Ube, JSR & Mitsubishi get EC okay for combination of ABS businesses

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ube Industries, JSR Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) have received European Commission (EC) approval for the planned integration of their acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) subsidiaries, as per GV.

The combination involves UMG ABS, a 50-50 joint venture of Ube and MCC, and Techno Polymer Co. (TPC), a JSR subsidiary. JSR and UMG ABS plan to acquire joint control over TPC, making TPC a joint venture of the two companies.

The transaction had been scheduled to take effect on 1 Oct. 2017, but was delayed due to the length of procedures stipulated in competition laws, other laws and regulations, applicable in relevant countries. The new date of the split has not been disclosed.

As MRC reported earlier, in July 2016, oversupply of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), mainly from China, prompted Mitsubishi Chemical to off load Indian as well as Chinese PTA businesses.

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.

Actega increase prices for TPE compounds

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The German producer of TPE materials Actega DS GmbH announced that it will raise the sales prices for all types of compounds for the medical, pharma, food and beverage industries in the range of 5 – 10 %, depending on the individual product composition, according to GV.

The price increases will be effective from 1 January 2018. The measure is the result of increased raw material prices, said the company.

ACTEGA DS GmbH manufactures sealing compounds for metal closures, plastic closures and other sealing solutions. It also manufactures coatings for both flexible and rigid packaging. The company serves food and beverages, medical, and pharmaceutical industries. ACTEGA DS GmbH was formerly known as DS-Chemie GmbH and changed its name to ACTEGA DS GmbH in 2007. The company was founded in 1957 and is based in Bremen, Germany. ACTEGA DS GmbH operates as a subsidiary of Altana AG.

PKN Orlen launches planned bid for Czech unit Unipetrol

MOSCOW (MRC) — Poland’s biggest oil refiner PKN Orlen on Thursday offered 380 crowns for each remaining share in its Czech downstream oil unit Unipetrol, as per Reuters.

The offer runs until Jan. 30 and values Unipetrol at 68.9 B crowns (USD3.2 B). Unipetrol’s largest minority shareholder said last week it would sell its 20% stake.

Unipetrol’s board said the bid price was “non-problematic and generally acceptable,” adding it was considerably higher than historical prices of Unipetrol shares in recent years.

January PVC prices increased in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiations on January shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) began among Russian producers and converters on 25 December. Some producer announced an increase in prices of Rb1,000/tonne in comparison with the level of December, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Demand for PVC from the domestic market has seriously decreased in December, although some converters have increased their purchases, believing that in December prices reached their bottom. Producer began to sell excessive volumes to foreign markets actively in November - December, thereby balancing the domestic market.

PVC prices began to rise in China also. Some producers announced an increase in SPVC prices for supplies in January on the back of the lack of supply surplus and the increase in prices in foreign markets.

PVC prices began to rise in December in Asia, and as a result, Chinese producers went for a serious increase in the export prices of acetylene resin. December prices for Chinese PVC for delivery in Russia rose by USD70/tonne in comparison with November, thus forcing Russian companies to suspend all their resin purchases in China, at least until January.

Demand for PVC from Russian consumers under the pressure of the seasonal factor began to decline since November, thereby prompting local producers to more actively exporting to foreign markets. Producers said good volumes of exports will remain in January, which will help to avoid excess supply in the domestic market.

Converters have mixed sentiments for January. Some of them has planned a long preventive maintenance works at their capacities and to limit their purchases of PVC in January. Someone does not plan long turnarounds and intends to keep a good volume of PVC purchase for the current period.

A producer said that at the moment he practically sold more than 70% of the January quota of PVC and therefore raised prices for deliveries in the next month by Rb1,000/tonne. Another producer, on the contrary, decided to roll over the December prices for January supplies.
Overall, deals for January shipments were done in the range of Rb62,000-64,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, for K=65/67 and for volumes up to 500 tonnes. Negotiations over prices for resin with K70 started from Rb62,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, and higher.

China to invest in Aktyubinsk region in Kazakhstan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chinese corporation Tianjin Bohua Petrochemical will invest USD 4 billion in the construction of a factory which is expected to produce polyethylene and polypropylene from natural gas in the Aktyubinsk region of Kazakhstan, as per GV.

The memorandum of cooperation was signed within the framework of the working visit of the Akim of Aktobe region Berdybek Saparbayev to Beijing.

The project is planned to be implemented in two stages - the production of 1.8 million tons of methanol from natural gas with two complex installations a year, as well as 300,000 tons of ethylene, 300,000 tons of polyethylene and 300,000 tons of polypropylene with two complex installations per year.

The construction of the plant will create 3,000 new jobs. The main markets will be China and Kazakhstan. The products can also be supplied to neighboring countries.

Saparbayev and President of Tianjin Bohua Petrochemical (a subsidiary of Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industry Group) Zhou Kai discussed the training of Kazakh personnel in the framework of the project, the use of new technologies, the provision of natural gas and electricity required for the production process, as well as compliance with the environmental legislation of Kazakhstan.

The project is planned to be implemented within two to three years after the preparatory work.

As MRC wrote previously, in early 2016, South Korea's LG Chem said it had decided to drop a plan to jointly build a USD4.2-billion petrochemical complex in Kazakhstan, citing a prolonged slump in oil prices and a sharp increase in facility investments. In 2011, the chemical company said it would construct the complex near the western Kazakh city of Atyrau as part of a 50-50 joint venture with two Kazakh companies. The plan involved building ethylene and polyethylene plants with annual capacities of 840,000 tonnes and 800,000 tonnes.