Pregis begins production at new South Carolina blown film plant

Pregis begins production at new South Carolina blown film plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Blown film manufacturer Pregis has started production as its new USD80 million extrusion facility in Anderson, S.C. with a ribbon cutting attended by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and industry partners, said Canpasltics.

“We congratulate Pregis on this USD80 million investment that will create 120 new jobs within the Anderson County community. We wish them great success in the Palmetto State and look forward to seeing them grow and prosper for a long time,” said Governor McMaster.

The 168,000-square-foot facility features multiple newly-installed lines, producing the latest engineered films. The films are used downstream to manufacture performance-oriented, flexible packaging solutions for food, CPG, healthcare/medical and industrial applications. The facility will also feature a film laboratory to develop and test materials.

Construction on the new plant was first announced in July 2021. "We believe that this new facility is the most technologically-advanced extrusion facility in North America," said Kevin Baudhuin, Pregis’ president and chief CEO. “The facility has been staffed with technology and market leaders who are focused on developing extruded films that have been engineered to meet market-driven performance requirements."

In keeping with Pregis’ previously announced 2K30 environmental goals, the Anderson facility features the latest in energy-efficiency in manufacturing and other plant functions. Pregis’ objective is to run its businesses in the most sustainable manner possible, so that it improves its carbon footprint, reduces environmental impact, while making significant, positive contributions to people and society.

As it was written earlier, protective packaging maker Pregis LLC is making a USD80 million investment in a new, state-of-the-art blown film extrusion facility in Anderson, S.C.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,396,960 tonnes in January-July 2021, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 841,990 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 29% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

Pregis is headquartered in Deerfield, Ill.

Mitsui Chemicals and SKC to terminate MCNS polyurethanes JV in South Korea

Mitsui Chemicals and SKC to terminate MCNS polyurethanes JV in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsui Chemicals Inc. and SKC Co. have announced plans to terminate their Mitsui Chemicals & SKC Polyurethanes (MCNS) joint venture based in Seoul, South Korea, according to Apic-online.

MCNS was established in 2015 to combine the polyurethane raw materials businesses of both Mitsui and SKC. MCNS has operations in both South Korea and Japan.

According to Mitsui, discrepancies have started to arise between Mitsui's policy of steadily improving earnings through the likes of high-performance products and bio-products and SKC's policy of quickly expanding global market in scale, prompting both companies to take a thorough look at how they should be running their operations in this field.

The parties have determined that it would be beneficial for each company to run its own operations in line with its specific strategy, if both companies are to further grow their businesses.

The dissolution is scheduled to occur at the end of December 2021. On 1 Jan. 2022, operations of MCNS-J will relaunch as the Polyurethane Division of Mitsui Chemicals. In March 2022, Mitsui will transfer shares in MCNS to reduce paid-in capital, and the liquidation of MCNS-J will be completed.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2021, Neste, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. and Toyota Tsusho Corp. announced they are joining forces to enable Japan’s first industrial-scale production of renewable plastics and chemicals from 100% bio-based hydrocarbons. In this collaboration, Mitsui Chemicals will use Neste RE, 100% bio-based hydrocarbons produced by Neste, to replace a part of the fossil feedstock in the production of a variety of plastics and chemicals at its crackers within Osaka Works during 2021. In doing so, Mitsui Chemicals will become Japan’s first company to use bio-based feedstock in its crackers. The collaboration between Neste, Mitsui Chemicals and Toyota Tsusho will enable brand owners and other potential clients in the Asian market, particularly in Japan, to start incorporating renewable plastics and chemicals into their products and offerings.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,638,370 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 989,570 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 30% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas shipments of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Trinseo further raises Octrober prices for its products produced in EMEA

Trinseo further raises Octrober prices for its products produced in EMEA

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 plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber products manufactured in the EMEA, as per the company's press release.

Effective October 27, 2021, or as existing contract terms allow, a surcharge of up to EUR500/mt will apply to the contract and spot prices for all Trinseo products produced in its European facilities.

