INSIGHT: Global focus on plastics means patterns of growth will change – Polymers demand may be outpacing economic growth now but what will consumption look like in 5, 10 or 20 years time? – Polymers demand may be outpacing economic growth now but what will consumption look like in 5, 10 or 20 years time? – Global focus plastics growth change polymers

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INSIGHT: Global focus on plastics means patterns of growth will change

Source:ICIS News

Global focus plastics growth change polymers LONDON (ICIS)–Polymers demand may be outpacing economic growth now but what will consumption look like in 5, 10 or 20 years time?

The plastics outlook is changing fundamentally as environmental pressure grows worldwide.

Despite the headwinds and practical bottlenecks, the momentum behind the drive for greater recycling has increased significantly in a very short time. There is little to suggest that it will diminish.

In the week of World Environment Day, World Oceans Day and the G7 summit, plastics have taken centre stage.

The plastics producing and converting industries have to ask themselves again whether the benefits of plastics to human well-being are sufficiently publicised and understood.

At the same time they need to address, head on, the problem of plastics litter and pollution.

“Mature industries tend to lag GDP which is around 2.5-3%, but plastic resins and rubber are growing at 5-7%. That’s a growth industry by any definition,” the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) chief economist, Kevin Swift, noted this week.

That is because the myriad use of plastics and rubber in advanced economies, and rapid demand growth in the fastest expanding, continue to underpin plastics production and processing.

But companies have to try to understand in detail how things will change. Restrictions on plastics use in the developed economies is likely to become the norm alongside significant pressure to recycle more.

Where demand growth is strongest – in China and India – it is unlikely to be business as usual – or, rather, business as the major polymer suppliers and converters would like it to be.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to call on 8 June for a zero-plastics waste charter for the world’s major economies. He had raised the idea earlier this year and the proposal is expected to go further than the EU’s plastics strategy revamped in January.

Targeted will be single use plastics, including packaging, polymer recyclability and recycling systems themselves.

This week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced a government pledge to ban all single-use plastics by 2022, targeting single use plastic bags, straws and plastic cutlery, much the same as the items highlighted in the proposed new plastics directive from the European Commission.

The UN this week targeted single use plastics even to the extent of launching a global game of #BeatPlasticPollution “to showcase positive behaviour change around how we consume plastic”.

The UN always adopts a theme for World Environment Day and this year it was plastics.

“On World Environment Day, the message is simple: reject single-use plastic. Refuse what you can’t re-use. Together, we can chart a path to a cleaner, greener world,” said the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.

The consequence of targets and pledges are difficult to assess now but by no means will it be growth as normal for the sector.

Polymer producers can expect to see demand for certain plastics fall away and, for certain grades, drop.

Across Europe and the US, sector producers and processors collectively will be actively engaged in meeting stiffer recycling volume targets and deadlines.

My colleague John Richardson has suggested in his Asian Chemical Connections blog that plastics recycling by China will lead the way as global demand for virgin polyethylene resin declines.

Most of the plastic waste that finds its way into the world’s oceans flows down the Yangtze River.

He has also suggested that the European polymer industry could become virtually self-sustaining in an efficiently functioning circular plastics economy.

Whatever processes and technologies are used to recover and recycle more, there always comes a point when the limits of what is environmentally acceptable are reached.

If European experience is anything to go by, for instance, achieving mechanical recycling rates approaching 50% will be difficult if not impossible. This is not so much a technical problem as one to do with the very nature of post-consumer waste.

While the talk may be about the circular economy, will decisions based on hardheaded environmental impact assessments be possible? This is something polymer chain participants seriously need to assess.

Incineration is held out as the most environmentally acceptable way to recover the energy stored in mixed plastics waste, for instance. It is widely practised but in Europe is roundly rejected politically now as an answer for the treatment of higher volumes of post-consumer waste.

An upsurge of consumer concern currently is forcing politicians to react. The pledges are real but the possible outcomes far from clear.

By Nigel Davis

By Nigel Davis
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US May LLDPE, HDPE contracts fall, LDPE steady on shorter supply – USA LLDPE HDPE LDPE supply

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US May LLDPE, HDPE contracts fall, LDPE steady on shorter supply

Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)–US May contracts for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) were assessed at a decrease of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) from April while contract prices for high density polyethylene (HDPE) were assessed 2 cents/lb lower. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) contracts were assessed at a rollover.

Milk jugs are made from polyethylene, which is derived from ethane in the US. Photo by Food and Drink/REX/ShutterstockMilkFood and Drink

The decline in LLDPE contracts was attributed to relatively long supply for butene (C4) and hexene (C6) grades of LLDPE while octene (C8) LLDPE is still heard to be relatively tight.

HDPE contracts were assessed at a decrease as several sources stated that buyers who sought discounts were able to obtain decreases of 1-3 cents/lb between April and May, although other participants said that HDPE contracts rolled over for both months. As ICIS had assessed April contracts for HDPE at a rollover, the decreases seen in April and May were reflected on the May assessment.

Supply for high molecular weight (HMW) grades of HDPE is heard to be tight while blow moulding supply has also shown signs of tightening. HDPE injection supply is comfortable and sources said that price discounts on HDPE injection contracts are more widespread compared with HDPE HMW and blow moulding contract prices.

LDPE supply in the US is heard to be tight amid some ongoing turnarounds, with availability likely to remain constrained for another month or so.

Buyers have been pushing for lower prices for some time, arguing that the price increases implemented in the months after Hurricane Harvey should be rolled back as US producers have added over 3m tonnes/year of new capacity post-Harvey while operating rates at existing plants have improved.

Sellers, however, argue that PE price decreases are not justified as crude oil costs have risen over the past several months while new US plants continue to experience some operational disruptions.

The June outlook remains unclear, although participants will be closely watching inventory figures, with some arguing that prices may come under downward pressure if inventories continue to build. Exports will also provide an indication of the direction of pricing for the remainder of the summer as producers will need to find some additional export outlets as recent capacity additions have outstripped the anticipated rise in domestic demand.

ICIS assessed May contracts for LLDPE butene film at 61-67 cents/lb, high density polyethylene (HDPE) blow moulding at 64-68 cents/lb and low density polyethylene (LDPE) liner grade at 69-73 cents/lb, all on a delivered US in bulk basis.

