South Korean PBR suppliers may eye other markets as India imposes duty

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korean polybutadiene rubber (PBR) suppliers may consider alternative markets after New Delhi on July 13 announced a 10% import duty on the product originating from the country, reported S&P Global with reference to sources.

South Korea is one of India's largest suppliers of PBR, which mainly goes into tire manufacturing.
"We are discussing with traders [In India] what the next steps could possibly be," a South Korea-based producer said. "We need some time. But yes, we will have to look at other markets for export."

South Korea became one of the largest exporters of PBR to India, after a duty-free trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, took effect between the two countries on Jan 1, 2010. According to the agreement, South Korean PBR exports to India were duty free.

"It will definitely affect the businesses of South Korean suppliers because now they have to factor in the duty," a Gurgaon-based industry expert said. "But the question is whether there is sufficient domestic supply."

It will raise costs for Indian importers and tire manufacturers because some imports will still be needed, he said.

Reliance Industries Ltd is the only rubber manufacturer in India. The company had earlier told the Directorate General of Trade Remedies that PBR imports from South Korea were harming the local industry.

About 70%-80% of PBR produced in India goes into making tires. The rest is used as an additive to improve the mechanical strength of plastics such as polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).

India's annual PBR consumption is around 180,000-190,000 mt, of which around 60%-63% is met through domestic suppliers, according to industry sources.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's ABS output was 780 tonnes in May 2020. Production of Russian ABS plastics totalled 4,240 tonnes in January-May 2020, down by 17% year on year.

Polybutadiene (PBR) is a synthetic rubber. Polybutadiene has a high resistance to wear and is used especially in the manufacture of tires, which consumes about 70% of the production. Another 25% is used as an additive to improve the toughness (impact resistance) of plastics such as PS and ABS.

Odfjell completes latest chemicals storage capacity expansion in Antwerp

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Odfjell (Bergen, Norway) says a significant expansion of its European chemicals storage capacity has been completed at the port of Antwerp, Belgium, said Chemweek.

Noord Natie Odfjell Antwerp Terminal (NNOAT), in which Odfjell holds a 25% stake, has completed the expansion with the introduction of seven new tanks with a total storage capacity of 12,700 cubic meters. The new stainless-steel tanks are specifically designed and tailored for specialty chemicals, with the expansion completed “in a time of increased demand,” Odfjell says. This is the third fully automated tank pit at NNOAT’s terminal, it adds.

Odfjell’s ships visit the port of Antwerp more than 80 times per year, with the port “the most important for chemicals in the EU,” according to Odfjell.

NNOAT has a total storage capacity of 390,000 cu meters, with 236 tanks located in 16 interconnected tank pits. An ongoing expansion program at the terminal will increase current capacity by 130,000 cu meters in total, with the next phase to add another new tank pit with storage capacity of 45,000 cu meters by mid-2022.

As MRC informed earlier, Norwegian chemical shipper Odfjell acknowledged in August the company would not build a USD300 million, 745,000 mt/year facility at its terminal near the mouth of the ship channel and recorded a USD1.6 million writedown related to the project on its third-quarter 2019 earnings. CEO Kristian Verner Morch had already signaled in February 2018 that Odfjell likely would not move ahead on its plans if a competitor did so first.

Energy Transfer Partners and NOVA Chemicals also briefly teamed up to establish an ethylene export terminal, but NOVA said in July 2018 the companies shelved it when unable to agree on terms.

The US currently has one ethylene export terminal, operated by Targa Resources at its ship channel facility, which is contracted to Mitsubishi Chemical. The facility has a loading capacity of 1,000 mt/d, so it takes about 10 days to load a Handysize vessel.

Enterprise's terminal will be able to load 1,000 mt/hour at multiple docks. A single ship can carry both ethane and ethylene in separate compartments.

Some US producers had been skeptical of the need for more US ethylene export capacity because derivatives would soak up that output. More than 7.74 million mt/year of new ethylene capacity has started up in the US since 2017, another 2 million mt/year is slated to come online by year-end 2019 and 8.3 million mt/year more is under construction or planned for startup through the 2020s.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 595,170 tonnes in the first five month of 2020, up by 10% year on year. Deliveries of all ethylene polymers, except for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), rose partially because of an increase in capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market was 457,930 tonnes in January-May 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Deliveris of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.

BEWiSynbra acquire EPS business in UK

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BEWiSynbra Group, a leading producer of expandable polystyrene (EPS) in Europe, today announces that the company has entered into an agreement to acquire a minority stake in a UK based newly formed EPS insulation and packaging company, said the company.

The newly formed company derives from Jablite, manufacturer and supplier of EPS products for insulation and civil engineering applications, and sister company Styropack, producer of EPS packaging. The new business will be jointly owned by parts of the current management and by BEWiSynbra Group. The name of the business will be Jablite Group and will operate as a stand-alone company, in close collaboration with BEWiSynbra Group.

