Ineos and Songwon announced price hikes

(Plastics Today) -- Ineos Nova (Fribourg, Switzerland) said its prices for general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) in Europe went up his month by a minimum of ┬110 per ton. The premium of high impact polystyrene (HIPS) to GPPS increased to ┬100/tonne to reflect increased costs of poly-butadiene rubber (PBR).

Plastics additives supplier Songwon (Ulsan, Korea) announces global price increases for its Songnox antioxidants, Songlight and Songsorb UV stabilizers, Songstab acid scavengers as well as its range of aminic antioxidants. The increases are for between 8 -15% effective on orders received on or after March 1, 2011, or as contracts allow.


Russian polystyrene prices in February grew by 3.000-4.000 RUB/t

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Along with growing price for raw materials in the world markets Russian producers of polystyrene (PS) jacked up the prices by 3000 - 4000 RUB/t, according to MRC analysts.

On Monday the world prices for oil exceeded $ 100/bbl for the first time from October 2008. The reason for this is the political crisis in Egypt which may affect oil supplies, performed through Suez Canal and Suez-Mediterranean oil pipe line. Flow capacities of the pipe line equal 2 mln bbl/day.

Against growing prices for oil the volumes of crude oil refining in Asia remain stable which allows to sustain the prices on a considerably high level. The growth of prices for raw materials as well as benzene production suspension at one of the South Korean enterprises affected the growth of styrene prices in the world markets by $100-170/t.

In January in the Russian market the price for polystyrene remained on the level of last December due to warehouses stocks. But under the pressure of growing price for PS in the world markets, Russian producers raised the prices for February supplies by 3000-4000 RUB/t.


Asia petchem demand to stay strong despite $100/bbl Brent crude

(ICIS) -- Asia's petrochemical prices will remain underpinned by strong fundamental demand coming from energy giant China, even as global Brent crude futures pierced the $100/bbl (┬73/bbl)-mark on concerns that Egypt's political unrest could lead to oil supply disruptions, industry experts said on Tuesday.

At midday Tuesday, Brent crude for March delivery was valued at $100.43/bbl, after breaking above $100/bbl for the first time since October 2008 on Monday.

The oil price rally was a stark reminder of July 2008 when prices soared to an all-time peak of $147.27/bbl, and a few months later in December, plummeted to $33/bbl because of the global recession.

Asia is still expected to guzzle a colossal quantity of petrochemical products, with prices seen buoyant, and undeterred by feedstock naphtha levels at a 28-month high of $894.50-897.50/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Japan on Tuesday.

Prices would remain at such levels, with China still expected to import record volumes of crude oil, and other rising Asian economies setting the pace for oil consumption.


Freezing temperatures, possible snow threaten US Gulf chems

(ICIS) -- A strong cold front will bring sub-freezing temperatures and possible snow to parts of the US Gulf coast in the coming days, threatening chemical operations and raising heating oil prices, sources said on Tuesday.

In Houston, considered the hub of the US petrochemical industry, temperatures are projected to fall to 19-25╟ Fahrenheit (-7 to -4╟ Celsius) for each of the next four nights, representing the coldest air of the season.

LyondellBasell spokesman David Harpole said his company had already taken steps to "winterise" its Houston-area facilities and to ensure that they are prepared to weather the storm as designed.

Harpole added that LyondellBasell plans to use electric trace heating in vulnerable areas of pipes, as well as steam traps to keep condensation drained from lines before it can freeze.

During similar temperatures in January 2010, numerous Texas facilities including ExxonMobil's Baytown olefins plant, DuPont's Beaumont aniline site and Huntsman's Port Neches complex had to be shut down, even as no snow fell.


LUKOIL offered to acquire 11% in the JV with Italian ERG

(LUKOIL) -- LUKOIL received a notice today that the Board of Directors of the Italian ERG resolved to sell to LUKOIL 11% in the joint venture to operate the ISAB refining complex located in Priolo (Sicily).

This is a partial exercise of ERG's option to sell its stake according to the agreement of 2008 to create a joint venture.

Thus, LUKOIL's stake can be increased from 49% to 60% and the Company's total refining capacities will be increased by more than 11% to 79.5 million tons per year.

The transaction closing is expected at the end of the first quarter of 2011. The transaction amount will reach EUR 205 million, excluding inventory.