Major US producers of PE include Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem), DowDupont, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, Formosa, INEOS, Total Petrochemicals and Westlake.

By Zachary Moore
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RTP Company at the MD&M East Show – RTP Company will highlight several plastic technologies designed specifically to improve the longevity and functionality of medical equipment and devices – RTP Company MD&M East Show

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RTP Company at the MD&M East Show

RTP Company MD&M East ShowRTP Company is exhibiting at MD&M East from June 12-14, 2018 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York city. Located in Booth 844, RTP Company will highlight several plastic technologies designed specifically to improve the longevity and functionality of medical equipment and devices.

Throughout the show, RTP Company engineers will be available to discuss the RTP 2000 HC series, a select group of proprietary alloys.

RTP Company engineers will also feature Laser-Markable Compounds that offer distinct benefits for medical devices requiring high contrast, durable marks on the surface for functionality and compliance.

In addition, RTP Company representatives will be available to discuss the company’s entire portfolio of thermoplastic compounds that provide better functionality to medical applications, including:
• Low friction compounds for single-use medical devices
• Medical grade elastomers that provide enhanced grip for surgical tools, and
• Custom colored compounds that strengthen branding for medical products

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The plus and the minus of plastic – Bottle medical devices plastic

 

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Investment frenzy driving down margins in BOPP film – BOPP film industry has moved from a scenario of modest capacity growth and improving margins to one where it seems everyone is struggling to make money thanks to another frenzy of investment in high capacity BOPP film lines around the world – BOPP film margins

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Investment frenzy driving down margins in BOPP film

In the space of two years the BOPP film industry has moved from a scenario of modest capacity growth and improving margins to one where it seems everyone is struggling to make money thanks to another frenzy of investment in high capacity BOPP film lines around the world.

In the space of two years the BOPP film industry has moved from a scenario of modest capacity growth and improving margins to one where it seems everyone is struggling to make money thanks to another frenzy of investment in high capacity BOPP film lines around the world. While demand for BOPP film continues to grow respectably, nowhere is it advancing sufficiently to absorb these capacity increases without causing a margin fight to either grow or maintain market share. Companies with high debt and/or aging assets that cannot match the efficiency of modern equipment are particularly vulnerable and the new capacity increases are expected to drive rationalisation of older capacity and/or merger and acquisition activity.

These are some of the findings of AMI Consulting’s latest report on the status of the global BOPP film industry just published. While profitability remains a challenge for the industry, the market continues to expand with volumes growing by nearly 5% in 2017, the highest rate since 2012, driven by the improving fundamentals in the global economy. This increased the global market to over 8 million tonnes. The five-year compound annual growth rate for 2012-2017 was 4%, which has added just over 1.5 million tonnes of demand.

It is these strong underlying fundamentals which is driving the continuous investment in new capacity. Between 2012 and 2017 over 3 million tonnes of capacity for BOPP production were added around the world although nearly two-thirds of this was in China and this country now accounts for nearly half of global capacity and demand. For the first time its two leading producers, China Soft Packaging and Gettel Group, topped the world rankings in volume terms, although Taghleef and Jindal Films remain the leading players by turnover according to AMI Consulting.

The increase in new capacity though is leading to lower utilisation rates which are now at below 70% on average, the lowest since the early 2000s following the first big investment surge in China. However, utilisation rates are also being challenged by the growth in 5-layer lines geared to more speciality grades and the drive by many companies to shift their product portfolio away from commodity coex – because of the poor margins. Speciality films tend to reduce line output because of shorter runs and more frequent changeovers. With at least 20 further lines expected for 2018 and 2019 adding nearly 900,000 tonnes of additional capacity, utilisation rates are expected to remain below 70% until after 2020.

The strength of the BOPP film industry stems from the high volumes used in primary packaging, particularly for food, which are not easy to cost effectively replace. Growth in packaged foods markets around the world will continue to be a key driver for future demand underpinned by population growth, urbanisation and rising incomes in developing markets.

AMI is forecasting the industry will continue to advance at around 4%/year to 2020 giving rise to a demand of over 10 million tonnes.

Source : Healthcare Packaging

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Oil edges down as OPEC ‘bearish spin’ generates concerns – Crude closed lower on Friday as traders weighed conflicting supply signals from Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela – Crude Oil OPEC concerns

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Oil edges down as OPEC ‘bearish spin’ generates concerns

Bloomberg

Crude Oil OPEC concerns Crude closed lower on Friday as traders weighed conflicting supply signals from Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela.

Oil ministers from Saudi Arabia and Russia are set to talk next week, fueling speculation that two of the world’s biggest crude exporters might be ready to wind down historic production limits.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan oil exports have been crippled as the Latin American nation spirals toward economic collapse.

“This shift to OPEC actively contemplating relieving production cuts puts a pretty bearish spin on this market,” said Rob Haworth, who helps oversee US$151 billion at US Bank Wealth Management in Seattle. “That’s really what we’re under pressure from.”

Next week’s discussion between Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak and Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih in Moscow might be a prelude to a broader gathering of OPEC members and allied producers later this month.

The US has appealed to OPEC to raise output amid a run-up in domestic gasoline prices, even as US crude output surges.

“After Saudi Arabia and Russia made the suggestion that OPEC starts lifting output in the second half, the market has been on its heels,” Danske Bank A/S senior analyst Jens Naervig Pedersen said in Copenhagen. “In the end, OPEC will make sure to tread carefully.”

West Texas Intermediate for delivery next month declined US$0.21 to settle at US$65.74 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was about 15 percent less than the 100-day average.

Brent futures for August settlement slid US$0.86 to end the session at US$76.46 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark traded at a US$10.79 premium to West Texas Intermediate for the same month.

Some OPEC members have been reluctant to relax output caps that have been in place since the start of last year.

Against that backdrop, Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday next week.

“We’re going to be subject to incredible headline risk,” New York-based hedge fund Again Capital LLC partner John Kilduff said.

At the same time, “these stories out of Venezuela about scores of ships waiting to load and the inability to supply their contractual volumes has really underpinned the market here,” he added.

Money managers cut bullish ICE Brent crude oil bets by 13,810 net-long positions to 438,186, weekly ICE Futures Europe data on futures and options showed.

A shuttered Caribbean oil refinery once owned by Venezuela’s state oil company and Hess Corp might get new life just in time to meet upcoming changes to ship fuel regulations.

