Total and Polystyvert in PS Recycling Pact – France oil major Total S.A. is teaming with Montreal-based clean technology startup Polystyvert Inc. to advance the recycling of polystyrene – Total Polystyvert PS Recycling Pact postconsumer polystyrene

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Total joins forces with Montreal-based Polystyvert on recycling of post-consumer polystyrene

Total Polystyvert PS Recycling Pact postconsumer polystyrene France oil major Total S.A. is teaming with Montreal-based clean technology startup Polystyvert Inc. to advance the recycling of polystyrene.The Polymers Business unit of Total signed a deal this week to work with Polystyvert on the dissolution and purification of household post-consumer polystyrene.

A synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon polymer made from the monomer styrene, polystyrene can be solid or foamed and is used to make a wide variety of consumer products, from food packaging to toys, automobile parts. It is also used in home and appliance insulation. Household post-consumer plastics such as polystyrene often contain contaminants that make mechanical recycling difficult or not practical.

The combination of Polystyvert’s innovative technology and Total’s knowhow in industrial-scale dissolution and polymerization technologies should generate high-quality recyclates addressing a broad range of polystyrene market requirements, the companies said.

Polystyvert’s low-carbon-footprint method for recycling polystyrene is based on a dissolution process. The process produces recyclates, which can be used in a broader range of market applications than recyclates produced through mechanical recycling methods.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Polystyvert on this ambitious and exciting journey,” Jean Viallefont, VP Polymers Europe, Total Refining & Chemicals, said in a statement. “In 2017, Total performed three successful test runs with post-consumer recyclates incorporated in virgin polymer via dissolution and polymerization. Working with Polystyvert to tackle household post-consumer waste is the next logical step for Total.”

Polystyvert’s technology addresses a major global environmental issue, since large quantities of post-consumer or post-industrial polystyrene waste are buried in landfills every year, while more and more new polystyrene is produced, the company said.

“Collaborating with Total on household waste will accelerate the industrial development of our technology for global markets and demonstrate its suitability to address any type of polystyrene stream,” added Solenne Brouard, founder and CEO of Polystyvert.

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Polyethylene set for an exciting 2018 – The second half of this year promises to be fascinating as increased polyethylene (PE) volumes are shipped out of the US – Polyethylene exciting 2018 PE

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Polyethylene set for an exciting 2018

Source:ICIS Chemical Business

 Polyethylene exciting 2018 PE The second half of this year promises to be fascinating as increased polyethylene (PE) volumes are shipped out of the US. Buyers in Europe will welcome the alternate sources of supply in a market that remembers well the difficult times in 2015 when polymer was so hard to come by.

Currently, Europe is a low-price PE market so tonnes from the new US capacity and from the Middle East and India are likely to be shipped elsewhere, but additional volumes are expected to make their way to Europe in the second half. Markets in Latin America will be well served by the new capacities.

All eyes are on China and how important a market it becomes for players in the US. Its demand is pivotal and its ambitions in terms of the addition of significant new olefins capacity suggest that the China PE deficit picture could change fundamentally in the next few years.

LLDPE

Through 2019, however, the US will add 6.5m tonnes/year of new PE capacity. That’s a 42% increase. Through 2022, the increase will be 77%.

Shifting PE trade flows will be a feature of the industry for years. And while there has been so much talk about the likely impact of potential overcapacity, it is the dynamics of the change that are important.

Producers assume that global demand for PE will continue to rise at a healthy pace, outstripping GDP in emerging market economies and those in Asia, particularly, that are now well in deficit.

Not too long ago the fear was that a wave of new capacity in the Middle East would hit Europe’s polymer markets. China’s growth, particularly, saw to it that that was not the case.

NEAR-TERM OUTLOOK

It is better understood today that producers will adapt to changing market conditions and try to avoid the worst – the assumption being, nevertheless, that demand growth will keep the business out of the mire.

In the short term, this indeed does look as though it will be the case.

This is a seasonally strong period for PE, LyondellBasell CEO, Bob Patel pointed out in a conference call with financial analysts on 30 April. Annual growth is made in the first three quarters of the year and this year is looking typical.

With higher crude oil prices and stronger demand in Asia, PE demand for the company is going well, Patel added.

“We’ll have to see how Q4 develops, but until then it seems to me that this supply is coming just in time to meet the demand growth globally.”

The positive view, then, is that which was apparent at the start of the annual AFPM International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) in March. It was for a saucer-shaped dip in the cycle as the new capacities are absorbed by the market. Longer term, however, the fundamentals could play out very differently.

Producers have had time to build multiple channels to market and to build a value proposition in different geographic markets for the grades of PE they are and will be producing.

US PE EXPORTS TO EUROPE

When asked about the potential for PE exports to Europe, LyondellBasell’s Patel said that the company could export its branded Hyperzone high density polyethylene (HDPE) to Europe and it could be the product that many customers will want.

Looking at the market potential from a technology and from a value to the customer point of view, therefore, creates a slightly different picture of the shifting supply and demand fundamentals.

Producers will look on opportunities on a production asset by production asset basis but the US ethane advantage currently is very close to that in the Middle East. This puts production assets in higher cost locations, such as western Europe, under pressure.

 Polyethylene exciting 2018 PE

Europe will need between 300,000-500,000 tonnes/year of additional polymer volumes to match demand growth of 2%-3% a year, delegates to the ICIS World Polyolefins conference in Vienna, Austria were told last week.

There will, therefore, be demand for imports.

Most PE coming from the US will flow to China, but European PE producers will need to “change focus” towards more differentiated polymers, according to Rob Ingram, business director at INEOS Olefins & Polymers, in order that they can grow amid the wave of new US capacity.

By Nigel Davis
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Formosa Plastics picks process tech for US PE, PP units in Texas – Formosa Plastics process tech USA PE PP

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Formosa Plastics picks process tech for US PE, PP units in Texas

Source:ICIS News

Formosa Plastics  process tech USA PE PP   HOUSTON (ICIS)–Formosa Plastics Corp USA has chosen the process technologies that it will use in the polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plants it is building in Point Comfort, Texas, the company said on Monday.

The technology for the tubular low-density PE (LDPE) plant has been licensed from ExxonMobil, Formosa said. It will have a capacity of 400,000 tonne/year.

It will produce Formosa’s new line of Formolene LDPE resins, said Ken Mounger, vice president and general manager of polyolefins, Formosa.

The dual-purpose PE plant will use UNIPOL technology that is licensed from Univation Technologies, Formosa said. The plant will have a capacity of 400,000 tonnes/year, and it will be able to make both high-density PE (HDPE) and linear-low-density PE (LLDPE).

The units will expand the company’s current line of Formolene HDPE and LLDPE.

The technology for the PP plant was licensed from Japan Polypropylene Corp. It will have a capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year, Formosa said. It will produce Formolene PP, Mounger said.

Formosa did not provide updates as to when the new units will start production.

However, ICIS has reported that the HDPE and LDPE plants should start in the second half of 2018.

Formosa Plastics is also building a 1.2m tonne/year cracker at Point Comfort, as well as a 600,000 tonne/year propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit.

The PDH unit could start up in 2020-2021, according to ICIS.

Formosa Plastics  process tech USA PE PP
Packaging like this is often made with low density polyethylene (LDPE). Photo credit by Al Greenwood
By Al Greenwood
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NPE ’18: PET prices rising in Latin America on Asia gains, tight supply – Latin America polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices are still rising on the strength of high demand for bottled drinks in the northern hemisphere, heading into this year’s National Plastics Exposition (NPE) – NPE 2018 PET prices Latin America Asia

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NPE ’18: PET prices rising in Latin America on Asia gains, tight supply

Source:ICIS News

NPE 2018 PET prices Latin America Asia HOUSTON (ICIS)–Latin America polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices are still rising on the strength of high demand for bottled drinks in the northern hemisphere, heading into this year’s National Plastics Exposition (NPE).

PET prices in Asia have an impact on Latin America’s PET prices by means of formulae that market players use in pricing.

High demand in Europe and rising prices in Asia continue to be the drivers behind the latest uptrend.

