Malaysia's oleochemicals prices may continue to fall

(ICIS) -- Malaysia's oleochemicals prices may continue to fall as March stockpiles of feedstock crude palm oil may have reached 1.60m-1.65m tonnes - the highest monthly volume recorded so far this year, industry sources said on Friday.

Prices of most oleochemicals in Malaysia, such as fatty acids, fatty alcohols, glycerine and soap noodles, could decrease by USD 10-20/tonne (EUR 7-14/tonne) from current levels if Malaysia's March crude palm oil (CPO) production data shows a further increase in supply, they said. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is due to announce last month's palm production data next week.

Industry players estimate that end-March CPO stockpiles would total 1.60-1.65 million tonnes, which would be the highest for this year. According to the MPOB, February's crude palm oil output reached 1.09 million tonnes, with end-February stockpiles reaching 1.48 million stocks. January's production was 1.05 million tonnes, with end-January stockpiles totalling 1.41 million.


PVC imports to Russia still surpasses demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Import supplies of suspension PVC to the Russian market keeps on surpassing demand. In March imports exceeded 40 KT, according to MRC DataScope.

In February Russian companies actively contracted PVC for March deliveries. Overall imports of suspension exceeded 43 KT last month which was 10 KT more than in February. Still main volumes of imports fall at trade companies whose share in the overall volume exceeded 63%. As expected, in March import deliveries of PVC-S from North America lowered to 17.3 KT. While the imports of acetylene resin from China doubled to 19.6 KT. The main reason for that is limited offer from North American producers.

Soon a further growth of the share of Chinese PVC in the Russian market is expected and the imports of North American resin will gradually decrease. The reduction of exports quotes and a considerable growth of prices (more than USD 100/mt) from the North American producers of PVC will limit purchases from Russian companies.

On the other hand, Chinese producers may also limit export supplies for the Russian market. Despite a considerable growth of production capacities of acetylene PVC producers from the North of China who are traditional for Russian companies, demand for PVC in the domestic market has also considerably grown, as a result, export possibilities have been limited. Also a railway transit in the border of China and Kazakhstan is narrow and its capacity soon will play an important role in imports of acetylene suspension.


BASF opened its new Polyurethane solutions system house in Dubai

(BASF) -- BASF opened its new Polyurethane (PU) Solutions System House in Dubai with an official ceremony. About 150 guests from business, government, customers and neighbors alike joined the event at the just recently completed BASF site in Dubai Industrial City (DIC). Wayne T. Smith, President BASF Polyurethanes, stated: ⌠This investment further emphasizes the significance of this region for BASF and demonstrates that we are prepared to accompany our customers' growth in all regions of the world and desire to be their preferred partner of choice. In Dubai, we will strengthen existing customer relationships and implement our proven worldwide strategy of locally operated, customer-oriented System Houses. This step once again shows that we are continuously expanding our leading position in the polyurethane market.

BASF's global network of 38 System Houses, together with its production sites for the main precursors and basic products, makes BASF the only polyurethane manufacturer who can reliably provide its customers around the globe with locally manufactured products.


Taiwan's supply of ethylene will become problematic by 2015

(Tai Pei Times) -- Taiwan's supply of ethylene will become problematic by 2015 if a proposed petrochemical development project is scrapped, a Ministry of Economic Affairs official said yesterday.

Industrial Development Bureau Director-General Woody Duh said the proposed Kuokuang complex in Changhua County would offer a major alternative supply after the state-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan closes its fifth naphtha cracker in Greater Kaohsiung in 2015. Duh said demand for petrochemical products would grow as the economy develops and the project is necessary to fill the shortfall that will be caused when the fifth naphtha cracker closes.

Duh said Taiwan currently meets 97 % of its domestic ethylene needs with annual production of 3 mln tonnes, including 500 KT produced by CPC's fifth naphtha cracker.


Taiwan Synthetic Rubber boosted its thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) capacity

(Plastics Today) -- Taiwan Synthetic Rubber Corp. has boosted its thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) capacity, global reach, and technology portfolio through the USD168 mln acquisition of Dexco Polymers LP, the ExxonMobil Chemical and Dow Chemical joint venture. Headquartered in Houston with manufacturing in Plaquemine, LA, Dexco has annual production capacity of 32 KT and 30 KT tonnes of styrene-isoprene-styrene (SIS) and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) block copolymers, respectively.

Tu and other TSRC and Dexco officials said that the acquisition was initially announced on Dec. 23, 2010, with the last few months spent on regulatory approval and integration plans. As part of those plans, Dexco will retain its staff, including current president, Chris Mudd, as well as its company name and the trade names of its products, including the Vector line of materials.

TSRC believes the addition of Dexco will help it leapfrog from the eighth largest producer of styrene block copolymers in the world in into the top five globally, with more than 100 KTa of annual SBC production. Company wide and including all products, TSRC has more than 500 KT of capacity.