Oil drillers added more rigs in the US this week, undaunted by pipeline bottlenecks that are hindering efforts to ship crude from the nation’s busiest field.

In other commodities, wholesale gasoline stayed at US$2.12 per gallon, while heating oil shed 0.7 percent to US$2.16 per gallon and natural gas fell 1.4 percent to US$2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold was little changed at US$1,302.70 per ounce, while silver declined 0.4 percent to US$16.74 per ounce and copper rose 0.8 percent to US$3.30 per pound, its highest price this year.

Additional reporting by AP

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Wasted Opportunities: Recycling Stalls Due to Sorting Problems and Chinese Clampdown – Recycling has its chronic problems that are worsening and threatening the process worldwide; Israel, too, is now facing a challenge – Wasted Opportunities Recycling Sorting Problems Chinese Clampdown

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Wasted Opportunities: Recycling Stalls Due to Sorting Problems and Chinese Clampdown

Recycling has its chronic problems that are worsening and threatening the process worldwide; Israel, too, is now facing a challenge

Wasted Opportunities Recycling Sorting Problems Chinese Clampdown
ZINYANGE AUNTONY/AFP

Recycling garbage is now a vital part of protecting the environment worldwide. The process depends on advanced legislation that targets old industries, especially in developed countries.

Less well known are recycling’s chronic problems. It depends on the Chinese market, it competes with original raw materials, and it is difficult to separate material in demand from piles of garbage. These problems are getting worse and threaten the recycling process in many countries, including Israel.

The great upheaval of the recycling industry started after China toughened its demands regarding the trash it receives for recycling. Last month the Wall Street Journal published a report on the impact of this crisis on the United States opening with: “The U.S. recycling industry is breaking down” (May 13).

The article described the difficulties American factories encounter in shipping cardboard, paper waste and plastic to recycling destinations in China. A large part of the trash eventually ends up in landfills, just like in the pre-cycling era.

China decided it could no longer accept waste from countries like the United States because it had combined several kinds of trash. This created safety problems and exposed local employees to contaminants. In the past China agreed to accept garbage consisting of up to 20 percent of other materials. For the past four months it has been demanding that the contaminants’ limit be slashed to 0.5 percent. These measures are forcing recycling plants to invest more effort into sorting waste. The repercussions can be seen in the case of Pacific Rim Cycling in California, which has furloughed almost all its employees.

“The cost is impossible. We can’t make money at it,” company president Steve Moore told WSJ. “We quit accepting stuff.”

The Chinese stopped accepting mixed paper waste (several kinds of paper) provided by such plants and now huge amounts of paper collected for recycling are piling up.

China isn’t the only problem, a comprehensive report about plastic recycling published last month by the OECD finds. The demand for recycled plastic depends to a large extent on the original material’s supply. With no independent demand, the recycling industry is vulnerable to fluctuating prices of the original plastic, which plunge every time oil prices dip.

Another difficulty is the competition with trash-burning energy-producing facilities, which receive large amounts of waste. There is also great difficulty in handling recycled material, which is mostly contaminated with other trash, such as food remains and chemicals. It too consists of several kinds of plastic, which complicates the separation process of the desired material. PET – a plastic with an especially high recycling rate – is a special case. The report says its price also depends on cotton prices, as textile companies in China use its fibers as substitute when cotton prices soar.

The Israeli recycling industry is small and can pick and choose its clients and markets, the Environmental Protection Ministry says. But Israeli factories are also contending with some of the same challenges affecting other countries – first and foremost the effective separation of good quality material.

The Aviv AMCG management and consulting firm, which runs the Ran Bitton forum for environmental planning, last week held a conference entitled “Waste is changing direction – from nuisance to an energy resource.” The gathering was held in partnership with the Goldfarb Seligman law firm and the Porter School of Environmental Studies in Tel Aviv University. Among the speakers were Offer Bogin, CEO of Greennet, Jerusalem’s waste management facility and Amos Rabin, CEO of the Dan Cities Association for Sanitation and Waste Disposal, which is in charge of the Hiriya landfill and its large waste management facility. These facilities handle close to a third of all Israel’s urban waste.

According to Bogin and Rabin, these two facilities succeed in extracting only 15 percent of the waste for recycling. “The main difficulty is the material’s lack of homogeneity,” Rabin said. “If its composition isn’t homogeneous, the industry cannot handle it. So it’s hard to impossible to recycle waste.”

Bogin says the waste handled by Jerusalem’s waste management facility hardly undergoes any separation, which makes it difficult to extract good-quality ingredients for recycling. Recently the Amnir company, a subsidiary of Hadera Paper, stopped taking the paper waste the facility had separated. “We stopped taking the mixed paper because there was too much organic material in it,” said Gadi Konia, Hadera Paper CEO. “It creates humidity that damages the paper quality and harms our machines.”

Konia said his plant still takes the good-quality cardboard separated at Greennet and believes Hadera Paper handles about half of Israel’s paper waste.

Despite the numerous difficulties, the local and global recycling industry is not likely to disappear. “Indeed, China’s restriction of recycling waste sent shock waves through the recycling market, but policy isn’t determined by the market’s changing situation but by a deep and thorough analysis,” says Gilad Ostrovsky, director of the sustainability and environment division in the Misgav Regional Council, who recently completed his doctorate on manufacturers’ responsibility for the waste they produce.

Ostrovsky says waste management policy is shaped on sustainability principles: preserving resources, saving energy and striving for circular economy, which reuses resources. He notes that the European Union continues to support and encourage recycling and lists successful cases, like the Belgian recycling corporation Fost Plus, which served as a model for the Israeli industry.

Last year the corporation recycled 89.1 percent of domestic packaging. The business recycling rate is even higher. Fost Plus’ edge is in its high-quality recycled materials, which are in high demand. “This shows the economic value of good separation,” Ostrovsky says. “The Chinese crisis is an opportunity to facilitate the development of local management facilities and strengthen the national economy.”

The OECD report offers several steps to help the world recycling market, such as setting recycling goals in more countries, government aid to build and operate advanced sorting facilities and compelling manufacturers not to include additives in products like plastic. The report recommends helping developing states set up recycling industries and thus reduce huge amounts of waste dumped.

