Turkey files anti-dumping suit against polypropylene exports from Egypt

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Turkish authorities have filed an anti-dumping suit against polypropylene film exports from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, and China, reported Daily News with reference to Chemical & Fertilisers Export Council member Magdy Abu Fath's statement.

He added that this decision has taken into consideration the political situation.

Abu Fath claimed that Egypt’s production of polypropylene amounts to 432,000 tonnes, which represents a small amount that does not pose a threat to local Turkish production. Studies will also be conducted on technical lapses on Turkey’s part as well as a comparison of the prices of Egyptian products compared to the cost of their production.

Chairman of the Chemical & Fertilisers Export Council Waleed Helal confirmed the existence of an Egyptian export crisis. The situation has particularly affected chemical exports as a result of political circumstances in the Arab world, stating that exports to the markets of Libya, Iraq, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen have ceased, in addition to Turkey, which alone accounts for one-fourth of the Egyptian chemical exports.

Helal expressed his concern over the challenges faced by exports in Egypt, adding that it is important to look for alternative markets like Russia, following the agreement between the Egyptian and the Russian parties on the importance of encouraging trading and economic relations between the countries.

During a meeting of the Chemical & Fertilisers Export Council held on Sunday Helal stated that, although chemical exports represent Egypt’s most important exports over the past eight years, as they have generated only EGP 20bn in revenues over the first eight months of 2014, it will be impossible for Egyptian chemical exports to achieve the targeted EGP 33bn in profits.

He said that chemical exports declined by 3% between January and August of this year, while the chemical exports growth rate declined by 16% in August 2014 compared to the same month in 2013.

As MRC informed earlier, in early 2013, in a move to preserve its public interest, Egypt lifted anti-dumping fees on PP imports from Saudi Arabia after a prior investigation of the matter.

The investigation on protective measures and anti-dumping fees imposed on Saudi imports due to claims that they are damaging its industry has been conducting by Egypt since April, Prince Salman said, according to state-run Saudi Press Agency, or SPA. The results of the investigation showed that the damage was caused by other factors and that the measures against Saudi imports were not in interest of the Egyptian public.

AkzoNobel mimics nature to develop additive which makes roads safer

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel has launched an additive for road salt which helps to protect against frost damage and makes driving safer, said the company in its press release.

Inspired by the ability of certain animals to withstand cold and prevent ice forming in their bodies, Ecosel AsphaltProtection is a fully biodegradable additive for de-icing brine. It works by slowing the freezing process, resulting in soft, slushy ice, rather than hard, abrasive ice. After in-depth research and development, the product is available to customers in Italy and the Netherlands.

"Adding Ecosel AsphaltProtection to normal winter road salt can reduce frost damage by around 50%," explained Werner Fuhrmann, member of the AkzoNobel Executive Committee responsible for Specialty Chemicals. "Municipalities and governments will substantially benefit from the results – less need for road repairs, fewer traffic jams, lower maintenance costs and greater road safety."

He added that by extending the service life of roads, CO2 emissions will also fall, not only because of fewer traffic tailbacks, but also because there will be a reduced need for materials and energy for maintenance.

By mimicking nature, AkzoNobel researchers were able to tackle the repeated freeze-thaw cycles that affect asphalt mixtures. Water trapped inside asphalt expands by about 9% when it freezes, breaking up the road itself. Passing traffic then further accelerates the damage.

Ecosel AsphaltProtection works by preventing the water trapped inside the asphalt pores from turning into hard ice. It encourages the formation of slushy ice, which is mechanically weaker than the asphalt and therefore substantially reduces the risk of damage.

Destined to be a key contributor to the Sustainability and Transportation pillars of the company's Human Cities initiative, the new product was successfully tested in cooperation with the Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Austrian road authorities.

As MRC wrote before, AkzoNobel announced the EUR5 million divestment of its 50% share in non-consolidated joint venture Eka Synthomer Oy, to Synthomer. The divestment of these shares follows a strategic review of the businesses within AkzoNobel's portfolio.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.

Praxair earnings grow 7%, cuts outlook on weak volume growth

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Praxair Inc. said its third-quarter earnings grew 7% on higher pricing and sales growth across nearly all of its segments, but the industrial-gas company gave a disappointing outlook for the remainder of the year, said the Wall Street Journal.

