Polyestertime

Global oil demand near 100m bbl/day for first time – API

Global oil demand near 100m bbl/day for first time – API

 Source:ICIS News

Global oil demand 100m bbl/dayHOUSTON (ICIS)–World oil demand has approached 100m bbl/day for the first time, driven by strong global economic growth, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said in its Q2 2018 industry outlook report on Thursday.

Meanwhile, US supply growth has been “up to the challenge”, meeting virtually all global oil demand growth so far in 2018, said API chief economist Dean Foreman.

As of May, US petroleum supply has risen by more than 2.0m bbl/day from the same month last year, and recent drilling activity increases continue to position the US for further supply gains this year, according to API’s report.

As for ethane, prices remained low even as exports and petrochemical demand increased, API’s report said.

“Ethane has been the largest growing component of natural gas liquids production and is the reason petrochemical firms are investing in the US as it has remained inexpensive compared with competing fuels,” it said.

Despite low ethane feedstock costs, US real ethylene prices and margins fell to eight-year lows as new supply capacity came onstream, the report added.

In the report, API also noted that “third-party consensus” suggested slower global economic growth for the next two years.

“Solid performance [is] belied by weakened expectations, particularly for the US and with trade barriers,” the group said.

By Stefan Baumgarten

Major PE JV “Bay-Pol” Breaks Ground

Major PE JV “Bay-Pol” Breaks Ground

Ethane cracker construction to be followed by large Borstar PE unit in this 50-50 JV of Total and Borealis and Nova Chemicals.

pe jv bay polThe official groundbreaking of an over 2-billion lb/yr ethane steam cracker held earlier this month in Port Arthur, Texas, is the first project for the newly-formed Bayport Polymers LLC (“Bay-Pol”), a 50-50 joint venture between Total SA (U.S. office in Houston) and Novealis Holdings LLC—a joint venture between Borealis (U.S. office in Port Murray, N.J.) and Nova Chemicals (U.S. office in Moon Township, Penn.)   

Bay-Pol combines Total’s existing Bayport, Texas, 900-million lb/yr PE facility with the Borealis proprietary multi-modal Borstar technology that produces enhanced L/LDPE, HDPE and MDPE, and Nova’s deep polyethylene customer and technical expertise to deliver a broad range of products to help meet growing demand. Moreover, the project will include a new 1.4-billion lb/yr Borstar PE unit at the Bayport site, subject to FID (final investment decision).

Said Bay-Pol president Diane Chamberlain, “This is an important milestone for our new company. The power of partnership demonstrated here firmly positions Bay-Pol to deliver innovative products and applications to new and existing customers, while reinforcing our position in an increasingly competitive polyethylene market.”

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Pantone introduces polyester standards

Pantone introduces polyester standards

Pantone polyester standardsPantone, a provider of professional colour standards for the design industry, has introduced polyester standards for athleisure, footwear, swimwear, sleepwear and the home and fashion accessories markets, as an addition to its Fashion, Home + Interiors System.

Dyed on 100% warp knit polyester, these products can be effectively used for colour management in polyester, poly-blends and other synthetic materials. The new Pantone Polyester Swatch Set is composed of 203 new colours, ranging from timeless neutrals to eye-popping neon, that are not available in the existing cotton library and cannot be reproduced in cotton with the same degree of clarity or intensity.

Pantone introduces polyester standardsPolyester Swatch Set is a storage case for all 203 colours in new 2×2” removable swatches for colour selection and palette development. © Pantone LLC

“In today’s culture where colour plays an important part in our visual identity, we see an increasing desire for more saturated colours that help us stand out; colours beyond those formulated for natural fibres; colours whose appearance displays greater hue intensity,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice-President, Pantone Color Institute. “Our new polyester offering addresses this demand for a deeper level of coloration, resulting in a comprehensive mix of colours relevant across design industries including all fashion- and lifestyle-driven markets, as well as home furnishings.”

Pantone polyester standards
Pantone added 203 new colours uniquely curated for polyester materials. © Pantone LLC

Intended to complement the existing Fashion, Home + Interiors system, the polyester standards are available in three formats that will be familiar to fashion and home designers as their essential tools for inspiration and colour management, while affording the assurance in consistency that Pantone provides:

  • Polyester Swatch Set: a storage case for all 203 colours in new 2×2” removable swatches for colour selection and palette development
  • Polyester Swatch Cards: individual colours in 4”x4” swatches that unfold to 4”x8” for optimal colour visualisation, specification and instrumental evaluation
  • Polyester Spectral Data: exact dye recipes for each colour to help expedite achieving colour intent in production
Pantone polyester standards
Polyester Swatch Cards present individual colours in 4”x4” swatches. © Pantone LLC

“We recognise that designers working in synthetic materials face increased colour management challenges due to the inability to achieve more vibrant and saturated colours in these materials compared to traditional cotton standards,” said Adrián Fernández, Vice President and General Manager of Pantone.

“The addition of standards specifically for polyester materials is intended to satisfy this gap in the market, combining our technical expertise with the colour intelligence of the Pantone Color Institute, to offer our globally-renowned methods of standardisation to rapidly growing segments.”

Beginning today, the Polyester Swatch Set is available worldwide, with Swatch Cards and Spectral Data to follow this year.

www.pantone.com

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ITMA announces host for 2023 European conference

ITMA announces host for 2023 European conference

Space at 2019 expo now sold out

Home Textiles Today Staff

Brussels – With exhibition space for ITMA 2019 fully booked, the ITMA show revealed its location for 2023.

ITMA 2023 European conferenceCEMATEX, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, today announced that ITMA will return to Milan, Italy, for its 19 th edition. ITMA 2023 will be held at the Fiera Milano Rho exhibition center from June 8-14. The expo for textile and garment technology was last held in Italy in 2015.

“Milan has excellent infrastructure for holding large-scale exhibitions like ITMA, which grosses over 200,000 square meters and attracts a global audience. It offers an extensive range of hospitality services and air connections to all parts of the world. Italy also has a large textile machinery and textile making industry,” said Fritz Mayer, president of CEMATEX.The ITMA show, which is held every four years, will next take place June 20-26, 2019 at Fira de Barcelona, Gran Via venue, Spain.

Space at ITMA 2019 has sold out and new applicants are being put on a waiting list, according to organizers.

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Chinese Tariffs Will Crimp American Shale Production – China’s proposed tariffs on US petroleum imports, part of a mounting trade war between the two countries, would crimp sales to the shale industry’s largest customer, adding new pressure on US crude prices

Chinese Tariffs Will Crimp American Shale Production

Chinese Tariffs Will Crimp American Shale Production China’s proposed tariffs on US petroleum imports, part of a mounting trade war between the two countries, would crimp sales to the shale industry’s largest customer, adding new pressure on US crude prices, energy executives and analysts said in interviews this week.

China has said it would slap a 25% tariff on imports of US crude, natural gas and coal on July 6 if Washington went ahead, as planned, with its own tariffs on Chinese goods that day, Reuters reported.

Energy would be added for the first time to a burgeoning trade dispute that has hit imports of Chinese metals and solar panels, and exports of US medical equipment and soybeans.

Targeting petroleum puts the US administration’s “energy dominance” agenda in Beijing’s crosshairs, as American shale has grabbed the share of Middle East suppliers in Asia.

China is the largest customer of US crude, importing about 363,000 barrels a day in the six months ended in March. Thomson Reuters shipping data show those exports have increased since, rising to an expected 450,000 bpd in July.

“It is going to hurt everyone for the short term,” said Ron Gasser, vice president at Mammoth Exploration, a west Texas shale producer.

While US crude will continue flowing to market even with tariffs, “it’ll force you to put your oil somewhere else, and it’ll cost you more” to line up other buyers.

US oil exports have steadily grown since the four-decade-old ban on crude exports was lifted at the end of 2015.

China’s tariff threat caught US producers off guard because it had been discussing buying more US energy and agricultural products to reduce its $375 billion trade surplus with the United States. The levies could boost suppliers of West African crude at the expense of US exports.

The tariffs are “creating a whole new set of uncertainties on top of what’s already there”, Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of consultancy IHS Markit, said on Tuesday.

“The global oil industry didn’t really worry or think about trade issues. Now, trade issues are moving really pretty fast up the agenda,” he said. The impact likely would be temporary as US oil becomes less attractive to Chinese buyers. But the tit-for-tat expansion of tariffs has US oil industry officials and politicians calling on the US administration to move cautiously.

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Here’s what OPEC ministers are saying at the oil cartel’s landmark meeting

Here’s what OPEC ministers are saying at the oil cartel’s landmark meeting

  • Energy ministers are gathering in Austria this week to determine the future of OPEC’s 18-month-old agreement with Russia and other producers to limit oil output.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told CNBC on Thursday that he was “optimistic” OPEC could reach a consensus on production policy this week.
  • When asked whether Iran —which has so far been the main opponent to a new deal — was now on board ahead of the summit, Al-Falih replied: “We will find out.”
Sam Meredith | Patti Domm

OPEC OIL Saudi Arabia Iran

Saudi oil minister: Optimistic about reaching OPEC deal  

Oil-producing nations appeared to be on the brink of securing a landmark output agreement in Vienna on Thursday, amid calls from the U.S.China and India to cool down prices and support the global economy by producing more crude.

Energy ministers are gathering in Austria this week to determine the future of OPEC’s 18-month-old agreement with Russia and other producers to limit oil output. The strategy has cleared a global supply overhang, but with oil prices recently soaring to multi-year highs, energy ministers are trying to reach a consensus on easing the output cap to prevent the market from overheating.

Ahead of Friday’s pivotal meeting, CNBC takes a look at the mood among some of the leading voices in the Austrian capital.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told CNBC on Thursday that he was “optimistic” OPEC could reach a consensus on production policy this week, adding that there was a “spirit of co-operation” among the Middle East-dominated group.

He also said consumers would soon demand more oil in the second half of 2018, so OPEC would need to discuss how to raise production by around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in order to bring compliance back to normal levels.

OPEC OIL Saudi Arabia Iran

What is OPEC?

When asked whether Iran —which has so far been the main opponent to a new deal — was now on board ahead of the summit, Al-Falih replied: “We will find out.”

De-facto OPEC leader and top crude exporter, Saudi Arabia, has been pushing, alongside Russia, for the cartel to loosen its supply controls — which were introduced in January 2017 in order to prop up prices.

However, other OPEC members, including Iran, Iraq and Venezuela, are thought to be reluctant to change from the current parameters of the deal.

United Arab Emirates

The meeting comes at a time of heightened pressure from President Donald Trump, who has publicly complained that OPEC is to blame for crude prices recently soaring to multi-year highs. OPEC members have said that the group is not a political organization, however.

Buffett’s investing basics. Warren Buffett outlines the main investment principles he practices.

The United Arab Emirates’ minister of energy and industry, and OPEC president, Suhail Al- Mazrouei reiterated that view, telling CNBC Thursday: “This is not a political organization, this is a commercial organization and as I told you earlier we are not going to politicize the organization.

“We will make good progress like we do always and everyone is happy that we’re together with non-OPEC,” he added.

OPEC reached a historic agreement with Russia and other non-members in late 2016 to keep 1.8 million barrels per day off the market. That arrangement has cleared a global glut of crude oil that sent oil prices tumbling from more than $100 a barrel in 2014 to less than $30 a barrel in 2016.

International benchmark Brent crude has since rebounded to about $75 a barrel.

Iraq

“I am confident that we will reach some sort of agreement,” Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabbar Ali al-Luaibi told CNBC Thursday.

OPEC OIL Saudi Arabia Iran

Iraq oil minister: I’m confident we will reach an agreement  

Alongside Venezuela, Iraq is thought to be opposed to a relaxation of supply cuts, fearing that higher oil production will lead to a slump in crude prices.

Iran

On Tuesday, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said he doubted OPEC could reach a deal this week. He also railed against Saudi ally President Donald Trump, saying American sanctions on OPEC members Iran and Venezuela had sent oil prices higher.

But on Wednesday evening, Zanganeh told CNBC that he was feeling “very good” about OPEC’s production levels.

Zanganeh is reportedly due to hold separate talks with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak Thursday.

OPEC will want to avoid ‘losing credibility’

“It’s really important they get the message right because let’s remember what has been happening over the course of last two years as they put this policy in place. They’ve built up a whole lot of credibility as an organization that could actually move the market so they don’t want to lose that,” Michael Cohen, director of energy market research at Barclays, told CNBC on Thursday.

Mahlo to participate in CINTE Techtextil expo in Shanghai –

Mahlo to participate in CINTE Techtextil expo in Shanghai
mahlo cinte techtextil expo shanghai china
Mahlo GmbH, leading German machine builder for automatic weft straighteners and online quality control systems, is set to participate in CINTE Techtextil 2018, which will be held from September 4 to 6, 2018, in Shanghai, China. The leading technical textiles and nonwovens show is the daughter show of the well-established Techtextil expo in Germany.

Along with its Chinese representative, Frank Fei, Mahlo will discuss about the latest developments in measuring and controlling of quality critical parameters within the running web. The main attraction at the Mahlo booth will be the web gauging system Qualiscan QMS-12.

The tool gauges parameters such as basis weight, thickness or moisture across the entire width. To achieve this, up to five sensors are traversing simultaneously on sturdy scanners, constantly collecting data and transmit them to the interface. In use are radioactive sources as well as infrared, laser, microwaves, and air permeability sensors.

CINTE will also focus on Mahlo’s infrared sensor Infrascope NIR. Particularly for nonwoven producers in the spun lace industry – an emerging sector in Asia – the sensor is the ideal tool. It measures the absorption of infrared energy while identifying basis weight and moisture at the same time. Those important parameters can be measured and controlled precisely in a spun lace unit. Due to a very high spectral resolution, the sensor can distinguish between components with very similar IR absorption. This capability allows the highly selective individual measurement of a specific component or layer in the web without interference from other components. And all without the use of radioactive isotopes. With the Qualiscan QMS, not only the product quality is improved but also raw materials can be saved.

Visitors at the Mahlo booth can also find out more on possibilities for web gauging as well as technologies for straightening of warps in knitted and woven fabrics. (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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Uster launches Uster Tensojet 5 tensile tester for yarn – Uster Technologies has launched Uster Tensojet 5 tensile tester for yarn. The tester provides a precise measurement of a yarn’s strength, combined with reliable protection against quality claims based on accurate forecasts of performance in later processes

Uster launches Uster Tensojet 5 tensile tester for yarn
Uster Tensojet 5 tensile tester
Courtesy: Uster

Uster Technologies has launched Uster Tensojet 5 tensile tester for yarn. The tester provides a precise measurement of a yarn’s strength, combined with reliable protection against quality claims based on accurate forecasts of performance in later processes. The Uster Group is a high-technology instrument manufacturer of products for the textile industry.

The Uster Tensojet 5 can operate at speeds of 400 m/min and integrates with the total testing centre to deliver a new range of overall benefits to both quality assurance and profitability for yarn manufacturers.

The high speed of 400 m/min actually simulates the dynamic stress on the yarn during weaving, and this makes the Uster Tensojet 5 a unique tensile measuring system. It is the standard for prediction of weavability by giving an accurate forecast of yarn behaviour in subsequent processing, especially on high-performance weaving machinery. Fewer weak places in the yarn mean higher efficiency on downstream machines. The prediction of weavability increases economic efficiency, as well as weaving quality and profit margins.

The Uster Tensojet 5 performs 30,000 tests per hour, producing accurate data through this extensive and rapid measurement. Utilising this great volume of data is what makes it possible for the system to predict weak places in the yarn. This important forecasting function would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve – and is way beyond the capability of other conventional testers. Graphic tools such as scatter plots show all significant information at a glance. Seamless correlation with Uster Statistics benchmarks makes Uster’s Weavability System an essential instrument to minimise claims and to drive producers towards higher profitability.

Ultimate process control comes with the connection to Uster Tester 6. The integration of results with Uster Tester 6 allows users to profit from intelligent alarms through the Total Testing Centre. Smart reports integrate results from both evenness and tensile tests, providing an overview of the quality being produced.

Only through the Total Testing Centre is it possible to obtain clear visualisations of weaving performance. This is provided in the form of objective grades, predicted by a combination of strength testing parameters from Uster Tensojet 5 and yarn quality parameters from Uster Quantum 3 yarn clearers – then collated and interpreted by the Total Testing Centre. (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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Prices of Six Volume Resins Flat-to-Down – Prices Six Volume Resins

Prices Six Volume Resins

Prices of Six Volume Resins Flat-to-Down

Upward pricing for PP, PET, nylon 66 is in contrast with the other six volume resins.

By mid-June, prices of six volume resins—PE, PS, PVC, ABS, PC, and nylon 6, appeared to be on a flat-to-down trajectory, owing to lower prices of some key feedstocks coupled with improved supply-demand balance circumstances. In contrast, tight supplies of other feedstocks and their intermediaries along with higher prices have resulted in an upwards pricing trajectory for PP, PET, and nylon 66. This according to purchasing consultants Resin Technology Inc. (RTi), PetroChemWire (PCW), and Michael Greenberg, CEO of the Plastics Exchange. Here’s a glimpse at each.

