Imports of extrusion PC in Russia decreased by 5% in Jan-Oct 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polycarbonate (PC) for sheet extrusion in the Russian market declined to 22,200 tonnes in the last ten months, down 5% year on year, according to MRC DataScope.

Sheet extrusion sector occurs for 80% from the total Russian PC market, which includes Russian PC from Kazanorgsintez, as well as European and Asian material. Russia's imports of European and Asian PC were 20,400 tonnes (92%) and 1,800 tonnes (8%) respectively in January-October 2014. Last year, PC imports from Europe accounted for 98% from the total volumes, 2% - from the Asian region over the same time.
Imports of Asian material (South Korea) increased over the seasonal peaks in May and September on stronger demand. Traders also built up stock inventories in the low season. At that time, the domestic price of the material was competitive with European PC granules.

In the end of the third quarter price for Asian PC in Russia became close to the price of European material because of the stronger dollar.
This resulted in a reduction of interest from buyers. Seasonal decline in demand in the market of finished products also played an important role.
Converters said that there was no shortages felt in the market, you can easily get the needed volume from the Russian producer.
Kazanorgsintez, the only PC producer in CIS countries, took about 66% of extrusion PC market in Russia. The company increased its market share by 4% over the previous year, having focused on the domestic market and increased production of extrusion grades.


Rouble devaluation virtually made Russian companies refrain from purchasing SPVC in foreign markets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The weakening of the Russian rouble against the dollar accelerated in the first week of November. In this situation, many Russian companies refused to buy suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) in foreign markets, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Seasonal factors and the start-up of RusVinyl already led in October to a major reduction in purchasing of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in foreign markets by Russian companies. Tge rapid devaluation of the Russian rouble against the dollar in early November virtually paralyzed all import purchasing of PVC, local companies switched to domestic material.

Chinese producers are the key foreign SPVC suppliers to Russia. They account for about 63% in total imports. Chinese producers still maintained their export prices of acetylene PVC for November shipments in the range of USD810-840/tonne DAP Dostik. Given such prices in China and the dollar exchange rate against the rouble (at 46), prices of acetylene resin, including delivery to the central part of Russia, were at about Rb59,000/tonne, including VAT, up by an average of Rb9,000-10,000/tonne from contract prices of Russian producers.

The situation was similar with the PVC purchasing in the United States. Offer prices for November shipments of North American PVC dropped to USD940-960/tonne CFR St Petersburg on the back of several factors. But prices of North American PVC reached the same level as prices of Chinese material because of the dollar exchange rate.

Such a huge difference in price between Russian polymer and imported material made many companies to completely stop purchasing PVC in foreign markets.

Sharq to shut down MEG plant in Saudi Arabia for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sharq is in plans to shut a monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant for maintenance turnaround, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Saudi Arabia informed that the plant is likely to be shut in mid-December 2014. It is likely to remain off-stream for one month.

Located at Jubail in Saudi Arabia, the plant has a production capacity of 700,000 mt/year.

Besides, Nan Ya Plastics restarted its No 3 monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant in Taiwan on November 3, 2014. It was under a month-long maintenance turnaround. Located in Mailiao, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 360,000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC reported earllier, the Chinese petrochemical producer Hubei Chemical Fertilizer started a new monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant in late 2013. Located in Hubei, China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year.

PolyOne receives innovation awards for pioneering metal replacement projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Collaborating with customers to replace metal in LED lights earned PolyOne recognition at the inaugural Polymers and Plastics Innovation Awards, presented by the Society of Plastics Engineers Benelux Division. PolyOne took first place in the Best Lightweighting Innovation category for helping Tier 2 supplier Ayfar Otomotiv to replace metal in LED headlights for off-road vehicles, reported the company on its site.

Besides, the company was awarded second place in the Plastics and Electronics category for replacing metal in architectural LED lighting made by Finnish lighting specialist Kruunutekniikka.

"These awards are a recognition of the collaborative effort we bring to every project. In both cases, our experts helped innovative customers replace metal with specialty polymer formulations that can conduct heat, provide electrical insulation, or conduct electricity," commented Holger Kronimus, vice president Europe and general manager, Specialty Engineered Materials, Europe for PolyOne.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2014, PolyOne Corporation, a premier global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, presented its specialty portfolio for automotive interiors to designers and engineers at the 2014 WardsAuto Interiors conference. These advanced technologies, including soft-touch materials as well as colorants and special effects, enable customers to design new features that boost consumer appeal and reduce manufacturing complexity.

PolyOne Corporation, with 2013 revenues of USD3.8 billion, is a global provider of specialized polymer materials, services, and solutions. PolyOne is a provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions with operations in specialty polymer formulations, color and additive systems, polymer distribution and specialty vinyl resins.

KBR to expand SABIC butadiene unit at Al Jubail

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR has been awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) for the debottlenecking and expansion of its Petrokemya butadiene extraction plant in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Arabian Petrochemical Company (Petrokemya), a wholly-owned affiliate of SABIC, is one of the largest manufacturing sites in Al Jubail.

The site has an installed capacity of approximately 5.15 million tpy of petrochemicals including olefins, PVC/VCM, polystyrene and polyethylene plants, in addition to utilities and steam generation.

The butadiene extraction plant was built in 1993 with a capacity of 123,000 tpy. Petrokemya plans to significantly expand the capacity of the plant. This expansion is part of Petrokemya and SABIC’s vision and strategic business plan with a view of growing market demands in the downstream petrochemical market.

"This contract award for the Petrokemya Butadiene Debottleneck Project demonstrates KBR’s world-class petrochemical execution and delivery capabilities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," said Stuart Bradie, KBR’s president and CEO.

As MRC wrote previously, SABIC is modifying its Wilton cracker in the UK to enable it to use ethane feedstock imported from the US. The company is aiming to complete the project by 2016.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.