IEA revised down its global oil demand growth forecast for 2011

(ICIS) -- The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Wednesday revised down its global oil demand growth forecast for 2011 by 50,000 bbl/day and by 210,000 bbl/day for 2012 because of a downward adjustment to GDP growth assumptions. Global oil demand in 2011 is now expected to rise 1.1% - or by 1.0m bbl/day compared with last year - to 89.2m bbl/day. In 2012, demand will rise 1.4% - or by 1.3m bbl/day - to reach 90.5m bbl/day.

The IEA also cited lower-than-expected third-quarter readings in the non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations as a reason for the downward revision.
⌠Stronger-than-expected OECD monthly submissions, primarily in Europe and the Pacific, provide some offsetting support, the Paris-headquartered international agency added.

⌠Some of the demand boost stems from temporary factors, such as seasonal heating oil tank filling, while oil-fired power generation in Japan provides more lasting upside potential.

According to the IEA's October oil market report, global oil supply fell by 300,000 bbl/day to 88.7m bbl/day in September from August, driven lower by reduced non-OPEC output.

Non-OPEC supply fell by 300,000 bbl/day to 52.6m bbl/day in September, largely because of weather- and maintenance-related shut-ins in North America, the North Sea and Latin America, as well as unplanned outages in the Middle East, the IEA added.


Widespread flooding in Thailand to shave the country's economic output this year

(ICIS) -- Widespread flooding in Thailand will shave the country's economic output this year, slowing its GDP growth by as much as a full percentage point, given the heavy disruption caused on domestic production, industry sources and analysts said on Wednesday. The Thai capital of Bangkok is on high alert as floodwaters from the central provinces could break through the protective barriers built around the city, they said.

In the provinces of Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi, heavy rains caused rivers to overflow, with the water rushing where Bangkok lies.

Considered as Thailand's worst in 50 years, the floods have swept across 60 of the country's 77 provinces over past two months, killing at least 281 people and shutting down production at hundreds of factories, according to media reports.

The Thai economy is forecast to grow at 3.5% in 2011, barely half the pace of expansion recorded last year, according to the International Monetary Fund's latest World Economic Outlook report in September.

With the devastation being wrought by the flooding, the projected slow GDP growth could be shaved by 0.6-0.9%, with the losses likely to be as high as baht (Bt) 80bn ($2.58bn), according to estimates of government agencies.

Thailand is expected to sustain huge damage to its agricultural sector, estimated at Bt54bn ($1.7bn), according to DBS Vickers. For industries, the losses are forecast at Bt20bn; Bt9.8bn for trade, and; Bt5.7bn for tourism, the brokerage said.


Evonik Industries to build a new production plant for hydrogen peroxide

(Plastemart) - Evonik Industries will build a new production plant for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in Jilin Province in northeastern China. An investment of over Euro 100 mln in the project sees Evonik moving another step forward in its endeavor to access new sales markets for this environmentally friendly oxidant. Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013, the plant will boast an annual production capacity of 230,000 tons, thus increasing Evonik's current overall annual capacity of around 600,000 tons for H2O2 production by nearly 40%. The Group believes it is the world's second largest manufacturer of hydrogen peroxide.


Ineos' ABS plant in Tarragona is divested as part of Styrolution deal

(PlastEurope) -- In order to meet the EU's preconditions for the creation of Styrolution (Ludwigshafen / Germany) - the 50:50 styrene joint venture between BASF (Ludwigshafen / Germany) and Ineos (Lausanne / Switzerland) - the latter on 1 October 2011 awarded its ABS plant in Tarragona / Spain to its Elix Polymers (Tarragona / Spain) subsidiary, which it subsequently carved out. Elix Polymers will now operate as an independent company.

When the competition authorities had approved the merger of the two group's styrene activities earlier this year - see of 05.10.2011 - they had set the condition that the Tarragon plant be divested in order to restore competition in the European market for natural and pre-coloured ABS products.

The Tarragona-based business comprises ABS products sold under the ⌠Lustran and ⌠Novodur trademarks. Ineos said it plans to sell Elix, which has already begun the process of rebranding itself, to a third party.


A new protective packaging giant to appera in North America

(PlastEurope) -- An agreement reached between global packaging giant Sonoco (Hartsville, South Carolina / USA) and private equity firm Metalmark Capital (New York, New York / USA), under the terms of which the former will acquire specialty packaging solutions manufacturer Tegrant Corporation (Arlington Heights, Illinois / USA), will result in the creation of a new protective packaging giant in North America.

According to Sonoco CEO Harris DeLoach, the USD 550m cash and debt deal, expected to close in November this year, is the largest in the company's history and expected to be accretive to Sonoco's 2012 pro forma earnings. Tegrant is expected to generate sales of USD 440m in 2011. Based on this projection, Sonoco could post revenues of about USD 5 bn in 2012. The new businesses will be overseen by existing Tegrant CEO Ron Leach, who has agreed to stay with Sonoco.

Illinois-based Tegrant operates three key business units: Protexic, which it claimed to be North America's leading moulded expanded foam manufacturer; ThermoSafe, which Tegrant says is the world's leading provider of temperature-assured solutions for temperature-sensitive packaging solutions; and Alloyd, which produces and designs packaging, printed products and blister packaging machines. All in all, the group operates more than 30 plants in the US, Mexico and Ireland, with more than 2,000 employees.