January LLDPE imports in Ukraine decreased by 29%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) into Ukraine were 2,600 tonnes in January, down 29% compared with the same time a year earlier. Local producers of the films had to significantly reduce their production because on the back of weaker economy and the problems with the purchase of currency in the country, according to MRC DataScope.

January's imports of LLDPE in Ukraine dropped to two-year minimum to 2,700 tonnes, compared with 3,700 tonnes in January 2014 and 6,000 tonnes in December 2014.

The main decrease in demand for polyethylene occurred for the local film producers and resulted from the downturn in the economy, as well as problems with the purchase of currency for the purchase of polyethylene in foreign markets. January's film LLDPE imports decreased to 2,500 tonnes, compared with 3,600 tonnes in January 2014, and 5,400 tonnes in December 2014. The main decrease in demand occurred for local producers of stretch films. Local producers of multilayer films for food also reduced consumption in January significantly.

The total imports of linear polyethylene for other sectors of consumption exceeded 100,000 tonnes.


Ukrainian PC market grew by 10% in January 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Ukrainian polycarbonate (PC) market totalled only 273 tonnes in January 2015, up by 10% year on year, according to MRC DataScope report.

Ukrainian PC market is totally dependent on foreign shipments because there are no production capacities in the country. Most supplies are from the European region. Importers have had difficulties with the foreign currency purchasing recently because of the crisis in the country. The extremely inconsistent policy of the financial government and inability to manage the hryvnya exchange rate brought the economy to a pre-default state.

Major converters continued their operations, despite the currency devaluation and high inflation. Most produced quantities are aimed to foreign markets. Buying activity was very weak in the domestic market.

January consumption of PC granules in the injection moulding sector remained unchanged year on year and totalled 167 tonnes.

Shipments in the sheet extrusion segment were suspended until spring because of the absence of demand in the domestic market.

The bottle grade PC market was also stable in January and did not change year on year, it totalled 70 tonnes. Market players said they intend to maintain the last year's consumption because most of the contracts for shipments of products from PC to foreign markets were extended to 2015.

Market expansion was mainly due to stronger demand for PC/ABS, which was 34 tonnes versus 2 tonnes in January 2014. PC/ABS is a high strength material and is used for moulding automotive components.


Axiall to sell La Porte phosgene complex in Texas to Altivia Chemicals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Axiall has signed a definitive agreement to sell its La Porte, Texas, chemical manufacturing facility to Altivia Chemicals, officials announced on Thursday, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Financial terms of the agreement, which is subject to customary closing processes, were not announced. The transaction is expected to close within 45 days.

The Axiall facility at La Porte manufactures phosgene and its derivatives, which are used in the polymer, pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals industries. It is the largest North American production facility of merchant phosgene derivatives, including chloroformates and acid chlorides.

"As we refine our portfolio, we are pleased to reach an agreement with ALTIVIA, where we believe our phosgene business will be a better strategic fit," said Axiall CEO Paul Carrico. "Axiall will provide transition services to ALTIVIA to help its experienced management team achieve a smooth assumption of the business."

Altivia Specialty Chemicals, headquartered in Houston, is an experienced manufacturer and distributor of chemicals used primarily for municipal and industrial water treatment, oil field drilling and production operations, and pulp and paper production.

In 2012, the company expanded its specialty chemicals line with the addition of ferric and ferrous sulfate to its portfolio. It also recently added aluminum chlorohydrate to its product line to broaden its coagulant offerings and expand into new applications with aluminum-based chemistry.

As MRC informed previously, Axiall and Korean firm Lotte Chemical had decided to defer a final investment decision on a USD2 billion ethane cracker in Westlake, La. Via the American Press, Axiall CEO Paul Carrico said uncertainty in U.S. energy, feedstock and labor markets drove the decision.

Axiall is a chemical company formed in 2012 from the chemical assets of PPG and Georgia Gulf. The PPG products are primarily chlor-alkali. The combined companies will be the third largest producer of chlor-alkali in the US after Dow Chemical and Occidental. PPG will own 50.5% of the combined companies. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

Trinseo elected Donald Misheff to its Board of Directors

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber formerly known as Styron, has announced Donald T. Misheff has been elected to its Board of Directors, effective February 19, 2015, reported the producer on its site.

He also joined the Audit Committee and the Environmental, Health, Safety and Public Policy Committee of the board. With these changes, Trinseo has a fully independent three person Audit Committee.

Misheff is the former Northeast Ohio Managing Partner at the public accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP, where he advised companies on financial and corporate governance issues. He began his career with Ernst & Young in 1978 as part of the audit staff and later joined the tax practice, specializing in accounting/financial reporting for income taxes, purchase accounting and mergers and acquisitions. Misheff retired from Ernst & Young in 2011.

"Don’s tremendous experience in finance and corporate governance will be a valuable addition to our board of directors," said Chris Pappas, president and CEO of Trinseo. "He has more than 30 years of experience advising a wide range of public companies and boards."

As MRC wrote before, Styron, the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, announced it had changed its name to Trinseo, effective February 1, 2015.

Trinseo is a leading global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, dedicated to collaborating with customers to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions. Trinseo’s 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. Trinseo had approximately USD5.3 billion in revenue in 2013, with 19 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,100 employees.

HDPE imports to Ukraine fell by 29% in January 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Last month's overall imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) into Ukraine decreased by 29% year on year. Weaker demand and issues with the foreign currency purchasing in the country were the reasons for lower imports, according to MRC DataScope report.

January HDPE imports to Ukraine fell to its lowest in the past few years and totalled 5,300 tonnes, while in January and December 2014 this figure was 7,500 tonnes and 11,800 tonnes, respectively. The fall in demand for HDPE was dictated by both the slowdown in the economy and problems with the foreign currency purchasing for procurement of polyethylene (PE) in foreign markets.

The supply structure by HDPE processing technologies looks the following way over the stated period.

January imports of film grade HDPE to the Ukrainian market slumped to 2,700 tonnes from 4,000 tonnes in January 2014 and 6,200 tonnes in December 2014. PE from Saudi Arabia accounted for the main decline in imports.

January imports of pipe grade HDPE decreased even more significantly and totalled 350 tonnes (1,800 tonnes and 1,300 tonnes in January and December 2014, respectively). Shipments were reduced from all countries.

Last month's imports of blow moulding HDPE to Ukraine totalled 900 tonnes versus 1,200 tonnes in January 2014 and 2,300 tonnes in December 2014. Shipments from Europe and Saudi Arabia fell significantly, whereas imports of this PE grade from Russia were completely stopped.

January imports of injection moulding HDPE reached 1,300 tonnes versus 428 tonnes in January 2014 and 1,600 tonnes in December. Many Ukrainian companies have shifted to purchasing this HDPE grade in Saudi Arabia and Asian countries in recent months because of several reasons.