Some manufacturers aren’t waiting for government assistance. One of Britain’s largest plastic bottle manufacturers Princes set a 50 percent recycling target for plastic bottles within months, after Evian vowed to use 100 percent recycled plastic bottles for all its water by 2025. In Israel, Greennet is examining the possibility of setting up a facility to recycle diapers.

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Oil to trade above $75 in 2018 -Pipeline constraints will keep US output measured – Abu Dhabi: Oil is expected to trade above $75 (Dh275.25) per barrel in 2018 despite a rise in US shale oil production and plans of Opec to ease production curbs – Crude Oil trade $75 2018

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Oil to trade above $75 in 2018

Pipeline constraints will keep US output measured

 Crude Oil trade $75 2018

By Fareed Rahman, Senior Reporter

Crude Oil trade $75 2018 Abu Dhabi: Oil is expected to trade above $75 (Dh275.25) per barrel in 2018 despite a rise in US shale oil production and plans of Opec to ease production curbs, according to analysts.

Oil prices went down significantly in the previous weeks as markets remained tense on Saudi Arabia and Russia’s statement on a possible production increment of one million barrels per day to stabilise oil prices. The move came after concerns grew over increases in oil prices over the past year and its impact on the global economic recovery.

Brent was down by 1.11 per cent at $76.46 per barrel and the US crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $65.74 per barrel, down by 0.32 per cent when markets closed on Friday.

Benjamin Lu, commodities analyst from Singapore based Phillip Futures told Gulf News that both Saudi Arabia and Russia are likely to raise the output levels into 2019 though the pace will be gradual and measured.

“Opec [Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries] is unlikely to waste its efforts in draining excess capacity and risk a rapid slide in oil prices to benefit from short-term gains.”

Opec in coordination with non-Opec members like Russia are cutting oil production by about 1.8 million barrels per day in order to help lower global oil inventories and prop up oil prices. The deal, which came into effect in January 2017 is expected to continue till the end of this year.

Exponential growth

On oil price retreating to $50 to $60 per barrel, Lu said such a scenario is unlikely.

“US production has experienced exponential growth but ongoing pipeline constraints will keep output measured. It is also not within Riyadh’s interest to over produce amid Aramco’s impending IPO.”

“We postulate prices to maintain $75 to $80 per barrel for Brent and $65 to $70 for WTI in 2018.”

Ehsan Khoman, director, head of research and strategist for the Middle East & North Africa (Mena) at MUFG Bank said that oil prices are approaching a point where it is a concern for consumers and also for producers.

“Oil prices may be reaching their peak levels. As such, we believe that a sustained period of Brent above $80 per barrel and $75 per barrel for WTI will lead to demand destruction becoming more likely, through a combination of enhanced efficiency and a slowdown in the global economy.”

Meanwhile, drillers in the US continue to add rigs every week indicating that US production is set to go up in the coming months. According to Baker Hughes, a GE company US rig count is up two rigs from last week to 1,062.

Related Topics

-Opinion: Higher oil prices could still stifle economy, upset car makers –  Higher crude oil prices economy car makers

-Oil steady as extra U.S. supply balances strong demand – Oil prices steadied on Monday as U.S. production hit a record-high and OPEC members considered boosting supply to balance rising global demand – Crude Oil steady USA supply demand

–Bearish forecast for oil on rising US output, Opec plans – A rise in US shale production and plans by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to gradually ramp up production are both expected to have a bearish impact on oil prices – Bearish forecast crude oil USA output Opec

-Oil prices won’t keep plunging because US drillers can’t meet demand, analysts say – Supply and demand in the oil market are finely balanced, and surging U.S. output might not be enough to offset supply disruptions in Venezuela and Iran – Crude Oil prices USA drillers

-Oil climbs over 2 percent, shrugs off API’s U.S. crude build – Crude Oil climbs API USA

The surge is over — why $50 oil is now more likely than $100

-IMF urges Saudi Arabia to resist temptation to spend, as oil prices rise – Saudi Arabia has been advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) not to increase spending, as oil prices reach $80 a barrel and are predicted to go higher – IMF Saudi Arabia crude oil prices

-Low oil price era is ‘dead’ as crisis-stricken Venezuela risks a supply shock, analyst says – The “lower for longer” oil price mantra is doomed, one oil analyst told CNBC Tuesday, amid heightened energy market fears of an imminent supply shock – Crude oil price crisis Venezuela supply shock

-Forget About Oil at $80. The Big Rally Is in Forward Prices – Crude Oil $80 Prices

-Oil prices to peak in mid-2019: BofAML – Brent crude oil prices are expected to trend gradually higher, hitting an average of $80 per barrel (/bbl) by mid-2019 before gradually trending lower to an average of $71/bbl by end-2019 – Crude Oil prices peak 2019 BofAML

-What is the perfect price for oil? – When it’s too high, consumers start freaking out and using less. When it’s too low, oil companies cut back operations and lay off thousands of workers – Perfect price crude oil

-The Regulations That Could Push Oil Up To $90 – International regulations on the fuels used in shipping could tighten the oil market and push prices up to $90 per barrel in the next two years – Regulations Push Crude Oil $90

-Morgan Stanley Sees Oil Climbing To $90 By 2020 – Forget Iran and OPEC. There’s another issue that will keep oil prices supported for the next two years, according to Morgan Stanley’s oil outlook – Morgan Stanley Crude Oil $90 2020

-Get ready for $100 a barrel oil and the conflict it represents – The geopolitical risk premium in oil has driven crude prices to nearly four-year highs and shows no signs of abating – $100 barrel crude oil

-Oil for $300. Is It Possible? – If major oil companies keep postponing the necessary investments, the next “huge supply shock” may bring the oil price up to $300 per barrel – Crude Oil $300 per barrel possible

-Oil eases as clock ticks down to Trump decision on Iran – Oil eased on Tuesday ahead of an announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump later in the day on whether the United States will reimpose sanctions on Iran, but the price held within sight of its highest in more than three years – Crude Oil Trump Iran

-Saudi Arabia Needs $88 Oil – Higher oil prices have provided a boost to the economies of oil-exporting nations such as Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia $88 Crude Oil

-BP says still sees oil at $50-$60/bbl in 2018 as shale output surges – BP expects benchmark oil prices to weaken in the second half of the year as U.S. shale production surges by up to 1.5 million barrels per day – BP crude oil $50 $60 barrel 2018 shale output

