North American PVC offers lower across the board

(plastemart) -- With North American producers down-adjusting their export PVC offers due to persistent weak demand in global markets, lower offers from the region have started to be seen in several regions including Mediterranean and Asia.

However, there is still limited buying interest as buyers are reluctant to commit to cargoes from long distances amid generally bearish outlook.

In Turkey, PVC k67 offers out of the US are reported USD20-30/ton lower this week, breaking below a new threshold. A trader said, "We heard that there are some US PVC offers in the market at lower levels with a deferred payment term provided for one year. So we have decided to withdraw our offers." Players generally comment that traders offering US materials are shying away from making large price cuts as they acknowledge that buying interest remains subdued and lower prices fail to pull buyers back to the market. However, some players argue, "Sellers are ready to give discounts in order to conclude deals."

In Egypt, where US materials are generally in a dominating position for imports, lower offers have also shown up from the region. This week’s range for US PVC suggests an approximate decrease of USD10/ton at the high end and a larger decrease of USD30/ton at the low end. As it is the case in the Turkish market, a buyer said, "Sellers of US materials do not want to sell below a certain threshold and therefore, they are planning to withdraw their offers."

Nevertheless, Egyptian buyers continue to expect further softening in import prices pointing to the bearish sentiment across the globe as well as lower feedstock costs.

Husky union workers call strike at Ohio refinery

(hydracarbonprocessing) -- Union workers have called a strike at Husky Energy’s refinery in Lima, Ohio, leaving the refiner's management to run the 150,000 bpd plant, the union said Friday.

About 235 members of the United Steelworkers union walked off the job after failing to reach a contract agreement.
The union filed 23 unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the company, national USW spokeswoman Lynne Hancock said.

A Husky spokesman was not immediately available.
The refinery produces about 2 billion gal/year of refined fuel, including about a quarter of the gasolineconsumed in the state of Ohio. The local union "still believes there is room to negotiate," Hancock said.


Aramco, Sumitomo approve second phase of Saudi petrochemicals expansion

(hydracarbonprocessing) -- Joint venture partners Sumitomo Chemical and Saudi Aramco are moving ahead with phase two of their Petro Rabigh integrated refinery and petrochemicals expansion in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, the companies announced on Friday.

A recently-completed study has confirmed the feasibility of the Rabigh II project, after which the companies finalized various project elements, they said.

Those include agreements for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and other project contracts, as well as project financing.

Each plant will be brought on stream as it becomes available for operation, beginning the first half of 2016, the companies said.
It is envisaged that, subject to the necessary corporate authorization procedure at PetroRabigh, Petro Rabigh will serve as the project company for the Rabigh II Project.
The total investment is projected to reach USD7 billion. Sumitomo Chemical and Saudi Aramco each have a 37.5% stake in Petro Rabigh.

The Rabigh II project’s main products will be ethylene propylene rubber (EPDM), thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), low density polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate (LDPE/EVA), paraxylene/benzene, cumene and phenol/acetone.

Capacity information was not disclosed.


Global rubber market to see significant uprise in consumption

(chemmonitor) -- Consumption of rubber in the global market is likely to increase to almost 27 million metric tons in the existing year.

The hike in demand for the product will result from the growing urban population, green mobility and modern requirements for synthetic rubber used in green tires production. By the way, the new requirements will be effective from November 2012.

The total number of cars in the world is forecast to reach about 3 billion in about twenty years.


PET firms in S Korea obtain a lower profit

(chemmonitor) -- India and China-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film companies will continue obtaining lower profit from their operations in South Korea as local government decided to prolong anti-dumping duties on the material coming from the above mentioned countries.

The duties are 15.6 percent on average. They act as a measure required to improve financial performance of PET manufacturers from South Korea.

Same duties effective during a three-year period were imposed in October 2008. They expired last year.