Germany-based potash and salt producer ratings raised to BBB+

(ICIS) -- Standard & Poor's (S&P) has raised its long-term corporate credit rating and senior unsecured debt rating for Germany-based potash and salt producer Kali and Salz (K+S) to BBB+ from BBB, the ratings agency said on Thursday. S&P said K+S has posted strong credit metrics since 30 June 2010 and expects them to continue to do so in the second half of 2011 and into 2012.

S&P anticipates that K+S's earnings will remain volatile because it considers them to be highly sensitive to potash prices and volumes, it added.

However, S&P credit analyst Oliver Kroemker gave K+S a stable outlook because it ⌠reflects our view that strong demand for potash and other fertilizers, and the resulting high prices for them, should enable K+S to increase its profitability in 2011.

In August, K+S announced that its adjusted second-quarter earnings from continued operations had risen by 47.6% year on year to EUR 126.8m (USD 178.6m), while its revenues for the second quarter rose by 10.7% to EUR 1.05bn year on year, on the back of strong demand in its fertilizer business.


Thailand's IVL sold out spot polyethylene terephtalate for September

(Platts) -- Thailand's Indorama Ventures, or IVL, has sold out spot polyethylene terephtalate for September, said a company source Wednesday, adding that its plants in Indonesia, Thailand, and China were operating at 100% of their capacities. "Demand has improved this week. We are only offering to some regular customers," said the source.

The company has a 180,000 mt/year plant in Lopburi, Thailand; a 86,400 mt/year plant in Tangerang, Indonesia; and a 276,000 mt/year plant in Guangdong, China.VL will start offering October cargoes from next week.

Following a two-week lull, sales in Southeast Asia have gone up, with two PET producers selling at least 1,000 mt of product each last week.

A source at another PET producer in Southeast Asia said customers were holding back on purchases due to relatively high PET prices over the past weeks, on high feedstock purified terephthalic acid prices.


BASF again included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index

(BASF) -- BASF was today again included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World). The company received special recognition by the analysts for its sustainability engagement in Genetically Modified Organisms, Product Stewardship, Environmental Management System, Climate Strategy and Risk & Crisis Management. The DJSI World is the most important sustainability index and represents the top 10 percent of the largest 2,500 companies in each industry included in the Dow Jones Global Index.

BASF shares are included in the DJSI World for the eleventh year in succession. In 2008, the company led the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as best performing chemical company. The listed companies have to demonstrate continuous improvement every year with regards to sustainability and are assessed by analysts from Sustainable Asset Management Group (SAM).


Use of organic waste bags made of BASF's compostable plastic Ecovio FS approved in Bad Durkheim

(BASF) -- Effective immediately, the district of Bad Durkheim has approved the permanent use of organic waste bags made of BASF's compostable plastic Ecovio FS. Residents and local waste management companies tested the bags over a period of three months. As shown by a survey, the residents of Bad Durkheim are very satisfied with the new waste bags. And the organic composting plant Grunstadt owned by the waste management company GML Abfallwirtschaftsgesellschaft mbH also rated the results of the pilot project very positively. The bags made of Ecovio FS degrade completely and do not impair the quality of the compost.

Thanks to the Ecovio bags, the disposal of biodegradable garbage is cleaner, more hygienic and less complicated than with paper bags or old newspapers. The bags not only prevent noxious odors and keep out insects, but also mean that it is no longer necessary to wash and clean the container in which the organic waste is collected.


Siam Cement confirmed its interest in buying stakes in two petrochemical companies in Indonesia

(Reuters) -- Thailand's top industrial conglomerate, Siam Cement Pcl , confirmed on Tuesday it was interested in buying stakes in two petrochemical companies in Indonesia worth a combined estimated USD 1.1 billion. "We are interested in both petrochemical firms in Indonesia...details of the deals cannot be disclosed at this point because they are quite big deals," Chief Executive Kan Trakulhoon told reporters.

Indonesian chemical producer Sulfindo Adiusaha is up for sale with an estimated price tag of USD 700 million and may draw interest from Siam Cement and South Korea's Hanwha Chemical Corp when first-round bids are due in late August, sources with knowledge of the deal said recently.

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