LyondellBasell delivered USD5.5 bln of EBITDA over the last 12 months

(PRNewswire) -- LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly today told participants at the company's annual Investor Day in New York that LyondellBasell is well positioned for the future. The company has had successive quarters of record results and delivered USD5.5 billion of EBITDA over the last 12 months.

Gallogly and other LyondellBasell executives reviewed recent financial performance, the near-term outlook, a business segment-by-segment report of achievements, and the company's plans for growth in front of an audience of investors participating in the half-day program that was broadcast on the company's website.

"The past 18 months have been a period of significant progress at LyondellBasell," Gallogly said. "We have rebuilt this company from the plant floor up. We have improved our cost structure, strengthened our balance sheet and enhanced all aspects of our operations. The collective efforts and success of our employees around the world in implementing our back-to-basic strategy is proof we have what it takes to become the premier commodity petrochemical company. We believe we have now earned the right to grow and are well-positioned for the future," Gallogly said.


Spot powdered polypropylene prices in China fell by about 11%

(ICIS) -- Spot powdered polypropylene (PP) prices in China fell by about 11% since early November, as sellers are under pressure to shave down their high inventory of the material, market sources said on Friday.

Bids and offers were quoted at (CNY) 9,700-9,900/tonne (USD1,523-1,554/tonne) EXW (ex-works) in Shandong on Friday, down by about CNY1,175/tonne from CNY10,950-11,000/tonne in early November, they said. ⌠The negotiation levels are hitting the lowest [on] record in the second half of this year, said a Shandong-based producer. Mounting inventory levels have caused panic-selling for some market players, said another producer from Zhejiang.

Demand for powdered PP was extremely low from its major downstream - the woven-bags industry - and this has led to a continuous decline prices of feedstock propylene, said a source from Dongming Petrochemical Group.

About 80% of China's powdered PP consumption goes into the production of woven bags. Buyers are currently procuring powdered PP cargoes on a need-to basis, taking into account actual demand.

Xianchao Packaging, a major Zhejiang-based woven bags maker in China, is cautious about stocking up on feedstock, anticipating a labour shortage leading to the Lunar New Year festivities in China in late January, said a company source.

The gloomy global economic climate going into next year is also weighing down on overall market sentiment in the powdered PP sector, some plastics processors said.

Prices of feedstock propylene in China were assessed at CNY9,150-9,300/tonne ex-tank in Shandong on Thursday, down by 19.43% from 9 October, according to Chemease, an ICIS service in China. Propylene values will likely continue falling in the coming weeks because of persistently weak demand, market sources said.


In Africa LDPE imports expensive despite a price drop

(ICIS) -- Low density polyethylene (LDPE) film is still too expensive for the African markets despite a price drop of up to 15% this year from January to December, producers and distributors said on Thursday. Converter usage of LDPE in Africa declined as prices climbed in the first half of the year, and this has not yet picked up despite prices falling in the second half, sources said.

LDPE import spot prices were at USD1,450-1,550/tonne on 7 December, down from USD1,700-1,730/tonne (EUR1,275-1,298/tonne) in the first week of January. The price gap between LDPE and other film grades remains wide, as highlighted in the graph below.

Buyers deem the grade too expensive compared to linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) film grades.

⌠Even from the Middle East, there is a big differential in prices between LDPE and HDPE, a distributor said. "Customers in West Africa have shifted to using LLDPE instead of LDPE to make water pouches, especially in Nigeria", a second distributor said, explaining that water pouches had been a major end-use of LDPE until recently.

This has led the company to reduce its December LDPE offers into Africa, although it announced a rollover for all other polyethylene (PE) grades, the source said. Other producers also remain flexible on LDPE offers, citing the slow demand and consequent increased global availability.


Repsol's cracker at Sines temporarily shut down

(ICIS) -- Repsol's cracker at Sines, Portugal, has been temporarily shut down because of weak demand, a company spokesperson said on Friday. Details about the duration of the shutdown or when it began were not disclosed. Previous reports suggested the cracker was running, albeit recently at low rates.

Repsol has two other European crackers at Tarragona and Puertollano, in Spain, which are both thought to be running at reduced operating rates. Of the three crackers, Sines is the only one not fully-integrated with derivative production and therefore is more likely to have been hit harder by the weak market conditions. Logistical problems and expensive freight costs are also understood to be contributory factors for the idling measures.

Both European propylene and ethylene demand has been lower than expected in the second half of the year because of the underlying economic sentiment, as well as stricter inventory control at year-end.

There is ongoing length in the European system because of low derivative demand, which is not likely to improve until at least the second half of January/February 2012.

Repsol has a nameplate capacity for ethylene of 415,000 tonnes/year at Sines, 660,000 tonnes/year at Tarragona and 250,000 tonnes/year at Puertollano.

For propylene, the company has the capacity to produce 200,000 tonnes/year at Sines, 125,000 tonnes/year at Puertollano and 290,000 tonnes/year at Tarragona, according to ICIS.


Changes occured in PKN ORLEN Management Board

(Plastemart) -- The Supervisory Board of PKN ORLEN, during its meeting on 8 December 2011, has adopted a resolution in accordance to which Mr. Marek Serafin has been dismissed from the position of the Member of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.

At the same time the Company's Supervisory Board has delegated with effective date on 9 December 2011, Member of the PKN ORLEN Supervisory Board, Mr. Piotr Wielowieyski, to act temporary as the Member of the Company's Management Board, Petrochemical Operations. Delegation is valid till the moment of appointment of the Member of PKN ORLEN Management Board, Petrochemical Operations, but no longer than three months.

Earlier this week, Serafin was arrested along with two petrochemicals directors of the company and a businessman from the city of Plock in central Poland, on suspicion of corruption. Serafin had given preferential treatment to a businessman from Plock in awarding contracts in exchange for property benefits. The men were arrested following a request by the Appeal Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw.