Qatargas has confirmed additional LNG cargoes to Japan

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Qatargas has confirmed additional LNG volumes equivalent to sixty conventional LNG cargoes to Japan, demonstrating its commitment to support its long-term Japanese customers. Sixty conventional LNG cargoes represent approximately 4 million tonnes of LNG. In other words, this is enough energy to generate approximately 28 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, or enough to meet the average electricity consumption, of five million Japanese households for a year.

This commitment is announced after Qatargas' Chief Executive Officer Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, returned from last week's visit to Japan, where he led a Qatargas delegation to meet with senior officials from Japanese utility and gas companies.

Confirming Qatargas is working to meet Japan's increased requirements for LNG Qatargas's CEO added: ⌠These additional cargoes of LNG will be supplied to a number of our long-term customers over the next 12 months. The first of these cargoes was discharged whist I was still in Japan and I anticipate further sales.


PE prices in Europe are stable to slightly higher compared with March

(ICIS) -- Polyethylene (PE) prices in Europe this month are stable to slightly higher compared with March, but buying remains cautious as consumers wait for price levels to ease in the coming weeks, sources said on Friday.

The US dollar has weakened against the euro, providing European producers with a buffer against the rise in upstream prices.

On Friday morning, Brent crude oil was trading at USD121.95/bbl and naphtha was at USD 1.030-1.038/tonne CIF (cost, insurance freight) NWE (northwest Europe).

The PE market is becoming fragmented and some grades are seen as firmer than others.

Availability of high-density injection and blowmoulding is tight. But even for these grades, buyers are reluctant to pay higher prices.

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) buyers are now getting some relief after several months of price increases. Monthly prices are now at a record high, trading around EUR 1.500/tonne (USD 2.174/tonne), FD (free delivered) NWE on a net basis.


Azerkimya restored production in its two plants

(Trend) -- Azerkimya Production Unit of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) commissioned the Surface-active Substances Plant after the repair work, SOCAR said on Friday.
The plant's work was suspended in January for repair of electrolysis baths of caustic soda and chlorine production. After commissioning the plant production of caustic soda, liquid chlorine and other products was restored.

Production at the, "Organic Synthesis" plant was also suspended in connection with the repair work at the Surface-active Substances Plant. Work on this production site has been also restored.


A. Schulman adding a fourth production line to its 2010 Brazilian acquisition

(Plastics Today) -- A. Schulman is adding a fourth production line to its 2010 Brazilian acquisition, Mash Compostos Plasticos, boosting annual capacity at the plant by 8 to 10 million lb to a total annual capacity of approximately 22 million to 24 million lb. Mash, which was acquired on Oct. 18, 2010, is a masterbatch additive producer and engineered plastics compounder.

A. Schulman employs roughly 2900 people across 33 manufacturing facilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Six months prior to the Mash acquisition, which cost the company USD16.6 million, A. Schulman gained entry into the Brazilian market through its April 30, 2010 acquisition of ICO Inc., which included three facilities in Brazil. The company now has four locations in Brazil, including former ICO sites in Minas Gerais and Brasilia, as well as two in Sao Paulo (ex ICO and Mash).


PP prices in the Middle East will likely remain firm

(ICIS) -- Polypropylene (PP) prices in the Middle East will likely remain firm and even increase in May, buoyed by short availability of the material, with two major suppliers due to shut plants for turnarounds, industry sources said on Friday.

Regional converters are hurting from the strong prices, but PP producers had to either rollover values or adjust them higher to keep a decent spread from feedstock propylene, even when demand is not strong, they said.

PP raffia grade, which is used in packaging of grains, was discussed at USD1.700-1.740/tonne (EUR 1.173-1.201/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and USD 1.720-1,740/tonne CFR East Mediterranean (East Med) on Friday, market sources said.

Propylene was at USD 1.550-1.580/tonne CFR NE Asia at midday, while US crude futures were hovering at USD 108/bbl.

According to ICIS data, spot PP prices surged 21% since the start of the year on the back of rising raw material costs.