● PE: Prices last month were a mixed bag for the first time in quite a few years. Two suppliers reportedly offered a decrease of 3¢/lb for LLDPE, with prices of all other resins flat. Making things more complicated, Dow announced a 4¢/lb increase for June, while other suppliers postponed their 3¢/lb price hikes (which originated for March implementation) into this month. Mike Burns, RTi’s v.p. of client services for PE, for one, ventured June prices would be flat, with a good chance that trend could continue into this month and beyond. A false demand surge as a result of hurricane season inventory buildup by buyers could promote higher prices.

Secondary markets also saw this flat trend with PCW’s senior editor Dave Barry reporting spot PE prices as mostly unchanged amid sluggish trading activity by the end of June’s first week. The Plastics Exchange’s Greenberg reported that while the market has been awash in butene LLDPE and injection HDPE, film and injection grades of LDPE were more difficult to source, at least at prices agreeable to processors.

● PP: Prices moved up in May in step with propylene contracts by 5¢/lb and by another 2¢/lb in suppliers’ margin expansion. With spot monomer prices surging by as much as 6-7¢/lb,  industry sources expected another PP price hike for June. “We see June prices going up 5¢/lb or more, in step with propylene contracts,” says RTi’s v.p. of PP markets Scott Newell.

Newell ventured that July PP prices could be flat, and hopefully down, if June proves to be the peak for the propylene tightness. “I think there could be a lot of demand destruction for PP if these prices are sustained…expect to see imports increasing.” He says demand for PP starting in April was generally good, after lagging for 6-7 months. PCW’s Barry reported spot PP prices as flat-to-higher as supply remained tight due to strong domestic demand as well as two unplanned and one planned outages. Similarly, Greenberg characterized the spot market as challenged by scarce supplies and rising prices. “We have been vocally bullish on PP for some time as supply/demand dynamics have been too tight to withstand disruptions—we still remain bullish for now.”

● PS: Prices dropped 4¢/lb in May, and RTi’s v.p. of client services for engineering resins, PS and PVC Mark Kallman ventured flat-to-slightly upward movement in the June-July time frame. At the same time, he suggested more upwards pressure in August, due to stronger demand for PS during the traditionally strong season, including some pre-buying due to the hurricane season, and some tightness developing from the benzene/styrene monomer chain. Going into June, PCW’s Barry reported spot GPPS and HIPS prices were down 4-5¢/lb after peaking in early April. Feedstock costs were steady, with the implied styrene cost formula (based on 70% spot benzene/30% spot ethylene) flat at 32.6¢/lb.

● PVC: Prices were flat in May driven by very low ethylene costs with another 2-3¢ likely to come off which would reduce the cost of making PVC to 1-1.5¢/lb, according to RTi’s Kallman. However, spot ethylene prices that had bottomed out to 12¢/lb were up 3.25¢/lb by end of May. PCW’s senior editor Donna Todd reported that late-settling April ethylene contracts settled down 1.5¢/lb at 26.75¢/lb and May contracts settled down 0.75¢/lb to 26¢/lb. Both Todd and Kallman noted that suppliers’ stance was that the low ethylene prices cannot be sustained, and that domestic demand picked up nicely in April-May as did exports with this trend continuing into June and third quarter

● PET: PCW’s senior editor Xavier Cronin reported domestic bottle-grade PET prices rose in May by 3-5¢/lb to the mid-70 ¢/lb range delivered Midwest, driven by rising crude oil and PET feedstock prices. Average U.S. PET feedstock costs in May were up by 2.4¢/lb to 61.28¢/lb, from April, according to one calculation used by large-volume PET suppliers and buyers to invoice May deliveries. PCW ventures prices of PET (prime, offgrade and rPET) are likely to increase by another 1-3¢/lb in the June-July timeframe driven by the packaging sectors due to ‘skyrocketing’ consumption of carbonated soft drinks and bottles water. This projected price increase also assumes that crude oil prices will rise or stay at current elevated levels.

● ABS: Prices remained fairly stable through second quarter, following the 5¢/lb increases in January. Suppliers’ efforts to push through price hikes of 6-7¢/lb failed as feedstock prices retreated and competition from ABS imports were lower, according to RTi’s Kallman. Characterizing the market as currently more balanced, he ventured continued flat pricing at least through June, depending on demand, with some upward pressure potential in late third quarter.

● PC: Prices were generally flat through second quarter following the implementation of January increases of up to 14¢/lb, with independent compounders and secondary suppliers, implementing similar increases in the February-March time frame, according to RTi’s Kallman. There were some new price increase attempts announced for May, related to distribution channels and smaller compounders, but implementation was at best mixed, with Kallman characterizing overall PC pricing as steady. He ventured PC prices would largely remain flat through third quarter.

● NYLON 6 FLAT; NYLON 66 UP: Nylon 6 prices remained flat from March through May, as benzene prices bottomed out at $1.90/gal, and moved up to only $1.96/gal in May, according to RTi’s Kallman. Potential for some upward pressure is possible this month, as benzene oversupply will be over and prices could firm up. Too, nylon 6 plants are operating at high rates as there is increasing industry talk for replacement of nylon 66 due to the latter’s higher prices.

Meanwhile, nylon 66 prices were largely flat through May, after moving up 15-20¢/lb in first quarter, driven by a global market that became very tight. according to Kallman. “We had seven force majeure actions on intermediates—mostly in Europe, though first quarter and into the second. Recovery will be long—supply is tight domestically and much tighter in Europe and Asia. He anticipates upward pricing pressure as we move through third quarter due to the tightness and possible higher butadiene and propylene prices.

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Bio-on inaugurates in Italy the first special bioplastics production plant. 100% natural and biodegradable – Bioon Italy special bioplastics 100% natural biodegradable

Bioon Italy special bioplastics 100% natural biodegradable

Bio-on inaugurates in Italy the first special bioplastics production plant. 100% natural and biodegradable

Bioon Italy special bioplastics 100% natural biodegradable  Source: BIO-ON S.P.A.

  • 20 million Euro investment behind new production hub, the first owned by Bio-on. Highly sustainable project converted from a former factory: occupies no new land and is powered by electric energy generated by an advanced trigeneration plant.
  • New factory will produce various types of special biopolymers, particularly Minerv Bio Cosmetics, the natural and biodegradable bioplastic designed to replace harmful microbeads in today’s cosmetics.
  • New plant, located in Castel San Pietro Terme near Bologna, is also the headquarters of CNS division laboratories (Cosmetic, Nanomedicine & Smart Materials) employing over 20 researchers.
  • New Bio-on plant, currently employing 45 people, expects to double its workforce by the end of the year.

Bologna (Italy), 20 June 2018 – Bio-on, operating in the high quality bioplastic sector and listed on the AIM segment of Borsa Italiana, today inaugurated its first owned plant designed to produce 100% natural and biodegradable special PHAs bioplastics for high added value niche markets such as the microbeads used in the cosmetics sector.

“We are extremely proud,” explains Bio-on Chairman and CEO Marco Astorri, “because this factory demonstrates all-Italian excellence and is the beginning of a new era in the global green chemical industry. From today, thanks to our bioplastic, many companies will have the chance to protect the environment and give ecological credentials to their products, in compliance with ever more stringent limits on the use of conventional plastics.”

The new production hub is located in Castel San Pietro Terme just outside Bologna in an area of 30,000 m2; it has 3,700 m2 covered space and 6,000 m2 land for development. Current production capacity is 1000 tons per year, which can be quickly doubled. The plant, managed by Bio-on Plants, the division responsible for production, future expansion and new plants, is equipped with the very latest technologies and the most advanced research laboratories. Here, over 20 researchers in the CNS division (Cosmetic, Nanomedicine & Smart Materials) can test new carbon sources from agricultural waste to produce new types of biodegradable bioplastic and increase the range of technologies offered by Bio-on. Bio-on also demonstrates its focus on sustainability in its choice of site, opting to convert a former factory without occupying any new land. The overall investment in the production hub and new research laboratories is 20 million Euro.

“We are very pleased because since March 2017, when the first stone was laid, we have kept to our schedule and kept the promises we made to the market,” says Marco Astorri. “Our technicians and partners have been incredibly reliable throughout the process.”

“Like all complex industrial plants, the new production hub is running a series of tests before becoming fully operational in the autumn. The entire production cycle is run from an innovative control room at the heart of the plant,” explains Riccardo Casoni, Bio-on Plants director, “and this is where the entire industrial process will be tested before production begins 24/7.”

The first product to come out of the Castel San Pietro Terme plant will be Minerv Bio Cosmetics, the bioplastic microbeads for cosmetics designed to replace the oil-based plastic particles currently used, which are harmful and non-biodegradable. These microbeads, which are used as thickeners or stabilisers in such widely used products as lipstick, lip gloss, mascara, eye-liner, nail polish, creams, shampoo, foam bath and even toothpaste, pollute the environment because once they are rinsed off after use, they become a permanent part of the natural cycle: plankton in the rivers and seas swallow these plastic particles and thus introduce them into the food chain. The level of pollution is so serious that the USA was the first country to bring in a law (Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015banning the use of oil-based polymers in body care products. Some countries, such as Canada, UK, Sweden and France, recently followed suit while others, such as Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, have announced they will do so*. Using Minerv Bio Cosmetics bioplastic in cosmetics products eliminates these pollutants because the micro particles of bioplastic are naturally biodegradable in water and, therefore, do not enter the food chain. What is more, the biopolymer developed at the Bio-on laboratories actually decomposes into a nutrient for some micro-organisms and plants present in nature. The benefit for the environment is therefore two-fold.

The new production hub is also the headquarters of Business Units RAF (Recovery And Fermentation), which develops and optimises bioplastic fermentation and extraction processes to obtain the best possible product yield; and CNS (Cosmetic, Nanomedicine & Smart Materials), which uses cutting-edge scientific equipment to test new types of bioplastic and develop new applications. The areas of operation are Cosmetics, Nanomedicine, Biomedical, Nutraceuticals, Bioremediation, Organic Electronics and Advanced Materials. CNS laboratories are the base for over 20 researchers from various parts of the world and many different scientific disciplines, such as chemistry, physics, biology, pharmacy, materials engineering, biotechnologies, electronics, and mathematics with an average age of 30.

All the Minerv PHAs bioplastics (polyhydroxyalkanoates) developed by Bio-on are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains. They guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional plastics with the advantage of being 100% eco-sustainable and naturally biodegradable.

Press information: Simona Vecchies +393351245190 – press@bio-on.it – Twitter @BioOnBioplastic

* The ban on using products containing microbeads has been implemented differently and on different dates by the countries listed. Source: Bio-on, Wikipedia and BeatTheMicrobeads.org.

Bio-on S.p.A.

Bio-on S.p.A., an Italian Intellectual Property Company (IPC), operates in the bioplastic sector conducting applied research and development of modern bio-fermentation technologies in the field of eco-sustainable and completely naturally biodegradable materials. In particular, Bio-on develops industrial applications through the creation of product characterisations, components and plastic items. Since February 2015, Bio-on S.p.A. has also been operating in the development of natural and sustainable chemicals for the future. Bio-on has developed an exclusive process for the production of a family of polymers called PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from agricultural waste (including molasses and sugar cane and sugar beet syrups). The bioplastic produced in this way is able to replace the main families of conventional plastics in terms of performance, thermo-mechanical properties and versatility. Bio-on PHAs is a bioplastic that can be classified as 100% natural and completely biodegradable: this has been certified by Vincotte and by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The Issuer’s strategy envisages the marketing of licenses for PHAs production and related ancillary services, the development of R&D (also through new collaborations with universities, research centres and industrial partners), as well as the realisation of industrial plants designed by Bio-on.

Issuer 
Bio-On S.p.A.
Via Dante 7/b
40016 San Giorgio di Piano (BO)
Tel. +39 051893001 – info@bio-on.it
Nomad
EnVent Capital Markets Ltd
25 Savile Row W1S 2ER London
Tel. +447557879200
Italian Branch
Via Barberini, 95 00187 Roma
Tel. +39 06 896.841 – pverna@envent.it
Specialist
Banca Finnat Euramerica S.p.A.
Piazza del Gesù, 49
00186 Rome
Lorenzo Scimia
Tel. +39 06 69933446 – l.scimia@finnat.it

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Iran Rejects Russian, Saudi Plan To Raise Oil Output, Rein In Prices – Iran Russia Saudi crude oil Oil Output

Iran Rejects Russian, Saudi Plan To Raise Oil Output, Rein In Prices


Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namadar Zanganeh

Iran has rejected a plan by Russia and Saudi Arabia to increase oil production at a meeting of the OPEC oil cartel this week in response to consumer disgruntlement with rising prices.

“I don’t believe at this meeting we can reach agreement,” Iran’s oil minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters after arriving in Vienna, where OPEC is headquartered, on June 19.

Moscow and Riyadh have proposed reversing most of a 1.8 million barrels a day cut in production that OPEC and other major producers agreed to in 2016 amid recent calls by the United States, China and other major oil-consuming countries for relief from rising pump prices.

But Iran has signalled its opposition along with Iraq, Algeria, and Venezuela, three other influential OPEC members. Zinganeh cited recent demands for a production increase from U.S. President Donald Trump as a reason to oppose it.

Trump has “created difficulty for the oil market” by imposing sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, Zinganeh asserted, leading to lower production and higher prices.

“And now he expects OPEC to change something for better prices,” he said. “That is not fair. OPEC is an independent organization, not an organization to receive instruction from President Trump… OPEC is not part of the Department of Energy of the United States,” he said.

Premium crude prices have surged nearly 75 percent to almost $80 a barrel since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mexico agreed to a production cut in late 2016.

OPEC is due to meet on June 22 to review the agreement, and plans to meet the next day with Russia and other non-OPEC producers that joined the agreement in 2016.

Stressing his opposition to reversing the production cuts, Zanganeh said he plans to leave Vienna before the planned talks with Russia.

Iran’s opposition to raising oil output puts it on a collision course with Russia, which has called for raising production by 1.5 million barrels a day, in a near-total rollback of the 2016 production cuts.

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said the need for increased output is urgent during the summer, when demand for gasoline and oil hits a high point for the year.

“Oil demand usually grows at the steepest pace in the third quarter… We could face a deficit if we don’t take measures,”Novak said on June 19. “In our view, this could lead to market overheating” — meaning sharply higher prices.

Novak said that if OPEC and its allies decide this week to raise output, they could review their decision and fine-tune it at another planned meeting in September.

Iraq, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, and other opponents face constraints on raising production and thus would benefit little from a production increase, especially one which would result in lower prices for their oil exports, analysts say.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, and some other Persian Gulf producers, on the other hand, have the capacity to raise output and would benefit the most from an easing of the production freeze, they say.

Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the United States, is particularly under pressure from Trump to offset any production decline caused by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran in November.

Riyadh supported Trump’s decision to withdraw from Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers and reimpose the sanctions.

Beyond that, Russia has warned that continuing to limit supply could encourage increased production from shale oil producers in the United States, who are not part of the OPEC agreement and pose outside competition.

On June 19, the head of Russia’s second-largest oil firm Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, said the 2016 production cuts should be reduced by half and that Lukoil could restore its oil output levels within two to three months.

Without any agreement from Iran and other OPEC members this week, analysts say both Saudi Arabia and Russia may decide to increase production on their own.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and Bloomberg

Getting Ready for Germany’s new Packaging Law – Germany Packaging Law

Getting Ready for Germany’s new Packaging Law

Millions invested in American polypropylene technology – American polypropylene technology

Millions invested in American polypropylene technology

Plastic Resin pellets in holding hands.

The Closed Loop Fund as announced it will invest US$ 3 million in Ohio-based firm PureCycle Technologies to help it scale up a promising polypropylene recycling technology.

PureCycle Technologies produces recycled polypropylene (PP) ‘with virgin-like properties’. Its innovative process is said to have the power to notably increase the recovery of contaminated and colored PP streams into higher-value applications. The US$ 3 million dollar investment by the Closed Loop Fund will allow PureCycle to establish its first facility in Ironton.

Once it is operational, the new recycling facility is expected to handle both post-consumer mixed rigid plastics and post-industrial scrap materials from material recovery facilities. At scale, PureCycle will have the capacity to treat more than 105+ million pounds of recycled PP every single year.

American polypropylene technology

‘An unmet need’

‘This is a case where a hundred-billion-dollar industry required new technology to meet a compelling, unmet need,’ says Mike Otworth, ceo of PureCycle Technologies. ‘We’re thrilled to have Closed Loop as an investor and a supporter of PureCycle Technologies. Until now, recycled PP had limited applications. We’re single-handedly removing those limitations and giving companies the choice to use more sustainable, recycled resins,’ he adds.

Significant opportunity


American polypropylene technologyThe Closed Loop Fund was launched to ensure cities in the US have the capital required to build comprehensive recycling programmes. Gonen points out that the fund intends to invest US$ 100 million by 2020 in a bid to boost recycling rates in communities across America and thus making the circular economy a reality.
‘Our goal is to build circular supply chains,’ comments Ron Gonen, ceo of the Closed Loop Fund, which was founded in 2014. ‘Our CPG partners want post-consumer recycled PP, but we need technologies like PureCycle to ensure enough material is available at the specifications brands need. We anticipate significant market opportunity for PureCycle,’ he goes on to state.