-Iran and the oil market – How Iran’s nuclear deal and a host of other factors are forging a new crude reality – Iran Crude Oil market

-Oil output cuts succeeded but future cloudy – There is a danger of Opec, non-Opec members exceeding their vision due to current rally in oil prices, energy expert says – Oil output cuts Opec nonOpec

-Who’s to blame for costly oil? Saudis, Russia and Trump himself – Rising oil prices are now the latest target in President Donald Trump’s cross-hairs. The nation’s tweeter-in-chief complained Friday about OPEC fueling – Blame costly oil Saudis Russia Trump

-Oil pulls back from gains; OPEC says glut nearly gone – Oil prices on Thursday hit highs not seen since 2014, built on the ongoing drawdowns in global supply and as Saudi Arabia looks to push prices higher, though U.S. crude gave back gains in the afternoon to finish lower – Crude Oil OPEC glut Saudi Arabia

-Escalating Middle East Tension Could Trigger Oil Prices To Hit $100 Per Barrel – Oil prices could soon soar to $100 per barrel amid growing fear about conflict in the Middle East, according to an oil analyst for CNBC – Oil Prices $100 Barrel

– IEA: OPEC Mission Near Completion as Oil Glut Vanishes – OPEC is on the verge of “mission accomplished” in its quest to clear the global oil glut that caused the worst industry downturn in a generation – IEA OPEC Crude Oil Glut

-Is Russia Cheating On The OPEC Deal? – After three months of steady output, Russia’s crude oil production increased in March to 10.97 million bpd, the highest level since April 2017, as the top two Russian companies boosted their production – Russia Cheating OPEC Deal

-Oil price crosses $70 amid Iran deal tensions – Oil prices rose as investors saw increasing possibility that the US could withdraw from the historic Iran nuclear deal – Crude Oil price dollars 70 Iran tensions

-Is $70 oil the new normal? – The global economy is poised to cope well even if oil prices will remain at around $70 per barrel throughout 2018, energy experts said – Dollars 70 barrel crude oil shale oil

Crude Oil trade $75 2018 Crude Oil trade $75 2018   Crude Oil trade $75 2018   Crude Oil trade $75 2018   Crude Oil trade $75 2018   Crude Oil trade $75 2018   Crude Oil trade $75 2018   Crude Oil trade $75 2018  

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Now, polyethylene plastic with antibacterial properties – Polyethylene plastic antibacterial properties

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Now, polyethylene plastic with antibacterial properties

Polyethylene plastic antibacterial properties When the concentration of silver-clay complex was increased , the moulded specimens showed excellent activity against two pathogens, says Mangala Joshi (right).

IIT Delhi team used silver nanoparticles to achieve this

Silver nanoparticles embedded on clay have now been successfully dispersed inside plastic to create new antimicrobial films, filaments and can also be moulded into other plastic items. Silver nanoparticle-embedded plastics were found to have greater than 99% antibacterial activity against common bacterial pathogens like Escherchia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Silver nanoparticles of about 10 nanometre size were deposited on clay particles of about 200-300 nanometre length. “We used an inorganic clay found in volcanic sites called Montmorillonite. Silver nanoparticles have a tendency of agglomeration or clumping due to high surface area, so we provided clay as a platform for the silver to sit on,” explains Anasuya Roy, PhD scholar at IIT, Delhi and first author of the paper published in Polymer Composites.

Clay-silver compound

The clay–silver compound, containg 10% silver, was then loaded into the high density polyethylene plastic using a melt compounding method. “The clay is inorganic and highly hydrophilic, whereas our plastic is organic, hydrophobic and nonpolar. They are highly incompatible. So we use a compatibilizer, which gives the required adhesion between the two phases. Also, inside the twin screw extruder machine, the necessary speed, temperature and time gives uniform mixing and the silver-clay is well embedded inside the plastic,” explains Prof. Mangala Joshi, from Department of Textile Technology at IIT Delhi and corresponding author of the paper.

Films and filaments

They then converted the newly formed silver–clay–plastic nanocomposite into films, filaments and also moulded these into specimens and checked the antibacterial property. The films and filaments showed higher activity than the moulded ones. “In the moulded ones, we found that the antimicrobial silver was not available on the surface leading to the reduction in activity. But when the concentration of silver–clay complex was increased from 3% to 5%, the moulded ones also showed excellent activity against the two pathogens,” adds Joshi. The research team has got a U.S. patent.

The team also tried other metal ions like zinc and copper in the place of silver. “Silver has a high reduction potential, meaning it can quickly go from silver ions to silver nanoparticles without the need of any external reducing agent. These silver nanoparticles interact with the bacterial cell wall and also generate oxidative stress inside the cell, thus killing it,” explains Roy. “The content of silver is very low in these nanocomposite plastic so no toxicity to human cells. Further, we checked the biocompatibility of the plastic with human skin and blood in vitroIn vivo tests are in progress and we hope that the new plastic can find a wide range of applications in the biomedical field and also in commodity items where this antimicrobial property can be an added advantage.”

Related Topics

-Iran Develops Antibacterial Polyester Strings Using Nanotechnology – The product, which is the result of efforts made at a knowledge-based company, has received approval from the Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC) – Iran Antibacterial Polyester Strings Using Nanotechnology

-Risks and Benefits of Nanosilver – However, silver has been shown to be a very powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent – I am often asked about silver as a health supplement. I’ve been reluctant to endorse widespread use of silver because it is a reactive metal – Risks Benefits Nanosilver

-Splash launches sustainable anti-bacterial activewear – Splash in association with Resil Chemicals has launched sustainable anti-bacterial activewear – Splash sustainable antibacterial activewear

-Nanoparticles with pulse laser controlled antibacterial properties – Splash sustainable antibacterial activewear Nanoparticles pulse laser antibacterial

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Oil gains expected to drive up producer prices – A rally in crude oil prices is expected to drive up producer prices in South Korea, particularly for the petrochemical and transportation sectors- Crude Oil prices

Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  

Oil gains expected to drive up producer prices

Crude Oil pricesSEOUL (Yonhap) — A rally in crude oil prices is expected to drive up producer prices in South Korea, particularly for the petrochemical and transportation sectors, according to a parliamentary report Sunday.

In a recent report, the National Assembly Budget Office predicted that the cost of local industrial output would rise 0.57 percent if the price of crude oil gains 10 percent.