PET markets in Latin America are still feeling the impact of the Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G) plant closures and auctions that have curtailed supply in the entire American continent.

Activity in the US Gulf is also an important factor in the region, but more so for Mexico, because of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Prices have risen in the region under the influence of Asian price direction, but also because of the perceived scarcity of PET and the unresolved production issues.

In addition to the US, M&G had plants in Mexico and in Brazil that put out an important volume of PET in those markets.

In Brazil, producer Alpek kept the Brazilian plant running, easing supply concerns. In the end, producer Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), entered into an agreement to acquire PET producer M&G Polimeros Brazil SA in Ipojuca, Brazil.

The plant is the largest PET facility in Brazil, with capacity of 550,000 tonnes/year. This plant is strategically located and benefits from virtual integration with a manufacturer of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), a key feedstock to PET.

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), the regulatory authority in Brazil, has given the green light to this acquisition, according to local sources.

In the US, Alpek, Indorama and Far Eastern New Century (FENC) entered a joint venture to acquire the M&G Integrated PTA-PET assets currently under construction in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Corpus Christi project is an integrated PTA/PET plant currently under development that, when completed, will have nominal capacity of 1.1m tonnes/year of PET and 1.3m tonnes of PTA. The plant is expected to be the largest single line vertically integrated PTA/PET production facility in the world and the largest PTA plant in the Americas.

It is not clear yet what will be the fate of the Mexican M&G plant. Local PTA producer Alpek is a likely candidate to acquire the M&G assets in Mexico.

PET markets in the Americas, formerly struggling with oversupply, are expected to be tight for the remainder of this year.

NPE 2018 PET prices Latin America Asia
PET prices in Latin America continue to rise on higher Asia prices, strong demand in the northern hemisphere and tight supply in the Americas.

Sponsored by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), NPE2018: The Plastics Show takes place on 7-11 May in Orlando, Florida.

By George Martin

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-PET Imports To Face Anti-Dumping Duties in the U.S – The imposition of duty is further to trade investigations following petitions filed in September last year by domestic PET manufacturers – PET Imports AntiDumping Duties USA

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-Motiva considers ethylene, aromatics projects in US – Motiva Enterprises signed $8bn-10bn worth of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) covering process technologies for possible ethylene and aromatics units in the US – Motiva ethylene aromatics projects USA

-US spot ethylene falls to 16-year low amid tariff concerns – US spot ethylene traded at a 16-year low on Friday amid long supply and concerns about proposed Chinese tariffs on chemicals – USA spot ethylene chemicals

-The initial price for MEG in Europe for April deliveries fell by EUR20 per tonne – The initial contract price of monoethylene glycol (MEG) in Europe for April deliveries was agreed at the level of EUR965 per tonne, which is EUR20 per ton lower than the March contract prices – Price MEG Europe April

-China’s MEG up in anticipations of better supply-demand for Q2 – China’s MEG market has remained rangebound for around two weeks, and domestic spot prices shivered around 7,000yuan/mt – China MEG prices market

-Prices MEG in the US may fall in April  – It is expected that prices of monoethylene glycol (MEG) in the US will decline in April due to a weakening of demand between peak seasons – Prices MEG USA April 

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-Sabic reduced the April price of MEG by USD55 per tonne – Sabic, the largest Saudi petrochemical company, has lowered the contract price of monoethylene glycol (MEG) to supply material to the Asian market in April at USD55 per tonne compared to the March price level – Sabic April price MEG

-MEGlobal lowered the April contract price of MEG in Asia by USD80 per tonne – MEGlobal, the world leader in the production of monoethylene glycol (MEG) and diethylene glycol (DG), set the April contract price for MEG for Asia at USD1,100 per tonne – MEGlobal April contract price MEG Asia4

-China polyester to drive MEG, but oversupply fears – China polyester MEG oversupply – Robust demand from polyester production in China is expected to drive the Asian monoethylene glycol (MEG) market in the first half of 2018

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Ascend to showcase growing portfolio of PA66 applications – Ascend Performance Materials, the world’s largest fully integrated producer of nylon 6,6 resin, will showcase its growing range of Vydyne® PA66 solutions for automotive, electrical and electronics, industrial and consumer applications at NPE2018 – Ascend PA66 applications

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Ascend to showcase growing portfolio of PA66 applications

Ascend PA66 applications Ascend Performance Materials, the world’s largest fully integrated producer of nylon 6,6 resin, will showcase its growing range of Vydyne® PA66 solutions for automotive, electrical and electronics, industrial and consumer applications at NPE2018. The company will have numerous applications on display at its booth (S14001), where it will also conduct a number of presentations on the performance and value of nylon 6,6 to processors and specifiers.