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Clariant opens new additives production facilities in China – Clariant additives production facilities China

Clariant opens new additives production facilities in China

The opening completes a multi-million dollar investment originally announced by Clariant last year.

 by Canadian Plastics

Specialty chemical maker Clariant has opened two new, fully-owned additives facilities at its site in Zhenjiang, China.

 Clariant additives production facilities China

The opening ceremony was attended by Clariant’s executive committee member Christian Kohlpaintner, key customers and local government officials, as well as Clariant’s Greater China regional president and other members of the company’s business unit additives.

In a statement, Switzerland-based Clariant said that the opening completes a multi-million dollar investment originally announced last year and puts Clariant’s additives business in China “on track to further expand its offering of customized, high-end solutions for the plastics, coatings and ink industries.”

“This completed investment in the Zhenjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone marks another milestone in our commitment to expand capability and capacity in China, one of the most important strategic markets for Clariant,” Christian Kohlpaintner, a member of Clariant’s executive committee, said in the statement, “We are pursuing a dedicated strategy aimed at increasing and sharpening the focus on China.”

The newly opened facilities will produce Ceridust micronized waxes and AddWorks synergistic additive solutions, both of which are used in various applications across the plastics, coatings and ink industries. “Such tailored solutions are a key component in continuing to expand Clariant’s China sales, as they fulfill the demand for environmentally compatible and safe products as outlined in China’s 13th Five Year Plan and the industrial policy ‘Made in China 2025’, while allowing Clariant to differentiate itself in the market environment,” Clariant said.

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Goldman: Expect Another Bull Run In Oil – Goldman Bull Run Crude Oil OPEC

Goldman: Expect Another Bull Run In Oil

Goldman Bull Run Crude Oil OPEC

Shutterstock photo

The expected increase in oil production will not leave the market in a situation of oversupply, and in fact, barring no further action, the world could still be short of oil over the next year.

There is no shortage of pitfalls for the bull run, with Trump’s expanding trade war, weaker demand and a potential currency crisis in emerging markets, and the drilling frenzy so far proceeding at an unabated pace in West Texas.

Even with those considerations, however, “the oil market remains in deficit with resilient demand growth and rising disruptions requiring higher core OPEC and Russia production to avoid a stock-out by year-end,” Goldman Sachs wrote in a note on Monday.

The conclusion is notable because the investment bank assumes a rather aggressive increase in supply from OPEC+, on the order of 1 million barrels per day (mb/d) in the second half of 2018. Goldman says that the disruptions elsewhere, including in Venezuela, Iran and Libya, might mean that the decision to increase by 1 mb/d only actually results in a net addition of around 450,000 bpd.

Moreover, the recent downturn in prices does lessen the chance of a price spike, but the Goldman says the oil market is “still in deficit, with the recent builds reflecting a transient slowdown in Chinese imports.”

Therefore, the expected increase in OPEC+ production is needed, and won’t spark a market meltdown. The bottom is falling out in Venezuela and a long list of companies are packing up and getting out of Iran. Ultimately, Iran might see a sizable chunk of its oil exports disrupted because of U.S. sanctions. Libya and Nigeria are also in the midst of another wave of supply disruptions.

Most forecasts bake in a massive increase in U.S. shale production, an almost assumed outcome based on the last few years of rapid growth. However, even though shale does continue to grow briskly, the pipeline bottlenecks in the Permian could force a slowdown. In a separate report, Goldman Sachs said that pipeline relief is more than a year away, and in the interim, trucks and trains won’t be able to resolve the midstream bottleneck. That could force much steeper discounts than the already very hefty discount that Midland crude is currently fetching.

The implications of a potential shale disappointment for the global market are profound. “A tight global oil market requires more shale production, yet the Permian will soon be unable to provide it,” Goldman wrote in its latest report. “As a result, we believe the oil market has moved up the shale cost curve to incentivize more drilling in other shale basins.”

On the demand side of the equation, Goldman is betting on a rather strong 1.75-mb/d increase, or several hundred thousand barrels per day higher than other leading forecasters, such as the IEA.

There are risks to this prediction. The implementation of $50 billion in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods was met with quick retaliation from China. Most recently, President Trump directed his underlings to prepare an additional $200 billion in tariffs on China in what could be a dramatic escalation in the unfolding trade war.

Goldman Sachs is not too concerned about this cutting into oil demand growth, arguing that the fallout will likely be “minimal, with only a potential negative price impact on U.S. crude if it needs to and another destination other than China.”

Overall, the investment bank remains highly bullish on crude oil, and while there are plenty of sources of uncertainty, the outlook is based on two overarching arguments: the oil market is fundamentally in a supply deficit right now, and the forthcoming increase in OPEC+ production will be modest. Goldman said it would require a pretty severe economic slowdown to derail this general trajectory.

As such, the oil market will need more OPEC production in 2019 “to avoid historically tight stocks, as logistical constraints limit shale’s production growth.” That will help ease the immediate shortage, but “this supply response will further reduce the market’s available spare capacity, bringing back to the fore the upside risks to oil prices that prevailed a month ago.”

The upshot is that oil prices will remain “rangebound as OPEC initially increases production,” but oil prices could rise as the year wears on.

By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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And The Worldstar Sustainability Award In Gold Goes To: Starlinger For Its rPET PP*STAR! – Worldstar Sustainability Starlinger rPET PP*STAR!

And The Worldstar Sustainability Award In Gold Goes To: Starlinger For Its rPET PP*STAR!

Worldstar Sustainability Starlinger rPET PP*STAR!VIENNA, Austria — Starlinger – an Austrian engineering company and world market leader – is proud to announce that its pinch bottom bag made from 100 % used PET bottle flakes has won the WorldStar Sustainability Award 2018 in Gold!

In addition to winning a WorldStar Award in the category “Packaging Materials and Components” with the bag concept rPET PP*STAR, Starlinger had been shortlisted for the Sustainability Award of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) since January 2018. The winners of this special category were only announced at the official award ceremony that took place in Gold Coast, Australia on May 2, 2018. Starlinger Managing Partner Angelika Huemer, who personally attended the ceremony, had the pleasure of accepting the award in Gold from Antro Saila, WPO Vice President Sustainability and Save Food.

“Winning the Sustainability Award in Gold is a great honor and encourages us to continue to develop packaging concepts that are not just functional, but sustainable as well,” says Angelika Huemer. “The transition towards a circular economy is currently a hot topic in the plastics industry, and we are proud to be one of the forerunners in this important process.”

The rPET PP*STAR – a pinch bottom bag for products such as dry pet food, fertilizer, sugar, flour, or rice – consists of plastic fabric that is produced directly from used PET bottle flakes. This type of packaging can in turn be recycled after use, thereby achieving a closed loop production. On top of its excellent recyclability, the rPET PP*STAR features a low deadweight, which saves material in production and carbon dioxide during bag transportation. The bag itself weighs only 117 g, but holds 50 kg of fertilizer! And despite its low weight, the rPET PP*STAR is extremely resistant to breakage.

Given the numerous advantages of PET, it is hardly surprising that other packaging types are also produced from bottle flakes on Starlinger machinery – for example the rPET FIBC (a flexible intermediate bulk container or big bag) and sheet (viscoSHEET) for food trays.

PP*STAR® is a registered trademark. PP*STAR® bags are manufactured exclusively on Starlinger machinery.

Source:  Starlinger & Co. Gesellschaft m.b.H.

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Avantium begins construction of plant that spells good news for bio-plastics – Avantium plant bioplastics

Avantium begins construction of plant that spells good news for bio-plastics.

Avantium plant bioplastics“Our novel single-step process can finally fulfil this demand in an environmentally sustainable manner that both consumers and leading brands have been seeking.”

The advent of bio-based plastic that can be created on an industrial scale gathered pace last week with the imminent construction of a demonstration plant that will advance the development of a key ingredient.

Derived from renewable sugars, mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) is a bio-based compound that can be used to make everyday products such as PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and PEF (polyethylene furanoate) plastics and polyester textiles – materials that close to 100% of which are produced using fossil fuels. The company behind the sustainable alternative is Avantium, the renewable chemistry company that said the plant would provide environmentally-minded consumers and brands with the eco-plastic they crave.

Based on Avantium’s Mekong technology which converts renewable sugars into bio-based MEG, the plant has come following a previous investment from the company of around £17.5 million (€20 million). It is planned to enter operation in 2019 and, when it does, will look to address the imbalance of fossil-based plastics versus bio-based alternatives ahead of the predicted near-doubling of plastic use over the next 20 years to 50 million tonnes.

“Our novel single-step process can finally fulfil this demand in an environmentally sustainable manner that both consumers and leading brands have been seeking,” said Tom van Aken, chief executive officer of Avantium. “This enables renewable products growth for consumers that increasingly demand products brought to them in a responsible manner.”

In addition to Avantium’s work to bring its Mekong technology to “full-scale commercialisation globally”, the Dutch company is looking to do the same with another organism that is used in a wide variety of bio-based processes including adhesives and biofuels, lignin. The technology behind the production of the naturally-occurring organic polymer is called Zambezi and Avantium is nearing completion of a biorefinery pilot plant that will produces glucose and lignin from feedstocks that aren’t from the food chain.

Bio-Based World News reported last year between a joint venture called Synvina, formed between Avantium and another major player in the bio-based industry, the German chemicals company BASF. At the core of the partnership is a focus on producing and marketing FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) as well as the marketing of the relatively new polymer PEF.

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Latest US, Chinese tariff proposals cover wide swath of petchems, oil products – USA Chinese tariff proposals petchems oil products

Latest US, Chinese tariff proposals cover wide swath of petchems, oil products

 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The latest tariff proposals by the US and China cover a wide swath of petrochemicals and oil products, with the US list alone covering more than 150 different chemicals and derivatives.

USA Chinese tariff proposals petchems oil products

Photo above shows a cargo ship on the Houston Ship Channel. Photo by Al Greenwood

China’s proposed tariffs are not as numerous, but it also includes kerosene, diesel and other oil products as well as crude, propane and natural gas.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that $5.4bn in US exports of chemicals and plastics would be exposed to China’s proposed tariffs. If demand does not decline and tariffs are at 25%, then the Chinese government would collect $1.3bn in duties.

The chemical and refined-products tariffs that were proposed by China and the US made up a second set of duties, and they did not specify a date on which they would go into effect.

The first set from both countries would go into effect on 6 July.

A list of the proposed chemical and oil-product tariffs from China and the US is at the bottom. It includes the codes for each product’s harmonised tariff schedule (HTS).

During the year, both the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) have spoken out against the proposed tariffs.

At the AFPM’s International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) in March the group’s president deemed a US-China trade war as the No 1 threat to the industry.

The ACC also singled out a trade war during its more recent Annual Meeting, which was held in June.

Following the latest tariff proposals, the ACC said the US chemical industry has now been thrust on to the front lines of a trade war with China.

Market players and executives have been more measured in their response to the proposed tariffs.

For polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the effect should be limited. US imports from China fell sharply since antidumping duties imposed in 2016. Also, China is not among the top sources of imported PET.

For propane, China relies on it as feedstock to produce on-purpose propylene at its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) units.

Market sources said tariffs could disrupt trade flows, but US propane exports will eventually find a destination.

“It could put a damper on propane and butane; however, there are many other markets besides China that have an increasing appetite for both,” said a US-based natural-gas liquids (NGLs) broker.

Chinese tariffs on US acrylonitrile (ACN) exports may cause price inflation in China. However, while trade flows in the region may move around, net flows to global regions will likely remain stable.

According to one producer in the US, trade flows will probably “adjust to fit the new laws but the net flows to the regions will be the same”.

Executives expressed similar sentiments during the most recent earnings conference calls held earlier this year.

Rising demand for products such as polyethylene (PE) will have to be met, regardless of tariffs.

In this scenario, Chinese customers would replace US imports with PE shipments from other countries. The US will then export its PE to customers that saw their resin shipments diverted to China.

With that, trade flows would change, but demand would remain the same.

US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market players were surprised by the announcements earlier this year that China’s list of potential retaliatory tariffs included polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and feedstock ethylene dichloride (EDC or 1,2-dichloroethane.)

China is the US’s second-largest PVC export market after Canada and the largest buyer of US EDC.

China already has import fees on US PVC, but these are not applied if the resin imported from the US is then made into products that are re-exported. Most US PVC exports to China are treated this way and market participants expect that that arrangement will continue. If that happens, then the proposed tariffs should have little impact on US PVC trade flows.

The fate of US EDC trade with China is harder to discern. It is not clear if the same rules will apply.

Declining shipments in recent months may be an indicator that market participants see that business as threatened by the tariffs.

About 40% of the EDC imported into China in February originated in the US. US EDC exports to China account for about 28% of the nation’s EDC shipments in 2017, according to data from the International Trade Commission (ITC).

US EDC producers have in the past year found new buyers in Brazil and in Europe. In Brazil, Braskem has de-bottlenecked its PVC plant and is buying EDC to increase vinyls production.

In Europe, chlor-alkali plant closures have left a couple of PVC plants in the Mediterranean market without ready access to chlorine. Inexpensive EDC from the US appears to be working for the feedstock.

That has put current estimates of the tariff outcome as likely rearranging trade routes, but not necessarily upsetting the markets.

