Celanese raises June VAM prices for Europe and Americas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, will increase June list and off-list selling prices for vinyl acetate monomer VAM, said the producer on its site.

Thus, the price increases will be effective June 1, 2016, or as contracts allow.

The prices will be raised, as follows:

- by EUR50/mt - for Europe;
- by USD50/mt for Central and South America and Mexico;
- by USD0.02/lb for USA and Canada.

Celanese last increased VAM prices on 1 July 2015, as stated below:

- by USD0.03/lb - for USA, Canada and Mexico;
- by USD70/tonne - for Central and South America;
- by USD40/tonne - for Asia (outside China).

As MRC wrote previously, Celanese Corporation increased its list and off-list selling prices for Ateva EVA and LDPE polymers, effective May 1st, 2016 or as contracts allow. Prices of Ateva EVA rose by USD50/tonne for Asia, whereas LDPE prices grew by USD0.04/lg (USD 0.09/kg or USD90/tonne) for North and South America and by USD50/tonne for Asia.

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, Celanese employs approximately 7,000 employees worldwide and had 2015 net sales of USD5.7 billion.

Global oversupply of polyethylene and polypropylene is challenging producers margins

МОSCOW (MRC) -- A surge in new plastics capacity coming from low-cost producers in North America, the Mideast and China is driving the global market for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) to oversupply, which will pressure margins for producers and change the global competitive landscape, said Chemweek.

IHS estimates that more than 24 million m.t. of new PE capacity will be added globally during the 2015 to 2020 timeframe –more than one-third of that, approximately 8 million m.t., will come from the United States, which will significantly increase the US net-export position for PE and PP and other chemicals, rebalancing the global chemical trade flows that have favored the Mideast for decades.

Beyond North America, China is also growing its influence as a key, low-cost provider of PE, thanks to its production additions from coal-to-olefins technology, Vafiadis said. China is expected to add approximately 17 million m.t. of new PE/PP capacity during the next five years, which will drive further market volatility, according to IHS.

In Europe, imports of PE into Europe from the Mideast in 2016 have surpassed 2015 numbers as the region continued to see strong demand and offered attractive net-backs for Mideast producers, IHS says. High-density polyethylene import figures for January and February 2016 overall, were the highest of the last eight years at 148,000 m.t., and exports were lowest for the same period at only 42,000 m.t. IHS says a similar, but less pronounced, trend is occurring for other PE grades as well.

These market realities will also drive much of the conversation when major industry executives, along with other leading IHS experts, speak at the PEPP 2016: 24thAnnual Polyethylene/Polypropylene Chain Global Technology and Business Forum taking place 1-3 June 2016, at the Swissotel Zurich. The industry’s leading event will feature more than 25 IHS and industry experts from across the PE/PP supply chain and will explore polyolefin technology developments and new applications, additives and compounding, trends in packaging requirements, as well as the outlook for distribution and logistics. More than 150 attendees are expected from approximately 75 companies and nearly 25 countries, including resin producers and distributors, catalyst and process technology providers, R&D professionals, converters, brand owners and retailers.


Wacker presents new hydrophilic softener for textile finishing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker, the Munich-based chemical company, has launched an innovative hydrophilic fabric softener for factory textile finishing, said the producer on its site.

The new product, which is called WETSOFT NE 750, does not only improve the softness of textiles, but also retains the ability to absorb water. This is particularly important for towels and materials that need to remain absorbent after finishing. The silicone fluid formulation is marketed as a water-free concentrate. It just needs to be diluted with water to produce a ready-to-use emulsion. WETSOFT NE 750 is a new premium product for high-quality textiles that imparts a pleasant and full soft feel as well as excellent absorbency.

The main constituents of WETSOFT NE 750 are block copolymers based on aminofunctional silicones and polyglycol. The silicone fluid segments arrange themselves in free-moving loops on the outside of the fabric and reduce friction between the fibers. This provides the fabric with an excellent soft feel, which even remains after washing. The polyglycol segments, on the other hand, ensure that the silicone finish, which is normally water-repellent, remains permeable to water.

The combination of softness and water absorbency is of crucial importance for high-quality textiles. Tests show that materials treated with WETSOFT NE 750 have a pleasant, soft and full hand feel while remaining absorbent. As a result, they quickly take up moisture from skin and hair. This is due to the fact that the emulsion penetrates to the core of the fabric, even when the fabric contains long pile fibers.

