PP imports into Ukraine dropped by 8% from January to March 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The overall imports of polypropylene (PP) into Ukraine dropped by 8% in the first three months of 2015 and totalled 21,700 tonnes. Block copolymers of propylene (PP-block) accounted for the greatest fall in demand, according to MRC DataScope report.

Last month's PP imports to Ukraine decreased to 7,800 tonnes from 8,300 tonnes in February because of weaker demand from local pipes producers. The overall imports of propylene polymers to the local market fell to 21,700 tonnes from January to March 2015 versus 23,500 tonnes a year earlier. PP-block accounted for the greatest drop in shipments because of weaker demand in the injection moulding and pipes extrusion sectors.

The supply structure by PP grades looks the following way over the stated period.
March imports of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) to the Ukrainian market were 6,100 tonnes versus 6,000 tonnes in February, the injection moulding sector accounted for an increase in shipments. Imports of homopolymer PP dropped over the first three months of 2015 by 11% year on year and totaled 16,100 tonnes.

March imports of PP-block fell to 658 tonnes from 900 tonnes a month earlier. Imports of PP-block to Ukraine dropped to 2,300 tonnes over the stated period from 2,600 tonnes a year earlier. The injection moulding and pipes extrusion sectors accouted for the largest fall in demand.

Last month's imports of statistical propylene copolymers (PP-random) into Ukraine were slightly more than 800 tonnes, whereas the February figure was 1,300 tonnes, because of almost a double reduction in purchasing by local pipes producers. The overall imports of this grade of propylene copolymers was 2,700 tonnes from January to March 2015 versus 2,100 tonnes a year earlier. Demand from pipes producers increased by a third, while demand from local producers of biaxially oriented polypropylene film (BOPP) rose by 52%.

The overall imports of other propylene copolymers totalled about 600 tonnes over the said period versus 717 tonnes a year earlier.

MRC

Celanese raises prices of vinyl acetate-based emulsions in Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company and a global leader in VAE emulsions, has announced that it will increase the price of vinyl acetate-based emulsions sold in Asia, reported the company on its site.

Vinyl acetate ethylene (EVA) emulsions will increase by Yuan 400/tonne for China and USD55/tonne for the rest of Asia effective April 24, 2015, or as contracts allow.

This price increase affects all applications including, but not limited to, adhesives, paints and coatings, waterproofing, building and construction, glass fiber, carpet and paper.

This increase is attributed to the continued pressures on raw materials, notably ethylene and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM).

As MRC wrote previously, Celanese Corporation increased March prices of vinyl acetate-based emulsions sold in Asia, as follows: EVA emulsions will increase by Yuan 200/tonne for China and USD30/tonne for the rest of Asia effective March 20, 2015, or as contracts allow.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,500 employees worldwide and had 2014 net sales of USD6.8 billion.
MRC

SABIC inks agreement to import US shale gas for UK petrochemical feedstock

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) has signed an agreement to use shale gas imported from the US at its Teesside petrochemical complex in Britain, said Hydrocarbonprocessing, citing acting CEO Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan.

"In fact we did sign the contract," Benyan told Reuters, according to the report. "We have not yet agreed with the supplier to publicly announce it, but we did firm up a contract for gas supply."

The CEO declined to name the supplier.

He said the timing and other details of the project, which he described as the first use of shale gas exported from the US Gulf in Britain, should be available by next quarter, according to the Reuters report.

"It is going to meet our full demand for the next 10 years and is renewable beyond 10 years," Benyan said.

SABIC had previously said it was looking at investment opportunies abroad, citing scarce local supplies. Last year, the company said it planned to upgrade its Teesside cracker to capitalize on US shale opportunities.

Benyan also told Reuters that SABIC was still considering a plan to build a crude-to-chemicals, without first having to refine the oil. That proposal was first announced by oil minister Ali al-Naimi in early 2014.

As MRC informed earlier, Saudi Arabia's Yanbu National Petrochemical Co. (Yansab) plans to shut its petrochemical complex this month for maintenance for 35 days. The shutdown will include an ethylene glycol plant, which will suspend operations for 60 days.

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

Kazakh Neftekhim invests nearly USD15 million in PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kazakh petrochemicals group Neftekhim Ltd. has invested around 14 million euros (USD14.9 million) to upgrade the polypropylene production operation at its complex at Pavlodar, Kazakhstan.

The company has been adding a new polypropylene polymerization and compounding line provided by German equipment supplier Leistritz Extrusion Technology of Nuremberg, along with a new testing laboratory.

Neftekhim mixes the PP with stabilizers and antioxidants to produce compound material utilized in the manufacture of plastic films and concerted packaging including sacks for products like cement.

The company is part of a growing petrochemical sector cluster in the Pavlodar special economic development zone where it produces propylene, PP and the high octane fuel additive MTBE in a technology partnership with the Pavlodar Petrochemical Plant.

In December last year, Neftekhim, whose operation opened in 2009, launched its first PP granulation plant. It previously only produced the polymer in powder form, which limited its use, since local companies could not use the powder.

The new plant has allowed the company to turn out 4,800 metric tons per year of granulated PP with 60 percent of it now dedicated to the domestic market and the rest being exported to Russia, China and Turkey. The plant equipment and technologies were also provided by Leistritz.
MRC

Celanese to reduce production capacity at its Belgium acetate tow plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, has proposed to employee representatives at the company's Lanaken, Belgium, facility the reduction of acetate tow production capacity at the site by 50%, according to the company's press release.

"This proposal results from ongoing changes in the global demand for acetate tow products, especially in Europe, which has been declining and further shifting to Asia and developing countries, and is not in any way a reflection on the employees," said Lou Purvis, vice president and general manager of the Consumer Specialties segment. "Going forward, given the capacity and capability of our global production assets, we are confident in our ability to reliably supply customers in the future from our facilities in Narrows, Virginia; Ocotlan, Mexico; and from the remaining capacity at the Lanaken plant."

Celanese's Lanaken site leaders will fully consult on the proposal with employee representatives and support them through this process. The company is committed to engaging in a transparent and constructive dialogue with its employee representatives; and if the company decides to implement the proposal, will work to assist employees with job search and career counselling.

Celanese's Lanaken plant is located in the Belgian province of Limburg and has a current nameplate capacity of approximately 52,000 tons per year and employs approximately 240 employees.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2014, Celanese Corporation announced its intent to construct a EVA emulsions production unit in Southeast Asia. The unit is expected to begin production by mid-2016.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,500 employees worldwide and had 2014 net sales of USD6.8 billion.
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