US proposed tariffs

HTS codesProduct
27071000Crude benzene
27072000Crude toluene
27073000Crude xylene
27101930Lubricating oils, w/or w/o additives, fr petro oils and bitumin minerals (o/than crude) or preps 70%+ by wt fr petro oils
27101935Lubricating greases from petro oil/bitum min/70%+ by wt fr petro oils but n/o 10% by wt of fatty acid salts animal/vegetable origin
27101940Lubricating greases from petro oil/bitum min/70%+ by wt fr petro oils > 10% by wt of fatty acid salts animal/vegetable origin
34031910Lubricating preparations containing 50% but less than 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals
34031950Lubricating preparations containing less than 50% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils from bituminous minerals
34039900Lubricating preparations (incl lubricant-based preparations), nesoi
38112100Additives for lubricating oils containing petroleum oils or oils obtained from bituminous minerals
38112900Additives for lubricating oils, nesoi
39011010Polyethylene having a specific gravity of less than 094 and having a relative viscosity of 144 or more, in primary forms
39011050Polyethylene having a specific gravity of less than 094, in primary forms, nesoi
39012010Polyethylene having a specific gravity of094 or more and having a relative viscosity of 144 or more, in primary forms
39012050Polyethylene having a specific gravity of 094 or more, in primary forms, nesoi
39013020Ethylene copolymer: Vinyl acetate-vinyl chloride-ethylene terpoly w/ < 50% deriv of vinyl acetate, exc polymer aromatic/mod arom monomers
39013060Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers, nesoi
39019010Polymers of ethylene, nesoi, in primary forms, elastomeric
39019055Ethylene copolymers, in primary forms, other than elastomeric
39019090Polymers of ethylene, nesoi, in primary forms, other than elastomeric
39021000Polypropylene, in primary forms
39022010Polyisobutylene, elastomeric, in primary forms
39022050Polyisobutylene, other than elastomeric, in primary forms
39023000Propylene copolymers, in primary forms
39029000Polymers of propylene or of other olefins, nesoi, in primary forms
39031100Polystyrene, expandable, in primary forms
39031900Polystyrene, other than expandable, in primary forms
39032000Styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) copolymers, in primary forms
39033000Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) copolymers, in primary forms
39039010Methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene (MBS) copolymers, in primary forms
39039050Polymers of styrene, nesoi, in primary forms
39041000Polyvinyl chloride, not mixed with any other substances, in primary forms
39042100Polyvinyl chloride, mixed with other substances, nonplasticized, in primary forms
39042200Polyvinyl chloride, mixed with other substances, plasticized, in primary forms
39043020Vinyl chloride copolymer: Vinyl acetate-vinyl chloride-ethylene terpoly w/< 50% deriv vinyl acetate, exc polymer aromatic/mod arom monomers
39043060Vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymers, nesoi
39044000Vinyl chloride copolymers nesoi, in primary forms
39045000Vinylidene chloride polymers, in primary forms
39046100Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), in primary forms
39046910Fluoropolymers,elastomeric, other than polytetrafluoroethylene, in primary forms
39046950Fluoropolymers, other than elastomeric and other than polytetrafluoroethylene, in primary forms
39049010Polymers of vinyl chloride or of other halogenated olefins, nesoi, in primary forms, elastomeric, in primary forms
39049050Polymers of vinyl chloride or of other halogenated olefins, nesoi, in primary forms, other than elastomeric, in primary forms
39051200Polyvinyl acetate, in aqueous dispersion
39051900Polyvinyl acetate, other than in aqueous dispersion, in primary forms
39052100Vinyl acetate copolymers, in aqueous dispersion
39052900Vinyl acetate copolymers, other than in aqueous dispersion, in primary forms
39053000Polyvinyl alcohols, whether or not containing unhydrolyzed acetate groups, in primary forms
39059110Copolymers of vinyl esters or other vinyls, in primary forms, containing by weight 50% or more of derivatives of vinyl acetate
39059150Copolymers of vinyl esters or other vinyls, in primary forms, nesoi
39059980Polymers of vinyl esters or other vinyl polymers, in primary forms, nesoi
39061000Polymethyl methacrylate, in primary forms
39069010Acrylic polymers (except PMMA) in primary forms, elastomeric
39069020Acrylic plastics polymers (except PMMA), in primary forms, nonelastomeric
39069050Acrylic polymers (except plastics or elastomers), in primary forms, nesoi
39071000Polyacetals in primary forms
39072000Polyethers, other than polyacetals, in primary forms
39073000Epoxide resins in primary forms
39074000Polycarbonates in primary forms
39075000Alkyd resins in primary forms
39076100Polyethylene terephthalate, having a viscosity number of 78 ml/g or higher
39076900Polyethylene terephthalate, having a viscosity number less than 78 ml/g
39077000Poly(lactic acid)
39079120Unsaturated allyl resins, uncompounded
39079140Unsaturated allyl resins, nesoi
39079150Unsaturated polyesters, other than allyl resins in primary forms
39079920Thermoplastic liquid crystal aromatic polyester copolymers
39079950Other polyesters nesoi, saturated, in primary forms
39081000Polyamide-6, -11, -12, -6,6, -6,9, -6,10 or -6,12 in primary form
39089020Bis(4-amino-3-methylcyclohexyl)methaneisophthalic acid-laurolactam copolymer
39089070Other polyamides in primary forms
39091000Urea resins; thiourea resins
39092000Melamine resins
39094000Phenolic resins
39095010Polyurethanes, elastomeric, in primary forms
39095020Polyurethanes: cements, in primary forms
39095050Polyurethanes, other than elastomeric or cements, in primary forms
39100000Silicones in primary forms
39111000Petroleum resins, coumarone, indene, or coumarone-indene resins and polyterpenes, in primary forms
39119010Elastomeric polysulfides, polysulfones and other products specified in note 3 to chapter 39, nesoi, in primary forms
39119015Specified carbodiimide or homopolymer with polyethylene thermoplastic goods
39119025Thermoplastic polysulfides, polysulfones & oth products spec in note 3, chapt 39, cont aromatic monomer units or derived therefrom
39119035Benzenamine; and hydrocarbon novolac cyanate ester
39119045Thermosetting polysulfides, polysulfones & oth products spec in note 3, chapt 39, cont aromatic monomer units or derived therefrom
39119070Chlorinated synthetic rubber
39119090Polysulfides, polysulfones & other products specified in note 3 to chapter 39, nesoi
39121200Cellulose acetates, nesoi, in primary forms, plasticized
39122000Cellulose nitrates (including collodions), in primary forms
39123900Cellulose ethers, other than carboxymethylcellulose and its salts, in primary forms
39129000Cellulose and its chemical derivatives nesoi, in primary forms
39131000Alginic acid, and its salts and esters, in primary forms
39139010Chemical derivatives of natural rubber, nesoi, in primary forms
39139050Natural polymers and modified natural polymers, nesoi, in primary forms
39140020Cross-linked polyvinylbenzyltrimethylammonium chloride (Cholestyramine resin USP)
39140060Ion-exchangers based on polymers of headings 3901 to 3913, in primary forms, nesoi
39161000Monofilament with cross-section dimension over 1 mm, rods, sticks, profile shapes, at most surface-worked, of polymers of ethylene
39162000Monofilament with cross-section dimension over 1 mm, rods, sticks, profile shapes, at most surface-worked, of polymers of vinyl chloride
39169010Monofilament with cross-section dimension over 1 mm, rods, sticks, profile shapes, at most surface-worked, of acrylic polymers
39169030Monafilament nesoi, of plastics, excluding ethylene, vinyl chloride and acrylic polymers
39169050Rods, sticks and profile shapes, at most surface-worked, of plastics, nesoi
39172100Tubes, pipes and hoses, rigid, of polymers of ethylene
39172200Tubes, pipes and hoses, rigid, of polymers of propylene
39172300Tubes, pipes and hoses, rigid, of polymers of vinyl chloride
39172900Tubes, pipes and hoses, rigid, of other plastics nesoi
39173100Flexible plastic tubes, pipes and hoses, having a minimum burst pressure of 276 MPa
39173200Tubes, pipes and hoses, of plastics, other than rigid, not reinforced or otherwise combined with other materials, without fittings
39174000Fittings of plastics, for plastic tubes, pipes and hoses, nesoi
39191010Self-adhesive plates, sheets, other flat shapes, of plastics, in rolls n/o 20 cm wide, light-reflecting surface produced by glass grains
39191020Self-adhesive plates, sheets, other flat shapes, of plastics, in rolls n/o 20 cm wide, not having a light-reflecting glass grain surface
39199010Self-adhesive plates, sheets, other flat shapes, of plastics, light-reflecting surface produced by glass grains, nesoi
39199050Self-adhesive plates, sheets, other flat shapes, of plastics, not having a light-reflecting surface produced by glass grains, nesoi
39201000Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not reinforced or combined with other materials, of polymers of ethylene
39202000Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not reinforced or combined with other materials, of polymers of propylene
39203000Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not reinforced or combined with other materials, of polymers of styrene
39204310Nonadhesive plates/sheets/film/foil/strip made imitation of patent leather, of vinyl chloride polymers, not less 6% plasticizers
39204350Nonadhesive plate/sheet/film/foil/strip, noncellular, not comb w/other materials, of vinyl chloride polymers, not less 6% plasticizer, nesoi
39204900Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil, strip, noncellular, not combined w/other materials, of polymers of vinyl chloride, < 6% plasticizers
39205110Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of polymethyl methacrylate, flexible
39205150Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of polymethyl methacrylate, not flexible
39205910Nonadhesive plates,sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of acrylic polymers, flexible, nesoi
39205940Transparent sheeting containing 30% or more by weight of lead
39205980Plates, sheets, film, etc, noncellular, not reinforced, laminated, combined, of other acrylic polymers, nesoi
39206100Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of polycarbonates
39206200Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of polyethylene terephthalate
39206310Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of unsaturated polyesters, flexible
39206320Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of unsaturated polyesters, not flexible
39206900Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of polyesters, nesoi
39207100Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of regenerated cellulose
39207300Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of cellulose acetate
39207905Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of vulcanized fiber
39207910Nonadhesive films, strips, sheets, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of other cellulose derivatives nesoi, n/o 0076 mm thick
39207950Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of cellulose derivatives, nesoi
39209100Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of polyvinyl butyral
39209200Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of polyamides
39209300Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of amino-resins
39209400Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of phenolic resins
39209910Nonadhesive film, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of plastics nesoi, flexible, over 0152mm thick, not in rolls
39209920Nonadhesive film, strips and sheets, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of plastics nesoi, flexible
39209950Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of plastics, nesoi
39211100Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, cellular, of polymers of styrene
39211211Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil, strip, cellular, of polymers of vinyl chloride, with man-made textile fibers, over 70% plastics
39211215Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil, strip, cellular, of polymers of vinyl chloride, with man-made textile fibers, n/o 70% plastics
39211219Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, cellular, of polymers of vinyl chloride, combined with textile materials, nesoi
39211250Nonadhesiveplates, sheets, film, foil and strip, cellular, of polymers of vinyl chloride, not combined with textile materials
39211311Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, cellular, of polyurethanes, with man-made textile fibers, over 70% plastics
39211315Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, cellular, of polyurethanes, with man-made textile fibers, not over 70 percent plastics
39211319Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, cellular, of polyurethanes, combined with textile materials nesoi
39211350Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, cellular,of polyurethanes, not combined with textile materials, nesoi
39211400Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, cellular, of regenerated cellulose
39211900Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, cellular, of plastics nesoi
39219011Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil, strip, of noncellular plastics combined with man-made fibers, n/o 1492 kg/sq m, over 70% plastics
39219015Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil, strip, of noncellular plastics combined with man-made fibers, n/o 1492 kg/sq m, n/o 70% plastics
39219019Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of noncellular plastics combined with textile materials, nesoi, not over 1492 kg/sq m
39219021Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of noncellular plastics combined with cotton, over 1492 kg/sq m
39219025Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of noncellular plastics combined with man-made fibers, over 1492 kg/sq m
39219029Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of noncellular plastics combined with textile materials, nesoi, over 1492 kg/sq m
39219040Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, flexible, nesoi, of noncellular plastics
39219050Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, nonflexible, nesoi, of noncellular plastics

Chinese proposed tariffs

HTS codeProduct
27040010Coke and semi-coke
27040090Carbon
27050000Gas, water gas, furnace gas and similar gases
27074000Naphthalene
27075000250°C distilled aromatics ≥65% of other aromatic mixtures
27079990Other aromatic products such as distilled coal tar
27081000Tar asphalt
27082000Tar asphalt coke
27090000Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude
27101210Vehicle gasoline and aviation gasoline
27101220Naphtha
27101230Rubber solvent oil, paint solvent oil, extraction solvent oil
27101291Nonene
27101299Other light oil fraction products
27101911Aviation kerosene
27101912Lamp kerosene
27101919Other kerosene fraction products
27101922Fuel oil No 5, No 7
27101923Diesel
27101929Other fuel oil
27101991lubricating oil
27101992Grease
27101993Lubricant base oil
27101994Liquid paraffin and heavy liquid paraffin
27101999Other heavy oil and heavy oil products
27102000Product oil containing biodiesel and products based on it
27109100Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), PCT (PCTs), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), waste oil
27109900Other waste oil
27111200Liquid propane
27111310Liquefied butane infused cigarette lighter
27111390Other liquefied butane
27111910Other liquefied fuels infused with cigarette lighters
27111990Other LPG and hydrocarbon gases
27112100Gaseous natural gas
27112900Gaseous petroleum gas and other hydrocarbon gases
27121000Vaseline
27122000Paraffin, oil content by weight <0.75%
27129010Microcrystalline wax
27129090Other mineral waxes and similar products
27131110Sulfur content is less than3% of uncalcined petroleum coke
27131190Other uncalcined petroleum coke
27131210Sulfur content is less than 0.8% of calcined petroleum coke
27131290Other calcined petroleum coke
27132000asphalt
27139000Other oil residues
27141000Asphalt shale, oil shale and tar sand
27149010Natural asphalt (Asphalt)
27149020Emulsified asphalt
27149090Asphalt rock
27150000Asphalt mixture based on natural asphalt, etc.
34031900Mineral oil 70% of lubricant
34039900Oil-free or oil extracted from bituminous minerals
39011000Polyethylene having a specific gravity of less than 0.94, in primary forms
39014090Other ethylene alpha olefin copolymers with a specific gravity of less than 0.94
39019090Other polymers of ethylene, in primary forms
39041090Polymers of vinyl chloride or of other halogenated olefins, in primary forms
39069090Other primary shape acrylic polymers
39072090Other primary-shaped polyethers
39073000Primary shape epoxy
39074000Primary shape polycarbonate
39079999Polyacetals, other polyethers and epoxide resins, in primary forms; polycarbonates, alkyd resins, polyallyl esters and other polyesters, in primary forms  (3)
39081011Polyamide-6,6
39089010Aromatic polyamides and their copolymers
39089020Semi-aromatic polyamides and their copolymers
39089090Other polyamides in primary form
39100000silicones in primary form
39119000Petroleum resins, coumaroneindene resins, polyterpenes, polysulphides, polysulphones and other products specified in Note 2 to this Chapter, not elsewhere specified or included, in primary forms  (6)
39121100Primary-shaped, unplasticized cellulose acetate
39199090Other self-adhesive plastic plates, sheets, films and other materials
39201090Other vinyl polymer boards, sheets, films, foils, etc.
39206200Plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of poly(ethylene terephthalate), noncellular and not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materials
39209990Other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, noncellular and not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materials  (3)
39219090Other Plastic Plates, Sheets, Films, Foil and Strips
39269090Other plastic products
40023990Halogenated butyl rubber sheet, sheet, tape

Additional reporting by David Haydon, Bill Bowen, Lucas Hall, Amanda Hay and Steven McGinn

By Al Greenwood

‘Requirement of polyester filament yarn is increasing’ – Requirement polyester filament yarn

‘Requirement of polyester filament yarn is increasing’
Requirement polyester filament yarn

The requirement of polyester filament yarn (PFY) is increasing as it is the chief substitute for cotton. Cotton’s low availability, durability and cost are its limitations, while polyester is its cheapest replacement with ample availability, relatively good durability and its applicability for ever increasing purposes, said the head of Supertex Industries.

“It is estimated that the per capita consumption of polyester is likely to increase many folds in the developing world,” said Mahesh Sharma, director, Supertex Industries Limited while speaking to Fibre2Fashion. The company manufactures and exports draw warped and sized yarn beams of polyester and nylon.

There are two segments to the PFY industry. One is partially oriented yarn (POY) which requires further processing in a desired way, and the other is fully drawn yarn (FDY). The FDY is an improvement on the earlier two processes of drawing of yarn. In FDY, the produced yarn can be directly consumed or consumed after processes like twisting, sizing, etc, explained Sharma.

Talking about the latest innovations taking place in the industry, he said, “FDY producing technology was not up to the mark compared to the drawn yarn of similar specification on post spinning machines. This is constantly improving and the two are interchangeable in a majority of the uses. Similarly, dyeing by infusion of masterbatch has become far more superior than earlier. There are other developments like high tenacity yarns, fire retardant yarns and also anti-microbial yarns.”

The challenges faced by the industry include volatile oil prices cause instability in the industry, added Sharma. “Having stayed in the unorganised sector for ages, the weaving industry is limping very slowly into the new era of GST. This slow migration has a pronounced impact on the entire business. Money supply is under constant strain and with the banking industry in its current shape, the industry is facing many issues that will take another quarter to be sorted out.”

Sharma also said that Supertex is inclined towards growth. “We do not want to lose our identity of a boutique company, but want to broadbase our activities by integrating more processes that can buttress our profitability.”

Click here to read the complete interview.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

Related Topics

-Govt May impose Anti-Dumping Duty on Chinese Polyester Yarns – India AntiDumping Duty Chinese Polyester Yarns

-U.S. imposes anti-dumping tariffs on Taiwan textile firms – The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has decided to impose anti-dumping tariffs on fine denier polyester staple fiber suppliers in Taiwan – USA antidumping tariffs Taiwan textile firms

Weekly resin report: Polypropylene prices may have peaked – Polypropylene prices peaked

Weekly resin report: Polypropylene prices may have peaked

Resin Pricing
Source : PlasticsToday

Activity in the spot resin markets pulled back a bit last week, as higher prices and recently receding monomer costs pushed resin buyers to the sidelines to observe, reports the PlasticsExchange (Chicago) in its Market Update.

Railcar offers of both polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) began to flow stronger toward the end of the week, resulting in decent accumulation. Resellers, also viewing the end of the quarter, started to seek outlets for their aged inventory. While the PP market is still essentially oversold with limited excess capacity, imports have been heavy and have had an impact on supply. This week’s sharp decline in forward PGP levels will likely deflate importers’ enthusiasm for new purchases. PE buyers are looking for producers to ease high- and low-density contracts in June, matching the $0.03/lb decrease that many received for linear low-density contracts in May.

Spot PE trading started the week slowly, but turned up the heat as the week wore on; all in all, the PlasticsExchange describes transacted volumes as only average. Deal making became more difficult as asking prices for some PE grades inched higher. Buyers that needed material paid up, while others who did not feel pressure to procure were happy to sit on the sidelines, not sensing any real threat of a long-term bullish price trend. The PlasticsExchange reports that its PE prices were generally flat, with a slight uptick in high density for injection and a downtick in blowmolding. Low-density PE for film remains snugly supplied. Producers have continued to absorb the vast majority of new PE production and add it to inventory for future (export) sale, rather than bleed it into the domestic market, which would negatively impact prices.

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Collective upstream PE inventories have mushroomed to a record 4.8 billion lb, a full 50% more than the 3.2 billion lb at the end of October, which was the aftermath of the hurricane. PE exports have been growing and actually surpassed 1 billion lb in May, but export growth needs to accelerate quicker in order to move all the added production. In the meantime, PE reactors were throttled back to the low 90% range in May, but still generated another (small) build. North American PE processors have yet to truly reap the rewards in the form of lower prices. After several failed attempts, some question the validity of the $0.03/lb contract increase that is still floating out there and are calling for an official rescind of the nomination.

After a very strong start to the month, which saw soaring monomer prices fuel short-term resin demand, PP trading slowed substantially this past week. PP prices had been climbing along with monomer and began to crimp demand among those who could afford to wait out the increases. There was the potential for another sharp PP contract increase for June, some of which has been relieved from the recently deflating PGP levels. Prices along the PP supply chain have been very volatile, notes the PlasticsExchange, and this rally feels a lot like it did in the beginning of 2018, when runaway PGP prices created cost-push PP price increases, which soon busted.

