Celanese raises July VAM prices in Europe, Middle East and Africa

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global specialty materials company, has increased July list and off-list selling prices for Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) sold in Europe, Middle East and Africa, as per the company's press release.

The price increase below is effective for orders shipped on or after July 1, 2020, or as contracts otherwise allow, and are incremental to any previously announced increases.

Thus, VAM prices will rise by EUR100/mt for Europe, the Middle East & Africa.

As MRC reported earlier, Celanese last raised its VAM prices for the stated above regions on January 17, 2019, by the same amount of EUR100/mt.

According to MRC's DataScope report, April EVA imports to Russia dropped by 5,85% year on year to 3,050 tonnes from 3,250 tonnes a year earlier, and overall imports of this grade of ethylene copolymer into the Russian Federation increased in January-April 2020 by 1,55% year on year to 12,540 tonnes (12,350 tonnes a year earlier).

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,700 employees worldwide and had 2019 net sales of USD6.3 billion.

Tosoh to increase bromine production capacity in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tosoh is a major producer of bromine in Asia and aims to maintain a stable supply in order to meet the growing demand in the region. By expanding its bromine production capacity, the firm intends to strengthen its business, said Process-worldwide.

Tokyo/Japan – Tosoh Corporation plans to expand its production capacity for bromine, for use in flame retardants, fungicides, medicines, and agrochemicals, at its Nanyo Complex in Shunan City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan.

Tosoh is Japan’s largest manufacturer of bromine, which the company sells domestically and throughout Asia. While current demand for bromine is steady, particularly in Asia, remarkably insufficient supply in China is driving continued tightness in the bromine supply-demand balance.

Tosoh seeks to bolster its production capacity by renewing its bromine production facility. This will enable the company to maintain stable supply to meet expanding demand for bromine and to broade.

As MRC informed earlier, Tosoh Corporation resumed production on line No. 3 for the production of vinyl chloride (VCM) in Nanyo, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, after planned repairs. Maintenance on this line with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes/year of VCM was started in mid-May of this year.

VCM is the main raw material for the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

According to MRC's DataScope, the export of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) from Russia amounted to about 92,200 tonnes in the first five months of this year, which is 10% more than the same period in 2019. Import volumes grew by only 1%.

Dow to restart PE plants in Texas and Argentina when demand improves

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow Chemical will restart three idled polyethylene (PE) plants in Texas and Argentina and two elastomers plants in Louisiana as demand begins to rebound, reported S&P Global with reference to Fitterling's statement at a conference.

And the company expects economic recovery to take hold in the second half of 2020 as gradual emergence from coronavirus pandemic-related shutdowns continues.

As MRC informed earlier, in mid-May 2020, USA based Dow Chemical announced plans to shut three PE plants in the USA and Argentina to avoid piling inventories amid sluggish global demand conditions due to the COVID-19 related lockdown.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the first four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

Nghi Son operates PP plant in Vietnam at lower rates

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nghi Son Refinery & Petrochemical (NSRP) is currently operating its polypropylene (PP) plant in Vietnam at about 70% capacity following a change in the catalyst used in the production processes, reported CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

The unit would be able to restore the normal rates in ten days.

Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical operates a 370,000 tons/year PP unit.

As MRC reported before, NSRP shut its PP unit on 21 June, 2019, owing to technical issues. The exact duration of the shutdown could not be ascertained. Besides, the company conducted a scheduled maitenance at this unit from 22 October, 2019, to end-November, 2019.

We also remind that Vietnam’s Nghi Son oil refinery officially began commercial production from 14 November 2018, following months of tests. The USD9 billion refinery is 35.1 percent owned by Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan Co, 35.1 percent by Kuwait Petroleum, 25.1 percent by PetroVietnam and 4.7 percent by Mitsui Chemicals Inc.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

Kurt Bock appointed chairman of BASF supervisory board

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The BASF supervisory board today elected Kurt Bock as the new chairman of the supervisory board, said Chemweek.

Bock had previously been elected to the supervisory board of BASF by the annual shareholders’ meeting as a shareholder representative. The term runs until the end of the annual shareholders’ meeting in 2024.

Bock succeeds Jurgen Hambrecht, who announced that he would resign at the end of the annual shareholders’ meeting 2020. Bock was CEO of BASF from 2011 through 2018 and was succeeded by Martin Brudermuller. BASF said at the time that Bock will replace Hambrecht in 2020 after the end of a statutory two-year cooling-off period.

We remind that BASF has restarted its No. 1 steam cracker following a maintenance turnaorund. Thus, the company resumed operations at the plant on September 30, 2019. The plant was shut for maintenance in mid-August, 2019. Located at Ludwigshafen in Germany, the No. 1 cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 235,000 mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 125,000 mt/year.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 557,060 tonnes in the first three month of 2020, up by 7% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments rose because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. Demand for LDPE subsided. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market was 267,630 tonnes in January-March 2020, down 20% year on year. Homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers accounted for the main decrease in imports.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF generated sales of EUR59 billion in 2019.