“BEWiSynbra is very pleased to have this opportunity to invest in Jablite. The fit between our two businesses is a good one with many positive synergies and similarities of outlook. We look forward to supporting the Jablite team to build a new market-leading business in the UK,” says Jonas Siljeskar, CEO of BEWiSynbra Group.

As MRC informed earlier, BEWiSynbra Group, a leading producer of expandable polystyrene (EPS) in Europe, announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire certain assets deriving from the Danish recycling company EPS Recycle, and thereby establish the recycling company BEWiSynbra Circular Denmark A/S.

As per ICIS-MRC Price Report, spot prices of Russian EPS grew to the range of Rb90,000-96,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Spot prices rose in July, despite lower contract prices. Formula prices for the largest buyers fell to the lowest level - Rb81,000-82,000/tonne CPT a converter's warehouse, including VAT, in July. Their recovery is expected in the coming months. Prices of Chinese plants were still in the range of USD990-1,020/tonne CFR St Petersburg, excluding VAT, this week.

BEWiSynbra Group is one of the largest vertically integrated producers of expandable polystyrene (EPS) in Europe, focusing on sustainable solutions for packaging and components, as well as insulation. Innovation is a key driver for the Group’s competitive advantage and sustainability, and BEWiSynbra has an ambitious approach to its recycling initiatives.

Indorama Ventures becomes first chemical company TCFD supporter reinforcing sustainability in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, has become a Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Supporter, according to IVL's press release.

IVL is the first chemical company in Thailand and the second chemical company in Southeast Asia to become a TCFD supporter by volunteering to comply with TCFD recommendations and supporting their climate change agenda. Becoming an official Supporter cements the company's commitment towards and leadership in sustainability, embedding Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in IVL's business operations.

The TCFD was created in 2015 by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to develop consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for companies, banks, and investors when providing information to stakeholders. TCFD recommendations are globally recognized for climate-related risk management and disclosure from the perspective of financial institutions. IVL also conducts scenario analyses that adopt TCFD recommendations as guidelines for climate change strategy. These sensitivity analyses cover impacts on the company's productions, revenues and EBITDA.

Following the TCFD recommendations, IVL has applied the AQUEDUCT water risk atlas to forecast changes in future water stress and to identify sites that face the most significant risk of water demand and supply in the future. The results of these studies have been incorporated into the company's long-term adoption measures, which allow the management to make informed and lasting decisions for IVL's sustainability. Furthermore, transparent disclosures have enabled financial institutions, ESG funds, and investors to better access IVL's data, providing benefits such as having adequate information for investment decisions.

Dr. Deepak Parikh, Chief Strategy Officer at Indorama Ventures, said, "We are honored to be Thailand's first chemical company to become a TCFD Supporter as it is a leading global organization driving the climate change agenda. This reflects IVL's commitment to enhancing financial disclosures that improve business evaluation, create positive impact to sustainable investment and make economies more resilient and stable. The TCFD recommendations are recognized worldwide for risk management related to climate change and also a meaningful step in IVL's global sustainability."

As MRC reported earlier, in March 2020, Indorama Ventures Limited announced that the company decided to extend the pre-construction period of the purified terephthalic acid-polyethylene terephthalate (PTA-PET) plant in Corpus Christi, Texas through the end of 2020. Christi Polymers LLC (CCP), a joint venture among certain subsidiaries of Indorama Ventures Holding, Alpek and Far Eastern Investment (Holding) Limited was created to acquire and complete construction of an integrated PTA-PET plant in Corpus Christi. The completion of the project is expected to be in 2023.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, May estimated PET consumption in Russia amounted to 70,170 tonnes, which corresponds to the level of consumption last year (70,450 tonnes). In total for the period January - May of this year, the estimated PET consumption in the Russian Federation amounted to 304,310 tonnes of material. This is 3% lower than the same indicator in 2019.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand, is one of the world's leading petrochemicals producers, a global manufacturing footprint with 59 sites in 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The company's portfolio is comprises necessities and high value-added (HVA) categories of polymers, fibers, and packaging. Indorama Ventures has approx. 24,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of USD 11.4 billion in 2019.

PVC imports to Russia rise by 5% in H1 2020, exports - by 7%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Russia totalled 13,800 tonnes in the first half of 2020, up by 5% year on year, whereas exports grew by 7% year on year, according to MRC's DataScope report.

Last month's SPVC imports to Russia increased to 5,800 tonnes from 4,000 tonnes in May. Seasonal factors and upcoming shutdowns for maintenance at the largest Russian plants became the main reason for higher imports. Thus, overall imports totalled 13,800 tonnes in January-June 2020 versus 13,100 tonnes a year earlier.

US resin accounted for the main increase in imports, and purchasing of polymer in Europe also rose significantly.
Russian producers reduced their SPVC exports last month because of stronger demand from the domestic market. June exports of suspension did not exceed 16,400 tonnes, compared to 19,200 tonnes a month earlier. Thus, overall PVC exports totalled 110,400 tonnes in January-June 2020 versus 102,900 tonnes a year earlier.