This past week, resellers continued to offer material at elevated prices, looking to get extra value from their inventories, but many processors took a moment to let the new higher price level sink in. By the end of the week, importers with uncommitted resin on the water became nervous and eased asking prices; the top could be in. PP prices never quite realized their potential during this current rally, so while monomer costs are subsiding, resin levels only eased a cent this past week. It will be very interesting to see how the markets play out in the last two weeks of June, writes the PlasticsExchange.

Read the full Market Update on the PlasticsExchange website.

Related Topics

-Petkim increases February prices of PP and PE in Turkey – The Turkish polymer producer Petkim, the controlling shareholder of which is the Azerbaijani SOCAR, raised the February prices of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) – Petkim February prices PP PE Turkey

-Saudi major’s PP, PE offers emerge in Mid-East and Africa – Saudi PP PE MidEast Africa

Saudi Dilemma: Output Boost Could Hurt Its Oil-Based Economy – Saudi Dilemma Output Oil Based Economy

Saudi Dilemma: Output Boost Could Hurt Its Oil-Based Economy

  •  Kingdom needs $87.90 a barrel oil to balance budget: IMF
  •  Most top OPEC members are in surplus or close to it at $70 oil

Saudi Arabia’s plan to halt the oil-price rally could hurt its economy, depriving the kingdom of billions of dollars in income that it needs more than many other OPEC members.

Although the country’s economy isn’t the most reliant on crude exports among the group’s five biggest producers — Kuwait gets that distinction — Saudi Arabia is the only member that will post a significant budget deficit despite higher-than-expected oil prices this year, according to Bloomberg calculations based on International Monetary Fund data.

A decline of just one dollar in average prices this year to $69 a barrel would wipe out any financial benefit for the kingdom if it boosts exports by about 500,000 barrels a day, according to the calculations.

Saudi Arabia has to juggle competing interests in this week’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries: maximizing oil revenue (without crimping demand), and placating its close ally U.S. President Donald Trump who blamed the group for sending oil prices “artificially Very High!” The kingdom’s plan to phase out 18 months of production cuts faces opposition within OPEC, starting with Iran, Iraq and Venezuela.

The Saudis are targeting an increase even though higher crude prices could boost the valuation of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, if the government carries out a planned initial public offering next year.

“Saudi Arabia benefits from higher oil prices but is pushing a plan that can drive them lower,” said Ziad Daoud, chief Middle East economist for Bloomberg Economics. “This paradox can’t be explained by economic interests alone.”

Crude Crutch

The contribution of oil exports to GDP for the top 5 OPEC producers

 Saudi Dilemma Output Oil Based Economy

While Saudi Arabia wants to increase production to thwart shale oil’s expansion and spur demand for crude, it also wants to avoid Trump’s wrath, putting Riyadh in a bind to find a price suitable for everyone.

Read: Saudis More Confident OPEC Will Agree to Oil-Supply Increase

Here are some other economic indicators that could influence decisions at OPEC’s June 22 meeting in Vienna:

Deficit Spending

Saudi Arabia’s projected budget deficit in 2018 is among the widest in OPEC

Saudi Dilemma Output Oil Based Economy

Saudi Arabia has the biggest deficit among the group’s five largest producers, and any extra cash from oil could help pay for its economic transformation plan. It can also stem the bleeding of foreign reserves, which have swung from about $10 billion of declines a month in 2016 when oil was trading at about $45 a barrel, to an accumulation of $13 billion in March, the biggest inflow since late 2013. The nation pumped 10.01 million barrels a day last month and still has the most spare production capacity of any OPEC member.

Swing to Surplus

Oil’s rebound, if sustained this year, will help major exporters avoid deficits

Saudi Dilemma Output Oil Based Economy

Four of OPEC’s top five producers can meet their government spending goals with oil prices at about $70 a barrel. The exception is Saudi Arabia, which needs a price of $87.90 a barrel to balance its budget this year, according to the IMF, which forecasts crude to average $62.30 a barrel in 2018. Benchmark Brent fell 0.9 percent to $74.65 a barrel at 8:22 a.m. in London, after climbing 2.6 percent on Monday.

Regional Laggard

Saudi Arabia’s economic growth rate is trailing its peers

Saudi Dilemma Output Oil Based Economy

Economic growth rates for OPEC producers don’t fully reflect this year’s gains in oil prices, but Persian Gulf exporters are showing some wiggle room in their budgets. Governments have revamped previously shelved investment plans and introduced new stimulus packages. Abu Dhabi said in June that it will spend an additional $13.6 billion over three years to spur growth. Kuwait is developing a cluster of islands as a tourism and trade hub, and even Saudi Arabia gave government employees a $13.3 billion bonus in January.

— With assistance by Javier Blas

(Updates with oil price in 10th paragraph.)
Source : Bloomberg

Related Topics

-Global oil supply surplus may soon become a shortage – Oil prices have rallied so far this year, as OPEC-led efforts have helped erase a big global surplus, but the market may soon suffer from a new dilemma: a shortage of crude supplies that would support further price gains – Global crude oil supply surplus shortage

-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

Could the petrochemicals boom lead to a shortage in plastics additives? – Petrochemicals plastics additives

Could the petrochemicals boom lead to a shortage in plastics additives?

by: Norbert Sparrow

Total global manufacturing capacity for polyolefins is expected to increase by 45 million tons by 2022, according to the 2018 World Petrochemical Conference, and much of that growth will be driven by the United States. For Baerlocher USA (Cincinnati, OH), a supplier of plastics additives, that translates into an estimated 20% higher demand for its products. Combine that with restrictions placed on some traditional additive chemistries in Europe, and you have the outlines of a great business opportunity, one that Baerlocher USA saw coming early on.

 Petrochemicals plastics additives
Baeropol DRS 6812 SP is a drop-in replacement for phosphite stabilizers used with polyolefins and other thermoplastics.

“In 2015, we identified areas where we thought North American supply might not be able to keep up with demand, so we started investing,” Ed Hall, President and CEO of Baerlocher North America, told PlasticsToday. “Last year, for example, we invested in a reactor to increase capacity for metal soaps at our Cincinnati facility.” Calcium, zinc, sodium and other metal soaps are used as acid scavengers, stabilizers, internal and external lubricants, water repellants and mold release agents.

When I spoke with Hall at NPE2018 in Orlando, FL, he also mentioned that he was waiting on approval for another “large investment” to keep up with projected growth in polyolefins. As of this writing, however, I have not seen anything pop up in my newsfeed.

Like many manufacturers, your shop floor operations may be challenged with inefficient processes, unpredictable downtime, and difficulties with machinery maintenance. A manufacturing execution system (MES) can help make the most of your shop floor’s capabilities, with tools that can identify under-performing and high-performance machines, and then optimize asset utilization accordingly.

At NPE2018, Baerlocher introduced Baeropol DRS 6812 SP, a drop-in replacement for phosphite stabilizers used with polyolefins and other thermoplastics. The additive, which is part of the Baeropol resin stabilization technology platform, features improved hydrolytic stability and polymer solubility compared with traditional phosphates.

Luxury vinyl tile market steps up

Opportunity also came knocking for Baerlocher in the form of luxury vinyl tile (LVT), a market that is poised for significant growth, according to Hall. “[LVT manufacturers] Tarkett is investing $60 million in its factories in Alabama, and Shaw has spent something like $300 million to convert a carpeting plant to an LVT facility,” said Hall.

Baerlocher recently developed a stabilization chemistry for the wear layer of rigid LVT designed to address the flooring industry’s safety and sustainability goals. The new Baeropol technology uses calcium- and zinc-based stabilizers that are individually formulated for each layer of LVT. They deliver thermal stability, reduced yellowing and increased clarity compared with conventional technologies.

The company’s formulation experts also work closely with LVT manufacturers to develop custom solutions. Baerlocher helped the first U.S. manufacturer of rigid LVT by creating a stabilization technology for the new rigid core product. It met the customer’s requirements for sustainability (no barium) and odor elimination (no tin). The startup successfully entered the U.S. LVT market with a first-of-its-kind product manufactured in North America, said Baerlocher.

Also on the PVC front, the “United States is one of the few places globally that substantially uses tin stabilizers for rigid profiles like windows,” said Hall. “Europe has gotten out of tin to comply with REACH regulations, and, while that does not apply to North America, customers are starting to say that they want to get out of tin, too. It’s becoming a bit of a dirty word. We don’t necessarily agree that it should be a dirty word, but we sell calcium and zinc stabilizers, so that’s a good trend for us,” said Hall.

Related Topics

-Crude oil-to-chemicals technology could be game changer for chemicals industry – Siluria Technologies (San Francisco and Menlo Park, CA) and Saudi Aramco Technologies Co. (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) announced this week that they would join forces to revolutionize the petrochemicals industry through crude oil-to-chemicals (COTC) and oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) technologies – Crude oil chemicals technology chemicals industry

-Fewer chemicals registered than expected in EU as Reach passes final milestone – The final deadline for the EU’s Reach chemicals registration has passed with the total number of dossier submissions for different materials coming in below original forecasts, according to the director of registration at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – Chemicals registered EU Reach

-Russia Eyes Petrochemicals As Answer To Crude Oil Reliance – On a sprawling construction site in Western Siberia, about 20,000 workers are busy building what will be one of the world’s five biggest petrochemical plants – On a sprawling construction site in Western Siberia, about 20,000 workers are busy building what will be one of the world’s five biggest petrochemical plants, part of a play by Russia to capture more of the value from the oil it produces – Russia Petrochemicals Crude Oil Reliance

100% biodegradable packaging company expands – 100% biodegradable packaging Sulapac

100% biodegradable packaging company expands – 100% biodegradable packaging Sulapac

 Anna Demming
Alternatives to plastic packaging by Sulapac. Courtesy: Sulapac

100% biodegradable packaging SulapacWhile a lot of biomedical researchers aim to save lives Suvi Haimi, CEO and co-founder of Sulapac, wanted to save the planet. “We were devastated by the plastic pollution of the oceans,” says Haimi. Working in biomedical materials research at the time, she realised she could use her expertise in this field to develop an alternative to plastic.

Sulapac produces materials made from wood composites using natural binders derived from starch and glucose. Their products are 100% biodegradable and contain 0% microplastics.

Founded in 2016 the company’s first focus was the cosmetic industry. “I looked in my bathroom cabinet and saw it was full of plastic,” says Haimi. Unsurprisingly, there was more to the decision of which industry to focus their initial attention on than a cursory glance while getting ready for bed. “We spent a lot of time looking into customer segments,” Haimi tells Physics World Materials. “A new material costs money so we needed pioneering customers.” They then spent a lot of time defining the properties with their customer, bringing not just a material to market but a full design. Haimi believes this may be a crucial factor in the company’s success compared with others who have attempted to introduce environmentally friendly plastic alternatives.

Embarking on a portfolio for the food sector will require new designs but Haimi believes this should be easier the second time around. Certainly there is plenty of demand for alternatives to plastic for food packaging to protect and prolong food lifetimes and reduce food waste.

In May 2018 Sulapac started collaborating with Fazer, a leading producer of food and food services in the Baltic region, who plan to use Sulapac materials for packaging their Christmas products in December 2018. “Fazer is actively involved in discussions on recycling and re-use of packaging waste, as well as the development of new kinds of environmentally friendly packaging solutions,” says Nina Elomaa, Corporate Responsibility Director of the Fazer Group.

Sustainability at every stage

Haimi and co-founder Laura Kyllӧnen have long been aware of the plastic pollution issue on account of their field of work. However whereas formerly a lot of public education work was needed to raise awareness, nowadays plastic pollution is big news with the general public too. Yet in some ways available alternatives lag behind demand.

“A lot of alternatives to plastics are only 97% biodegradable and still contain 3% microplastics,” Haimi tells Physics World Materials. “We think 0% microplastics is important.”

She also highlights her concerns about the slow biodegradation rate of some bioplastics, such as polylactic acid, which can still take 10 years to degrade in the ocean. Sulapac use barrier materials inside their jars to keep the contents sealed from the environment, and this barrier layer is the slowest to biodegrade. Yet testing their materials in industrial compost, Sulapac products degrade in less than 30 days in compost, which is even a little faster than wood.

Haimi and her team are keen to establish the sustainability of every stage in the life cycle of their products from production to re-use and recycling, and studies to clarify this are ongoing. Already the company is keen to source the wood sustainably using local resources, and while the world’s forests may not cope with demand if everyone switched entirely from plastic to Sulapac material Haimi says they can use a range of primary materials including grass.

They also use unprocessed wood, which not only saves energy but improves the scalability of production. Another bonus in their production compared with other ecological packaging material producers is that they can use the same moulds as plastics, saving on resources and reducing obstacles for companies to work with Sulapac composites instead of plastic.

Next Steps

Now in its second year, the company began as the brain child of Haimi with Kyllӧnen, who was her first graduate student. They soon brought on board Taneli Vӓisӓnen and Antti Pӓrssinen, who not only had expertise in wood composites but had founded their own company and could bring their business experience to the table as well.

In the interests of staying focused enough to remain successful, Sulapac will not be working on alternatives to plastic bags. “There are good alternatives for this already,” says Haimi. However they are looking into flexible versions of the material for other single-use applications to further increase the impact of their products in reducing plastic pollution.

Related Topics

-Biodegradable plastic: Waste that eats itself – Can we merely magic plastics away? That’s the promise of biodegradable plastics – and they’re a minimum of a part of the plastic waste answer – Biodegradable plastic Waste

-Plastics Releases Bioplastics Report, Calls for Research and Innovation – New U.S. Consumer Survey Shows Increased Understanding and Support for Bioplastics in the Marketplace – Plastics Releases Bioplastics Report

Advent of Bioplastic Packaging open New, Lucrative Paradigm in Eco-friendly Packaging – Bioplastic Packaging Paradigm Ecofriendly Packaging

Advent of Bioplastic Packaging open New, Lucrative Paradigm in Eco-friendly Packaging

The concept of recyclability and biodegradation of packaging materials has opened up several exciting paradigms in the global packaging industry. The vast interest in bioplastics across the globe has stemmed from this. Bioplastics are either bio-based or biodegradable or both and their popularity stems from the characteristic that they are primarily biodegradable. Retailers from various industries world over who have recently jumped into the bandwagon of sustainability consider bioplastic packaging as a lucrative proposition. Manufacturers and end users tending to dissociate the negative effects of plastic packaging are switching to novel bioplastics not made from fossil-based feedstock.

Factors Influencing Demand Dynamics

  • Low-Carbon Footprint and Higher Stability of Bioplastics over Conventional Plastics Attractive Propositions

The spiraling adverse repercussion of using conventional plastics on the overall ecology, notably in contributing to the mounting problem of plastic pollution across the globe, has led various countries to shift to bio-based options. Retail industry in particular are increasingly adopting bioplastic packaging for food packaging applications. They pitch the attractiveness on the vast ecological benefits bioplastics brings in, of which low-carbon footprint and greater suitability and stability over other packaging materials are the key ones. The market has also been exploring several new options in bio-plastic intermediates to meet the requirements of end users.

  • Rising Awareness of Mounting Problem of Plastic Pollution key Impetus

Various curbs on the use of conventional plastics, notably non-degradable plastic bags, in several developing and developed nations have provided a robust impetus to the demand for bioplastics for packaging applications in various end-use industries. Governments in several countries grappling with the adverse ecological effects of plastic pollution from the indiscriminate disposal of conventional plastics are promoting the use. This is fueling the global uptake of bioplastic packaging among retailers. The industry efforts to reduce the reliance on petrochemicals in the making of plastics is another crucial trend making the demand for bioplastics a compelling proposition.

  • Eco-friendliness of Bioplastics key Proposition

The attractive, rising adoption of sustainable packaging in various end-use industries, including agriculture, pharmaceutical, and agriculture, is a key factor underpinning the demand for bioplastics. Some of the key bioplastics materials are Bio-PET and polylactic acid (PLA). The rising awareness of environmental-friendliness in various parts of the globe is also stoking the demand for bioplastic packaging. In the food packaging applications, packaging materials frequently end up in food waste, where non-compositibility can been a key concern. However, bioplastics may be an enticing answer to this problem.

  • R&D Activities and Innovations to Lead the Way

The high production cost of bioplastics materials and its limited biodegradability are key concerns that still hold the bioplastic market back in the way to realize its full potential. Nevertheless, these concerns are expected to be addressed with continued innovations in the market. Furthermore, government initiatives to enhance the cost-performance of bioplastic also augurs well for the retail industry capitalizing on the bioplastic packaging.

Constant research are being done to see the feasibility of bioplastics for packaging applications. Researchers at the University of Otago, New Zealand, announced in June 2018 that they are developing a flexible food wrap made of bioplastics. The plastics packaging is made from polymers from corn and shellfish and is claimed to be readily compostable. This packaging will be used primarily in ready to eat meals. Such efforts go a long way to alleviate the problem of plastic pollution.

