Slovnaft continues in mega investments

(Slovnaft) -- Slovnaft plans to implement three large investment projects in Bratislava refinery in next 42 months with total value more then 300 million euro. The aim of the projects is to enhance competitiveness in sale of plastics, as well as improvement of ecologic parameters of manufacture. Currently the largest investment in the chemical industry in Central Europe, during the implementation can work from 500 to 1000 people through the delivery companies.

The construction of new line for the manufacture of polyethylene (LDPE 4) with the utilization of proved German technology will be the main part of the investments.

The reconstruction of ethylene unit as the source of material for polyethylene links will be realized before these investments. The reconstruction will start in next year. New line should be built by the end of 2015.

"New production unit will be able to produce nearly 30 types of polyethylene. Due to the extension of portfolio Slovnaft will be able to address new customers and expand to new markets within EU.

"Due to modern technologies the new production unit will be not only able to replace all present 7 lines for the production of polyethylene, but also ensure the increase of polymers production by 42 thousand tones. The construction of new line is a key investment for the whole market of plastics in Central Europe and ensures long- term sustainable competitive advantage for our company," said Ivan Dezd, the director of Slovnaft Petrochemicals.


China records USD297.9 billion foreign trade values in October

(adsalecprj) -- According to latest statistics from China Customs, in October, exports continued to slow down while imports were on the rise. The country's total foreign trade value was USD297.9 billion in the month, up by 21.6% year on year.

Statistics also showed that although exports increased by 15.9% compared with the same month of last year, their growth rate was down by 1.2% from September. Meanwhile, imports recorded an increase of 28.7% year on year, up by 7.8% compared with September. After seasonal adjustment, in October exports and imports were down by 7.2% and 9.5% month on month respectively.
A USD17 billion foreign trade surplus was recorded in the month, up by USD2.5 billion than September.

By category, most textile and light industrial products experienced slowdown in export growth. In October, export values of furniture, plastics products and light fixtures increased by 13%, 25.9% and 12.1% year on year respectively. These figures were down by 0.6%, 2.1% and 2.1% compared with September respectively.

In the month, export values of toys and garments increased by 5.3% and 6% year on year, while down by 1.6% and 7.9% month on month respectively. Exports of shoes and bags also increased by 6.1% and 30.9% increase in value, yet both numbers happened to be 4.5% and 1.6% lower than in September respectively.

Meanwhile, export values of machinery & electronics products as well as hi tech products were recorded at USD93.2 billion and USD48.4 billion respectively, an increase of 12.6% and 6.1% year on year respectively.
However, the numbers were down 0.6% and 0.2% than in September. Only textile products have experienced growth in both categories, up 18.4% year on year and 1.8% month on month.


Bemis acquires Shield Pack

(adsalecprj) -- Bemis Company, Inc, a Wisconsin, US headquartered supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials used by food, consumer products, healthcare, and other companies, has acquired the common stock of Shield Pack, LLC of West Monroe, Louisiana, the US, a manufacturer of high barrier liners for bulk container packaging with about USD25 million annual net sales.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
"This acquisition expands our reach into new market applications for bulk liquids and other products that require barrier packaging," said Henry Theisen, President and CEO of Bemis. "Shield Pack's expertise in moisture and oxygen barrier technology complements our existing technological capabilities and our focus on high barrier packaging solutions."

Bemis Company is a major supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials used by leading food, consumer products, healthcare, and other companies worldwide. Founded in 1858, the Company is included in the S&P 500 index of stocks and reported 2010 net sales of $4.8 billion. The Company's flexible packaging business has a strong technical base in polymer chemistry, film extrusion, coating and laminating, printing, and converting. Headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, Bemis employs over 20,000 individuals worldwide.


Europe's PVC producers to announce a rollover for December contracts

(ICIS) -- European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producers have announced a rollover in contract prices for December in an effort to recover margins, market sources said on Monday. ⌠Margins at the end of the year are poorer than in December 2008, even after the small decrease [by EUR15/tonne] in December ethylene [contract prices], a producer said. "[PVC] prices have decreased steadily from July to December, whereas feedstock prices are much higher than three years ago, "the producer added.
Suppliers are also talking about potential increases in January, after reportedly seeing signs of a recovery in buying interest for January orders. ⌠I don't expect a sudden recovery in demand [in January] but inventory management has been very strict, a producer said. "Producers have kept inventory levels low and recent unplanned shutdowns have limited availability," it added.

The source said that there are more opportunities for exports: ⌠We are not at the same level as 2009, when consumption of feedstocks dropped drastically everywhere in the world." ⌠Today, the crisis is mainly European, not so much in other regions, the producer added.

Buyers on the other hand seem reluctant to accept a rollover for December and expect some decreases in line with depressed market conditions. They are also sceptical about the ability of the PVC market to absorb any price increases in January.


Oil prices pushed up on Iran fears

( -- Improvements in the global economy and tensions in the Middle East have pushed up the price of oil. In mid-afternoon trading, Brent one-month futures were at $110.81 a barrel while US light crude traded at $102.02. Recent US employment data has been better than expected, suggesting increased demand from the world's largest consumer of oil.

And Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, is under pressure from the West over its nuclear programme. Iran produced 4,245,000 barrels of oil a day in 2010, according to BP's statistical review of world energy. On Friday last week, diplomats working at the Iranian embassy in London were expelled. They were ordered to leave by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague after protesters stormed the British embassy in Tehran on Tuesday.

Also last week, the US Senate voted to penalise financial institutions doing business with Iran's central bank, because of worries over the country's nuclear programme. And on Sunday, Iran's official Irna news agency reported it had shot down an unmanned US drone aircraft. The European Union is reportedly considering a ban on Iranian oil exports which may interrupt oil supply to the region.