Polystyrene consumption in Russia reached pre-crisis volumes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polystyrene consumption in Russia over the ten months have reached the volumes of 2009 and by the end of the year may reach the level of peak 2007 with 452 KT, according to MRC analysts. The same volumes of polystyrene consumption was observed in pre-crisis 2006-2007 when the market had been growing on average by 23% p.a.

Polystyrene and styrene plastics consumption in Russia depends on 45%on import stock material which is connected with deficit of EPS, ABS and freon-proof HIPS. The sectors that process this material (heat-insulating materials market, electrical goods and car components) are rapidly growing now.

According to Federal State Statistics Service, car production in Russia over the ten months has already exceeded the volumes of 2009 by 60% and made more than 950 KT.

By 2015 the structure of polystyrene consumption may change because of import substitution strategy. This November Sibur-Khimprom has launched EPS Alphapor production with a capacity of 50 KT, soon the second line is to be launched. By 2015 Sibur and Nizhnekamskneftekhim plan to launch ABS plastics production.

More detailed analysis of polystyrene production and consumption volumes by types, technologies and sectors for each producer is presented in the Annual report by MRC ⌠PS and styrene plastics in Russia - 2010.


Husky gets innovation award from Coca-Cola China

(PRW) -- Husky Injection Molding Systems' lightweighting technology has been recognised with the Best Innovation Award by Coca-Cola China. The award recognises Husky for its work on the development of various lightweighting projects, in particular, the EcoBase preform.

⌠What I really like about the EcoBase preform is that it is both an advance on the sustainable packaging front, as well as a way to help lower the cost of our packaging, said Dan Coe, chief procurement officer of China Bottlers Procurement Consortium.


Lanxess to acquire DSM Elastomers for ┬310m

(PRW) -- Specialty chemicals company Lanxess has come to an agreement with Royal DSM to acquire DSM Elastomers for ┬310m. Lanxess says the deal help strengthen its production technology for ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM).

The price roughly represents six times the expected EBITDA of 2010 and will be financed out of existing liquidity.

Earlier this year, the company said it planned to focus on small to medium-sized acquisitions after announcing a plan to increase its main profit indicator by roughly 80% over the next five years.

DSM says the sale is part of an ongoing strategy to focus on life and material sciences.

The transaction is subject to approval from antitrust authorities and is expected to close in the first months of 2011.


Strong crude prices could squeeze petrochemical margins

(ICIS) -- Strong supply amid continued weakness in demand may keep petrochemical prices soft in Asia next year, with producers' margins likely to be squeezed by higher oil prices, an industry analyst said on Tuesday.

Oil prices were hovering close to $90/bbl (┬68/bbl), largely on account of the US dollar weakness that makes investments in dollar-denominated commodities more attractive. At noon, light sweet crude for January delivery was trading at $88.47/bbl, up by more than 8% from the start of the year.

Among petrochemical products, ethylene gained 2.2% in value in northeast Asia from the start of the year, while toluene was up 1.1% while benzene fell 5.72% over the same period, according to ICIS data.

Ethylene capacity additions in Asia this year would be about 7m tonnes, based on earlier projections from Chemical Market Associates, Inc (CMAI).


Dow Chemical stops all new orders for Europe December LLDPE

(ICIS) -- Dow Chemical has stopped all fresh orders in Europe for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) for December, a company source said on Tuesday. ⌠We are seeing a very strong December and put an order-stop on new sales yesterday (13 December), said the source. Dow Chemical is the leading C8 LLDPE manufacturer in Europe.

Sales of polyethylene (PE) last month were also very strong, according to several sources with access to sales data. For many producers, November was the best month for sales in 2010, although LLDPE volumes this year have not been running higher than 2009. LLDPE prices in December were increasing by about ┬30/tonne ($40/tonne) compared with November.

It was not clear whether the strong demand for PE in December was a result of improved downstream demand, or whether converters bought extra volumes for stock, as a buffer against higher prices in January.

The ethylene contract for January was widely expected to rise by a hefty amount, as crude oil and naphtha prices rose and the euro continued weaken against the US dollar. Producers were expected to recover any increase in the ethylene contract price in higher PE prices in January.

The December ethylene monomer contract price rose by ┬27/tonne from November to ┬1,005/tonne FD NWE.