  • Europe witnessing Lucrative Demand

The high pricing of bioplastics-packaged products may hinder its wider adoption among price-sensitive consumers, notably in countries of Asia Pacific. However, developed regions such as Europe and North America are lucrative markets for bioplastic packaging. In particular, Europe is adding attractive revenue share to the global market. A factor attributing the growth is substantial efforts by governments to incentivize bioplastic packaging. Furthermore, the stricter implementation of environmental protection initiatives in its several economies discouraging the use of conventional plastics has also bolstered the demand for bioplastic packaging.

Related Topics

-New route to synthesize bioplastics developed – While preparing oligoesters as part of regular experiments, researchers observed formation of a viscous solution which was behaving very similar to molecular self-assembly: disordered molecules were adopting a defined structure on their own – Route synthesize bioplastics

-Plastics Releases Bioplastics Report, Calls for Research and Innovation – New U.S. Consumer Survey Shows Increased Understanding and Support for Bioplastics in the Marketplace – Plastics Releases Bioplastics Report

Will Opec meet end the long rally in global oil prices? – Opec meet end global oil prices

Will Opec meet end the long rally in global oil prices?

Reports that Opec members and Russia shall review their production cuts are making the crude oil markets jittery

Pallavi Pengonda

Opec meet end global oil prices

Increased production of US shale oil took some sheen away from the anticipated impact of the output cuts. Graphic: Mint

The big event to watch this week, apart from the football World Cup, is the Opec (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) meeting in Vienna on Friday.

Reports that Opec members and Russia shall review their production cuts are making the crude oil markets jittery. Brent crude prices dropped to $73.44 a barrel last Friday, the lowest since 2 May.

Also affecting crude oil prices are the retaliatory tariffs China has imposed on US crude oil, part of the escalating trade war between them. Suresh Sivanandam, senior manager Asia refining at consultancy Wood Mackenzie, said US crude oil exports to China have been in the range of 300,000 barrels per day in the March 2018 quarter, accounting for more than 20% of total crude oil exports.

To be sure, China’s tariffs on US crude oil do not mean that global oil demand will be affected, said Ritesh Jain, chief investment officer at BNP Paribas Asset Management India Pvt. Ltd. “But to that extent, the development coming ahead of the Opec meeting adds to the nervousness in the oil markets,” he said.

According to Jain, for the oil markets, the Opec meeting is crucial, as its planned 1.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) output cut went a long way in boosting crude oil prices. It isn’t yet a done deal, as Iran is opposed to increasing production and Brent futures recovered after reports of a much smaller compromise output hike.

In practice, the production cuts have far exceeded that, with cuts totalling nearly 2.5 mb/d in April 2018, pointed out BP Statistical Review of World Energy last week. The excess is mostly driven by the collapse in crude oil production in Venezuela.

Increased production of US shale oil took some sheen away from the anticipated impact of the output cuts. Nevertheless, “the speed and scale of Opec’s actions mean that it continues to have the ability to smooth temporary disturbances to the oil market”, pointed out BP’s review.

Lower crude oil prices are of course helpful for India. It helps keep inflation under check and reduces the import bill. A fall in oil prices would soothe concerns about the burgeoning current account deficit and take the pressure off the rupee.

In the equity markets, shares of state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) went up 2.7-5% on Monday, a day when the benchmark Sensex declined a bit. OMCs include Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd and Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.

Nitin Tiwari, an analyst at Antique Stock Broking Ltd, said a correction in global crude oil/product prices has given OMCs an opportunity to restore and normalize retail marketing margins. A softer refining margin environment has also helped this time around, as it keeps product prices lower.

“As a result, despite frequent downward reduction in domestic retail prices, the marketing margins have gradually improved to about Rs1 per litre (for petrol) and about Rs1.65 per litre (for diesel) after hitting a low of about Rs0.3 a litre (petrol) and about Rs0.7 per litre (diesel),” added Tiwari.

Aviation stocks too cheered the fall in crude oil prices.

Related Topics

-ASIA: The week ahead in petrochemicals -Crude oil price movements and the upcoming meeting in Vienna on June 22 among OPEC members and other oil exporters are factors that will influence the performance of Asian petrochemical markets this week – ASIA petrochemicals

KraussMaffei Reviews Highlights of Competence Forum – KraussMaffei Highlights Competence Forum

KraussMaffei Reviews Highlights of Competence Forum

 KraussMaffei Highlights Competence Forum

More than 1,800 visitors attended the KraussMaffei Competence Forum in Munich, Germany, on 6-7 June to celebrate the company’s 180th anniversary under the theme ‘Technology Pioneers – from Tradition to Innovation.’

“The KraussMaffei Competence Forum was a great success,” states Dr Frank Stieler, CEO of the KraussMaffei Group. “The broad spectrum of ground breaking machines and technologies that we were able to show our customers at our in-house trade show made it a unique event indeed. It was very well received by the visitors.”

An injection moulding machine for each decade

Visitors were offered a total of 25 machine presentations. In injection moulding machinery alone, there were 18 exhibits (about one machine per decade) that presented live applications within the clamping force range 25-1600 tons. Among these were the new PX 25 and PX 320, with which KraussMaffei is expanding its all-electric series by adding two clamping force sizes, one lower and one higher. The PX 25 demonstrated micro-injection moulding of liquid silicone (LSR). A radial sealing ring was produced with an intricate undercut and a weight of only 0.15 g. The bigger machine, with a clamping force of 3,200 kN, was displayed together with the IMD SI DUO film feed. This is said to enable the world’s first independent positioning of two single-image designs, which increases output using multi-cavity moulds, but also enhances production flexibility.

Additional highlights were the GX 650 with the new speed option, thermoplastic lightweight construction with FiberForm technology, ColorForm applications in piano black, and new technologies for fibre glass direct feed or for direct compounding.

Reaction Process Machinery’s anniversary

KraussMaffei’s Reaction Process Machinery division was also celebrating an anniversary of its own: 50 years ago a special clamping unit with two rotation axes for processing polyurethane was introduced to the market for the first time. Visitors were able to see the highlights of the last 50 years on a timeline. The exhibit was accompanied by numerous live applications. The biggest visitor attractions included the new iPul pultrusion system, which produced a hollow chamber profile based on glass fibre and a polyurethane matrix, and the PUR foaming system with new multi-colour mixing head. Visitors also witnessed fibre-reinforced lightweight construction ready for large-scale production on the fully automated wetmoulding system.

Extrusion technologies

Live systems from the pipe and profile manufacturing sector were on display. Visitors were shown the TCP (Thermoplastic Composite Pipe) pilot line which demonstrated the precise wrapping of a base pipe with fibreglass tapes for high-pressure applications in the oil and gas industry. In addition, the newly developed three-layer pipe head produced a three-layer pipe with a functional inner layer made from PA 12.

Experiencing Plastics 4.0

At numerous exhibits, the KraussMaffei Group presented its entire Plastics 4.0 product line to illustrate the possibilities of Industry 4.0 in plastics processing. Highlights included the new MES system, MaXecution, and the live application of the DataXplorer on the GX 650 FiberForm system. With its microscopic view, it records up to 500 signals on the machine, including the organic sheet heat-up time. All injection moulding machines were equipped with the intelligent APC plus (Adaptive Process Control) machine function, which provides extreme weight consistency of parts and the highest process reliability.

KraussMaffei is launching its Digital Service Solutions business unit on 1 July. This will deal with service and aftermarket and link classic and digital activities.


Photo provided by KraussMaffei

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-KraussMaffei’s global investments to reach $81 million in 2018 – KraussMaffei Group is investing $81 million in major projects this year, including IT infrastructure and software and expansions at its facilities around the world – KraussMaffei investments $81 million 2018

-To celebrate 180 years trading KraussMaffei will host a machinery showcase in Munich – The KraussMaffei Group is opening its doors in Munich on June 6 and 7, 2018, giving visitors a glimpse of the latest technologies and innovations from the KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal brands that make the company a leader in mechanical engineering – KraussMaffei machinery showcase Munich

-KraussMaffei at NPE: Efficient injection molding machines and intelligent Industry 4.0 solutions are setting trends for the future – KraussMaffei NPE Efficient injection molding Industry 40 solutions

Strong Film for Reclosable Applications – innovia Film Reclosable Applications

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 innovia Film Reclosable Applications

Strong Film for Reclosable Applications

 innovia Film Reclosable Applications

Innovia Films is launching a new Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP)  Rayoface™ facestock film specifically designed for reclosable applications, such as wet wipes.  This clear films’ strength comes from its thickness – 92 microns.  While it is thick, it still has exceptional clarity which allows printed branding on a wet wipe pack to show through.  The film also has a special print and adhesive receptive coating to ensure high quality print performance.

Richard Southward, Global Product Manager, Labels states “The market for wet wipes has grown considerably over the last few years and brand managers have tried a range of options to improve the consumers experience when opening and reclosing a pack.  We have taken on board the various requirements shared with us and are confident that our strong recloseable film is ideal for both large and small packs.  The films robustness allows the pack to be easily opened and resealed without losing its stiffness.  The fact that this performance can be achieved with a mono film, eliminating the need to laminate several layers together, reduces costs and resources.”

Related Topics

Turkey polymers demand revival dependant on political, monetary stability post-election -Turkish polymers players are hoping demand will pick up after the 24 June election following a recovery in the lira’s exchange rate against the dollar, but new capacities in the US and potential new sanctions on Iran may yet disrupt further trade of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) in the country – Turkey polymers demand monetary stability

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Turkey polymers demand revival dependant on political, monetary stability post-election

 Source:ICIS News

 Turkey polymers demand monetary stability   LONDON (ICIS)–Turkish polymers players are hoping demand will pick up after the 24 June election following a recovery in the lira’s exchange rate against the dollar, but new capacities in the US and potential new sanctions on Iran may yet disrupt further trade of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) in the country.

His Justice and Development (AK) party’s margin of victory will be key for the economy.

Immediately following the announcement of the election, some players suggested that trading would pick up directly afterwards, as no matter the result, political volatility should be limited for the next few years.

While an overall majority would have been a relief for the economy, according to sources, things stand less clear now after Erdogan said in May he intended to have a more active role in the running of monetary policy, a fact that caused the lira to collapse against the dollar.

The Turkish lira (TL) was trading at $1:TL3.81 on 1 March. By 23 May, the exchange rate stood at $1:TL4.90.

By Monday morning, the lira had recovered some losses, trading at $1:TL4.71.

The country’s central bank came to the currency’s rescue on 28 May, calming down markets, but sources in the country and Turkey analysts predicted at the time a rough path for the country’s economy in coming months.

Only six months ago, the Turkish polymers story was meant to be a different one, with players anticipating a better year than 2017, but after the promising start, the market stagnated as the lira fell in value.

Stock levels are poor for end users, with many players divesting their stocks as soon as it became evident that the local currency was dropping significantly.

This could prompt players to return to market in the near future, especially if demand climbs following Ramadan.

Many traders have large stocks remaining, having bought at higher prices, and they are now holding onto these volumes for fear of selling for significant losses.

This may ease any period of tightness once demand returns to the market and could undermine moves to hike prices by suppliers, as the traders are likely to be keen to move their stocks.

PP is structurally tight across the globe, so upward pressure is likely to be a permanent fixture throughout the year.

PE is more of a mixed picture, with high density polyethylene (HDPE) film currently tight as producers focus on that grade to satisfy spiking prices in China.

Once HDPE pipe prices cool, supply levels should balance.

Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) supply is ample and large volumes from expanded US capacities have been recorded in the most recent import and export statistics from Turkstat for the month of April.

PE prices are expected to struggle to climb much in the coming months, as the US capacities saturate markets around the world.

Even if the majority does not come to Turkey, it is likely to displace volumes elsewhere.

Sanctions on Iran are likely to limit trade between the two countries, although there are workarounds for the determined.

These usually involve routing cargo through another country and, for many, it will not be worth the effort and they will look elsewhere, hitting mostly HDPE.

At the moment, this is not having much effect on price but it may make a difference when demand returns to the market.

The revival of demand levels is currently key, following many weeks of limited business.

A jump in buying interest may stretch poorly stocked players and restart demand. The difficulty is predicting when players will be tempted back to market.

Pictured: The bridge over the Bosporus linking Istanbul’s European and Asian parts
Source: WestEnd61/REX/Shutterstock

By Ben Lake

Volvo sets goal of 25% recycled plastics in cars from 2025 – Volvo says at least 25 percent of the plastics used in its new cars from 2025 will be from recycled materials, in an anti-pollution plan praised by the United Nations. – Volvo 25% recycled plastics cars

Volvo 25% recycled plastics cars Volvo 25% recycled plastics cars Volvo 25% recycled plastics cars Volvo 25% recycled plastics cars Volvo 25% recycled plastics cars Volvo 25% recycled plastics cars Volvo 25% recycled plastics cars 

Volvo sets goal of 25% recycled plastics in cars from 2025

Volvo 25% recycled plastics cars

Volvo unveiled a specially-built version of its XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV that uses recycled materials.

Photo credit: Volvo

Recycled plastics – such as from fishing nets or old bottles in car dashboards or carpets, would not affect safety or quality, Stuart Templar, director for sustainability at Volvo, told Reuters.

“We think this makes business sense,” he said.

Many big companies are designing products that can be recycled after use to limit pollution. Volvo’s plan goes a step further by building ever more recycled materials into its production lines.

“Volvo Cars is committed to minimizing its global environmental footprint,” Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo, which is owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said in a statement.

Volvo said it was in talks with plastics producers to achieve its “ambition that from 2025, at least 25 percent of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car will be made from recycled material.”

Volvo sold 570,000 cars last year, with about five percent of plastics in its cars currently made from recycled materials.

Volvo unveiled a test model of its XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV in Gothenburg, Sweden, that it said looks identical to the existing car except that some of its plastic parts were made from recycled materials.

The carpet, for instance, had fibers made from PET plastic bottles, old Volvo car seats were used in sound-absorbing material under the bonnet and fishing nets and ropes were used in the tunnel console – between the passenger and driver seats.

The United Nations welcomed Volvo’s plan. More than eight million tons of plastics end up in the oceans every year, threatening marine life from fish stocks to coral reefs.

“As far as we are aware this is a first attempt to source waste as a raw material for a new vehicle,” Erik Solheim, head of the U.N. Environment Program in Nairobi, told Reuters.

“We need to see a situation in which plastic waste begins to have more value and the processes to transform it into something new will also advance,” he said.

In 2017, Volvo said that it would electrify all new cars launched after 2019. Last month it said its aim was that fully electric cars would make up half of its global sales by 2025.

Contact Automotive News

Kenyan manufacturers and PET Recycling Company partner for waste management -PET Recycling Company Ltd (PETCO) has partnered with Kenyan manufacturers in order to improve the collection, sorting, and recycling of plastic bottles – Kenyan manufacturers PET Recycling Company waste management

Kenyan manufacturers PET Recycling Company waste management Kenyan manufacturers PET Recycling Company waste management   Kenyan manufacturers PET Recycling Company waste management   Kenyan manufacturers PET Recycling Company waste management   Kenyan manufacturers PET Recycling Company waste management  

Kenyan manufacturers and PET Recycling Company partner for waste management

Sophie Chapman – Leadership 

 Kenyan manufacturers PET Recycling Company waste management PET Recycling Company Ltd (PETCO) has partnered with Kenyan manufacturers in order to improve the collection, sorting, and recycling of plastic bottles.

The waste management project features companies such as Coca-Cola and Unilever implemented new marketing that follows new environmental laws.

The project follows Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) ban on the manufacturing and use of plastic bottles in April.

Prior to the implementation of the ban, manufacturers were advised to install plastic bottle collection points across the nation.

“Tonnes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are sold annually in Kenya and used to make beverage, food and other packaging material,” remarked John Waithaka, PETCO’s Chairman.

“There is a strong case for recycling since polyethylene terephthalate has fully recyclable synthetic fibres, with polymer chains that can be recovered for use in the manufacture of new products.”

PETCO has set the target of achieving 25% recovery and recycling in Kenya by the end of 2018, and 70% by 2030.y

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China tariffs could halt surging US crude oil exports to a huge growth market -Beijing on Friday announced plans to slap a 25 percent duty on U.S. crude oil in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to hit $50 billion in Chinese goods with an equivalent tariff – China tariffs USA crude oil

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China tariffs could halt surging US crude oil exports to a huge growth market

  • China announced plans to slap a 25-percent tariff on U.S. crude oil in retaliation for American duties on Chinese goods.
  • China has become one of the biggest markets for U.S. crude after the United states lifted a 40-year export ban in 2015.
  • The loss of the Chinese market would likely drive down prices for American oil producers and put pressure on the balance sheets of U.S. drillers.
Tom DiChristopher | 

 China tariffs USA crude oil

Eddie Seal | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Eagle Ford crude oil tanker sails out of the the NuStar Energy dock at the Port of Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016.

The escalating trade war between China and the United States threatens to halt surging U.S. crude oil exports to China, which has become the biggest Asian market for American drillers over the last 2½ years.

Beijing on Friday announced plans to slap a 25 percent duty on U.S. crude oil in response to President Donald Trump‘s decision to hit $50 billion in Chinese goods with an equivalent tariff.

The impact on overall U.S. crude oil exports could be muted in the near-term, provided drillers are able to find other buyers. But if the standoff persists, it could destroy a huge source of future demand growth, drive down the cost of U.S. crude and weigh on the balance sheets of America’s shale drillers.

