USD 6.45bn) given sharp increase revenue, which offset heavy losses in its refining business.

Total turnover for the six-month period jumped 31.5% year on year to CNY1,233bn, with the company's operating profit rising 5.7% to CNY58.4bn, the company said.

Its refining segment incurred a CNY12.2bn loss in January-June 2011, sharply reversing a CNY5.7bn profit made in the same period last year, because of spikes in crude prices.

Fuel prices are regulated in China, preventing oil companies to immediately pass on their high cost of production to consumers.


High European MEG prices are dampening demand

(ICIS) -- High European monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot prices are dampening demand, buyers said on Friday. ⌠Europe is too high...if [our] customers aren't buying at these numbers, why should we? a buyer said, adding that the current price ⌠kills demand. Bulk price ideas are between EUR 950-1,000/tonne (USD 1,357-1,429/tonne) CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE (northwest Europe), according to ICIS.

Europe is a net importer and has been receiving spot product from the US where prices command a replacement cost of around EUR 940-950/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NWE, a trader explained. A reseller would have to add to this in order to make a profit.

European producers said recently that their prices had stepped up to those of alternative imports, particularly as there are domestic shutdowns planned for September and the fourth quarter. The lack of bulk material has added an element of tightness to what is otherwise a balanced market, at least for now, players said.


OPEC may cut oil production

(Arabian oil and gas) -- Iran's OPEC governor announced on Saturday that if oil prices continue their downward trend under the shadow of the global economic crisis, OPEC may react by cutting its production, according to Iran's state-backed Mehr news agency.

However, Mohammad Ali Khatibi told Mehr, ⌠seasonal demand for oil will grow in the near future, which can trigger the oil prices up.

Khatibi predicted if the current economic crisis continues in the major oil consuming countries, especially in Europe, it's probable that oil prices fall more. In these circumstances Khatbi may attempt to convene an emergency OPEC meeting with a view to cutting production.

Khatibi has criticized Saudi Arabia - the only producer in OPEC with a meaningful amount of spare capacity - for unilaterally increasing its oil output without formal OPEC approval following the failed OPEC meeting on 8 June.


Mazda closes bumper recycling loop

(Plastics Today) -- Recycled bumper polypropylene (PP) that may be more than 10 years old is now finding its way into new rear bumpers for the Mazda Biante minivan thanks to recycling technology developed by the automaker over many years.

Mazda Motor Corporation (Hiroshima, Japan) began collecting damaged bumpers (that were replaced at dealer service centers) as far back as 1992 and recycling them for use as vehicle undercovers. In subsequent years, it continued to hone paint removal technology to the point where by 2003, joint development with recycling system manufacturer Satake Corporation (Hiroshima) had increased the paint removal rate to 99.9%. The resulting recycled plastic thus passed the necessary strength and quality for use as replacement painted bumpers. At this stage, however, recycling was still limited to relatively new damaged bumpers from a cost and technological standpoint.

In the latest development, Mazda says has become the world's first automaker to successfully recycle scrapped bumpers from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) into raw material for new vehicle bumpers. The new technology made its commercial debut on August 21, 2011.


PTT to buy a stake in Indonesian petrochemicals maker PT Chandra Asri

(Reuters) -- Thailand's top energy firm, PTT Pcl , is keen to buy a stake in Indonesian petrochemicals maker PT Chandra Asri as part of its foreign expansion drive, a source at the Energy Ministry said on Friday.

"PTT group has shown interest and is studying the possibility of buying the stake in the Indonesian petrochemical firm from Temasek," the source told Reuters.

"This should be the starting point for PTT to expand into the petrochemical business in Indonesia," he said, adding PTT group was not yet in talks with the seller and had not mandated any financial adviser for the moment.

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings is trying to sell its 23 percent stake in the Indonesian petrochemicals maker in a deal worth USD 400 million, two sources with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters recently.