The cost of petrochemical and overland transportation output would rise 7.44 percent and 1.11 percent, respectively, if the price of crude oil gains 10 percent, the report said.

Crude Oil prices

International oil prices have been surging since U.S. President Donald Trump declared Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord Tuesday, defying its European allies.

The spike in crude prices is seen as reflecting concerns that the U.S. resumption of sanctions on Iran could reduce its oil exports, resulting in a global supply bottleneck.

According to the Bank of Korea, South Korea’s producer prices rose slightly in April on increasing crude prices.

The producer price index — a barometer of future consumer inflation — reached 104.13 in April, up 0.1 percent from a month earlier, or 1.6 percent on-year. South Korea imports all of its oil.

Related Topics

-What Do the Latest Developments Mean for OPEC and Oil? – Latest Developments OPEC Crude Oil

-Crude oil futures complex lower on expectations of more OPEC supply – Crude oil futures OPEC supply

-Opinion: Higher oil prices could still stifle economy, upset car makers –  Higher crude oil prices economy car makers

-Oil steady as extra U.S. supply balances strong demand – Oil prices steadied on Monday as U.S. production hit a record-high and OPEC members considered boosting supply to balance rising global demand – Crude Oil steady USA supply demand

–Bearish forecast for oil on rising US output, Opec plans – A rise in US shale production and plans by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to gradually ramp up production are both expected to have a bearish impact on oil prices – Bearish forecast crude oil USA output Opec

-Oil prices won’t keep plunging because US drillers can’t meet demand, analysts say – Supply and demand in the oil market are finely balanced, and surging U.S. output might not be enough to offset supply disruptions in Venezuela and Iran – Crude Oil prices USA drillers

-Oil climbs over 2 percent, shrugs off API’s U.S. crude build – Crude Oil climbs API USA

The surge is over — why $50 oil is now more likely than $100

-IMF urges Saudi Arabia to resist temptation to spend, as oil prices rise – Saudi Arabia has been advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) not to increase spending, as oil prices reach $80 a barrel and are predicted to go higher – IMF Saudi Arabia crude oil prices

-Low oil price era is ‘dead’ as crisis-stricken Venezuela risks a supply shock, analyst says – The “lower for longer” oil price mantra is doomed, one oil analyst told CNBC Tuesday, amid heightened energy market fears of an imminent supply shock – Crude oil price crisis Venezuela supply shock

-Forget About Oil at $80. The Big Rally Is in Forward Prices – Crude Oil $80 Prices

-Oil prices to peak in mid-2019: BofAML – Brent crude oil prices are expected to trend gradually higher, hitting an average of $80 per barrel (/bbl) by mid-2019 before gradually trending lower to an average of $71/bbl by end-2019 – Crude Oil prices peak 2019 BofAML

-What is the perfect price for oil? – When it’s too high, consumers start freaking out and using less. When it’s too low, oil companies cut back operations and lay off thousands of workers – Perfect price crude oil

-The Regulations That Could Push Oil Up To $90 – International regulations on the fuels used in shipping could tighten the oil market and push prices up to $90 per barrel in the next two years – Regulations Push Crude Oil $90

-Morgan Stanley Sees Oil Climbing To $90 By 2020 – Forget Iran and OPEC. There’s another issue that will keep oil prices supported for the next two years, according to Morgan Stanley’s oil outlook – Morgan Stanley Crude Oil $90 2020

-Get ready for $100 a barrel oil and the conflict it represents – The geopolitical risk premium in oil has driven crude prices to nearly four-year highs and shows no signs of abating – $100 barrel crude oil

-Oil for $300. Is It Possible? – If major oil companies keep postponing the necessary investments, the next “huge supply shock” may bring the oil price up to $300 per barrel – Crude Oil $300 per barrel possible

-Oil eases as clock ticks down to Trump decision on Iran – Oil eased on Tuesday ahead of an announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump later in the day on whether the United States will reimpose sanctions on Iran, but the price held within sight of its highest in more than three years – Crude Oil Trump Iran

-Saudi Arabia Needs $88 Oil – Higher oil prices have provided a boost to the economies of oil-exporting nations such as Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia $88 Crude Oil

-BP says still sees oil at $50-$60/bbl in 2018 as shale output surges – BP expects benchmark oil prices to weaken in the second half of the year as U.S. shale production surges by up to 1.5 million barrels per day – BP crude oil $50 $60 barrel 2018 shale output

-Iran and the oil market – How Iran’s nuclear deal and a host of other factors are forging a new crude reality – Iran Crude Oil market

-Oil output cuts succeeded but future cloudy – There is a danger of Opec, non-Opec members exceeding their vision due to current rally in oil prices, energy expert says – Oil output cuts Opec nonOpec

-Who’s to blame for costly oil? Saudis, Russia and Trump himself – Rising oil prices are now the latest target in President Donald Trump’s cross-hairs. The nation’s tweeter-in-chief complained Friday about OPEC fueling – Blame costly oil Saudis Russia Trump

-Oil pulls back from gains; OPEC says glut nearly gone – Oil prices on Thursday hit highs not seen since 2014, built on the ongoing drawdowns in global supply and as Saudi Arabia looks to push prices higher, though U.S. crude gave back gains in the afternoon to finish lower – Crude Oil OPEC glut Saudi Arabia

-Escalating Middle East Tension Could Trigger Oil Prices To Hit $100 Per Barrel – Oil prices could soon soar to $100 per barrel amid growing fear about conflict in the Middle East, according to an oil analyst for CNBC – Oil Prices $100 Barrel

– IEA: OPEC Mission Near Completion as Oil Glut Vanishes – OPEC is on the verge of “mission accomplished” in its quest to clear the global oil glut that caused the worst industry downturn in a generation – IEA OPEC Crude Oil Glut

-Is Russia Cheating On The OPEC Deal? – After three months of steady output, Russia’s crude oil production increased in March to 10.97 million bpd, the highest level since April 2017, as the top two Russian companies boosted their production – Russia Cheating OPEC Deal

-Oil price crosses $70 amid Iran deal tensions – Oil prices rose as investors saw increasing possibility that the US could withdraw from the historic Iran nuclear deal – Crude Oil price dollars 70 Iran tensions

-Is $70 oil the new normal? – The global economy is poised to cope well even if oil prices will remain at around $70 per barrel throughout 2018, energy experts said – Dollars 70 barrel crude oil shale oil

Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  Crude Oil prices  

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Burning Of Plastics, Dangerous To Nervous System – Expert – Burning Plastics Dangerous Nervous System

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Burning Of Plastics, Dangerous To Nervous System – Expert

Burning Plastics Dangerous Nervous System Adeboyejo, who is the Head of Programming, ProtectOzone, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday that the practice of burning plastics daily poses a great risk to the health of Nigerians.

