US propylene contracts for February settled flat

(ICIS) -- US propylene contracts for February settled flat, market sources said on Wednesday, confirming that a hold-out producer had agreed to the rollover. The settlement kept polymer grade propylene (PGP) at 77.50 cents/lb ($1,709/tonne, ┬1,265/tonne).

Two US producers had originally nominated increases of 3.00 cents/lb for PGP, but a drop in spot prices in the second half of January undermined the initiatives.

Spot PGP for February delivery traded at 75.00 cents/lb in the last week of January, down from 75.50 cents/lb two weeks earlier. February PGP was offered on Wednesday at 73.00 cents/lb with no bids.

Chemical grade propylene (CGP) also settled flat at 74.00 cents/lb, despite two proposed increases of 5.00 cents/lb, but the market remained split because a third producer held its contracts at 70.00 cents/lb as part of a two-month settlement agreed upon in January.

The rollover for US propylene in February followed a significant increase in January, when PGP contracts rose by 17.00 cents/lb and CGP by 11.00 and 15.00 cents/lb.


AkzoNobel swung to a net income of ┬162m in the fourth quarter of 2010

(ICIS) -- AkzoNobel swung to a net income of ┬162m ($219m) in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared with a loss of ┬60m in the same period a year earlier, on the back of higher demand, the Dutch paints and coatings company said on Thursday.

Revenue in the fourth quarter jumped 17% year on year to ┬3.62bn, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 3% to ┬377m, AkzoNobel said.

Revenue growth was driven by a 6% increase in sales volume across the firm's business areas as demand recovered, particularly in high-growth markets, the company said.

AkzoNobel's decorative paints segment reported an 11% year-on-year increase in fourth quarter revenue to ┬1.14bn, primarily driven by a robust recovery in Asia and Latin America and a positive foreign currency translation effect.

Meanwhile, AkzoNobel said that a broad recovery in demand, combined with the success of its strategic growth platforms, had led to a volume increase across nearly all business lines in its specialty chemicals portfolio, with revenue during the fourth quarter of 2010 growing 19% year on year to ┬1.26bn.


Polypropylene imports to Russia in January decreased twice

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Import supplies of PP to the Russian market in January reduced more than twice and made 13.3 KT, according to MRC DataScope.

Expectedly serious reduction of supplies fell at raffia from Turkmenistan and Ukraine. In the first case the import supplies last month fell down to 3.9 KT while in December this parameter made more than 9 KT. In the second case in terms of limited production of injected PP-homo by the Russian producers, companies counted on purchasing of injection-molded grades in Ukraine.
Now the Russian market of raffia is surplus. The supplies to the domestic market from the Russian producers are more than efficient despite non-considerable production problems at some enterprises. Market demand for raffia is still not high which is traditional for February. The prices from the beginning of the year grew up to the level of 58.600 - 59.500 RUB./t, including VAT, FCA.

Expectedly in January the supplies of pipe propylene co-polymers from South Korea as well as from Europe reduced more than twice. Also the imports of injection-molded copolymers of propylene reduced after December peak. In February a considerable swing in imports is not expected, according to preliminary data, PP supplies form the external suppliers will grow not more than by 20%.


Pipe HDPE imports to Russia in January down by 25%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Import supplies of pipe HDPE to the Russian market in January reduced by 25% compared to December and made 4.6 KT, according to MRC analysts.

Starting from October, the period of peak material supplies, the Russian companies have been systematically reducing the import supplies of pipe HDPE. In January overall imports of the pipe material fell to the level of 4.6 KT. Actually 7 companies now continue purchasing of pipe material in the external markets.

Now the Russian market doesn't face the problems with the availability of pipe materials. The Russian pipe colored PE100 is being supplied to the market notwithstanding some problems. Also the non-colored analogues are available in sufficient volumes.

The correction of prices for the Russian pipe PE is gradually continuing. By mid-February the price offer for the Russian colored PE80 and PE100 in the spot market has been fixed within the range of 62.500 - 64.500 RUB./t, including VAT, FCA.

The price for imported PE100 is significantly higher and it starts, on average, from 70.000 RUB./t, including VAT, СРТ. Some Asian suppliers of pipe HDPE have declared the growth of prices for March polymer shipment on average by USD 60/mt. The prices are expected to grow for the European PE by EUR 40-50/mt in March.