Asia SBR may soon breach $3,000/tonne on strong demand

(ICIS) -- Spot prices of styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) in Asia may remain on an uptrend, possibly breaching $3,000/tonne (┬2,280/tonne) in January 2011, as demand continues to outstrip supply, industry sources said on Tuesday.

Non-oil grade 1502 SBR prices are currently hovering at around $2,800/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia, up $200-300/tonne from late October, according to ICIS.

Taking into account the strong demand and limited supply, producers hiked their spot offers for non-oil grade SBR 1502 by $100-200/tonne to $2,900-3,000/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia for December and January shipments, market sources said.

Demand was being fuelled by downstream tyre makers switching to the use of SBR from the more expensive natural rubber in tyre production, according to SBR producers.

TSR 20 natural rubber grade prices for January delivery was at $4,200/tonne at the close of trading on Monday, after rising to as high as $4,420/tonne on 10 November, according to data from the Singapore Commodity Exchange (SICOM).

Natural rubber and SBR are substitute raw materials in the production of tyres for the automotive industry, and their prices tend to move in the same direction.


Poland's Lentex looks to buy Hungarian PVC flooring firm

(PRW) -- Polish vinyl flooring and nonwovens producer Lentex has signed a preliminary agreement to buy the Hungarian PVC and wood flooring company Graboplast.

The deal, if completed, represents a significant consolidation of the flooring sector in Eastern Europe. The conclusion of the transaction between Lentex of Lubliniec and the owners of Gyor-based Graboplast, which is subject to due diligence, is expected by the end of February 2011.

Lentex is reported to be funding the proposed purchase of 100% of Graboplast through an increase in capital and the issue of new shares.

The Polish buyer is also back in the running to acquire the state owned Polish PVC construction products manufacturer Gamrat Plastic Works of Jaslo, Poland. Earlier, Lentex was involved in exclusive negotiations to purchase Gamrat, but failed to meet an August deadline to conclude a deal.


Chemtura does not plan to divest any of its seven businesses

(ICIS) -- US specialty chemical firm Chemtura does not plan to divest any of its seven businesses in 2010 or 2011, but it will take a portfolio approach to running them as separate entities, its chief executive said on Monday.

⌠All seven businesses have winning strategies for profitable growth, and we'll be focused on executing those strategies through 2011, said Chemtura's chairman, president and CEO Craig Rogerson.

Growth strategies include bolt-on acquisitions, joint ventures and select capacity additions, noted Rogerson.

Chemtura emerged from US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 10 November, largely intact from when it entered in March 2009. The only asset it sold in bankruptcy was its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) additives business for $16.2m (┬12.2m) to India-based Artek Arterian Holdings - a partnership between an Indian chemical company and a US private equity firm.


LUKOIL board of directors approved key indicators for 2011-2013 mid-term plan

(LUKOIL) -- The OAO LUKOIL Board of Directors approved the key indicators of the LUKOIL Group 2011-2013 Mid-term Plan and also the budget and investment program for 2011. The draft plan provides for a step-by-step alignment of the petroleum product duties and the expected rise of the petroleum-product excise tax.

The draft is also based on lower duties granted to LUKOIL in the fourth quarter 2010 for the oil produced at the Yu.Korchagin and V.Filanovsky fields in the North Caspian.

At the same time, the plan does not take into account the draft law that establishes a higher Mineral Extraction Tax for gas starting from 2011, and for oil - starting from 2012.

In the Refining & Marketing, the oil distribution pattern for 2011-2013 is based on a step-by-step alignment of duties for petroleum products and on optimization of crude supplies to the Company's refineries in Russia as its most efficient business, provided Transneft ensures maximum availability of its pipeline system for running the Company's oil, and also considering the limitations of the petroleum-product shipping infrastructure and the scheduled maintenance operations at the refineries.


4,300 chemicals registered by Reach deadline

(ICIS) -- A total of 4,300 substances were registered under the EU's Reach chemicals regulation by the 30 November deadline, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said on Wednesday, including 900 not sold in Europe when the regulation became law.

By the first Reach registration deadline - for substances sold in the EU in volumes greater than 1,000 tonnes/year and substances of very high concern (SVHC) - 24,675 registration dossiers had been successfully submitted, it said.

Large companies made about 86% of the registrations and small to medium sized firms 14%. About 19% of registrations were made by non-EU manufacturers through only representatives'. Most registrations came from Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, France and Belgium, the ECHA said.