Compared to conventional fabric softeners, the special molecular architecture of WETSOFT NE 750 facilitates water uptake and, at the same time, significantly increases absorbency. From a textile manufacturer’s point of view, it is important that subsequent textile corrections, such as re-dying of the material, can easily be made after the textile has been treated with the product.

As MRC reported earlier, in 2013, Wacker Chemie AG officially launched its new production plant for ethylene-vinyl-acetate copolymer (EVA) dispersions at its Ulsan site in South Korea. The additional 40,000 tonnes from the second reactor line increases the site's EVA-dispersion capacity to a total of 90,000 tonnes per year. The production capacity of the site has, thus, almost doubled, making the plant complex one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.

INEOS agrees the sale of INEOS Styrenics to Synthos S.A. for EUR80m

МOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Enterprises confirmed it has reached an agreement in principle, to sell INEOS Styrenics, its Expandable Polystyrene Business (EPS), to Synthos S.A. for EUR80m, said the producer in its site.

INEOS Styrenics produces high quality Expandable Polystyrene (EPS) for the building, construction and packaging industries at manufacturing sites at Wingles and Ribecourt in Northern France and Breda in the Netherlands. The three production sites are supported by its technology Centre in Breda, which is a purpose-built research, development and product testing facility, including a research laboratory and pilot plant facilities. Customer Service, Logistics and Finance groups are also located in Breda. The business employs c. 250 people who will transfer as part of this deal.

"The combination of INEOS Styrenics with Synthos will accelerate growth and deliver additional benefits to customers of both companies, giving them access to expanded technologies and an enhanced product portfolio. It will also offer new opportunities for employees who will be part of a company that is focussed on, and strategically committed to the long term future of the expanded polystyrene market," said Ashley Reed, CEO of INEOS Enterprises.

The agreement to sell the business to Synthos S.A. represents an important step in the ongoing development of the EPS business. Synthos S.A. is one of the largest manufacturers of chemical raw materials in Poland. The Company was the first European manufacturer of emulsion rubbers and is a leading manufacturer of polystyrene for foaming applications. The Company is traded on the Polish stock exchange with its headquarters located in Oswiecim.

"The aim of the acquisition will be to provide the highest quality expandable polystyrene (EPS) to ensure that expandable polystyrene products (EPS) remain the insulation material of choice for our customers." said Tomasz Kalwat, CEO of Synthos.

Completion of the transaction is likely to occur in the second half of 2016, subject to customary regulatory approvals.

As MRC informed earlier, in 2013 INEOS announced its intention to close production of Expandable Polystyrene (EPS) at its Marl site in Germany.

INEOS Styrenics is a part of the INEOS Enterprises portfolio of business. INEOS Enterprises actively seeks market opportunities to acquire, develop and sell chemical businesses.

Synthos Group S.A. is one of the largest manufacturers of chemical raw materials in Poland. The Company is the first European manufacturer of emulsion rubbers and a leading manufacturer of polystyrene.The company offers high-grade, sophisticated technological products to a wide range of customers worldwide. Synthos S.A. is a company which was established following the merger of Firma Chemiczna Dwory S.A. and Kaucuk a.s.

Oxea appoints new CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oxea (Oberhausen, Germany), one of the leading manufacturers of oxo chemicals, announced the appointment of Salim Al Huthaili, 38, as the new CEO, sai the company in its press release.

The move follows a decision of Oxea Sarl board to implement a new management structure. Martina Floel, who has served as the speaker of the prior executive board of three managing directors, will leave the company. Al Huthaili first joined Oxea in early 2015 as chairman of the supervisory board, and later became a member of the Oxea executive board.

As MRC informed earlier, in a move to better serve its customers in North and Latin America, the global chemical company Oxea continues with the detailed engineering for a Propanol unit at its world-scale production plant at Bay City, Texas

Oxea is a global manufacturer of oxo intermediates and oxo derivatives, such as alcohols, polyols, carboxylic acids, specialty esters, and amines. These products are used for the production of high-quality coatings, lubricants, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, flavorings and fragrances, printing inks and plastics. Established in 1996, it pursues investment opportunities in the wider energy sector both inside and outside Oman. OOC plays an important role in the Sultanate's efforts to diversify the economy and to promote domestic and foreign investments.