Import prices of PET for CIS customers decline

MOSCOW (MRC) - Falling prices of feedstock (terephthalic acid, monoethylene glycol and paraxylene) last week led to a decline in bottle grade PET prices in China and South Korea, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Spot prices of paraxylene in Asia fell to USD66/tonne in the end of last week. Price quotation of PTA was cut by USD25/tonne, which also resulted in a price decline of PET.

Major importers of PET chips reported the decline in the prices for CIS countries. Russian converters said PET prices fell an average by USD10/tonne in China and USD10/tonne in Korea.

The most attractive export prices in China were heard around USD1,340/tonne FOB China. The lower end of Korean PET prices was at USD1,370/tonne FOB. Falling import quotations put pressure on the price of Russian PET.

Russian PET producers voiced spot prices at Rb64,000-66,000/tonne FCA, including VAT and are in no hurry to cut quotations. At the same time, converters expect contract prices to fall in November and practically have not purchased in the spot market in October.

Price offer from Chinese suppliers for Ukrainian converters with the freight was heard at USD1,410-1,440/tonne CIF Odessa, excluding VAT. PET prices from African and Middle Eastern producers for Ukraine were at USD1,460-1,480/tonne CIF Odessa, excluding VAT.

At the same time, suppliers of PET chips were ready to make concessions to customers to support the demand. Converters also said that they will consider these offers in the case of price reductions.


Prices for North American PVC for CIS markets fell below USD1,000/tonne

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The seasonal factor and weak demand continued to put pressure on North American polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices. Offers for shipments in the first half of November dropped below USD1,000/tonne, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The forthcoming end of the "season " in the PVC market and weak demand from companies of the CIS markets, particularly, the Russian market, have forced North American suppliers to reduce prices further. By mid-October, offers for PVC shipments from the United States in the first half of November had reached USD970/tonne.

Prices for Russian companies were heard in the range of USD970-990/tonne CFR St Petersburg and USD985-1,000/tonne CFR Novorossiysk this week. Offers for Ukrainian companies for shipments in the first half of November were heard in the range of USD985-1,000/tonne CIF Odessa.

However, many market participants have refrained from purchasing PVC in the USA so far, despite such major price cuts over the last two months. Companies hope that next week's prices for North American PVC will go down to USD950-970/tonne CFR.

HDPE imports to Ukraine increased by 24% in January - September 2013

MOSOCW (MRC) -- Imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) to Ukraine increased siginificantly on the back of the Karpatneftekhim's outage. HDPE imports to Ukraine increased by 24% to 107,200 tonnes in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2012 (86,300 tonnes), according to MRC DataScope report.

The main reason for the significant growth in imports was the long shutdown of the largest petrochemical complex in Ukraine - Karpatneftehim (LUKOIL group).
The structure of Ukraine's HDPE imports in the firts nine months looked as follows. Imports of film HDPE rose to 47,300 tonnes in January - September of this year, compared to 30,000 tonnes in 2012. Film HDPE is the basic product of Karpatneftehim.

The second largest sector of HDPE consumption are polyethylene pipes. Ukraine's imports of pipe polyethylene declined to 18,800 tonnes n the first nine months of this year, against 19,500 tonnes a year earlier, on the back of the weaker demand.

Import of blow moulding and injection moulding HDPE over the reported period increased by 13% and 8%, respectively, and totalled 19,400 tonnes and 14,600 tonnes.

Ukraine's consumption of HDPE also increased in other sectors, the exception was only the producers of cables and wires.

Karpatneftekhim (LUKOIL) is the largest petrochemical company in Ukraine. The nominal capacities of the company allow to produce 300,000 tonnes of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC), 240,000 tonnes of ethylene, 100,000 tonnes of HDPE and 200,000 tonnes of caustic soda.
The company resumed its work on 10 September, following a year of outage.
The company produced about 4,700 tonnes of HDPE in incomplete September, although in November Karpatneftehim plans to stop its PE capacities in November.


Arkema inaugurates its first R&D center in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, a France-based chemical manufacturer, has inaugurated its first R&D Center in China on 17 October on the Changshu industrial site in the presence of the Chinese authorities, according to the company's press release.

At the cutting edge of technology, this new center will provide development capacities as well as ideal local support for the Group’s customers in China and South-East Asia. Alongside the group’s KTC (Kyoto Technical Center) in Japan, it bolsters Arkema’s growth ambition in Asia, with the group looking forward to achieving almost 30% of its sales in fast growing regions by 2016.

Ideally located 80 kilometers to the North-West of Shanghai, the Changshu platform, Arkema’s largest industrial site in the world, now hosts an R&D Center in close proximity to its customers in this, a strategic region for the company.

The Changshu Research and Development Center (CRDC) offers geographic and technical complementarity with the group’s nine other research and development centers, in particular the Kyoto Center in Japan, which this year celebrates its 20 years of existence.

The new center helps speed up the development of customized products and solutions for Arkema’s customers in China and South-East Asia in fast-growing markets, namely batteries, photovoltaics, electronics packaging, automotive, cable, sports and paint. Arkema's CRDC provides genuine expertise and first-rate customer support on the group’s products, in particular high performance materials, fluorinated polymers, organic peroxides, and performance coatings.

Finally, the CRDC boasts state-of-the-art equipment, including application laboratories for batteries, membranes and coatings, a center of excellence for thermoplastics (extrusion, injection, etc.), a process expertise center (pilot reactor systems, polymerization, distillation), as well as a training center for customers.

As MRC informed previously, this summer Arkema introduced a comprehensive range of PEKK (Poly Ether Ketone Ketone) ultra high performance polymers comprised of three families of products whose properties meet the requirements of aerospace, oil exploration and electronics applications. These new materials significantly expand Arkema’s high performance materials offerings to high added value markets.

Arkema with annual revenue of EUR6.4 billion is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc

ICA Fluor to revamp Mexichem and Pemex VCM plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fluor's ICA Fluor industrial engineering-construction joint venture with Empresas ICA signed a contract to revamp the vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant located within the Pajaritos petrochemical complex in Mexico, located near Veracruz, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The VCM plant is run by Petroquimica Mexicana de Vinilo (PMV), a joint venture between Mexichem, the leading Mexican petrochemical company, and Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil and gas company.

The total contract value is approximately USD205 million. Fluor said it will book its USD102.5 million share of the contract in the fourth quarter of 2013.

ICA Fluor will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and commissioning services to bring the VCM facility to its nameplate capacity of 405,000 tpy, up from its current rate of 200,000 tpy.

The project is planned to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015.

This revamp project will correct problems that have prevented the plant from reaching its nameplate capacity.

As MRC reported earlier, in mid-September 2013, Mexico's state-owned oil Pemex and Mexichem entered into a joint venture, which will enable greater competitiveness of the domestic petrochemical industry in the global market through the integration of a new company, which will create value to the chlorine-vinyl chain. The joint venture includes a cash investment and assets contribution up to the amount of USD518 million.

Mexichem is the Latin American leader in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Pemex, Mexican Petroleum, is a Mexican state-owned petroleum company. Pemex has a total asset worth of USD415.75 billion, and is the world's second largest non-publicly listed company by total market value, and Latin America's second largest enterprise by annual revenue as of 2009. Company produces such polymers, as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS).