HDPE prices did not change in Russia in March

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Weak seasonal demand did not allow Russian producers to raise HDPE prices for March. Prices for high-density polyethylene remained at the level of February: RUB50.500-51.000/mt - according to the MRC Price Report.

In view of surplus supply, market prices for some grades even went down last week.

Kazanorgsyntez turned out to be the only company that slightly raised its prices for film- and pipe-grade polyethylene.

March prices for European HDPE for shipments to the Russian market did not change either and remained at the level of EUR1.000/mt, FCA.


For more detailed information on the Russian polyethylene market, see Price Report.

Husky reports 12% sales drop in 2009

March 2 (Canadian Plastics) -- Husky Injection Molding Systems reported a sales decline of 12% compared to sales in 2008.

The Bolton, Ont.-based company generated sales of $1.1 billion in 2009, versus 2008 sales of $1.3 billion.

The financial results were included in an annual report released by Onex, the Canadian private equity company that acquired Husky in 2007 and took the company private.

⌠While Husky significantly improved its margins in 2009, sales were lower primarily due to the global economic recession, the report said.

While the overall numbers were gloomy - in particular, a decline of 23% in North America - there were signs of brightness in the Onex report, including a 13% increase in sales of Husky equipment in Latin America in 2009.

Husky indicated there is no connection between the figures reported by Onex and the machinery maker's decision to hold a large, two-day equipment auction later this month. On March 23-24, Toronto-based industrial plant auction specialist Corporate Assets Inc. will conduct the auction in Bolton, near Husky's facility. Included in the auction will be almost 20 metal cutting units, as well as paint lines, manufacturing cells and smaller equipment.

⌠The auction is simply selling assets, most of which are at least 10 years old, that are no longer required, Husky spokesperson Alexandra Walsh told Canadian Plastics. ⌠This does not represent a shift in the way we are doing business or in our commitment to the Bolton campus. As we did last year, this year we will continue to make significant investments in new equipment and technology on the Bolton campus, which continues to be the primary mold and machine manufacturing location used to meet customer requirements in North and South America.


Bayer MaterialScience's earnings rebound in Q4 2009

March 2 (plasteurope) -- Bayer MaterialScience was battered severely by the crisis in 2009. Sales tumbled 23% to EUR 7.5 bn, with volumes and selling prices both down 12%. EBITDA before special items fell 59% to EUR 446m. Polycarbonate sales receded by 21% to EUR 1.87 bn, polyurethanes by 25% to EUR 3.78 bn.

Group CEO Werner Wenning blamed much of last year's earnings slump on the weak first quarter. ⌠Business recovered markedly as the year progressed, he said. In Q4, earnings saw a turnaround of 400%. Wenning and CEO-designate Marijn Dekkers reinforced Bayer's commitment to the high tech polymers business.


MRC Reference

The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PS - 0.7% (ABS - 7.2%).

Annual sales growth in Russia over the last 5 years:
PS - (-10%).

Polymers processing technologies:
injection molding.

Mexichem acquires Ineos Fluor

March 2 (theengineer) -- The Ineos Group is to sell its fluorochemicals business to Mexichem, a Latin American producer of PVC pipes and resin, chloralkali, hydrofluoric acid and fluorspar.

The deal comprises the international business and assets related to Ineos's fluorochemical operations located in North America, Europe and Asia.

It is expected that on completion of the transaction, the business will become a global producer of speciality fluorochemicals, with annual sales revenues of more than $500m (GBP315m).

David Price, chief executive officer of Ineos Fluor, said: "The agreement presents a unique opportunity to bring together the world's largest supplier of fluorspar with our own fluorochemical production assets, customer base and research capabilities."

Elaborating on the reasons behind the sale, Price added: "While performing well, the fluorochemicals business no longer fits within the Ineos Group portfolio as it focuses its attention on its large-scale petrochemicals businesses."

Ineos Fluor supplies fluorine-based products, technology and services across a number of major industries, from pharmaceuticals to automotive, refrigeration and air-conditioning.

The company employs around 350 people across sites in Europe, North America and Asia.

The sale is expected to be completed at the end of March, subject to necessary regulatory filings and approvals, including bank consent and approvals under applicable antitrust laws and regulations.

MRCMRC Reference

Ineos is a petrochemical group.
In Russia Ineos's interests are represented by Ineos Polyolefins and IneosChlorVinyls.

The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PVC - 4.5%;

polyethylene - 1.9%
(HDPE - 2.8%, LDPE - 1.2%);
polypropylene - 1.4%
(PP-random - 22.1%, PP-impact - 2.0%);
polystyrene - 0.9%.

Imports by polymers processing technologies:
profile extrusion;
pipe extrusion;
film extrusion;
injection molding.

BPI performs well but remains cautious for 2010

March 1 (prw) -- British Polythene Industries (BPI) has reported a 200% jump in pre-tax profits for 2009 - GBP11.8m, up from GBP3.9m in 2008. The results are partly due to cost reductions and a restructuring that saw the closure of its Stockton operation.

Commenting on the results Cameron McLatchie, chairman of BPI, said: ⌠2009 produced a good outturn for the group, despite conditions remaining as challenging as 2008, with volatile input costs and reduced demand from certain sectors, particularly those dependent on activity in the construction industry.

⌠It would be imprudent not to have a sense of caution when looking at the potential outcome for 2010, but, at the same time, we are confident that the group continues to take steps to produce the best results we can in what remains a very challenging market.

⌠The previously reported decisive actions taken to reduce excess capacity in the industrial part of our UK business have resulted in a reduction in losses from these activities, added McLatchie. ⌠Combined with a continuing steady performance from the resilient agricultural and retail food sectors and reduced UK energy costs, we have, as previously indicated, produced results considerably ahead of 2008.

⌠We expect a continuing good performance in 2010, but economic and business risks remain.

According to the company, it generated ⌠pleasing levels of cash in 2009 and was successful in reducing debt. Operating cash flow from trading amounted to GBP27.6m and improvements in working capital generated a further GBP15.1m.