Chief Executive Steve Angel said foreign-currency headwinds and weak volume growth in emerging markets will likely weigh on the company in its current quarter.

"In North America, our U.S. and Canadian businesses grew quite well, while sales to energy-related customers in Mexico remained weak," said Mr. Angel. "Asia experienced slowing volume growth in China, while India volumes were strong."

The company cut and narrowed its full-year outlook, now expecting a profit of USD6.23 to USD6.30 a share, down from the USD6.30 to USD6.45 a share it had previously expected.

For the fourth quarter, Praxair expects per-share earnings of USD1.53 to USD1.60, compared with the USD1.65 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had recently projected.

Weak macroeconomic conditions have pressured Praxair’s results in recent quarters, but the company has pointed to large hydrogen projects and air-separation plants as future contributors to earnings growth.

For the third quarter, Praxair reported a profit of USD477 million, or USD1.62 a share, up from USD445 million, or USD1.49 a share, a year earlier. The company had forecast per-share earnings of USD1.58 to USD1.65.

Sales grew 4.4% to USD3.14 billion, while analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected USD3.16 billion. Organic sales, which exclude negative currency impacts, increased 5% on higher volumes and pricing, as well as new project starts in North America, South American and Asia.

Sales in North America, the company’s largest segment by revenue, grew 3.2% to USD1.64 billion. Europe sales were essentially flat, while South America sales grew 5.9%. Sales in Asia grew 10.7%.

As MRC wrote before, Praxair launched its first large-scale air separation plant at Kaustik (Volgograd) in Russia. This plant will produce oxygen, nitrogen and compressed air for Kaustik, a division of the Nikochem Group, under a long-term contract.

Exports of PET from Russia increased by 7% in January-September

MOSCOW (MRC) - Exports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from Russia increased to about 19,000 tonnes in January-September 2014, up 7% year on year, according to MRC ScanPlast.
The main consumer of Russian PET remained Belarus. However, shipments of Russian PET in Belarus decreased to about 7,900 tonnes in the first three quarters, down almost 30% than in January-September of 2013.

Geography of Russian PET exports has widened over the reported period, with supply grown in the United Kingdom, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia and other countries.

The main exporter in Russia was Alco-Naphtha, based in Kaliningrad. The producer's exports of PET in the foreign countries were 18,500 tonnes in the first nine months of the year. The share of export shipments in the total producer's PET production over the reported period was 36.4%.

Russian PP market: October performance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Supply of polypropylene (PP) grew significantly in the Russian PP market in October, whereas prices dropped this month. Many market participants expect the downward price trend to continue in November, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

July and August were quite difficult months for Russian PP consumers. A series of scheduled outages of the key producers led to a record growth in prices and a major shortage. The scheduled turnarounds were over in September and PP supply increased, but deferred demand still created a sense of tight supply in the market. The market situation improved considerably in October. Stavrolen resumed its PP production, and excessive supply of PP started to put serious pressure on prices in the second half of the month.

Buying activity was low in the Russian market in the last week of October, many market participants were slow to do deals for November PP shipments. Companies were trying to get lower offer prices from suppliers, hoping for increased competition in the market among producers. Issues with working capital of converters and refinancing also affected demand.

Demand is the weakest in November, and this factor might also push prices down. But a significant weakening of the rouble against the dollar in the last two weeks made PP exports more attractive for Russian producers. Some manufacturers expressed the desire to increase their export sales, thus intending to balance PP supply in the domestic market. At the same time, to export material is not that easy, as prices continued to go down in foreign markets, following lower oil prices.

This week's offer prices of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) of raffia grade in the spot market remained in the range of Rb71,500-73,000/tonne FCA, including VAT, in the south, whereas in the Povolozhsky region deals were done at an average of Rb72,000/tonne FCA Ufa, including VAT. Offer prices of raffia remained in the range of Rb73,000-74,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, in the central part of Russia.

Demand also subsided greatly in the injection moulding homopolymer PP market. Offer prices in the central part of Russia have dropped to Rb74,000-75,500/tonne, including VAT and delivery to the central region, by late October.

The copolymers of propylene market was no exception. Here, many market participants also reported price cuts at the end of the month. This week's offer prices were in the range of Rb80,000-82,000/tonne FCA, including VAT.