HDPE imports to Russia in November reduced by 18%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In November the volume of high-density polyethylene imports to the Russian market expectedly reduced by 18% and moved at 28,7 KT, according to MRC DataScope. In October shutdowns of production in Kazan and Nizhnekamsk for scheduled maintenance resulted in record imports volumes - 35.1 KT.

Only pipe HDPE was imported in the volume of 14 KT. In November, as it was expected, import supplies of high-density polyethylene reduced to 28.7 KT.

Seasonal factor and the growth in pipe HDPE supplies from Kazanorgsintez resulted in serious reduction of pipe material imports up to 8,6 KT. Also the scheduled maintenance of polyethylene production in Shurtansk Mining & Chemical Combine (Uzbekistan) resulted in lowered import volumes.

Export bids at Uzbek exchange were renewed only last week and the resumption of Shurtansk polyethylene supplies to the Russian market are expected only in the second half of December.


Dow to use more ethane to make plastics

(Bloomberg) -- Dow Chemical Co., the world's second- biggest chemical company, plans to use more ethane to make plastics and may form a venture to separate it from natural gas because of low U.S. prices.

Dow plans to increase cracking of ethane by 20 percent to 30 percent at ethylene plants on the U.S. Gulf Coast over the next two to three years, Midland, Michigan-based Dow said in its statement. That will increase Dow's global use of ethane for making ethylene to as much as 65 percent, from about 55 percent, said Rebecca Bentley, a spokeswoman. Costs haven't been determined, she said.

⌠Ethane is an advantaged feedstock in the United States and we anticipate a favorable oil to gas ratio to continue, Raja Zeidan, global business vice president for Dow Hydrocarbons, said in the statement.

Dow, the world's largest producer of ethylene and polyethylene plastics, also said it is reviewing joint-venture options to build a natural-gas liquids fractionator, a plant that separates the components of natural gas, to secure supplies of ethane.


Europe PE buyers to face Jan hikes on soaring feedstocks

(ICIS) -- European polyethylene (PE) producers are already talking of January price increases even before December discussions get fully under way, sources said on Monday. ⌠Cracker margins are squeezed. We will continue the battle into January, said one major producer.

PE buyers were finding themselves increasingly under pressure to accept higher prices in a month when they had expected some relief. The weak euro meant that imported volumes were down and availability was affected by production problems. There was also still some overhang from the French strikes at the end of October, which tightened availability.

The level of demand in December had taken many sellers by surprise. The high density polyethylene (HDPE) injection market in particular sought to understand why product availability had become so tight, when only weeks before buyers had expected to be able to get a modest decrease in December.

One reason that HDPE grades were not in such oversupply as buyers had expected was the lack of imported material. This was exacerbated by the weak euro rate versus the dollar, and delays in new Middle Eastern capacities.

Another reason was the very low profit margins in the HDPE sector in Europe. Net HDPE prices had been barely above the ethylene contract price for many weeks, and producers were now refusing to provide supplementary volumes to regular clients at the contract level.

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) availability continued to be tight, and some producers envisaged a situation where LDPE would be structurally undersupplied and command a permanent premium over other PE grades.


New IRPC 160,000 tpa propylene unit

(Plastemart) -- Thailand's IRPC plans to build a 160,000 tpa propylene plant by 2014, subject to board approval, as per Platts. The location and the value of the project are not known.

The new plant will help meet all of IRPC's feedstock requirements to make polypropylene, and create a surplus of propylene that will be used to produce more specialty products.

At present, IRPC has a total propylene capacity of 312,000 tpa from its steam cracker in Rayong province. The unit is able to run at 11% above its nameplate capacity. In addition, IRPC currently buys propylene from shareholder PTT in order to make polypropylene.


Iran's non-oil exports have reached $20.30 billion

(Press TV) -- Iran's non-oil exports have reached $20.30 billion in the first eight months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21 to November 21). Iranian Customs Administration Director Ardeshir Mohammadi made the remarks on Saturday, noting that the value of the country's non-oil export marked a 26-percent increase compared to the corresponding period of the last year.

Mohammadi went on to say that the weight of non-oil exports in the mentioned time span amounted to 44,083 million tons, which means a 27.2-percent growth, underlining that the non-oil exports, exclusive of gas condensates, hit $17.13 billion, marking a hike of 31 percent, ISNA reported.

The official also said the main non-oil product exported in the time span was liquefied propane with $900 million, noting that the product accounted for 5.25 percent of the total non-oil exports.

The next major product exported was polyethylene film grade, with a share of $865 million of the country's total non-oil exports. The main importer of Iranian products was China with a total import value of $3.094 billion which is about 18 percent of the non-oil exports.