Borealis Q3 earnings exceeded expectations

(ICIS) -- Borealis CEO Mark Garrett said on Thursday that the group's third-quarter earnings had exceeded expectations, which had been lowered by the expected negative effect of start-up costs incurred for the company's Borouge 2 project and for its low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant in Sweden.

Earlier on Thursday, Austrian-based plastics producer Borealis reported that its third-quarter net profit rose by 14.8% to ┬54.0m ($76.1m) compared with the same period last year, while sales for the third quarter grew by 24.1% year on year to ┬1.59bn.

⌠We currently get no sales [from Borouge 2] because we are doing all the performance testing; we are slowly filling up the supply chain but product won't get to customers until the December/January timeframe, so we won't see any sales benefits until then, the CEO added.

Garrett said that the Borouge 2 project, which is an Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based joint venture with the UAE's stated-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), was now on track and the expanded plant was starting up as planned, with all olefin and polyolefin units operational.

He added that the group's LDPE plant at Stenungsund in Sweden was manufacturing wire and cable rope and that product was with major customers for testing. However, Borealis was still working to deliver consistent operability, he said.

Meanwhile, Garrett reiterated that Borealis would focus on its existing projects in Europe and the Middle East before looking at any new investments. However, he added that the group expected to make significant additions to monomer and polymer capacity between now and 2015.


China PTA futures prices spike 4% on bullish sentiment

(ICIS) -- China's purified terephthalic acid (PTA) futures prices surged 4.02% to yuan (CNY) 9,626/tonne ($1,441/tonne) Thursday morning on bullish sentiment, prompting a trading halt, market sources said.

Recent outages at regional plants, along with positive news on the US economy overnight, spurred buying activities that pushed PTA futures to breach the 4% cap set on daily swings in values in just the first two hours of trade at the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, they said.

In the spot market, domestic PTA prices in China jumped CNY150-200/tonne from Wednesday to CNY8,950-9,000/tonne ex-warehouse on strong buying from a number of Zhejiang-based polyester makers, market sources said.

Market players were surprised by the sudden and sharp increase in prices, notwithstanding the supply tightness in the PTA market. PTA supply was expected to remain tight in November due to low operating rates at plants, along with outages and maintenance shutdowns at a number of Chinese and Taiwanese PTA facilities.


Business booming for Honduran fabric-bag maker

(Plastics News) -- Privately held bag maker Anduro Manufacturing says the company's sales volume has doubled since its 2009 opening. The company ≈ owned by an investment group put together by the Datelle family of Atlanta ≈ operates in 90,000 square feet of a 170,000-square-foot plant in San Pedro Sula. Anduro makes bags for the feed and seed market by laminating polypropylene and biaxially oriented PP fabric.

⌠Ninety-five percent of our sales are in the U.S. right now, but if you look out two years in our forecast, we're in a contract-bidding process for all of Cargill's Central and South American bags, Marc Datelle, the company's president, said.

The plant produces 4 million bags per month and is on track to produce 12 million bags per month by the end of 2010. Its location about 30 miles south of Puerto Cortes, Honduras ≈ Central America's busiest seaport ≈ combined with Honduras' low labor costs, mean Anduro can compete well in the U.S. market.

The Datelles bought Anduro from another American owner doing business in Honduras since 2007. The new owners brought in additional equipment and recently installed looms at a nearby fabric manufacturer's plant to weave PP for the company's Durofab sewn-open-mouth bags. The Durofab bags are converted at the factory when the woven PP fabric is laminated to a printed BOPP top layer.


Buss excels in black masterbatch compounding

(Plastics News) -- Buss AG, a Pratteln, Switzerland-based specialist in compounding heat- and shear-sensitive plastics, said it is developing its Buss Kneader MX for compounding black masterbatches.

⌠Compounding black masterbatch for piping materials is particularly challenging, because the viscosity of the high or linear low density polyethylene substrate must be high enough for compatibility with the equally high-viscosity piping material, said the company.

Buss said the four-flight Kneader MX is more efficient than conventional three-flight kneaders thanks to even distribution of carbon black in high-viscosity melts, even at up to 50 percent content by weight.

The company recently sold a Kneader MX 140 to a ⌠globally active carbon black producer for compounding polymers with a melt index of 2-20 g/min. For black masterbatch, the Kneader MX has a throughput capacity of 3,000kg/h.


K2010 pulled in 220,000 visitors say organisers

(PRW) -- K2010 show organiser Messe Dusseldorf announced that more than 220,000 visitors attended the German event during its eight day run, down by around 9% on the 2007 figures but considerably more than is internal expectation of around 200,000.

Speaking at a wrap-up press meeting on the last day of the show, Messe Dusseldorf president and CEO Werner Matthias Dornscheidt said the fair had exceeded the expectations of both organiser and exhibitors.

Close to 60% of attendees at this year's event came from outside of Germany, a figure similar to the 2007 event. However, while 57% of foreign visitors at the previous show were from Europe, this time the proportion was down to 54%.

The biggest growth in visitors was from the Asian region, which represented around 30,000 visitors. More than 10,000 visitors to the 2010 show were drawn from Latin America and around 6,800 from North America.

Dornscheidt said that Messe Dusseldorf was now turning its attention to the next K show, which will take place between 16 and 23 October 2013.