An environmentalist, Folasade Adeboyejo, has warned against the burning of plastic products because it is harmful to the human nervous system.
Adeboyejo, who is the Head of Programming, ProtectOzone, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday that the practice of burning plastics daily poses a great risk to the health of Nigerians.
She said plastic waste such as Polystyrene (Styrofoam) and Polyvinyl (PVC) should never be burnt because they release styrene gas which is harmful to the human nervous system.
She advocated recycling as the best way to avoid both the environmental and social problems created by burning of plastics.
She said: “Plastics at dump sites show insufficient efforts at recycling and pose great health risk as they absorb water and therefore provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“Recycling as a social enterprise offers colossal benefits to the environment, society and economy as it has the potential to contribute to the attainment of multiple sustainable goals.
“Plastic recycling can become a community based initiative aimed at empowering youths to become stakeholders in the plastic value chain.”
According to Adeboyejo, 60 per cent to 80 per cent of household waste is made of plastic and urged individuals to ensure that such are separated from other waste products.
She said: “Polymers are in categories one to seven and recycling is made easier if I know that the plastic I am holding is PET bottle or Low Density polyethylene.
“Only plastics in similar categories can be recycled together. This is why sorting is done by the informal waste managers.
“The easiest way of identifying plastics is by checking the number written in the recycle logo.
“Enforcing this by the government goes a long way in contributing to recycling efficiency.”
Adeboyejo added that Nigeria needed to take proactive actions to preserve sea life.
“This puts our own lagoon at very high risk of endangering aqua species, and this indicates the trans-boundary nature of the problem,” she said.
NAN.

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Added capacity to drive Eclat Textile sales growth – The company’s fabric manufacturing capacity per month is expected to increase from 2.6 million kilograms to 2.9 million kilograms – Added capacity Eclat Textile

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Added capacity to drive Eclat Textile sales growth

MOMENTUM:The company’s fabric manufacturing capacity per month is expected to increase from 2.6 million kilograms to 2.9 million kilograms

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Added capacity Eclat Textile A steady recovery in end-market demand and the gradual addition of new capacity are expected to create significant growth momentum for Eclat Textile Co (儒鴻) this year, despite sales declining last month, Fubon Securities Investment Services Co (富邦投顧) said in a note on Friday last week.

“Increasing utilization at Eclat Textiles’ new garment factories in Vietnam will be a key driver to company sales growth moving forward,” Fubon Securities analyst Fang Chin-yuan (方錦源) said in the note.

Eclat, which supplies functional and flexible knitwear fabrics, as well as garment products, aims to increase utilization at its garment plants by 80 to 90 percent in the second quarter, he said.

With the addition of new production lines, the company’s overall garment capacity is forecast to increase by about 20 percent — or 1.3 million pieces — to 7.5 million pieces per month, Fang said.

With the gradual increase in capacity at its fabric plants in Vietnam in the next quarter and the company becoming fully operational in the fourth quarter, Eclat’s overall fabric manufacturing capacity per month is expected to increase from 2.6 million kilograms to 2.9 million kilograms, he said.

The company’s revenue last month rose 16.49 percent to NT$2.31 billion (US$77.48 million) from a year earlier, marking a fifth consecutive month of double-digit percentage growth, but declined 0.06 percent from the previous month, it said on Thursday last week.

From January through last month, aggregate revenue grew 25.59 percent annually to NT$11.2 billion, but the increase declined from the 28.19 percent growth seen in the first four months, company data showed.

Leading down jacket supplier Quang Viet Enterprise Co (廣越) posted a record-high revenue of NT$1.02 billion for last month, up 58.5 percent from a year earlier, with cumulative revenue in the first five months totaling NT$2.68 billion, an annual increase of 52.34 percent, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The strong growth was thanks to increasing customer demand from major clients, including Nike Inc, Adidas AG and North Face Inc, Quang Viet president Charles Wu (吳朝筆) said.

Revenue also gained support from orders placed by a new brand client, Norway-based sportswear company Helly Hansen, Wu said.

The company said it expects a higher gross margin this year due to it increasing average product prices by more than 3 percent to reflect rising production costs.

As the industry enters a stronger season and the company’s capacity increases thanks to newly acquired businesses, Quang Viet’s shipments this year are expected to increase 4.8 percent annually to 11 million pieces, Fubon Securities said.

Meanwhile, apparel maker Makalot Industrial Co (聚陽) posted revenue of NT$1.47 billion last month, up 12.6 percent from NT$1.31 billion a year earlier, meeting market expectations, but cumulative revenue in the first five months edged down 0.95 percent annually to NT$8.22 billion.

“As peak-season shipments are transitioning from spring/summer apparel to autumn/winter apparel in the second quarter and the company’s revenue momentum comes from additional orders from clients and advance orders, Makalot’s revenue growth is likely to decline this month,” Capital Investment Management Corp (群益投顧) analyst Jesta Wu (吳修廉) said in a note on Thursday.

Related Topics

-BRM fabric solutions on display at Techtextil NA – Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM), an industry leader in the design, development, and manufacture of specialised engineered woven fabrics – BRM fabric solutions Techtextil NA

-Russia to invest $250 million in technical textiles for defence – The Russian government plans to allocate up to US$ 250 million in the design and production of nonwovens and technical textiles for the needs of the Russian military forces during the next several years – Russia $250 million technical textiles

-Monforts to demonstrate diversity at TTNA – “Techtextil North America is a very important show for us, because technical textiles are a key pillar of our production programme and North America is one of our major markets,” said Monforts Head of Technical Textiles, Jürgen Hanel – Monforts TTNA Techtextil North America

-Destination Istanbul for Monforts – Monforts, a leading textile machinery manufacturer, will provide information on the latest developments for its advanced Montexstenters at the upcoming ITM trade fair, which takes place from 14-17 April 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey – Destination Istanbul Monforts

-Monforts At Filtech 2018 – Monforts will once again be the only manufacturer of finishing and coating equipment exhibiting at the forthcoming Filtech 2018 filtration show which takes place in Cologne, Germany, from March 13-15 – Monforts Filtech 2018

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HeiQ, Deakin develop treatment to reduce pilling – HeiQ, Deakin treatment pilling

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HeiQ, Deakin develop treatment to reduce pilling
 HeiQ, Deakin treatment pilling
Courtesy: Deakin University’

Textile innovators at HeiQ in collaboration with scientists from Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) have developed a textile treatment that reduce pilling and makes garments look and feel newer for longer. No Fuzz is the second product to come out of this collaboration, after the 2016 release of the HeiQ Real Silk textile treatment.

