INEOS completes the acquisition of the Ashland Composites Business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Enterprises announced the completion of the acquisition of the entire composites business from Ashland Global Holdings Inc. on 3 September, as per the company's press release.

The acquisition also includes a BDO facility in Germany.

The businesses included in the transaction have combined sales of more than USD1.1 billion per year. They employ 1,250 employees across 19 sites in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Middle East.

Ashley Reed, CEO INEOS Enterprises said, "We are very pleased to have completed the deal to acquire the Composites business from Ashland. We have a strong track record of manufacturing excellence, running businesses safely and reliably and working closely with customers to meet their growth aspirations. The INEOS Composites business as it will be known, presents new opportunities for INEOS to enter the Composites market, with excellent people and assets. I very much look forward to welcoming the business into INEOS."

Ashland’s Composites Business will become INEOS Composites. It will build on firm foundations as a global leader in unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins and gelcoats.

The business will continue to provide a wide range of gelcoats and corrosion-resistant fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP). The BDO facility produces key intermediates for high performance polyesters and polyurethanes and will be run by the INEOS Solvents business.

Bill Wulfsohn, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer said, "Today Ashland completed an important step fulfilling its vision of becoming the premier specialty chemical company with the completion of the sale of the Composites and Marl Intermediates businesses. Both are outstanding businesses with great people, technology and assets. We wish the Composites and Marl teams well as they become part of INEOS Enterprises."

As MRC informed before, in mid-January 2019, INEOS announced Antwerp as the location for its new petrochemical investment. The EUR3 billion investment will be the biggest ever made by INEOS and is first cracker to be built in Europe in 20 years. The investment is a game changer for the chemical sectors and will bring huge benefits to the Belgium and wider European economies.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polyprolypele (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,255,800 tonnes in the first seven months of 2019, up by 9% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, the estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 796,120 tonnes in January-July 2019, up by 11% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. is global specialty chemicals company serving customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets, including adhesives, architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, nutraceuticals, personal care and pharmaceutical.

INEOS Enterprises comprises a portfolio of businesses manufacturing chemical products in Northern Europe, USA and Canada, with sales of EUR2bn around the world. The business is focused on the developing needs of its customers and rapid growth through investment in new products and manufacturing facilities or by acquisition. It employs c. 2,000 people across sites in, Canada and the USA. INEOS Enterprises is not part of the INEOS Group Holdings bank group.

China imposes anti-dumping tariffs on phenol imported from US, EU from September 6

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China will impose anti-dumping tariffs on phenol imported from the United States, the European Union, South Korea, Japan and Thailand from September 6, 2019, reported Reuters with reference to the country's commerce ministry.

Phenol imports from those countries and regions have caused substantial damage to the domestic industry, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website.

The tariffs will last for five years, according to the statement.

Phenol is the main feedstock component for the production of bisphenol A (BPA), which, in its turn, is used to produce polycarbonate (PC).

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, July imports of PC granules and compounds to Russia, excluding deliveries from Belarus, were 2,3400 tonnes, compared to 1,840 tonnes a month earlier and 1,070 tonnes in July 2018. Last month's imports of PC granules, excluding Belarusian shipments, were 1,940 tonnes (extrusion grade PC - 1,290 tonnes, injection moulding PC - 580 tonnes, blow moulding PC - 80 tonnes) versus 790 tonnes in July 2018. In June 2019, imports of PC granules reached 1,350 tonnes. Shipments of PC granules, excluding imports of Sabic material from Belarus, rose in January-July 2019 by 87% year on year to 9,140 tonnes from 4,890 tonnes a year earlier.

Trinseo raises September prices of copolymers in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe have announced a price increase for all acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer (SAN) grades in Europe, as per the company's press release.

Effective September 1, 2019, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below increased as follows:

- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR40 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR45 per metric ton.

As MRC informed before, Trinseo last increased its prices for all ABS and SAN grades on 1 August, 2019. Thus, August prices for the said products grew, as stated below:

- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR35 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR35 per metric ton.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, еhe Russian ABS market is under pressure from lower prices in Asia. In late August, Korean plants' offer prices for Russian customers reached this year's bottom - USD1,470-1,500, FOB Korea, excluding VAT.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD4.6 billion in net sales in 2018, with 16 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,500 employees.

Consumption of EPS boards fell in the Ukrainian market in August by 25%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Consumption of EPS boards decreased in the Ukrainian market in August by 25% year on year, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

At the same time, a major EPS boards producer in the Ukrainian market said sales of finished products remained the same as in July.

A downward trend in consumption was also observed in the Ukrainian feedstock market - expandable polystyrene (EPS).

Thus, EPS imports to Ukraine decreased in January-July 2019 by 2% year on year to 19,900 tonnes from 20,300 tonnes a year earlier.

July EPS imports into the region were 3,500 tonnes versus 3,600 tonnes a month earlier and 4,500 tonnes in July 2018.

EPS boards are widely used as heat insulating material for thermal insulation of internal and external cladding structure of the building, its foundations, basements, attics, as well as engineering systems.

Penoplex postponed restart of GPPS production in Kirishi due to shortage of feedstock

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Penoplex, Russia's largest producer of extruded polystyrene foam, was forced to postpone the resumption of its general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) production at the Kirishi plant because of a shortage of feedstock - styrene monomer (SM), the company's sources told MRC on Thursday.

This plant with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes of GPPS per year was shut for maintenance on 5 August 2019 and was supposed to return to operation on schedule - on 5 September, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Sources said the first lots of feedstock have already begun to arrive at the plant, thus, an approximate deadline for launching the Kirishi plant's polystyrene (PS) production is now scheduled for 15-18 September.

There was an acute shortage of material, including GPPS, in the Russian PS market in late August, which was partially caused by the outage at the Kirishi plant.

In addition, the resumption of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's GPPS production after a scheduled turnaround was delayed for several weeks. The plant’s production capacities were taken off-stream for maintenance in July, and premium GPPS grades had not yet entered the market as of the end of last week.

Penoplex is a large Russian producer of polymer-based building and decorative materials. The company began its activity in 1998 with the launch of Russia's first line for the production of heat-insulating materials from extruded polystyrene foam under the PENOPLEX trademark. The company has eight production sites, seven of which are located in Russia and one - in the Republic of Kazakhstan (Almaty region), with a total production capacity of 4 million cubic metres.