US anti-dumping duty on PE bags from Vietnam remains in place

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The US has decided to continue applying anti-dumping duties on imports of polyethylene (PE) retail carrier bags from Vietnam and some other countries, as per GV.

The Sai Gon Giai phong (Liberated Saigon) daily reported the Vietnam Competition Authority as saying that the decision comes under the five-year (sunset) review process carried out by the US International Trade Commission (USITC).

The USITC determined that revoking the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on PE retail carrier bags from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam would likely lead to a continuation or reoccurrence of material injury.

The anti-dumping duty rates are imposed at between 52.3%- 76.11%.

On 27 July 2015, the US Department of Commerce issued the determinations of a sunset review, which kept the anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty orders in place.

As MRC wrote previously, in 2012, Italy became the first European country to ban non-biodegradable PE bags. Regulations as to the permitted levels of degradability are still controversial.

Chemours begins commercial operations of New Altamira TiO2 line in Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Chemours Company ("Chemours"), a global chemistry company with leading market positions in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts and chemical solutions, announced that it has begun the commercial startup of its new titanium dioxide (TiO2) line at its Altamira plant in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, said 12newsnow.

Chemours reached mechanical completion of the line in December 2015. The company has now begun to run the new line using the Chemours chloride process, producing Ti-Pure™ TiO2 pigment for customer qualification.

Production on the new line is expected to ramp up steadily with full nameplate capacity of 200,000 metric tonnes per year being achieved over a few years. As this happens, Chemours will balance utilization across its other facilities to align with our customers' needs.

"The commercial startup of Altamira will help us achieve the near-term cost reduction objectives and future growth in our five-point transformation plan," said Mark Vergnano, president and CEO. "We will leverage the facility's low-cost capability to supply the high quality products that our customers expect from our global manufacturing network."

Chemours has the lowest sustainable TiO2 production cost in the world due to facility scale, proprietary process and know-how, and an ability to use a wide variety of ore feedstocks. The company anticipates that it will reduce overall costs of TiO2 manufacturing by about USD20 million annually. In addition to the Altamira plant, Chemours also manufactures TiO2 products at sites in Mississippi, Tennessee and Taiwan.

"Our investment at Altamira tells our valued customers around the world that Chemours is committed to being a long-term, reliable supplier of high quality TiO2," said Bryan Snell, president of Titanium Technologies. "By enhancing our low-cost position, the new line at Altamira positions us to continue providing our high value-in-use products to our global customer base far into the future."


Mitsubishi Chemicals shuts MIBK plant in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemicals has taken off-stream its methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) plant for a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the plant has been taken off-line early this week. It is planned to remain shut for around 4-5 weeks.

Located in Mizushima, Japan, the plant has a production capacity of 20,000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, in October 2015, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, Inc., an affilicate company of Mitsubishi Chemicals, announced an investment of USD100 million to increase its capacity for biaxially oriented polyester (BOPET) film at its plant in Greer, SC. The investment will include a new film production line scheduled to start up mid-year 2017.

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.

PE imports to Russia down 19% in Jan-Apl 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polyethylene (PE) into the Russian market dropped in the first four months of 2016 by 19% year on year, totalling about 142,900 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for a major fall in imports, according to MRC DataScope report.

April PE imports to the Russian market were 41,500 tonnes, compared to 42,100 tonnes a month earlier, HDPE shipments decreased significantly. Overall PE imports fell to 142,900 tonnes in the first four months of 2016 from 175,800 tonnes a year earlier. A major reduction in shipments was registered in the HDPE and LLDPE segments, whereas imports of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA) increased.

The structure of PE imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

April LLDPE imports rose to 16,200 tonnes from 13,500 tonnes a month earlier. The absence of PE production by Russian producers was the main reason for the growth of imports. Thus, LLDPE imports reached 50,300 tonnes in the first four months of the year versus 71,700 tonnes a year earlier.

Last month's HDPE imports decreased to 10,000 tonnes from 13,200 tonnes in March. Producers from Uzbekistan and Europe accounted for the fall in imports (blow moulding and injection moulding HDPE and polyethylene for extrusion coating of large diameter steel pipes, respectively). Overall HDPE imports to Russia fell to 39,900 tonnes from January to April 2016, compared to 57,000 tonnes a year earlier.

April LDPE imports virtually remained at the level of March, totalling slightly over 10,000 tonnes. Overall LDPE imports rose to 34,800 tonnes in the first four months of the year from 30,100 tonnes a year earlier.

Last month's imports of ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA) also remained at the level of March, totalling 2,000 tonnes. EVA imports grew to 7,300 tonnes from January to April versus 6,200 tonnes a year earlier.

Import of other polymers of ethylene exceeded 10,700 tonnes in the first four months of the year, which equalled the figure of the same period of 2015.


LDPE production in Belarus up 3.3% in Jan-Apr 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Belarus' overall production of low density polyethylene (LDPE) totalled 43,200 tonnes in the first four months of 2016, up by 3.3% year on year, reported MRC analysts.

According to the National Statistics Committee of Belarus, Polymir, the local LDPE producer, reduced its output of polyethylene (PE) in April 2016 because of technical issues, last month's production was 9,500 tonnes, compared with 11,400 tonnes a month earlier.

Thus, Belarus' overall LDPE production was 43,200 tonnes in January-April 2016 versus 41,800 tonnes a year earlier. Low PE production in 2015 was caused by a scheduled shutdown for maintenance at the first LDPE line in late March.

As reported earlier, the plant also plans to conduct maintenance in two stages this year. The first phase will cover the first LDPE reactor with the annual capacity of 65,000 tonnes and will be held from 12 June for 14 days. The second LDPE reactor with the annual capacity of 65,000 tonnes will be shut down in September for 30 days.

Polymir (part of Naftan) is Belarus' largest petrochemical company, producing a wide range of chemical products, such as low density polyethylene (LDPE), acrylic fibers, products of organic synthesis, hydrocarbon fractions, etc. The plant"s annual LDPE production capacity is 130,000 tonnes. Polymir was founded in 1968. The producer uses technologies of the largest foreign companies from Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Italy (Courtaulds, Asahi Chemical Co. Ltd, Kanematsu Gosho, SNIA BPD, etc.), as well as the development of scientific research institutes and design institutes of the CIS countries.