Russian prices of blow molding grade HDPE to cut back

(MRC) -- Last week the prices of blow molding grade HDPE in Russia began to decline on the back of slumping demand and sufficient supply, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

In early August, many Russian converters anticipated the deficit of blow molding HDPE during scheduled turnarounds of several producers in September - October. As a result, companies made polyethylene inventories as much as possible, and in late September on the back of demand growth the prices reached Rb61,500-66,000/tonne, VAT, CPT Moscow.

October did not keep the upward trend. Some converters report about a serious decline in demand for finished products. Some companies have sufficient inventories of blow molding HDPE since August. The resumption of PE production by Russian producers stabilized the situation.

By Monday, Stavrolen had resumed the production of HDPE after its turnaround on October 10. The deliveries of blow molding polyethylene to the domestic market has been planned on Wednesday. Gazprom neftechem Salavat had also resumed HDPE production by beginning of this week. Due to technical problems, the company stopped the capacities ahead of schedule on September, 1st. In October, Nizhnekamskneftechem resumed the deliveries of blow molding HDPE.

By the beginning of the week, a low demand and sufficient supply had resulted in falling of the prices of blow molding HDPE by Rb1,500/tonne to Rb61,500-64,500/tonne, VAT, CPT Moscow.


Brazilian group appoints Resin Trade exclusive distributor for masterbatches in UK and Ireland

(Plasteurope) -- Brazilian masterbatch and additive manufacturer Cromex (Sao Paulo) appointed Resin Trade (Burton on Trent / UK) the exclusive distributor of its black, white, colour and additive masterbatches in the UK and Ireland. The UK group already distributes fellow Brazilian manufacturer Braskem's (Sao Paulo) entire portfolio in the UK and Ireland.

Cromex operates two masterbatch plants in Brazil. At its headquarters in Sao Paulo, the group can turn out 18,000 t/y of coloured masterbatches, whereas its plant in Simoes Filho has a nameplate capacity of 82,000 t/y of white and black masterbatches as well as additives. Cromex products are exported to more than 60 countries.

Founded in 1993, Resin Trade distributed more than 45,000 t/y of polymer between the UK and Spain in 2010, and expects that number to rise to 60,000 t/y in 2011. Aside from Cromex and Braskem, the UK distributor also handles the sales of Equate Petrochemicals' (Safat / Kuwait) PE and from its office in Alicante / Spain also distributes Octal Petrochemicals' (Musqat / Oman) PET resins in Spain and Portugal.


Singapore's exports of petrochemicals in September fell 8% year on year

(ICIS) -- Singapore's exports of petrochemicals in September fell 8% year on year, as product prices declined in tandem with international crude values and amid weakening demand, an analyst at credit ratings firm Standard & Poor's said on Monday. Exports were valued at Singapore dollars (S$) 1bn ($794m), according to International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore).

Economic worries in the US and the eurozone depressed oil prices in September, forcing manufacturers in Singapore to lower product prices, said Andrew Wong, a Singapore-based petrochemical analyst at credit ratings firm Standard & Poor's.

Brent crude futures fluctuated between a low of $108.07/bbl to a high of $113.26/bbl in September, while NYMEX WTI futures hit a low of $84.47/bbl and a high of $88.33/bbl during the month.
Among petrochemical products, benzene almost had an 11% decline in average spot prices in September from August, while ethylene saw a 6.2% fall in average values over the same period, according to ICIS.

In Asia, the petrochemicals demand and supply situation is roughly balanced, with a softening of demand in China - the region's major importer of petrochemicals; Thailand in excess supply, and; Indonesia continuing as a net importer, Wong said.

Global energy majors Shell and ExxonMobil have petrochemical manufacturing sites in Singapore that serve the Asian market.


Yule Catto to acquire Malaysian aqueous polymer producer Quality Polymer

(ICIS) -- Yule Catto has acquired Malaysian aqueous polymer producer Quality Polymer for $15.9m on a cash and debt-free basis, the UK specialty chemicals company said on Monday.
⌠This acquisition will allow Yule Catto to expand its southeast Asian production and sales of acrylic and vinylic polymer dispersions for the adhesives, building products and coating sectors, Yule Catto said in a statement on the London Stock Exchange. Following the acquisition, Quality Polymer will be directly owned by the group's subsidiary, Revertex Malaysia, the statement said.

⌠It is expected that the acquisition will be earnings-enhancing in financial year 2012, the statement said without further elaboration. Quality Polymer employs 30 staff at its plant that is located close to Yule Catto's existing unit at Pasir Gudang in Malaysia and has historic annual sales, according to the statement.


In Asia demand for ammonia has weakened

(ICIS) -- Asia's demand for ammonia has weakened as acrylonitrile (ACN) and nitric acid producers in South Korea and Taiwan have lowered the operating rates at their facilities because of falling prices against high feedstock costs, sources said on Friday.

Ammonia is a raw material used in the production of ACN, nitric acid and caprolactam (capro).
South Korea's Tongsuh Petrochemical is running its 70,000 tonne/year and 230,000 tonne/year ACN plants in Ulsan at about 80% capacity, a source familiar with the company's operations said.
However, the company is considering reducing the rates further to 70% or less in the coming weeks as its inventories are high and ACN prices are falling, the source added.

Samsung Fine Chemicals is the main supplier of ammonia to Tongsuh Petrochemical for the latter's ACN production and to South Korean producer Capro Corp for its caprolactam production, according to a source from the former company.

The lower operating rates at Tongsuh Petrochemical's units and maintenance shutdowns at Capro Corp's 150,000 tonne/year and 60,000 tonne/year capro units in Ulsan are expected to lower Samsung Fine Chemicals' ammonia requirements by around 20,000-25,000 tonnes this month, a company source said.