China is now surpassing Canada as the biggest purchaser of U.S. crude in some months. Shortly after the U.S. lifted the 40-year ban on crude exports in 2015, China went from not buying a single barrel of American crude to consuming a record 448,000 barrels a day last October.

Chinese companies spent nearly $2 billion to import American crude oil in the first quarter of the year, according to S&P Global Platts.

While Canada has long provided a steady market for U.S. crude, China’s purchases have been growing, and the country has capacity to buy even more, said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at tanker-tracking firm ClipperData.

“If [the sanctions] get applied, then it means that we’re going to see U.S. supplies to its largest market being cut,” Smith told CNBC.

China, Europe and other regions have been buying so much American oil largely because it has been trading at a steep discount to international benchmarks like Brent crude. Weekly shipments are now regularly surpassing 2 million barrels a day.

But with U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude trading at nearly $66 a barrel, the Chinese tariffs would tack an additional $16 to $17 onto the cost, said Suresh Sivanandam, senior manager for Asia refining at energy research firm Wood Mackenzie. That would more than wipe out U.S. crude’s current $9.50 discount to Brent crude, so American oil would no longer be competitive.

“A 25-percent tariff is a huge number,” Sivanandam said. “The discount has to be nearly double for it to make sense for China” to import U.S. crude, factoring in shipping costs.

It’s possible that overall U.S. crude exports could remain stable immediately after Chinese demand dries up, said Sivanandam. That’s because Chinese buyers would turn to other countries for the kind of medium sour and light crude grades that they previously purchased from the United States. American companies would then have an opportunity to supply markets that lost barrels to Chinese buyers.

However, American drillers stand to miss out on growing Chinese demand if the tariffs remained in place. Wood Mackenzie projects that U.S. crude exports to China could double through 2023 in a free trade environment, but the tariffs mean shipments could fall short of that forecast.

“While China could secure the crude from alternative sources such as West Africa, which has similar quality as the U.S. crude, U.S. would find it hard to find an alternative market that is as big as China,” Wood Mackenzie said in a briefing on Monday.

Other American crude grades from Texas are trading at even steeper discounts to Brent than West Texas Intermediate, as drillers face a shortage of pipeline capacity to accommodate a boom in production from the Permian basin. But the tariffs would also whittle away that advantage, potentially leaving that oil stranded just as drillers work through the bottlenecks next year, according to Smith at ClipperData.

That leaves two likely outcomes for U.S. drillers, neither of which are good. U.S. prices would have to fall even lower relative to foreign crude to make it attractive to Chinese buyers, or American oil would have to sell at a discount in other markets.

“You would see other market players coming in being able to pick that crude up at bargain basement prices,” Smith said.

That could include India, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, all of which are emerging as steady buyers.

Trump could benefit in one respect because lower oil prices would keep a lid on the cost of gasoline under his watch. But the Chinese tariffs would hurt the growing U.S. oil industry, a key part of his base, and undermine his goal of narrowing the trade deficit with China.

ASIA: The week ahead in petrochemicals -Crude oil price movements and the upcoming meeting in Vienna on June 22 among OPEC members and other oil exporters are factors that will influence the performance of Asian petrochemical markets this week – ASIA petrochemicals

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ASIA: The week ahead in petrochemicals

Singapore (Platts)

 ASIA petrochemicals Crude oil price movements and the upcoming meeting in Vienna on June 22 among OPEC members and other oil exporters are factors that will influence the performance of Asian petrochemical markets this week. Weak demand in Asia or additional production from new plant start-ups could exert downward pressure on prices of some petrochemical products, such as benzene, toluene, propylene and polyethylene.

AROMATICS

In the Asian paraxylene market, uncertainty looks set to continue this week, with traders largely holding off taking long-term positions ahead of the upcoming OPEC/Non-OPEC producers meeting where they will decide whether oil production should be increased. PX supply in the first half of July is seen to be tight, amid demand from purified terephthalic acid makers for prompt cargo ahead of plant turnarounds in the downstream markets.

For Asian benzene, with supply expected to outstrip demand, market participants are turning to price movements in upstream ICE Brent crude futures and global benzene prices for direction.

For styrene monomer, the market looks to set to follow last week’s downward trend, with July arrival discussions tracking domestic East China prices lower to consolidate around the low $1,400s/mt CFR China, while the June/July backwardation is expected to narrow on more prompt arrivals.

OLEFINS

Firm sentiment in the Asian ethylene market would likely continue this week, driven by limited supplies in Asia as well as Europe. In addition, positive margins for styrene monomer production would continue to keep spot ethylene demand healthy this week. Last Thursday, the CFR Northeast Asia ethylene price was assessed at $1,375/mt, up $25/mt from the previous Friday.

The Asian propylene market would likely be put under pressure this week ahead of the planned startup of a new propylene plant. South Korea’s S-Oil plans to start up its new high-severity residue fluid catalytic cracker, or HS-RFCC, at Onsan very soon. The unit is able to produce 200,000 mt/year of ethylene and 660,000 mt/year of propylene.

MEG prices in the domestic Chinese market are expected to remain firm amid a drop in inventory levels in East China. Inventories fell close to 110,000 mt to 800,000 mt last Thursday as polyester plants continue to drive operating rates higher ahead of a seasonal lull in demand, sources said. Inventories are expected to fall this week amid a higher drawdown in stocks.

POLYMERS

In the Asian high density polyethylene market, demand for HD injection may rise as end convertors are considering using it as substitute for PP copolymer, while demand for blow moulding grade may decrease on bearish buying interest. Asian butene-grade linear low density polyethylene was assessed stable to slightly lower last week amid thin trade and the typical lull in seasonal demand. Demand in India is expected to fall during the monsoon season in July and pick up in September prior to the Deepavali festival.

–Shermaine Ang, shermaine.ang@spglobal.com

–Fumiko Dobashi, fumiko.dobashi@spglobal.com

–Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy, geetha.narayanasamy@spglobal.com

US moves forward with tariffs on $50bn of Chinese goods – USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods

USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods  USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods  USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods  USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods  USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods  USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods  USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods  

US moves forward with tariffs on $50bn of Chinese goods

Source:ICIS News

USA tariffs $50bn Chinese goods HOUSTON (ICIS)–US President Donald Trump on Friday moved ahead with plans to impose tariffs on goods from China, causing China’s government to respond that it would seek similar actions.

“In light of China’s theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices, the US will implement a 25% tariff on $50bn of goods from China that contain industrially significant technologies,” Trump said in a White House press release.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer alleged that China has engaged in cyber attacks on US computer networks, in addition to intellectual property theft and the transfer of US technology.

“President Trump has made it clear we must insist on fair and reciprocal trade with China and strictly enforce our laws against unfair trade,” Lighthizer said.

The USTR office created two lists of products from China that consist of the tariff lines.

The first set will come into effect on 6 July, and cover approximately $34bn worth of goods.

The second set covers the remaining $16bn. USTR said a final determination of the list is still in progress.

Trump noted the US will pursue additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said measures “of the same scale”  would be taken immediately.

By David Haydon

Brexit will free the UK from ‘anti science’ EU regulations, says Tory MP – THE European Union held back the booming British biotech industry with its “anti innovation regulations” and prevented the UK from taking its scientific expertise onto a global platform – Brexit UK EU regulations

Brexit UK EU regulations Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations   Brexit UK EU regulations  

Brexit will free the UK from ‘anti science’ EU regulations, says Tory MP

THE European Union held back the booming British biotech industry with its “anti innovation regulations” and prevented the UK from taking its scientific expertise onto a global platform, a Conservative MP said.

By ALICE SCARSI

Arguing that there exists an “anti-science” agenda in Brussels, he said: “The growing hostility of the EU to ‘biotech’ has had a hugely damaging effect on the EU Bioscience Economy over the last five years.

“Just as the genomic revolution has been starting to offer untold opportunities across medicine and agriculture, the EU has been developing an increasingly hostile regulatory framework which has undermined Europe as a hub of biotechnology.”

This trend clipped the UK’s wings, Mr Freeman added, and slowed the possibility for Britain to “take global and commercialise” its groundbreaking discoveries and technologies. 

The BioIndustry Association (BIA), the British trade association for innovative life sciences, said earlier this year that the UK’s pipeline of biotech treatments in 2017 was the strongest in Europe.

The association also revealed that UK biotechs raised more than twice as much money in 2017 than in 2016.

But, Mr Freeman argued, British biotech could be more successful, as its progress has been held back “for too long by anti-innovation EU regulation.”

The sector he believes has been hit the most by these measures is agricultural one, where instead of embracing genetic trait science (GM) that can produce disease-resistant crops has blocked it with regulations.

Brexit UK EU regulations GETTY

Brexit has the potential of freeing the UK from EU anti-science regulations according to a Tory MP

Mr Freeman, who served as the UK’s first ever Minister for Life Sciences from 2014-2016, said: “This regulatory hostility to biotech has had its most serious impact in agricultural research, where the EU’s hostility to GM led German-based BASF to announce their withdrawal from Europe in Agricultural Research and Development.

“That’s a €10 billion disinvestment Europe can ill afford.

“As I warned the Commission at the time in a keynote speech as UK Minister for Life Sciences, unless the EU embraced greater flexibility for member states to ‘go it alone’ in designing appropriate regulatory frameworks for GM crops, Europe risked being consigned to the slow lane of the global bio-economy.”

Brexit has the potential of freeing the UK from these regulations, Mr Freeman said.

Brexit UK EU regulations GETTY

Among the UK biotech innovations praised by Mr Freeman there is genetic trait science

Brexit UK EU regulations GETTY

The UK’s pipeline of biotech treatments in 2017 was the strongest in Europe, BIA reported

But, he argued, to get the best out of this innovative sector, the government must “start leading the way on creating a new regulatory framework for 21st-century innovation.”

He said: “If we get this right, we can make the UK the ‘Gateway Testbed’ for new 21st century technology and appropriate regulation, which the City can then finance to take global.

“Done properly, we could become the global capital for the research, development and financing of the innovations in the core markets of food, medicine and energy (the ‘science of life’) around the world.”

Mr Freeman believes Britain can pride itself of some “stunning innovations”.

Among them he counted studies in tumour genetics, thanks to which “we can now detect and eradicate tumours in people who 20 years ago would have died” and stem cell science, which allows us to “reverse blindness with one injection”.

‘A death blow’: Tariff threat looms large in the heart of Canada’s auto industry – Mike Malott has survived massive turmoil during his nearly 20 years as an automotive worker here in the heart of the Canadian industry — but now that his livelihood is in the crosshairs of a United States president who appears hell-bent on restricting cross-border trade, he is frightened – Tariff threat Canada auto industry

Tariff threat Canada auto industry Tariff threat Canada auto industry   Tariff threat Canada auto industry   Tariff threat Canada auto industry   Tariff threat Canada auto industry   Tariff threat Canada auto industry   Tariff threat Canada auto industry   Tariff threat Canada auto industry   Tariff threat Canada auto industry   Tariff threat Canada auto industry  

‘A death blow’: Tariff threat looms large in the heart of Canada’s auto industry

 Tariff threat Canada auto industry Van Niforos, owner of Windsor’s Penalty Box restaurant prepares food in his kitchen Windsor, Ont. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins)

Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press

WINDSOR, Ont. — Mike Malott has survived massive turmoil during his nearly 20 years as an automotive worker here in the heart of the Canadian industry — but now that his livelihood is in the crosshairs of a United States president who appears hell-bent on restricting cross-border trade, he is frightened.

The 43-year-old assembly line worker and other residents of this Southwestern Ontario city have been on edge for months during strained North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations that have included intense scrutiny of auto production in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

But Trump’s post-G7 Twitter tirade about imposing a 25 per cent tariff on auto imports from Canada could have potentially devastating consequences for the integrated supply chain that has been built over decades and cause job losses on both sides of the border.

Some fear the penalties could drive the city’s auto plants, including the Fiat Chrysler Automotive factory where Malott has spent the majority of his career, out of Windsor and the country altogether.

“I can’t even imagine what the city would look like without Chrysler in it,” Malott said in an interview on Tuesday at the suburban Windsor home he shares with his wife, three children and a chocolate lab.

“This city would become a ghost town.”

Malott is one of the roughly 6,000 people employed at the assembly plant, the largest manufacturing workplace in Canada, according to a 2017 report from the Automotive Policy Research Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton.

He worries he’d have difficulty finding an equivalent job in the city with his skill set if he were to lose his job at the assembly plant, which typically pays upwards of $30 an hour.

“If I don’t have a Chrysler job, I don’t have what I have today.”

Windsor would be the epicentre of a tariff fallout that could impact Ontario’s entire economically important manufacturing base and reverberate across the country. Canada’s auto sector, the country’s leading exporter, delivers roughly $80 billion in economic activity annually. It employs some 500,000 Canadians through direct and indirect jobs.

The city has long been synonymous with the auto industry — during the early 20th century, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler all had operations here.

But the industry was decimated in the wake of 2008’s Great Recession, which saw both the Ontario and Federal government in 2009 step in to contribute $10.6 billion to Chrysler Canada and GM Canada to keep them afloat.

GM closed its remaining manufacturing plant in Windsor in 2010, ending its 90-year-relationship in the city. Ford still has two engine plants in Windsor, employing roughly 2,330 people between them — far from the as many as six plants the automaker had at one point.

But the city still wears its automotive credentials with pride. Posted outside of the FCA Windsor assembly plant is a sign that reads: “Made. Right. Here. Chrysler Pacifica. Windsor Proud.”

The sector’s health, however, remains heavily reliant on the United States.

Canada exported some $63 billion worth of automobiles in 2016, 96 per cent of which was to the U.S., according to Statistics Canada and the U.S. Census Bureau. On top of that, the country exported roughly $21 billion in auto parts in 2016 — 90 per cent of which was shipped south of the border, according to the APRC.

Every Canadian auto assembly job creates nine spinoff jobs — ranging from parts suppliers to restaurants — according to the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association.

The automotive industry and the ancillary businesses are still the “bread and butter” of Windsor, but the city has been making efforts to diversify into other industries and skills in areas such as Information Technology, said Mayor Drew Dilkens.

“Nothing changes quickly, but we’re committed to diversification,” he said.

Auto parts makers have also tried to diversify into other industries and markets, said Jonathon Azzopardi, chief executive of Windsor-area tool and mould company Laval International and a board member of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association.

Yet, roughly 70 per cent of the association’s members send their wares due south and many products cross the border roughly seven times in the process, he said.

The recent U.S. imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs will already constrain their profitability, which would be exacerbated by an auto tariff.

“Those who still rely heavily on the U.S. and the auto industry should be pretty concerned,” Azzopardi said.

“It could deal a death blow to the automotive industry for Canada.”

The tariff threat looms at a time when the automotive industry has just recovered from the 2008 recession. The sector employed an estimated 140,404 people in 2016, after adding roughly 14,700 jobs over the preceding four years, according to a recent report from McMaster’s auto centre.

Trump’s comments have also cast uncertainty on planning in an industry that makes decisions on new vehicles five years in advance, said Ken Lewenza, the former national president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, who now works as an adviser for the union’s latest iteration, Unifor, in Windsor.

Many corporate board rooms in the auto industry are likely hitting the brakes on their plans as a result, he said, as the deeply integrated North American automotive supply chain operates “almost without borders.”

Detroit, or Motor City, sits just across the river from Windsor — and the GM and Chevrolet logos emblazoned on the tallest tower of the American city’s skyline serves as a perennial reminder of their mutual ties to the automotive industry.

“You can’t shut down the Canadian operations without affecting U.S. operations. And vice versa,” Lewenza said.

“This, quite frankly, would be a real challenge for the auto industry and be a longer type problem.”

Ontario’s auto sector employs an estimated 124,000 people. A blow to the thousands of jobs at factories in auto towns across the province, including in Alliston, Brampton, and Oshawa, would also have a ripple effect on the restaurants, cafes, stores and other businesses that rely on autoworkers’ patronage.

Auto manufacturing is still a crucial part of local economies even in cities such as affluent Oakville, often regarded as a bedroom community for commuters to Canada’s financial heart in Toronto.

In an industrial section of the tony Greater Toronto Area community, dozens of 18-wheelers passed through the gates on Tuesday morning at the Ford Assembly Complex, which employs about 4,600 people. The plant’s staff parking lot was packed with the same types of Fords and Lincolns pieced together by workers at the plant.

Peter Giannopoulos, owner of the nearby Sunlight Grill is one of the entrepreneurs operating in a nearby plaza who is praying that Ford stays in the area. The thousands of workers it employs are a boon for his business.

“We get a lot of Ford traffic here. You come here on a Friday and you see the chits that we have for take-out or deliveries, you’d be shocked,” Giannopoulos said, adding that several of his neighbours work at the plant.

“Even though Oakville has its rich side, there’s a lot of middle class people here who have been working at Ford 20 or 30 years.”

