China's purchasing managers' index rebounded after declining for four months

(ICIS) -- China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose by 0.2 percentage points from July to 50.9% in August, according to the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing (CFLP) on Thursday.
This is the first time the PMI has rebounded after declining for four consecutive months, raising expectations that the Chinese economic recovery is gradually stabilising, said Zhang Liqun, an analyst from CFLP.

Among the PMI sub-indices in August, the new order index remained stable at 51.1% in July, while the country's production index increased by 0.2 percentage points from July to 52.3%, according to official data from CFLP.

The slight increase of 0.2 percentage points stopped the consecutive decline of China's PMI. In addition, the increase shows that the manufacturing sector has rebounded despite the government's tightening monetary policy and slowing global economic growth, said an analyst from Zhicheng Securities.

Meanwhile, China's increasing purchasing index showed that cost pressure still weighs on small and medium-sized enterprises, Zhang added.


US butadiene prices to fall on average by 3.3% in September

(ICIS) -- US butadiene (BD) prices are expected to fall on average by 3.3% in September, market sources said on Wednesday, predicting the first drop for the monthly contract in 2011. The reduction comes as three US suppliers settled at USD 1.70/lb (USD 3,748/tonne, EUR 2,586/tonne) FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf),while a fourth producer split the market and settled at USD 1.75/lb, market sources said.

The settlements put the September contract at USD 1.7075/lb, which is down from a weighted average of USD 1.7660/lb in August, when the market was split at USD 1.75/lb and USD 1.86/lb.

The drop in September will snap a nine-month uptrend during which BD contract prices more than doubled as a result of tight supply and firm demand. US BD prices last dropped in November 2010, when contracts settled 2 cents/lb lower at 84 cents/lb. The softening in the US market is in line with a downturn in other regions.


Daimler and BASF combine know-how in pioneering vehicle project

(BASF) -- Daimler and BASF have developed a new concept vehicle that combines both companies' ideas for holistic electric mobility. The resulting vehicle is the smart forvision, which has been developed with a special emphasis on energy efficiency, temperature management and lightweight design. The smart forvision will have its world premiere at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt.

Both Daimler and BASF are engaged in wide-ranging research and development work aimed at getting electric cars on the road and ensuring that electric mobility becomes part of everyday life as soon as possible. Daimler is embracing the age of electric mobility: it is the first car manufacturer to have released four electric production models, and its smart fortwo electric drive is a pioneer among battery-driven vehicles.

BASF, the world's largest supplier of chemical products to the automotive industry, develops sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions for the energy-efficient mobility of tomorrow. The two companies have now combined their technological competencies for the first time, developing a forward-looking vehicle concept that offers decisive solutions to the challenges of the future. The new vehicle brings design, lifestyle and technology together to form a new functional whole.


Engel opened a sales and technical center in India

(Plastics Today) -- Engel has opened a sales and technical center in Mumbai, India, offering the burgeoning local injection molding and automation market machine demonstrations, customer trials, pre-production, and mold trials. The business, Engel Machinery India Pvt. Ltd. will be headed by Jitendra Devlia and be located in a new and significantly larger space that's close to Mumbai International Airport in the Andheri East district of the city.

The center, which will also have space for training and technical seminars, will have tie-bar-less Engel victory machines with energy-saving servohydraulic Engel ecodrives installed, as well as fully electric machines from the Engel e-motion range and Engel viper robots from the company's latest generation of linear automation. The Engel spare parts warehouse is also expanding in the course of the relocation to new premises.

Engel has been active in India for 13 years, and the company expects growth to remain high in the country, which it describes as the second most important Asian market for European manufacturers of plastics processing machines after China. Expansion is being driven by strong domestic demand in the automotive, packaging, white goods, agricultural, and construction sectors.


Sibur revived plans for LDPE plant in Astrakhan

(Plastemart) -- Russian petrochemicals major Sibur Holding has revived plans for a 500 KTa LDPE plant in Astrakhan with provisional launch planned for 2012. In 2008, Sibur was reported to have spent over EUR 6 mln in the preparation of the engineering design for a petrochemicals complex there. Plans have been revised to invest EUR 1.3 bln for a chemical complex, including ethylene and polyethylene, with a start up date of 2015.