Thai IRPC PCL expects fourth-quarter revenue to fall 30%

(Dow Jones) -- Thai refiner and petrochemical producer IRPC PCL expects fourth-quarter revenue to fall 30% from a year earlier due mainly to a planned 45-day maintenance shut down, Chief Executive Atikom Terbsiri said Wednesday. He said the planned shutdown coincides with slowing local demand as Thailand is facing the worst flood in decades.

Most of Thailand's central provinces are submerged by the floods, including vast areas of farmland and industrial estates that are global production bases of electronics and automobile parts. The inundation of those estates has materially disrupted global production in both industries.


SABIC and Chongqing Government to build engineering thermoplastics compounding plant

(Sabic) -- SABIC's Innovative Plastics business, Chongqing Xiyong Micro-electronics Industrial Park, and the Chongqing Economic and Informatization Commission announced a memorandum of understanding where SABIC would establish an engineering thermoplastics compounding plant in Chongqing, China. The move supports the Chinese government's 12th Five-Year Plan to expand into the country's western region and reinforces SABIC's commitment to build on its long heritage of serving this important marketplace with innovative and consistently high-quality materials solutions. Chongqing has already established itself as an important industrial hub for global computer, consumer electronics and automotive manufacturers - critical industry segments that SABIC has long served with local materials technology and manufacturing, application development expertise, and design assistance.

This is SABIC's third Chinese engineering thermoplastics investment this year. Earlier announcements include SABIC's memorandum of understanding with Sinopec to collaborate on polycarbonate production in China. A joint investment between both companies would fund a new polycarbonate product plant with an annual capacity of 260 kilo-metric tons. The second announcement was investments in new production lines for SABIC's Lexan polycarbonate resins and films in both Shanghai and Nansha in 2012. This comes on the heels of a similar Lexan compounding expansion in Nansha late last year.


BASF to increase the production capacity of its insulation material Neopor

(BASF) -- BASF plans to increase the production capacity of its insulation material Neopor (EPS, expandable polystyrene) in stages at its Ludwigshafen site by around 60,000 metric tons per year from December 2011 and is set to achieve full capacity by October 2013 at the latest. The gray Neopor is an advanced version of Styropor. It gets its color and unique performance by the addition of graphite particles - Neopor offers an improved insulating performance of up to 20% over the white EPS insulating material.

The increased capacity will be achieved by expanding existing production plants; this is the second increase in Neopor capacity at the Ludwigshafen site within three years. The international trend towards highly efficient insulating materials, particularly for use in external envelopes, continues apace. " We are investing in our plants so that we can extend our market leadership in gray EPS insulating materials even further" , explains Dr. Giorgio Greening, Head of BASF's global Foams Business Unit. In 1998, BASF was the first EPS manufacturer to include a gray insulating material in its portfolio. Its additional investment means that the company can offer its customers greater security of supply.


European polypropylene prices are under downward pressure

(ICIS) -- European polypropylene (PP) prices are under downward pressure following the settlement of the November propylene contract price, sources said on Thursday.

The European November propylene contract price was fully settled at ┬1,013/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) on Thursday, down by ┬55/tonne ($75/tonne) from October.
⌠I have just put the phone down from settling November with my first supplier, said a medium-sized PP buyer. ⌠They have given me a reduction of ┬55/tonne.

On a spot basis, net homopolymer injection PP prices are now trading below ┬1,100/tonne FD NWE in some cases. The last time this level was reached was in March 2010.

Monthly pricing on a gross basis is now reported at ┬1,245/tonne FD NWE at those accounts where the ┬55/tonne decrease has been applied. A similar level was also last reported in March 2010. This price is subject to discounts.

Demand in October was not as bad as many had expected, but domestic European volumes were boosted by exports and spot lots to large buyers at keen prices. November demand is expected to be slow, given the current economic climate.


In November the Russian market of DOP is expected to be saturated

(MRC) -- The resumption of DOP plasticizers production at Gazprom neftechem Salavat along with imports will allow to saturate the Russian market. This week the price correction has already started at the DOP market, according to ICIS-MRC price report.

In October, the limited supplies of DOP plasticizers to the Russian market, coupled with the rouble devaluation were the main reason for the price hike. The domestic prices were in the range of rouble (Rb) 74,000-78,000/tonne, VAT, FCA. By early November, the situation in the Russian market of DOP plasticizer had begun to stabilize.

By the beginning of the month, Gazprom neftechem Salavat had resumed the production of DOP after a scheduled turnaround. Sufficient volumes of imported material also have appeared in the market. As a result, prices began to decline. The Russian DOP in November was offered on average for Rb72,000-75,000/tonne, VAT, FCA. The offers for the supplies of the Ukrainian plasticizer are in the range of Rb78,000-79,000/tonne, VAT, CPT.