PS imports into Ukraine decreased by 3% in the three quarters of 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polystyrene (PS) and styrene plastics to Ukraine decreased by 3% over the three quarters of 2013 (January-September), compared to the same period in the previous year and totalled 49,700 tonnes, according to MRC DataScope.

Reduction of imports was seen in the markets of expandable polystyrene (EPS), general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS). Imports of EPS and GPPS fell by 15% in January-September 2013. Consumption of ABS plastics in the country decreased by 8%. Market of high impact polystyrene (HIPS) showed a slight increase of 1.8%.
Ukraine's consumption of PS imports in the current year resulted from the general macroeconomic situation in the country. Processing industries and construction sector are going through hard times. According to the State Statistics Committee, the volume of construction totalled hryvnyas (UAH) 39.4 bln in the first nine months of this year, down by 16.2% year on year.

However, Ukraine's exports have increased this year. Exports of Ukrainian EPS and GPPS rose 5% to 6,200 tonnes in January-September 2013.

PP imports to Ukraine grew by 27% in the first nine months of 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) -- An outage at LINIK continued to inhance the dependence of the Ukrainian polypropylene (PP) market on imports. PP imports rose by 27% in January-September 2013, according to MRC DataScope.

PP imports to Ukraine increased up to 100,500 tonnes in the first nine months of 2013 from 79,300 tonnes over the same period of 2012. As expected, homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main growth of imports because of the outage at LINIK (from April 2012).

Imports of homopolymer PP to Ukraine totalled around 76,400 tonnes in January-September 2013, up by 41% year on year. Russian producers, as well as Asian and Middle Eastern producers, have increased significantly their presence in the Ukrainian homopolymer PP market (Russian imports of homopolymer PP rose almost 9 times).

Conversely, imports of block copolymers of propylene (PP-impact) dropped by 16% in January-September 2013 amid weaker demand in the injection moulding and pressure pipes extrusion sectors. Consumer demand for PP-impact in these sectors fell by 18% and 24%, respectively, to 10,500 tonnes and 1,000 tonnes.

Imports of statistical copolymers of polypropylene (PP-random) to Ukraine rose almost by a third this year. The nine months' total grew to about 8,800 tonnes from the last year's 6,700 tonnes. Producers of pressure pipes and moulded products accounted for the main increase in demand, which rose by 89% and 35%, respectively, in these sectors up to 4,600 tonnes and 3,100 tonnes.
Import of other copolymers of propylene totalled about 3,100 tonnes in January-September 2013, down by 18% year on year.


PET output in Russia dropped by 3% over three quarters of 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The output of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in Russia fell by 3% over three quarters of 2013 year on year - up to 331,800 tonnes, according to MRC ScanPlast.

Reductions in capacity utilisation during the reporting period caused cuts in production in the third quarter of 2013. The August output declined because of an outage at Polief (reason: the shutdown for the plant's expansion) and Senezh (unscheduled maintenance because of a failure).

Despite the restart of operations at Senezh in late August, the September production remained at a low level. The Bashkir plant Polief did resume its operations in September.

The overall September output in Russia totalled about 28,000 tonnes of PET chips, down by 6% from August. The total production capacity utilisation was 64.5%.

The average capacity utilisation remained low in October. Senezh again shut down its production on 4 October for an unscheduled turnaround (according to preleminary information, it will take about three weeks). A positive factor is the restart of operations at Polief. At the same time, SIBUR-PETF and Alco-Naphtha operated normally in Q3 2013.

Russian producers reached the peak output of PET in July. The July total in Russia was 43,400 tonnes of chips , which was a historical high.


Output of polymers products in Russia grew by 8.4% in January-September 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) - The dynamics of the production growth of polymers products in Russia has slowed this year. Production growth of polymers products in Russia was 8.4% in nine months of this year, according to MRC analysts.

In previous years the growth of polymers production in Russia exceeded 10%, while in 2013 this figure dropped to the level of 8.4%.

The largest decline in output showed production of plastic pipes. The production of pipes, hoses and fittings made ??of polymers in Russia decreased to 446,100 tonnes in January - September of this year (in September - 56,100 tonnes), down by 18.5% year on year.

The output of bottles, vials, doors and door boxes made from polymers has also slowed down. In the first nine months of 2013 the production of these products totalled 10.4 billion pieces and 706,400 square meters, respectively, down by 1.2% and 2.5% year on year.

Total production of plates, films and non-combined sheets over the reported period exceeded 628,000 tonnes, up by 0.3% year on year. Production of plates, sheets, combined and porous films totalled 152,700 tonnes in January - September of this year , compared to 125,500 tonnes in the same period of the last year.

The production of plastic windows and window sills for the reported period grew to 20.1 million square meters, compared to 17.1 million square meters in January - September 2012.


GS Caltex selects CB&I as technology provider for new Korea paraxylene unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- CB&I was awarded a contract by GS Caltex for the license, basic engineering and catalyst supply for a new paraxylene (PX) unit to be built in Yeosu, Korea, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to officials' confirmation.

The unit will use the BP paraxylene technology, exclusively licensed by CB&I, and will have a world-scale design capacity. Start-up is expected in 2016.

The technology employs an innovative energy-efficient crystallization process to produce paraxylene and will provide GS Caltex with a reliable, low-cost solution for its world-scale plant.

"The energy efficiency and operating cost benefits afforded by this proven crystallization-based paraxylene technology are very attractive to the industry as evidenced by this latest award," said Daniel McCarthy, president of CB&I's technology operating group.

As MRC informed previously, South Korea's paraxylene exports for January-March 2013 totalled 806,657 mt, surging 60.5% from a year earlier and up 41.4% from the previous quarter. The sharp increase was due to the startup of a new PX plant there. South Korea's HC Petrochem, a 50:50 joint venture between Hyundai Oilbank and Japan's Cosmo Oil, started commercial operations at its new 800,000 tpa PX plant in Daesan on January 8. Most of the new output from the plant is shipped to China. The plant is able to produce 400,000 tpa of PX.

Paraxylene (PX) is the largest volume isomer of the mixed xylenes. Around 98% of PX is consumed in the polyester chain, mainly in the production of fibre, film and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resins, via one of two intermediates - purified terephthalic acid (PTA) or dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). A small amount of PX is used as a solvent and to produce di-paraxylene and herbicides.