Working collaboratively under the framework of the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres the partners have developed a range of “No Fuzz” treatments that reduce unsightly pilling and make garments look and feel newer for longer.

IFM senior research fellow Dr. Alessandra Sutti said pilling was caused by friction, as loose fibres in the material rub together and become tangled, forming annoying fuzzy balls.

“The key to avoiding pilling is to either remove fluffy fibres or to stabilise the fabric structure so fibres can’t easily loosen and tangle,” Sutti said.

“HeiQ’s No Fuzz technology bridges the gaps and strengthens loose fibres with adhesive polymer structures, reinforcing fabric yarns and resulting in a significant improvement against pilling.”

HeiQ Australia chief executive Dr. Murray Height, co-founder of HeiQ Materials, said pilling and abrasion resistance in general was one of the biggest problems affecting clothing, especially when it came to staple fibre textiles such as wool and natural/synthetic blends.

“The need for an off-the-shelf treatment that can be applied to any fabric without noticeable impact on its feel or appearance has been discussed since the early days of the IFM/HeiQ partnership,” Height said.

“The textiles industry has tried to deal with this issue for years, but none of the current methods are entirely satisfactory – most fabric-based treatments result in an unpleasant feel to the fabric and reduced comfort,” Height added.

Sutti said the HeiQ NoFuzz treatment helped to make clothing more robust to wear and tear, thereby playing a role in extending the useful lifetime of garments.

“This treatment can be used on all fibre types, but it has been shown to be particularly effective on spun yarns and natural/synthetic blends, and we’re using materials that reinforce component yarns within the main fabric structure,” she said.

Sutti said she and her team were committed to working with HeiQ on a range of projects to improve the performance and sustainability of textiles. “Our collaboration covers a wide range of topics, from the development of the short polymer fibre platform all the way through to the implementation of new technologies in textile treatments,” she said.

This research was supported by the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

Related Topics

-HeiQ shows Fresh FFL odour control technology at ISPO – HeiQ, a leader in textile innovation making effective, durable, and high-performance textile effects in the market, is displaying its HeiQ Fresh FFL (Fresh For Long), a 100 per cent bio-based odour control technology – HeiQ Fresh FFL odour control technology ISPO

HeiQ to show No Fuzz textile products at Performance Days – HeiQ NoFuzz textile Performance Days

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Iran oil buyers left in dark, fearing harsher impact of sanctions – Iran crude oil sanctions

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Iran oil buyers left in dark, fearing harsher impact of sanctions
BUSINESS Eco./Bus. News
GULF TIMES
 Iran crude oil sanctions
Storage silos stand at La Mede oil refinery, operated by Total SA, in La Mede, France (file). Major oil companies, such as Total, say ignoring US sanctions on Iran isn’t an option, because the risk of being shut out of the US banking system is too severe.
Bloomberg/London

A month after the US re-imposed sanctions on Iran, European oil buyers say they still have no idea whether the region will be permitted to make proportional reductions in purchases from the Middle Eastern country, or have to halt trade altogether.
The total lack of clarity on the scale of the reductions sought by President Donald Trump’s administration has left several customers continuing to buy Iranian crude for now, but uncertain if they will have to completely stop buying by November, according to refiners and traders operating in the region. Trafigura Group Pte warned that the market impact could eventually be much bigger than many people are expecting.
“We don’t know yet what percentage reduction will be required by the US,” said David Fyfe, chief economist at trading house Gunvor Group Ltd. “That seed of doubt means a lot of players are just shying away, and the banks and insurance companies are nervous about this.”
When Trump re-imposed sanctions on Iran on May 8, he gave buyers of the country’s oil 180 days to reduce their purchases or be shut out of the US banking system. Since that initial announcement, several European refiners said they’ve received no indication from Washington or their own governments about what they should do next. The European Union sent a letter to the US Treasury on June 4 asking for exemptions from sanctions.
Three officials from southern European refiners, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public, said they are continuing to buy Iranian crude now, but fear they’ll have to make an abrupt halt to purchases in the coming months.
Finding other supplies shouldn’t be a problem, but there’s still no clarity on how much companies will need, said one official. It’s even unclear who in the US government they should be speaking to, said another person.
It’s unlikely that European governments can do anything to shield companies from US sanctions, meaning the region’s refiners will have to stop buying Iranian crude completely, said a senior executive from a major trading house.
“I think it is still very much a fluid situation,” Trafigura’s chief economist Saad Rahim said at the S&P Global Platts Annual Global Crude Oil Summit in London last week. “If you take what they’ve said at face value then it is going to be much more substantial than people think, but there’s room for negotiation.”
Under the Obama administration’s sanctions on Iran’s oil exports from 2012 to 2016, its output was curbed by about 1mn bpd. Europe imposed a full embargo on the country’s crude, while the US offered to waive the restrictions for buyers in Asia if they voluntarily reduced their purchases by about 20%.
This time, European governments, which want to preserve the Iran nuclear accord that Trump abandoned, are telling companies they can still do business with the Islamic Republic, said one of the European refiners. Yet major oil companies, such as France’s Total SA, say ignoring the sanctions isn’t an option, because the risk of being shut out of the US banking system is too severe. European banks may eventually refuse to process transactions with Iran, which would effectively halt trade, said another refiner.
If Trump were to demand a similar 20% reduction from buyers of Iranian oil today, it would remove about 500,000 bpd from the market initially, and probably even more going into 2019, said Fyfe. Problems that are already emerging on the availability of freight insurance for Iranian cargoes suggest the impact will be “much higher than people are thinking right now,” said Rahim.

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