Growth in EU chems industry will slow to 2.5% in 2011 - Cefic

(ICIS) -- Growth in the EU's chemicals industry will slow to 2.5% in 2011 after a recovery of 10% this year as domestic demand remains below pre-crisis levels, chemical industry association Cefic said on Tuesday.

⌠We maintain our view from earlier this year that the sharp chemicals rebound in 2009 and early 2010 was driven by inventory rebuilding, support measures, and exports, said Cefic's director general Hubert Mandery.

⌠But chemicals output levels forecast for the end of 2011 will remain well below the peak levels reached in 2007, he added.

Cefic said that overseas demand had been the main driver of growth in 2010, but added that domestic demand from within the EU still remained short of pre-crisis levels.

Strong economic activity in Asia is currently driving up commodity prices, notably of oil, and destabilising price spikes are possible, said Cefic.

It also said the European chemical industry had undertaken streamlining of operations, but that global competition remained fierce as Middle East capacity increases, the expansion of Asian producers continues and companies in the US benefit from less expensive shale gas.


DSM to increase prices for its compounds

(DSM) -- DSM Engineering Plastics has announced its intention to increase prices for its Akulon PA6 and PA66 compounds. This increase, which will be effective immediately, is to offset continued escalations in the costs of key raw materials.

While DSM Engineering Plastics continues to pursue and implement cost savings initiatives targeted at absorbing the impact of these raw material escalations, this increase is necessary to safeguard DSM Engineering Plastics' sustainable long-term growth.

Due to strong demand in the China market, all regions are experiencing cost increases for flame retardants, glass and other key raw materials, with the strongest additional cost increases of up to $250/Ton being realized in Asia.

⌠Similar appropriate action has already been taken in our polymers and high viscous PA6 business and we feel that we have no choice but to implement this increase for compounds as well, said Richard Pieters, Global Business Director Akulon/Novamid.


Milliken to launch a new additive

(Milliken) -- Milliken is now launching a version of the additive that is specifically aimed at extrusion-blow moulding, Millad NX8500E. ⌠With this new innovative grade, transparency in extrusion blow moulding is no longer limited to PVC or PET, says Brian Burkhart, Global Market Manager, Polypropylene Clarifiers.

Millad NX8500E will allow processors to optimize surface properties as well as bulk haze. Bottles produced with Millad NX8500E will exhibit excellent gloss and transparency and they will have a fresher look due to a low yellowness index. As with NX8000, improvements are less dependent on processing temperature than with existing clarifiers. Furthermore, no special mould finishes are required to achieve excellent looking bottles.

A leading international corporation, Milliken is a privately-held, technology-based company serving textile, chemical, and floor covering markets, and is dedicated to building a strong culture of integrity, innovation, and excellence. Milliken Chemical, a division of Milliken & Company, specializes in developing and producing additives and colourants for the global plastics and household care industries. Milliken Chemical has application and development centres around the world dedicated to customer support.


Celanese increases prices for LDPE

(Downstream Today) -- Celanese Corp., a global technology and specialty materials company and a North American leader in Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) polymers, announced Thursday that its subsidiary, Celanese EVA Performance Polymers Inc., will increase the price of all grades of Ateva EVA by $0.06/pound and all grades of LDPE by $0.05/pound effective January 1, 2011, or as contracts allow.

Celanese EVA Performance Polymers Inc. is a North American leader in developing products and application technology to improve performance, create value and drive innovation in a broad range of industrial and consumer end-use applications including flexible packaging, thermal lamination film, hot melt adhesive, USP class VI medical products and photovoltaic cells. The business has manufacturing facilities in Edmonton, Canada, and is supported by expert technical service.


U.K.'s Ineos oxide may win EU duties on vinyl acetate from U.S.

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union threatened to impose tariffs on a chemical from the U.S. used in paints and paper coatings to curb import competition for Ineos Oxide Ltd.

The EU opened an inquiry into whether U.S. manufacturers of vinyl acetate sell it in the 27-nation bloc below cost, a practice known as dumping. Vinyl acetate is also used in such goods as safety glass and glues for furniture and floors.

The investigation will determine whether imports from the U.S. are ⌠being dumped and whether this dumping has caused injury to the union industry, the European Commission, the EU's trade authority in Brussels, said on Dec. 4 in the Official Journal. The commission has nine months to decide whether to impose provisional anti-dumping duties for half a year and EU governments have 15 months to decide whether to apply ⌠definitive levies for five years.

The probe stems from an Oct. 22 dumping complaint by U.K.- based Ineos Oxide, which accounts for more than a quarter of the EU's production of vinyl acetate, the commission said. The commission didn't identify any U.S. makers of vinyl acetate and Craig Welsh, an Ineos Oxide spokesman, declined to name any American manufacturers when reached today by telephone in Runcorn, the U.K.