China imposed anti-dumping, anti-subsidy duties on US-made cars

(ICIS) -- China's Ministry of Commerce announced on Thursday it has implemented anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on some US-made cars with effect from 15 December. The ministry said in a statement on its website it will start imposing duties on imported saloon and cross-country cars made by US companies, with a cylinder capacity of more than 2,500cc, from 15 December this year to 14 December 2013. China currently imposes a 25% tariff on imported cars.

The companies listed for the duties include General Motors, Chrysler Group, Honda Motor, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, according to the statement. General Motors and Chrysler will be the most affected, with anti-dumping duties at 8.9% and 8.8% respectively, while each will face anti-subsidy duties of 12.9% and 6.2% respectively, according to the statement.

⌠It is reasonable self-defense for China and more of a signal that China is exerting pressure on US trade protectionist moves, said Zhou Shijian, an expert on China-US trade from Tsinghua University. The ministry released a final ruling on the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on imports of US automobiles on 5 May this year.

It ruled that the dumping and subsidy simultaneously exist for imports of saloon and cross-country cars, with a cylinder capacity of more than 2,500cc, originating from the US, causing material injury to China's automobile industry.

China sold 1.66m vehicles in November this year, which is a decrease of 2.42% year on year, but an increase of 8.6% from October, according to data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

The country's vehicle production in November dropped by 3.41% on year to 1.7m units, which represents a growth of 7.95% from October, the CAAM said.


SABIC Vice Chairman is optimistic over 2012 for the region's petrochemical industries

(Sabic) -- Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO and Chairman of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, has expressed optimism over 2012 being another positive year for the region's petrochemical industries despite concerns over Europe slipping back into recession as a result of the ongoing sovereign debt crisis.

In his opening remarks to a large gathering of industry leaders from about 45 countries at the three-day Sixth Annual GPCA Forum in Dubai on December 13, Al-Mady based his optimism on the general consensus that the Eurozone will have a slightly positive growth, and the US will avoid a double dip recession. The GPCA Forum is being held from December 13 to 15 under the theme ⌠Moving Downstream Creating Added Value and Sustainable Growth.

Speaking further, Al-Mady said, ⌠If this growth forecast prevails in 2012, it should be a good year for our industry. Financial results should receive an additional boost due to improved industry operating rates in 2012 as there will be less new capacity coming on stream. He also pointed out to the good profitability enjoyed by most chemical producers in 2011.
Al-Mady stressed that Innovation will always be key driver in the petrochemical industry's efforts to remain competitive and relevant players.

On the issue of Sustainability, Al-Mady said that just as the petrochemical industry has provided the technology that has contributed tremendously to good health, good lifestyles and global mobility, it must now provide business solutions for a sustainable planet. ⌠The Gulf petrochemical suppliers must possess the most material and energy efficient processes and we must produce products that enable the entire value chain to be more sustainable.


Sumitomo Chemical entered into a collaboration with Germany's Nabaltec

(Sumitomo) -- In a move aimed at strengthening their respective alumina and aluminum trihydroxide (ATH) businesses, Sumitomo Chemical (Tokyo / Japan) has entered into a collaboration with Germany's Nabaltec (Schwandorf). In a first step, starting 1 December 2011, Nabaltec began supplying Sumitomo with its fine precipitated ATH grade for sale in East Asia.

Aluminum trihydroxide mostly is used as a flame retardant additive for polymers used in wire and cable, printed circuit board and building materials applications. Demand for the material has been rising amid new regulations curtailing the use of halogenated flame retardants, especially in Europe.

Although the Japanese group has expanded its production capacity for ATH at its plant in Ehime / Japan over the past few years, the rapid rise in demand meant Sumitomo was looking to secure additional supplies, which is where Nabaltec - one of the world's leading ATH producers with plants in Europe and the US - entered the picture. Both companies said they plan to explore additional areas of cooperation, including joint development of new advanced inorganic materials.


OPEC agreed cartel-wide production target of 30 million bpd

(Arabian oil and gas) -- On 14 December the 160th meeting of OPEC oil producing countries concluded with an agreed cartel-wide production target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd). ⌠We have an agreement to maintain the market in balance and we're going to adjust the level of production of each country to open space for Libyan production, Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters in Vienna. The output limit includes including Iraq, which has no national quota, and Libya.
The move marks OPEC's first output limit change since December 2008, when it was set at 24.84 million bpd, excluding Iraq. The cartel's latest figures show it is currently overshooting this amount by around 2.81 million bpd.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 1.8% to USD107,06 a barrel on Tuesday after OPEC announced the deal. The agreement was clearly calculated as a show of unity between the members. However, the tough decisions - about who will cut production to make room for Libya and Iraq under the production ceiling, and how much - were left unanswered.


Kaneka to form a joint venture with Mitsui & Co for CPVC production

(IBNlive) -- Chemical manufacturer Kaneka Corp has signed an agreement with Meghmani Organics and Japan's Mitsui & Co to form a joint venture to conduct feasibility study for constructing a chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) production facility at Dahej in Gujarat.

The JV, Trience Speciality Chemicals, is scheduled to start production in 2014 with an initial annual capacity of 20,000 mt, which is expected to be scaled up in relatively early stages of production, a Kaneka release said here today.

An initial investment of USD 120 million has been planned - of which 41 per cent will be contributed by Kaneka, 39 per cent by Meghmani and the remaining 20 per cent by Mitusi, the release said.

"Demand for CPVC has been growing globally. In the domestic market, galvanised iron pipe has been replaced by CPVC and the trend has been accelerating in recent years. To grasp such market opportunity, Kaneka has been seeking for a chance to build a CPVC plant," the release said. Ahmedabad-based Meghmani manufactures agrochemicals, pigment and other speciality chemicals and has a facility at Dahej. Under the JV pact, it will supply chlorine to Trience.

The Japan-based international trading and investment firm Mitusi will handle raw material PVC procurement and will play a key role in CPVC sales and marketing in the Indian market, it said.