Styron raises July prices for all its PS grades in Asia Pacific

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Styron (Hong Kong) Limited, an affiliate of Styron, the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, and its affiliate companies in Asia Pacific have increased prices for all polystyrene (PS) grades in July, according to the company's statement.

The prices for the products listed below will increase as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) - by USD20tonne;
- STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high-impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by USD20/tonne.

"The price increase responds to the rising costs associated with the manufacturing of polystyrene grades in Asia Pacific," said Samer Al Jabi, Global Product Manager for Polystyrene.

As MRC reported earlier, Styron Hong Kong is in plans to shut its PS plant for maintenance turnaround in September 2014. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month. Located in Hong Kong, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

Styron is a leading global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, dedicated to collaborating with customers to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions. StyronпїЅs technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Styron had approximately USD5.3 billion in revenue in 2013, with 19 manufacturing sites around the world.

Veka completes acquisition of Gealan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Sendenhorst, Germany-based Veka Group, a leading extruder of PVC-U profiles for doors and windows, has announced the completion of its acquisition of its competitor Gealan Holding, said the company in its press-release.

Veka said that by acquiring Gealan, a company established in the European market, it is strengthening its position in Germany, Europe and the World.

Veka employs more than 3,600 people at 25 subsidiaries on three continents around the world. The company employs 1,300 at its headquarters in Sendenhorst. Veka reported EUR793m (GBR631m) in turnover in 2013.

With its takeover of Gealan from financial investor Halder, Veka says it will be increasing its staff by 1,150 employees, and is estimating its total annual turnover will reach more than EUR1bn (GBR0.8bn).

As MRC wrote before, Veka Recycling is investing almost Euro 1.2 million (USD1.6 million) in its south-east England facility to produce high-quality recyclate suitable for PVC extruded products. A new compounding line will enable the company to supply European markets with PVC pellets derived from post-industrial or post-consumer window frame material. According to the firm, this is in addition to the existing supply of both pellet and micronised PVC from its German and French factories.

Established in the UK since 2007 and with an annual recycling capacity of 20 000-plus tonnes, the Kent-based company is part of the VEKA Recycling Group, which has processing facilities in three European countries and has more than two decades' recycling experience in producing pelletised material that can be used in new extrusion products, including windows.

Wacker Polymers to raise August prices for dispersions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Polymers, a division of Wacker Chemie AG, is to raise its prices for vinyl acetate-ethylene (EVA) and ethylene-vinyl chloride-based (EVCL) copolymer dispersions of the VINNAPAS and VINNOL brand in the regions Americas and Greater China, reported the company on its site.

As customer contracts allow, effective August 1, 2014, prices will be raised by USD0.03 per pound in the Americas. In Greater China, prices will increase by CNY300 per ton.

In Europe, the temporary surcharge of EUR140 per ton for vinyl acetate-based homopolymer dispersions as well as for vinyl acetate-ethylene and ethylene-vinyl chloride-based copolymer dispersions implemented on May 1, 2014, will persist, as customer contracts allow, until further notice.

This measure has been necessitated mainly by the continued high levels in raw-material cost, especially for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), a crucial raw material for the manufacturing of Wacker’s dispersions.

The price adjustment enables Wacker Polymers to continue providing customers a wide-range of innovative quality products and comprehensive technical, sales and customer support services.

Dispersions of the VINNAPAS and VINNOL brand are applied in a broad variety of industries, ranging from adhesives, construction, nonwovens, paints and coatings to paper, carpet and textiles.

As MRC wrote previously, Wacker Polymers increased its prices for VINNAPAS EVA and VINNOL EVCL copolymer dispersions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), effective April 1, 2014, Wacker implemented a price increase of up to EUR70 per ton. This measure has been necessitated by the continued increase in raw-material cost.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.

Huhtamaki buys Positive Packaging for USD336 million

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Finnish packaging company Huhtamaki, known for making paper cups for McDonald's, said on Tuesday it will buy Indian firm Positive Packaging for $336 million to increase its access to Indian and Middle Eastern markets, said Reuters.

India-based Positive Packaging is part of the Enpee Group. Positive Packaging has six plants in India and three in the United Arab Emirates.

Huhtamaki said Positive Packaging had sales of 220 million euros ($300 million) last year and employs about 2,500 staff in India and the United Arab Emirates. The deal is expected to be finalised in the autumn, Huhtamaki said.

"This increases our market share and supply capacity in India," a Huhtamaki spokeswoman said. "We also get a significantly better footprint in Africa and the Middle East."

Positive Packaging makes flexible packaging, made of plastic and used in a wide variety of products from chocolate bars to cat food. Positive Packaging's operations in Nigeria are not part of the acquisition, the spokeswoman said.

As MRC wrote before, Huhtamaki, the Finnish-based consumer packaging specialist with worldwide operations, will build a moulded fibre egg packaging unit adjacent to its existing packaging facility in the greater Moscow area.
The new unit will concentrate on a narrow range of high-volume premium egg packaging, with complementary products sourced from other Huhtamaki units and technology licensees. This supply network enables the company to start sales and deliveries while the new unit is still under construction. The company already has a specialised fresh foods sales force in Russia.

Demand for LLDPE dropped in Russia by 2% in H1 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Demand for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) from Russian converters, particularly, from films producers, decreased by 2% over the first six months of 2014, according to MRC ScanPlast.

Demand for LLDPE dropped to 110,200 tonnes in the Russian market in the first half of 2014 from 112,400 tonnes over the same period of 2013. Weaker demand for LLDPE did not affect all sectors of consumption, but the key sector - films production - still demonstrated a 3% decline in consumption.

The beginning of 2014 (the first two months) was quite hard for Russian LLDPE consumers. Local producers of stretch films experienced particularly hard times. Devaluation of the rouble in February led to a price rise of material for more than 10%, while prices of finished products remained unchanged. This fact slowed demand for LLDPE from stretch films producer. A similar situation was with film producers that add linear polyethylene to improve the quality of finished products. Soaring LLDPE prices also led to weaker demand in this segment.

The structure of LLDPE consumption by sectors over the stated period looks the following way.

Demand for LLDPE in the films production sector dropped by 3% in the first half of 2014 to 98,800 tonnes. Demand for LLDPE from the key consumers - producers of irrigated stretch films - decreased by 9%, whereas producers of blown stretch films, on the contrary, showed a 30%-increase.

Demand for LLDPE from producers of large blow molding products surged by 58% over the said period and totalled 6,200 tonnes. Demand from cable products producers also increased: by 63% to 1,100 tonnes.

At the same time, demand in the injection molding and compounding sectors fell by 19% and 48%, respectively, to 900 and 1,200 tonnes.

As reported earlier, the local LLDPE market is completely dependent on imports, the share of domestic polyethylene (PE) does not exceed 10% in the market. Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Russia's only LLDPE producer, was forced to focus on the production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) because of the outage at Stavrolen. The share of Russian PE is expected to grow in the LLDPE market (because of increased production at Nizhnekamskneftekhim) not earlier than in 2015. However, the market will still be dependent on imports, even given the scheduled increase in the output.