China XD Plastics breaks ground on 300 ,000 tpa polymer composites production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China XD Plastics Company Limited, one of China's leading specialty chemical players engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of polymer composites primarily for automotive applications, announced it broke ground on a 300,000 tons polymer composites production and R&D project in Southwest China that would expand production capacity by 300,000 metric tons and equipped with a professional research and development center and an independent training center, said Plastemart.

China XD's southwest expansion project is situated in an area of 3,230,000 square feet in Nanchong City, Sichuan province, the hub of the economic circle in Chengdu and Chongqing. Within a 500-kilometer radius of the construction site, there are factories for automotive manufacturers such as First Automobile Group, Shanghai GM, Volvo, Changan Ford and Dongfeng, etc.

The region is also home to industries of high-end applications that the Company has been pursuing, including China Southern Rail Corporation ("CSR") and China Northern Rail Corporation ("CNR") in the high-speed railway sector, and Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Company Limited, Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company Limited and Guizhou Aviation Industry (Group) Company Limited, etc. The mayor and municipal party secretary of Nanchong City joined the groundbreaking ceremony, marking the official commencement of the project in the southwest.

As MRC wrote before, German plastics machinery maker KraussMaffei (KM, Munich) will start producing and supplying injection moulding machines from its plants in Haiyan, China, in the spring of 2014. Production at the plant has recently doubled. One of the first machines to be supplied completely from Haiyan will be an MX 1300-8100 for Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim System (Harrison Township, Missouri).

Dow declares quarterly dividend of 32 dents per share

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Dow Chemical Company, the largest US chemical maker by sales, has declared a dividend of 32 cents per share, payable 30 January, 2014, to shareholders of record on 31 Decenber, 2013, as per the company's statement.

This marks the 409th consecutive cash dividend issued by the company. Dow has paid its shareholders cash dividends every quarter since 1912.

As MRC reported before, earlier this month, Dow Chemical unveiled its plans to separate chlorine-related assets including its epoxy business as the company focuses on higher-margin activities. Dow forecasts USD3 billion to USD4 billion from asset sales in the following 18 to 24 months.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and synthetic rubber. In 2012, Dow had annual sales of approximately USD57 billion. The сompany's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 36 countries across the globe.

EU to hike import duties on petrochemicals- producers eye free-trade deals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- With effect from January 1, 2014, the European Union will change the rules on its so-called General System of Preferences (GSP), which provides countries classed as developing with preferential access to the EU market, largely in the form of reduced import taxes, said Plastemart.

Amendments in the list will remove nations that are classified as high-income or upper-middle income, meaning many companies in the Middle East that are big suppliers of petrochemical products will have to pay 3.5% more in tax to sell goods in the EU. Steep hike Union in import duties on many petrochemical products will do little to protect Europe's battered petrochemical industry, but it could well be a boon to downstream producers of plastics and chemicals by injecting momentum into free-trade talks with individual producing nations, lobbyists and consultants say.

On the face of it, the deal looks to be one of protectionism for Europe's petrochemical industry, but lobbyists and consultants hope it will in turn motivate countries to sign free-trade agreements and hammer down the cost of making plastics across the continent. Platts data shows that the Middle East is overwhelmingly the largest exporter of polyethylene to Europe, accounting for 65-70% of PE imports received by Europe, with that share having grown.

Production of polymers in Belarus increased by 5.2% in the first eleven months of the year

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production growth of polymers in Belarus was 5.2% in , according to MRC analysts.

The largest increase in production occurred for production of plastic windows and pipes, hoses and fittings. According to the National Statistics Committee of Belarus, production of windows, window boxes and window sills was 40,800 square meters in November, compared with 47,100 square meters in October. Total production of windows, window boxes and window sills increased to 454,300 square meters in the eleven months of the year, up by 11% year on year.

Production of pipes, hoses and fittings made of polymers in November decreased by 26.3%, compared with October and was about 800 tonnes. Total production of pipes, hoses and fittings made of polymers in Belarus was about 12,700 tonnes, up by 8% year-on-year.

Production of plastic boxes and trays increased to 66.7 mln units in November, up by 1.4% from the October level.
Total production of plastic boxes and trays grew to 650 mln units in the eleven months of the year, up 8.3% year on year.

Production of unreinforced and noncombined polymer films decreased to 6,700 tonnes in November under the pressure of the seasonal factor, compared with 7,300 tonnes in October. Total production of unreinforced and noncombined polymer films decreased to 80,500 tonnes the same time, in January - November of this year, the total volume of film production declined to 80.5 thousand tons, which is only 3.1% less than in January - November 2012.

Production of plastic doors and boxes in November fell to 2,900 square meters, compared with 3,600 square meters in October. Total production of these products decreased by 6.3% to 35,600 square meters in the first eleven months.


Russian producers increased exports of polystyrene

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian producers have increased export shipments of polystyrene (PS) this year.
Russia's exports of polystyrene and styrene plastics increased by 42% to 65,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year compared to the same period a year earlier, according to MRC ScanPlast.

The increase in exports occurred for all types of styrene plastics in line with production growth of all polymers in Russia.

Following the launch of the new line, Nizhnekamskneftekhim increased the exports of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) by 4,000 tonnes and 5,300 tonnes over the reported period respectively.

Russia's exports of high impact polystyrene (HIPS) increased by 22.4% to 22,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year.

SIBUR-Khimprom significantly increased its sales to foreign markets. In this regard, the total exports of expandable polystyrene (EPS) from Russia increased by 34% to 22,900 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year.

According to MRC analysts, Russia's PS exports will grow in 2014 further, in tune with the plans of Russian producers to increase their production capacities next year and continue their expansion into foreign markets.