A key focus area of the show will be the company’s latest developments in high performance flame-retardant materials to meet increasing regulatory requirements. Ascend offers two best-in-class unreinforced flame-retardant products for electrical and electronic applications: Vydyne ECO366H and Vydyne FR350J.

*  Introduced in late 2017, Vydyne FR350J is designed for use in unattended electrical appliance connectors and achieves the highest GWIT (glow wire ignition temperature) rating with zero flame and exhibits a GWEPT (glow wire end-product temperature) rating of 775 C.

*  Vydyne ECO366H is a non-halogenated flame-retardant nylon 6,6 with an excellent RTI electrical rating of 150 C, making it an ideal solution for connectors and terminal blocks.

“Our E&E products are expanding the performance and processing capabilities of PA66,” says Scott Rook, Ascend’s vice president of nylon. “Vydyne FR350J offers excellent finished part performance and is also very easy to process, saving our customers time and money.” Both materials will be the subject of a presentation, Setting a new standard with flame-retardant nylon 6,6, on Monday, May 7.

Other in-booth presentations include:

    *  Safely managing 48V e-mobility systems with nylon 6,6

    *  Beyond material: Engineered solutions for engine downsizing and electrification

    *  Fighting hidden costs with ultra-flow, rapid cycling solutions.

    *  Nylon 6,6: Performance, productivity and value

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-Ascend Performance Materials announces price increase – Ascend Performance Materials, a leading provider of high-quality plastics, fibres and chemicals, has announced a price increase for its nylon 6,6 polymers – Ascend Performance Materials price Nylon 66 polymer  

– Ascend Performance Materials to Display Portfolio of Vydyne® Products for Automotive Applications at Upcoming Tradeshows – Ascend Performance Vydyne Products Automotive

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Bayer sells further Covestro stake for 2.2 billion euros – Pharmaceutical group Bayer has sold a further stake in plastics company Covestro  for 2.2 billion euros ($2.64 billion), placing a holding of 14.2 percent via an accelerated bookbuilding process – Bayer Covestro stake

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Bayer sells further Covestro stake for 2.2 billion euros

BERLIN (Reuters) – Pharmaceutical group Bayer has sold a further stake in plastics company Covestro  for 2.2 billion euros ($2.64 billion), placing a holding of 14.2 percent via an accelerated bookbuilding process.

Bayer Covestro stake

FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of Bayer is seen at the headquarters building in Caracas, Venezuela March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

Covestro was spun off from Bayer in 2015, and Bayer said this latest sale marks the start of the full separation from its former unit.

Bayer, which is buying seed maker Monsanto (MON.N), raised 1.8 billion euros ($2.15 billion) in January by selling a 10.4 percent stake in Covestro.

The latest sale of 28.8 million shares to institutional investors valued Covestro stock at 75.50 euros apiece, Bayer said on Friday, bringing the total gains from the sale of Covestro shares to more than 9 billion euros.

“The proceeds from the sale are higher than expected. This will be considered when determining the size of the share capital increase to finance the proposed acquisition of Monsanto,” finance chief Johannes Dietsch said in a statement.

Bayer now holds 6.8 percent of Covestro shares which it acquired from Bayer Pension Trust. These will be used to repay an exchangeable bond issued in 2017 that matures in 2020, Bayer said.

BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan acted as joint bookrunners on the placement, which took place late on Thursday.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Maria Sheahan; Editing by Edmund Blair and Amrutha Gayathri

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Covestro, China and the Innovation of Future Materials – Covestro China Innovation Future Materials

-Covestro expects above-market growth for polycarbonate business – Covestro polycarbonate

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Asia petrochemicals outlook, w/c May 7 – Petrochemical market participants will be keeping a close eye on developments upstream this week, particularly the fate of the US-Iran nuclear agreement and its impact on crude oil, which in turn will influence aromatics and MTBE markets – Asia petrochemicals outlook

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Asia petrochemicals outlook, w/c May 7

Singapore (Platts)-

Petrochemical market participants will be keeping a close eye on developments upstream this week, particularly the fate of the US-Iran nuclear agreement and its impact on crude oil, which in turn will influence aromatics and MTBE markets.

Supply availability will likely continue to weigh on ethylene markets, while limited supply is set to buoy prices of propylene and butadiene.

AROMATICS

Asian paraxylene prices have risen over the past week after the industry-negotiated Asian Contract Price for May failed to settle.

Prices are likely to continue to find support this week in a surge in spot transactions for June and July parcels and firmer purified terephthalic acid markets.

“All PTA plants in China have restarted and most are running stably, however we don’t see the same evidence regarding the new PX plants, meaning demand has gone up while supply looks tight,” a producer source said.

Asian benzene prices were stable to lower last week, with aggressive selling pressuring down prices early in the week before the market improved after July FOB USG prices rebounded last Thursday.

Market participants last Friday said an earlier open arbitrage meant a lot of cargoes were expected to arrive in the US in May, but it had since closed and there was unlikely to be any support from deepsea markets for Asian cargoes this week.

Bids for June and July loading cargoes supported prices Friday, with June last bid at $839/mt FOB Korea and July at $842/mt.

Demand this week was seen to remain weak due to high inventory, and supply of coal-based benzene remains an alternative.

Prices in the upstream toluene market remained on an uptrend last week, further narrowing the toluene-benzene spread and pressuring toluene disporportionation (TDP) margins.

This has raised questions about the sustainability of toluene prices this week, especially as inventory levels at east China ports rebounded 52% to 38,000 mt last week from a multi-year low of 25,000 mt the week before. Nonetheless, prices remain relatively competitive compared with feedstock naphtha, which will offer some support this week.

OLEFINS

Deepsea arrivals are likely to add to downward pressure on Asian ethylene prices this week as US ethylene prices continue to hover at record low levels, likely spurring more imports to Asia, adding to downward pressure on prices. Asian propylene prices picked up last week on an increase in downstream acrylonitrile and polypropylene segments, which spurred restocking needs. Prices will likely remain supported this week as spot availability appears tight on the back of plant maintenance in China. Asian butadiene prices were flat last week amid tight spot supply and lackluster downstream demand. The limited supply prompted major Chinese domestic producer Sinopec to raise its ex-works butadiene offers by Yuan 500/mt, but negative margins in the styrene-butadiene rubber market has prompted producers to lower their operating rates in May. Consequently, prices will likely remain rangebound this week.

MTBE

Asian MTBE prices were depressed further last week by selling interest emerging during the Platts Market on Close assessment process. As FOB Straits prices begin to diverge from a healthy China market, some buyers were heard to be eyeing the possibility of an arbitrage window to China opening this week.

–Desiree Quah, desiree.quah@spglobal.com

–Edited by Wendy Wells, wendy.wells@splgobal.com

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-EMEA petrochemicals outlook, w/c Apr 23 – The European ethylene market looks stable as the recent length has cleared following a spate of exports to Asia – EMEA petrochemicals outlook

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-China’s MEG up in anticipations of better supply-demand for Q2 – China’s MEG market has remained rangebound for around two weeks, and domestic spot prices shivered around 7,000yuan/mt – China MEG prices market

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-MEGlobal lowered the April contract price of MEG in Asia by USD80 per tonne – MEGlobal, the world leader in the production of monoethylene glycol (MEG) and diethylene glycol (DG), set the April contract price for MEG for Asia at USD1,100 per tonne – MEGlobal April contract price MEG Asia4

-China polyester to drive MEG, but oversupply fears – China polyester MEG oversupply – Robust demand from polyester production in China is expected to drive the Asian monoethylene glycol (MEG) market in the first half of 2018

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