ACCC does not oppose proposed merger of Dow and DuPont in Australia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not oppose the proposed merger of The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and E.l. Du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), said ACCC on its site.

On 27 March 2017 the European Commission cleared the proposed merger, subject to divestiture of major parts of DuPont's global pesticide business and global research and development organisation. Separately Dow will also divest its acid co-polymers and ionomers business.

"The ACCC previously had concerns the proposed merger may substantially lessen competition in the supply of certain insecticides and materials science products and reduce competitive tension in research and development of new crop protection products," ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said.

"The ACCC considers that these competition concerns will be addressed by the global divestments and, subject to those occurring, will not oppose the merger in Australia."

"The ACCC worked closely with the European Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Canadian Competition Bureau and the New Zealand Commerce Commission in assessing this merger. As the remedies provided to other regulators have resolved competition concerns in Australia, the ACCC has taken a pragmatic approach and not sought standalone remedies in Australia," Mr Keogh said.

The ACCC began an investigation into the effect the global merger would have on the Australian market in 2016 and published a Statement of Issues outlining preliminary competition concerns in November 2016.

As MRC informed before, Dow and DuPont announced their merger on 11 December 2015. The parties requested an ACCC informal review of the transaction on 27 June 2016. The deal, the largest ever in the chemicals industry, will create a USD130 billion company that combines products from both Dow and DuPont in the areas of agriculture, commodities chemicals and specialty chemicals to create the new businesses.

DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

Evonik increases prices for DEGALAN from July 1st, 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Coating & Adhesive Resins Business Line of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH announces a price increase from min. 0,05 EUR/kg to over 0,45 EUR/kg for its DEGALAN grades for paint, coatings and printing inks applications, as per company's press release.

The increase varies depending on region and single product and will be effective from July 1st, 2017 globally and applies to all orders shipped on or after this date as contracts allow.

Evonik Resource Efficiency remains committed to its high quality product standards and reliable services that customers have come to expect.

As MRC reported earlier, Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH announced a price increase for the Epoxy Curing Agents business. The increase will be effective from July 1, 2017.

China "teapot" oil group urges compliance on quotas, tax

MOSCOW (MRC) -- An alliance of more than 20 of China's independent oil refineries has urged its members to strictly adhere to government rules on oil quotas and taxes, according to a group statement seen by Reuters.

The mostly privately run refineries, known as "teapots" have upended China's oil market after Beijing began allowing them to import crude in late 2015 in an effort to shake up a market dominated by state-owned majors.

However, state firms like Sinopec and PetroChina have repeatedly accused the independents of undercutting their larger rivals by evading or under-paying consumption taxes for gasoline and diesel. Beijing in 2016 dispatched inspection teams to oversee the teapots' tax records.

The independents are also facing shifting government policies on oil quotas at a time when domestic oil demand growth is slowing, undermining their ability to expand after a stellar year in 2016.

"(We) shall strictly abide by government regulations over flows of crude oil, pay taxes according to the law," the statement from the alliance said. "Resale of (imported) crude oil shall be strictly prohibited ... defaults shall be banned."

The government has stipulated that crude brought in via import quotas should only used by the independents for their own processing and not resold in the market.

The alliance, headed by Shandong Dongming Petrochemical Group, the country's largest independent refiner, also called for joint purchasing and information sharing in a bid to stave off internal competition.

Since late 2015, China has allowed about 28 independent companies to import crude oil for the first time in an effort to to boost private investment and encourage competition.

The plants have won crude oil import quotas totaling nearly 1.9 MMbpd, and made imports equal to about 18% of China's total oil imports in the first quarter.

Sabic wins the Best Polymer Producers Award 2017 for PP

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sabic has been named a winner of the prestigious Best Polymer Producer Award in the category of Polypropylene (PP) at an award ceremony held in conjunction with the European Plastics Converters (EuPC) Annual Event on 1 June 2017 in Madrid, Spain, as per the company's press release.

The winner is selected based on European-wide customer satisfaction survey conducted by the Polymers for Europe Alliance. Starting in February 2017 for in total three months, all users of polymers in Europe rated their suppliers’ performances by accessing the free of charge voting tool in strict confidence from mid last year up to end of May 2017. Companies are evaluated regarding the five criteria Polymer Quality, Regulatory Compliance, Delivery Reliability, Communication and Innovation.

The award is an affirmation of SABIC’s on-going efforts in plastics value chain through our customer engagement, commitment and investments in innovation and technology to provide solutions for the industry.

"Sabic is honored to be named The Best Polymer Producer winner for 2017. The award is tremendous validation that our commitment to the plastics industry - which to us, means listening to our customers and leveraging our global innovation expertise in response to their needs - is helping to solve their challenges," said Sjoerd Zuidema, Director of Polypropylene Business Europe for Sabic.

"The Best Polymers for Europe Awards represent a major opportunity for re-establishing a constructive dialogue and a good communication between suppliers and users of polymers in Europe," added Ron Marsh, Chairman of the Polymers for Europe Alliance.

As MRC wrote before, in May 2016, Sabic announced an important expansion of its industry leading SABIC PP polypropylene portfolio for packaging industry with the introduction of two new high flow, injection-molding grades, SABIC PP "513MK46" and "512MK46", impact copolymers based on a phthalate free catalyst. These new offerings open further opportunities for packaging manufacturers and convertors with production efficiency through shorter cycle times and weight savings through thin wall manufacturing. The new grades are developed to help SABIC customers to comply with industry’s organoleptic requirements for taste and odor, with excellent stiffness and higher top-load strength for high stack ability that help manufacturers achieve faster production cycle times, lower transport and storage costs.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Solvay completes sale of Formulated Resins business to Altana

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay has completed the sale of its Formulated Resins business to ALTANA AG’s ELANTAS PDG Inc., as per the company's press release.

The divested Formulated Resins business line, formerly part of Solvay's Technology Solutions Global Business Unit, includes the product portfolio, manufacturing and R&D facility in Olean, New York, USA, and all associated technical, commercial and administrative staff.

As MRC informed before, in late 2016, Solvay completed the sale of its 70.59% stake in Solvay Indupa to Brazilian chemical group Unipar Carbocloro, following the approval earlier this month of the Brazilian antitrust authority CADE.

Besides, in early July 2016, Solvay completed the divestment of its shareholding in Inovyn (London), bringing to an end Solvay's chlorvinyls joint venture with Ineos. Solvay received exit cash proceeds amounting to EUR335 million (USD370.7 million). The dissolution of the jv follows regulatory clearances from the relevant authorities.

Inovyn was formed on 1 July 2015 as a jv between Ineos and SolVin, a subsidiary of Solvay. Solvay and Ineos signaled their decision to end their chlorvinyls jv in March this year.

Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with about 27,000 employees spread across 58 countries. It generated pro forma net sales of EUR10.9 bn in 2016, with 90% made from activities where it ranks among the world’s top 3 players.