According to the company's statement, since early 2020, the petrochemical industry has been greatly impacted by both severe disruptions in raw material availability and significant cost increases. Trinseo has worked hard to mitigate the impact of these issues while maintaining our standards of quality service.

However, in the past few weeks, an energy crisis in Europe has led to an unprecedented rise in utility costs and this impacts Trinseo both directly in production and also indirectly through the raw materials and services the company purchases for the manufacturing process. The issue has been escalating rapidly and this jeopardizes Trinseo’s ability to continue with normal production without action.

As MRC reported earlier, earlier this month, Trinseo announced a price increase for all polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer (SAN) in Europe. Effective October 1, 2021, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below rose, as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) -- by EUR55 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR55 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR60 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR45 per metric ton.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, October prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's GPPS were in the range of Rb152,750-163,700/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, and HIPS prices were at Rb156,750-167,700/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Penoplex contracted its GPPS quantities at Rb169,000-171,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, in October, whereas last week's prices of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's GPPS were heard at Rb152,500-156,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including 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 USD3.0 billion in net sales in 2020, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,600 employees.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 26.10.2021

1. Crude oil prices extend gains on tight global supply and stronger fuel demand as economies recover from pandemic

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices extended pre-weekend gains on Monday to hit multi-year highs, lifted by tight global supply and strengthening fuel demand in the United States and beyond as economies recover from pandemic-induced slumps, reported Reuters. Brent crude futures rose by USD1.10, or 1.3%, to USD86.63 a barrel by 1406 GMT, the highest since October 2018. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose USD1.46, or 1.7%, to USD85.22 and reached their highest level since October 2014. Both benchmarks closed last week with slight gains despite rising coronavirus cases in Britain and Eastern Europe, signaling a potentially difficult winter ahead.


Crude oil futures drop in Aisa following reports of Europe-Iran talks

Crude oil futures drop in Aisa following reports of Europe-Iran talks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures inched lower in mid-morning trade in Asia Oct. 26 amid reports of talks this week between Iran and the EU, opening the possibility of an eventual return of Iranian oil to global oil markets, reported S&P Global.

At 10:10 am Singapore time (0210 GMT), the ICE December Brent futures contract was down 4 cents/b (0.05%) from the previous close at USD85.95/b, while the NYMEX December light sweet crude contract dipped 11 cents/b (0.13%) to USD83.65/b.

Tehran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said in a tweet late Oct. 25 that he will be meeting with his EU counterpart Enrique Mora in Brussels on Oct. 27 to revive the country's stalled 2015 nuclear talks.

This follows an initial round of discussions between the EU and Iran held in Tehran on Oct. 14.

A deal will potentially bring back at least 1.3 million barrels of Iranian oil, according to some analyst estimates, helping to ease a severe shortage of oil at a time when the world needs it going into winter season.

"Prices gave up gains following reports that the EU will hold discussions with Iran later this week," said ANZ Research analysts in a note.

Nonetheless, analysts at ING said markets will likely take a cautious approach toward the talks.

"There is plenty of uncertainty around the timing and how talks will evolve. The market will likely take a more cautious approach in terms of pricing in the potential for a deal, given how talks broke down over the summer," ING's Warren Patterson and Wenyu Yao said.

"We are forecasting in our balance sheet that Iranian oil output will end 2022 around 1.3 million b/d higher than where it starts the year, but clearly this assumes a lifting of sanctions," they said.

In the near term, investors will be looking at US oil inventory data for a gauge of oil demand.

As MRC informed before, US commercial crude stocks fell 3.48 million barrels to 413.96 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 17, to more than 8% below the five-year average, Energy Information Administration data showed. Stocks were last lower Oct. 5, 2018.

We remind that in late August, 2021, US crude stocks dropped sharply while petroleum products supplied by refiners hit an all-time record despite the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 27 to 425.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop. Product supplied by refineries, a measure of demand, rose to 22.8 million barrels per day in the most recent week. That's a one-week record, and signals strength in consumption for diesel, gasoline and other fuels by consumers and exporters.

We also remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.