Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs is mulling a change in investments

(Plastemart) -- The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is mulling a change in its existing overseas investment policy. A ban on Taiwanese companies investing in the naphtha-cracking sector in China may be lifted, but with some stipulations. These conditions are aimed to be negotiated with the Chinese government during the next Economic Cooperation Committee meeting. One of the key constraints will be the Taiwanese Ministry requirements that domestic firms have a 50% stake in crackers in China, which China does not allow. Also the MOEA may necessitate that a quota of output from plants in China would have to be shipped home to Taiwan to sustain the operations of the nation's supply chain, and their investment in Taiwan must match that in China.


Linik increased PP production in August by 30% compared to July

(MRC) -- In August, Ukrainian producer Linik increased its polypropylene (PP) output to 7.68 KT that was 30% more compared to July. In September, a further increase of production volumes is expected, according to MRC ScanPlast.
In September, according to TNK-BP Commerce official data, a business plan for Linik refining makes 410 KT, whereof 370 KT fall at give-and-take bases. Over the first eight months, the Ukrainian producer increased polymer production to 66 KT.

Last year overall Linik PP output made 46 KT. Such weak production volumes were caused by a long suspension of refinery and polymer production for scheduled maintenance in May-June and force-majeure due to an unprecedented heat wave in July-August.


European buyers of PE and PP face price increases for September

(ICIS) -- Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) buyers in Europe have been faced with announcements of rollovers or price increases for September, following decreases in both the ethylene and propylene monthly monomer contracts, market sources said on Monday. September ethylene monomer contract settled at EUR 1,115/tonne (USD 1,570/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), down by just EUR 5/tonne from its August level, while the September propylene contract settled down by EUR 37/tonne, at EUR 1,078/tonne FD NWE. The first week of September was unusually quiet in the polyolefins sector, but producers put this down to holidays.

PE buyers are faced with announcements of increases from some suppliers, with Dow having made a public statement that it is seeking a EUR 50/tonne increase in September. This is widely thought to be overambitious, and a competitor to Dow has informed its customers that it will be targeting a EUR 20/tonne increase.

In spite of these announcements, however, the PE market is also rife with reports of spot offers of western European low density polyethylene (LDPE) in particular on offer below August levels, barely above the new ethylene contract in some cases, at EUR 1,130-1,150/tonne FD NWE. This level is not confirmed by any western European source.


China sees slow growth of treated distillate aromatic extract

(ICIS) -- China's production of treated distillate aromatic extract (TDAE) for tyres is unlikely to grow significantly given the poor demand for the product, which costs 30% higher than the regular aromatics-based rubber oil, industry sources said on Monday.

The country started producing TDAE - considered an environmentally friendly rubber oil which is now required for tyre manufacturing in the EU - this year. The output in 2011 is estimated to be less than 10,000 tonnes, according to the producers of the rubber oil.

China has not been able to start exporting the product yet as only one producer has been able to meet EU standards.

The actual consumption of TDAE within China is at 12.7% of the country's total rubber oil consumption, which was recorded at 786,700 tonnes in 2010, according to C1 Energy, an ICIS service in China.


Oil and natural gas production in the US Gulf shut-in as a result of the storm

(ICIS) -- Much of the offshore oil and natural gas production in the US Gulf remained shut-in as a result of Tropical Storm Lee, regulators said on Sunday. As of 11:30 Houston time (16:30 GMT), companies have evacuated personnel from 239 production platforms, or 38.7% of the 617 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

In all, 60.2% of the Gulf's oil production and 44.3% of its natural gas production has been shut in, the bureau said. The natural gas figure is lower than Saturday's, when 54.6% was shut-in. Earlier, Tropical Storm Lee had made landfall on the coast of Louisiana.

The southern portion of Louisiana has several refineries and petrochemical plants. Although companies were on alert for any disruptions, there were no known shutdowns or cutbacks in production.Oil companies, though, had evacuated personnel from offshore platforms.