PTA prices in Asia hit an 11-month low

(ICIS) -- Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) prices in Asia hit an 11-month low and may continue falling, dragged down by declining values of feedstock paraxylene (PX), accompanied by slowing demand from the downstream polyester sector, industry sources said on Friday.

Spot PTA prices fell $60-65/tonne on 20 October to $1,080-1,120/tonne (┬788-818/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) CMP (China Main Port), levels last seen in early November 2010, while PX prices fell by $82/tonnne to $1,473-1,483/tonne CFR Taiwan/CMP, according to ICIS.

Panic-selling caused by sharp falls in PX values drove spot PTA prices down on Thursday, with values in the PTA futures market declining 6%. PTA offers declined as traders attempt to liquidate long positions, market sources said.

Decreasing export orders for China's major textile products on the back of continued weakness in the US economy and the debt crisis in the eurozone, as well as rising cloth inventory at Chinese factories, has dampened buying interest for polyester products, translating to much weaker consumption of PTA, industry sources said.

This week, the sales-to-output ratio of most polyester plants in China has declined to 50-70% in the past month from around 100% in early September.


GPPS imports to Russia grew by twice over the three quarters

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Over the three quarters of 2011, the Russian companies increased general-purpose polystyrene (GPPS) more than by twice compared to the same period in 2010, according to MRC DataScope.

Over the nine months of 2011, import supplies of GPPS to the Russian market made 32,600 tons, which was 113% more than supplies over the same period last year.

The main share of GPPS supplies in 2011 was from the South Korea (44%) and Belgium (28%). This year BASF increased supplies to the Russian market to 15,500 tons which makes 47% of total imports of the polymer.

The Russian market potential as well as competitive price from the foreign producers allowed to increase a share of imports in separate sectors of processing.


In September the Russian producers reduced PVC output

(MRC) -- In September, the Russian producers reduced output of unmixed PVC to 40,700 tonnes, due to limited supplies of ethylene. Over the nine months, overall production of polyvinylchloride exceeded 410,000 tonnes, according to MRC ScanPlast.

In September, the production of suspension PVC decreased to 38,800 tonnes. Sayanskchemplast and Caustic (Sterlitamak) declined the output at their facilities. The main reason for that was limited supplies of ethylene. Last month Angarsk Polymers Plant stopped for a scheduled turnaround, which resulted in reduced ethylene deliveries to Sayanskchemplast.

Caustic (Sterlitamak) short-received ethylene, due to low pressure in the ethylene tube Kazan-Nizhnekamsk-Sterlitamak-Salavat. Recently the company has declared its intention to build a separate ethylene tube in cooperation with Gazprom neftechem Salavat.

In September, PVC-E production at Chemprom (Volgograd) facilities made almost 2,000 tonnes. At the end of this week the company plans to stop its PVC capacities for a week turnaround. Some market participants have already faced the interruptions in the resin supplies to the domestic market.

Over the nine months, Russian production of unmixed PVC made 411,000 tonnes, which was 2% less year on year.Overall PVC-S production over the three quarters of 2011 amounted to 394,400 tonnes. Last year this index made 402,200 tonnes. PVC-E production remained almost the same as last year - 16,600 tonnes.


PTT Global Chemical to start trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand

(ICIS) -- PTT Global Chemical, the new flagship petrochemical company of Thailand's oil and gas giant PTT, can weather a second round of global recession better given its size and armed with a competitive mixed-feedstock production structure, analysts said on Thursday.

The company, created from the merger PTT Chemical (PTTCH) and PTT Aromatics (PTTAR), will start trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on 21 October, marking the full integration of two PTT affiliates.

With an estimated market capitalisation of more than baht (Bt) 300bn ($10bn), PTT Global Chemical will be the eighth largest listed company on the Thai bourse, analysts said. It will also become the only company in the world to integrate its olefins and aromatics chemical chains with gas-based and liquid-based feedstock sources, said Pongtham Danwungderm, a Bangkok-based analyst at KGI Securities.


Petroleos del Peru in talks with petrochemicals company Braskem

(Plastemart) -- State-owned Petroleos del Peru (Petroperu), is in talks with petrochemicals company Braskem SA, as it explores signing a letter of intent in order to carry out a technical and economic analysis of the viability of a petrochemical project in Peru.

Last year Braskem signed an agreement with Brazil's oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Petroperu to assess the feasibility of setting up a large scale polyethylene production project in southern Peru using natural gas.