Mitsubishi studying group reorganization, may combine chem operating companies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. (MCHC) has announced that the MCHC Group will begin a detailed review of an organizational restructuring with an eye toward the integration of its three chemical operating companies into one company by April 2017, as per Apic-online.

The study, which will determine the feasibility of combining Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Mitsubishi Plastics Inc. and Mitsubishi Rayon Co., is expected to be completed by the end of March 2016.

"The business climate surrounding the Japanese chemical industry has been changing significantly," MCHC said. "While Japan's domestic economy faces the challenges of a low birthrate, an aging population and declining demand, the group recognizes that emerging nations are showing remarkable economic growth. In addition, changes in the industrial structure are positioned to accelerate rapidly in line with the advance of information and communication technology," the company continued.

MCHC Group's "highest priority in addressing these issues is to strengthen its business foundation to flexibly meet changes in the business climate and fend off fierce competition from European and U.S. chemical companies, which have advantages in scale and earnings, as well as Asian corporate groups that have achieved tremendous development in recent years."

Under these circumstances, the three companies must maintain their competitiveness and achieve further growth by enhancing their integrity and unity on a group-wide basis. They need to integrate their businesses, technology platforms and sales channels to accelerate the growth and globalization of their businesses, MCHC concluded.

As MRC reported earlier, in April 2013, Mitsubishi Chemical has purchased all of the assets related to Comtrex's compounding business. The acquisition of the Comtrex business is expected to help MCC speed up the expansion of its performance polymers business through its networks across the world. Having been engaged in the PVC compounding business for more than 30 years, Comtrex started developing a line of vulcanized thermoplastic elastomers (TPV) in 2000 and selling the product in 2002.

Mitsubishi Chemical with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, is a diversified chemical company involved in petrochemicals, polymers, agrochemicals, speciality chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company's main focus is on three business pillars: petrochemicals, performance and functional products, and health care.

Mitsui Chem operating profit seen jumping 80% in April-September

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsui Chemicals' operating profit for the April-September half is expected to leap 80% from a year ago to around 33 billion yen (USD263 million), thanks to strong sales of automotive materials, said Nikkei.

Net profit is also likely to rocket 150% on the year to around 18 billion yen. Both figures are remarkable turnarounds from the company's initial forecasts calling for a 3% fall in operating profit and a more than 30% drop in net profit.

Operating profit during the April-June quarter looks to have doubled on the year to over 20 billion yen. A surging auto market in the Americas lifted sales of the Japanese chemical maker's functional polymeric materials. Increased production of polypropylene materials used in bumpers and interior fixtures also buoyed profits in the mobility business, which handles automotive materials.

Chemical exports are strong now that overseas prices have stabilized. Domestic ethylene production is operating at high capacity, boosting the manufacturer's profitability. The weak yen is also boosting profits on sales overseas.

Profits in Mitsui Chemicals' food and packaging business are surpassing expectations, led by brisk sales of films and other materials used in packaging for food products and household goods. The company's health care business, another target for expansion, is also on the rise as sales of materials used in dentistry, optical lenses and other fields grow.

Initial estimates projected operating profit for the year ending next March to jump 24% to 52 billion yen. As expectations mount for a successful first half, fiscal 2015 profits could soar above 60 billion yen, the goal that Mitsui Chemicals' midterm business plan sets for fiscal 2016. The company could find itself there a year ahead of schedule.

As MRC informed before, Mitsui Chemicals Mitsui Chemicals said it is restructuring its organization as part of the company's effort to accelerate business strategy, new business and product creation strategy, and business support strategy.

Mitsui Chemicals,a Japanese chemical company, is a part of the Mitsui conglomerate. The company has a turnover of around 15 billion USD and has business interests in Japan, Europe, China, Southeast Asia and the USA. The company mainly deals in performance materials, petro and basic chemicals and functional polymeric materials.


Taiwanese CPC in talks for transfer of Kaohsiung cracker to Indonesia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Taiwan's state-owned CPC Corp. is in negotiations with an unidentified Indonesian firm regarding the purchase and relocation of CPC's Kaohsiung, Taiwan, naphtha cracker to Indonesia, according to Apic-online with reference to Taipei Times, citing CPC Chairman Lin Sheng-chung.

Lin noted several foreign companies have expressed interest in acquiring the 25-year-old cracker, which is scheduled to close or be moved this year because of environmental protests by local residents.

"The talks with the Indonesian company are more promising compared with other companies, and we plan to settle the details before the end of this year," Lin said.

In addition to purchasing the cracker, the Indonesian company is also interested in acquiring the technology as well as operation and maintenance expertise, and has proposed a partnership with CPC in Indonesia.

As MRC informed earlier, in March 2015, CPC Corp's refinery in the Kaohsiung area reported leaks of propylene gas. Wu Yi-fang, head of CPC's Talin refinery, said a loose connector in the six-inch piping system transporting the colorless gas to its Linyuan plant caused the leak.

CPC Corporation, Taiwan is engaged in the exploration, production, refining, procurement, transportation, storage, and marketing of oil and gas. The company provides fuel oil, including automotive unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel, low-sulfur fuel oil, marine distillate fuels, marine residual fuels, and aviation fuel; petrochemicals, such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, para-xylene, and ortho-xylene; liquefied petroleum gas products comprising liquefied petroleum gas, propane, butane, and a propane/butane mixture; lubricants, motor oil, industrial oil, grease, and marilube oil; SNC products, including petroleum ether, naphtha, toluene, xylene, crude octene, methyl alcohol, normal paraffin, viscosity-graded asphalt cement, and sulfur; and natural gas.

Celanese Corporation declares quarterly dividend of USD0.30 per share

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, has declared a quarterly dividend of USD0.30 per share on its Series A common stock, payable on August 13, 2015, as per the company's press release.

The dividend is payable for the period beginning May 1, 2015 and ending on and including July 31, 2015 to stockholders of record as of August 3, 2015.

As MRC informed previously, Celanese Corp.'s profit fell in its second quarter 2015 as higher material costs and the stronger dollar hurt results, but the specialty materials maker still increased its earnings outlook for the year. The company raised its earnings guidance for the year to USD5.70 to USD6, up from its previous projection of USD5.60 to USD5.90.

For the period ended in June, the company posted a profit of USD201 million, or USD1.33, down from a year-earlier profit of USD258 million, or USD1.66 a share. Excluding certain costs, the company posted an adjusted profit of USD1.58 a share, up from USD1.47 in the previous year. Revenue fell 16.5%, to USD1.4 billion.

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.

US chemical activity shows summer recovery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the US Chemical Production Regional Index (CPRI) rose by 0.5% in June, following a revised 0.1% decline in May and flat growth in April, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Over the same period, chemical production by segment was mixed. There were gains in the output of pesticides, synthetic rubber, chlor-alkali, plastic resins, and pharmaceuticals.

These gains were offset, however, by declines in the production of organic chemicals, adhesives, acids, phosphates, sulfates, manufactured fibers, other specialties, and fertilizers. Coatings production was flat.

Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form or another. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production, the ACC explains. On a three-month-moving average basis, manufacturing activity edged higher by 0.1% in June, following gains in April and May.

Production expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including appliances, motor vehicles, construction supplies, computers, semiconductors, machinery, plastic products, structural panels, furniture, and textile products.

Compared to June 2014, US chemical production was ahead by 4.0% on a year-over-year basis, an improving comparison. Chemical production remained ahead of year ago levels in all regions.