Back in Windsor, a stone’s throw away from the FCA plant, the Penalty Box restaurant is filled with diners. The autoworkers’ breaks, at less than 30 minutes, don’t offer enough time to stop in for a sit-down meal, but they come on their down time, said the restaurant’s owner, Van Niforos.

“The plant means a lot to us here…. Everyone in town profits from them being here.”

At just 14-years-old, Windsor autoworker Mike Malott’s daughter Jada is already concerned about her economic future in a hometown where generations have relied on the auto sector.

“I’m scared I’m going to have to leave my city to find work,” she said.

“That’s my biggest fear.”

With a file from Peter Goffin in Oakville

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It’s Trump Sanctions, Not OPEC, That’s Boosting Oil – Trump Sanctions OPEC Boosting crude Oil

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It’s Trump Sanctions, Not OPEC, That’s Boosting Oil

The threat of Iran’s oil output disappearing is driving up prices.

Trump Sanctions OPEC Boosting crude Oil
A support vessel flying an Iranian national flag sails alongside the oil tanker Devon.Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg

As OPEC oil ministers prepared to meet in Vienna later this week, President Trump fired another twitter-shot across their bows. But it is his decision to slap sanctions back on Iran that is the real driving force behind the rising price of oil.

The U.S. president has accused OPEC of being “at it again” for the second time in as many months through his favored 280-character diplomatic channel. Quite what “it” is, he has never specified.

I am always a bit confused about what people actually mean when they accuse the group of artificially raising the price of oil. OPEC doesn’t set it — and hasn’t done so for more than 30 years.

Perhaps the president is railing at the fact that some members of the group have spent millions of dollars creating production capacity that they aren’t using. Seen in another light, that surplus is a vital safety valve in the event of a sudden loss of supply — such as the one that occurred when U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq in 2003, or when Western-backed rebels overthrew Libya’s Moammar Al Qaddafi in 2011. OPEC’s spare capacity has been used to compensate for sudden supply disruptions more often than America’s strategic petroleum reserve.

There is no reason that OPEC should pump as much oil as President Trump, or anyone else, wants. The organization exists to look after the interests of its members. Some of them might see appeasing the United States as being in their best interests. Others clearly do not.

It was less than two years ago that candidate Trump’s energy adviser Harold Hamm told Bloomberg Businessweek that OPEC was “irrelevant.” A little over a month later the same Harold Hamm said it was “high-time” for the irrelevant OPEC to agree on a production freeze to raise prices.

No-one expects politicians, or their advisors, to be consistent. And oil at $67 a barrel is very different to oil at $46. Back then, U.S. shale oil production was on the slide and needed a savior. It found one in Saudi Arabia’s then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and oil minister Khalid Al-Falih, who reversed the kingdom’s “pump-at-will” policy and began to set oil prices on the path to recovery.

Now Saudi Arabia is once again at the forefront of a group of OPEC countries urging other members to do as America wishes — this time by raising output. The about-face comes hard on the heels of Al-Falih’s assertion just eight weeks ago that OPEC’s market-balancing job wasn’t yet done and that output restraint needed to be prolonged.

Buyers Beware

Buyers of Iranian crude are firmly in Donald Trump’s sights as sanctions may be starting to bite

Source: Bloomberg tanker tracking

Note: Figures include crude and condensate. Europe includes Turkey. June 2018 data are for first two weeks.

What changed in that eight weeks? The outlook for the availability of Iranian oil. Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions will reduce the volume of crude available from the country by an unknown amount.

Getting Deeper

Some analysts have been increasing their forecasts of the volume of Iranian crude likely to be lost to renewed sanctions

Source: Bloomberg

Note: Initial forecasts were made during the first week after President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

I have said from the outset that the amount of Iranian oil that will be forced off the market will be more than when sanctions were previously in force — even without the EU bans on purchases that accompanied U.S. curbs last time around. Analysts are now starting to ratchet up their forecasts of the volume that could be lost.

Hitting Iran

Obama’s sanctions cut Iran’s oil output by over a million barrels a day. Expect more this time.

Source: Bloomberg

The curbs will be more extensive than under President Obama — targeting Iran’s exports of condensates as well as crude oil — and waivers will be harder to come by. Tanker owners and insurers may already be reacting to the imposition of sanctions, even before they come into effect.

It is the fear that the world is about to lose as much a million barrels a day of Iranian crude oil exports by the end of the year, and possibly another 500,000 barrels from Venezuela, that has really driven oil prices higher — not OPEC.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Julian Lee at jlee1627@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

Before it’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg Terminal.

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Faurecia to set up new interiors plant – Faurecia, a leading automotive technology company, is expanding its presence in India with a new interiors plant in Anantapur district – Faurecia interiors plant automotive

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Faurecia to set up new interiors plant

V RISHI KUMAR

Faurecia interiors plant  automotiveFaurecia, a leading automotive technology company, is expanding its presence in India with a new interiors plant in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. The plant will come up in the Kia Motors supplier park. The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by executives from Mobis and Faurecia. Faurecia will invest 50 crore (€6.25 million) in the new 15,000 sq m site, leading to the creation of 400 jobs. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2019 and will have a daily production of above 1,000 instrument panels for Mobis (Kia Motors), according to a company statement.

Luis Navarro-Llacer, Vice President (Interiors IJKT Division) and Vidyadhar Limaye, Director Faurecia Interiors India, declared: “Today’s event is a milestone in Faurecia’s history in India, where we have been operating since 2004. India represents the 4th biggest automotive market and it is an ideal base for the development of our business.”

“Our new facility will provide near-term capacity improvements and allow Faurecia to bring forth a renewed commitment to India’s automotive OEM segment. Faurecia is pleased to accompany KIA Motors in their exciting journey in India starting 2019,” they said.

Present through its three activities, Clean Mobility, Interiors and Seating, Faurecia employs 3,600 people and has two technical centres and 11 production facilities in India. The Group serves locally leading OEMs like FCA, Renault-Nissan, ISUZU, Ford, Hyundai, Maruti- Suzuki, Tata, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Pretium Packaging to expand US manufacturing facilities – Pretium Packaging USA manufacturing facilities

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Pretium Packaging to expand US manufacturing facilities

Dhanuka-Lohia JV travels to Egypt – Dhunseri Petrochem Ltd has signed a definitive agreement with Thailand’s Indorama Ventures (IVL) to sell a 35 per cent stake in its Egyptian PET resin business, capping a series of recent transactions to restart the mothballed plant – Dhanuka Lohia JV EIPET Egypt

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Dhanuka-Lohia JV travels to Egypt

 

Dhanuka Lohia JV EIPET Egypt Calcutta: Dhunseri Petrochem Ltd has signed a definitive agreement with Thailand’s Indorama Ventures (IVL) to sell a 35 per cent stake in its Egyptian PET resin business, capping a series of recent transactions to restart the mothballed plant.

The two companies, who are already equal partners operating Indian businesses, including a similar plant at Haldia in Bengal, will eventually hold 50 per cent each in EIPET (Egyptian Indian Polyester Company SAE).

Indorama, promoted by Indian-born billionaire Alok Lohia, will immediately pump $25 million into EIPET, which plans to start production by the middle of August.

Indorama’s investment will match a similar amount already put in by Dhunseri, promoted by Calcutta-based Chandra Kumar Dhanuka.

Located in the Ain Sukhna free trade zone, north-west of the Gulf of Suez in Egypt, the plant is capable of producing 540,000 tonnes of PET resin which finds use in the manufacturing of plastic packaging products.

The key raw material for the plant, PTA, will be shipped from IVL Portugal, thereby saving a significant amount in logistics cost.

Dhanuka said the business should generate at least $20 million EBIDTA in 2019, the first full year of commercial operations after restart.

Aloke Lohia, the group CEO of IVL, which earned $8.4 billion in revenue in 2017, said: “I’m delighted to extend our strategic partnership with Dhunseri through this acquisition. EIPET is a good fit with Indorama Ventures…It also marks Indorama Ventures’ maiden entry into Egypt.”

Dhanuka pointed out that the Indian JV is operating “extremely smoothly”.

“We are very upbeat on entering the same in Egypt, which will be again an equal ownership JV,” he added.

The joint venture with Indorama culminates a series of back-to-back deals Dhanuka made to resolve the Egyptian puzzle which was draining the consolidated balance sheet of listed Dhunseri Petrochem because of sustained losses. The plant was closed for two years because of financial woes.

On May 21, it reached an agreement to buy out a 23 per cent stake from the local partner in phases.

Dhunseri, which had a 70 per cent stake before the transaction, will eventually buy the residual 7 per cent from another local company.

Four days later, it reached a final settlement with a clutch of overseas lenders by paying them $87 million. The lenders cumulatively had an exposure of $197 million.

While $25 million went from Dhunseri, the rest $62 million was arranged as a bridge loan from ICICI Bank.

EIPET will now raise $50 million fresh debt on its balance sheet and use $25 million that Lohia’s IVL plans to inject to pay off ICICI Bank.

Consequently, EIPET will initially have $13 million as working capital on the books.

While Lohia will pay a token consideration of $1 million for the 35 per cent stake, half of what Dhunseri owns at present, IVL will share the cost of acquisition from the overseas partner equally.

As the Egyptian partners, who are government entities, are exiting at the par value of shares ($100 share a piece), the cost of their shares would be $17 million. With IVL now coming on board, it plans to pick up the tab equally with Dhunseri and eventually become 50:50 partners, just like the Indian business.

Dhunseri shares closed at Rs 125 on the BSE, up Rs 5.70, or 4.78 per cent, even as the benchmark index closed flat (up by a meagre 0.06 per cent).

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution Is On The Horizon – Fourth Industrial Revolution

Fourth Industrial Revolution Fourth Industrial Revolution Fourth Industrial Revolution Fourth Industrial Revolution Fourth Industrial Revolution Fourth Industrial Revolution Fourth Industrial Revolution Fourth Industrial Revolution Fourth Industrial Revolution 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Is On The Horizon

Fourth Industrial Revolution

Just a few short years after economists and social theorists declared that we had entered the Third Industrial Revolution, the next revolution is already on the horizon. Fueled by artificial intelligence, 5G, the internet of things and augmented reality, these next steps might be the biggest leap forward humanity has ever made. And make no mistake, this revolution will be built on data.

Increasingly, data is being harvested from every aspect of our day-to-day lives. From our purchases to the number of steps we take to our sleep habits or Facebook rants, it’s all being recorded. The information is then being used to advertise to us, to map our neighborhoods and even to sway elections. And this process of data extraction is only accelerating. It is the backbone of new world being built around us.

While the implications are far reaching, at least there is some hope in protecting all of this data. Blockchain technology offers not only a means of privacy in this ever-more-connected world, it presents a compromise. Data is now able to be extracted, stored, utilized and understood without a specific person being identified in the process.

Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology

AI and blockchain technology are a match made in heaven. Blockchains can feed AI data safely and securely. Sensitive and personal data can be used to improve our lives and the lives of future generations, and with blockchain tech’s encryption, the information will remain anonymous and immutable.

Not only will our information remain safe, the technology will help us better understand decisions made by AI, something that even the brightest programmers on the planet have had trouble with in recent years. Blockchain tech offers a certain transparency and trust in AI functions. If all actions are recorded, the information is auditable and palatable, allowing humans to gain more insight into the robotic minds that are essentially building themselves.

One of the most exciting applications of blockchain technology and AI, however, is in the idea of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). With a growing data set and a secure means of transferring data, smart contracts can be built in order to allow entire companies to operate, grow and learn without human interference.

Imagine Uber as a DAO, for example. Driverless cars, automatic cryptocurrency payments, and a system of system of governance, from the purchase of new cars to tax payments, built with smart contracts. At this point, besides the initial programming, are humans even necessary? Soon, these organizations will become a reality – entire companies will be built, generate income, and pay taxes without a president, CEO, or board of directors running the show.

The Internet of Things and Blockchain Technology

Renewable energy and driverless technology were key features in the Third Industrial Revolution, but now, the Internet of Things is taking energy distribution and transportation to the next level. Smart grids, supply chains and even virtual highways are being built with the help of IoT and blockchain tech.

The 5G revolution promising to usher in a new era of interconnectivity, and blockchain technology will become an increasingly valuable piece of the new digital infrastructure accompanying traditional brick and mortar foundations. The tech will allow companies, governments and individuals to store and digest the tremendous amount of being pulled from the various devices connected to each particular grid.

And with our most critical infrastructure connecting to the web, blockchain tech offers the level of security needed to ensure that all of these systems will remain online and safe from malicious actors.

Cryptocurrencies and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

As the world becomes more digital, and in turn, privacy and security grow in priority, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will have a vital role in the Fourth Industrial revolution.

In a world built on blockchain, hundreds of millions of transactions will be taking place every minute, each with their own purpose and value. From energy trades to taxes paid by DAOs, it’s likely these exchanges will be made on a blockchain with cryptocurrencies. And governments and corporations around the world are beginning to wake up to this notion.

There is a race unfolding across the planet to develop blockchain applications, and the cryptocurrencies to fund them. The real question, however, is how to bring these all together under an easy-to-use umbrella.

One of the biggest debates unfolding in the crypto world involves the sheer number of altcoins in play, each with their own use-case and limited ecosystem. Though the future of bitcoin is bright, and it could very well function as the sole blockchain and cryptocurrency at the center of this new revolution, it’s unlikely that the growth of the altcoin space will slow anytime soon.

Currently, the process to exchange one crypto for another is clunky and costly, but with the addition of a relatively new technology in the blockchain world, atomic swaps, users will be able to instantly exchange any altcoin for bitcoin and vice-versa. This becomes useful in a world awash with cryptos, allowing users to hold bitcoin but buy a coffee with StarbucksCoin without actually having to own StarbucksCoin.

Atomic swaps are only a piece of off-chain, side-chain, and layered network technology currently being developed, and while critics of the crypto-space may be quick to dismiss this new asset class, it’s important to remember that the tech and its potential is still being realized.

By Michael Kern via Cryptoinsider.com

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Why it matters if fracking companies are overestimating their ‘proved’ oil and gas reserves – The New York Times first raised concerns about the reliability of America’s proved shale gas reserves – Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves

Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves  Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves  Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves  Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves  Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves  Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves  Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves  

Why it matters if fracking companies are overestimating their ‘proved’ oil and gas reserves

“We don’t know what we’re doing.”

Shale fracking companies oil gas reserves
Image credit: Laura Evangelisto

Back in 2011, The New York Times first raised concerns about the reliability of America’s proved shale gas reserves. Proved reserves are the estimates of supplies of oil and gas that drillers tell investors they will be able to tap. The Times suggested that a recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule change allowed drillers to potentially overbook their “proved” reserves of natural gas from shale formations, which horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) were rapidly opening up.

“Welcome back to Alice in Wonderland,” energy analyst John E. Olson told The Times, commenting on the reliability of these reserves after the rule change. Olson, a former Merril Lynch analyst, is best known for seeing the coming Enron scandal 10 years before the infamous energy company imploded in 2000.

Today, those same rules have allowed shale drillers to boost their reserves of oil, as well as natural gas. As a result, these “proved” reserves, which investors and pipeline companies are banking on, could potentially be much less proven than they appear.

And the unprecented degree to which this is happening in the shale industry casts a shadow of doubt on the purportedly bright future of America’s booming oil and gas industry.

Under the updated SEC rules, which went into effect in 2009, drillers can count oil and gas from wells that won’t be drilled or fracked for up to five years as part of their proved reserves. Those as-yet-untapped wells can be put on a company’s books as a subset of their “proved” reserves, listed under the label “proved undeveloped” reserves.

And drillers can count all of the oil and gas they expect to pump out over the well’s entire lifetime — before they’ve found out how fast that well flows or seen a single drop of oil from it.

Those “proved undeveloped reserves” (PUDs) now make up an average of just over half of the proved oil reserves at 40 drilling companies active in shale gas basins nationwide, according to SEC filings reviewed by DeSmog. For drilling companies that are less heavily involved in shale drilling, the average mix is roughly 30 percent PUDs — similar to the industry’s average before the SEC rule change.

At Bakken shale driller Abraxas Petroleum, approximately 70 percent of oil reserves fall into the proved undeveloped category, SEC filings for 2017 show. That figure is the same for Permian basin driller Halcón Resources. For Marcellus/Utica operator Southwestern Energy, it’s a stunning 78 percent.

Forty-seven percent of the proved oil reserves in Texas’ and New Mexico’s Permian Basin — recently touted as potentially the largest oil basin in the world — now fall into the proved undeveloped category, a review of SEC filings from thirteen of the largest Permian operators reveals.

Proved reserves are the foundation of the oil industry’s assets, the gold-standard for oil supply figures.

When they book a barrel of proved reserves, companies vouch that they are at least 90 percent confident that they can produce that barrel at today’s oil prices.

And shale proved reserves are hugely important — not just for the oil markets, but for U.S.energy policy.

Shale reserves are a major part of the reason politicians like President Donald Trump now speak not just about American energy security but “energy dominance.” Lenders accept proved reserves as collateral underpinning hundreds of billions of dollars in debt. And investors use proved reserves as one of the key metrics for measuring a driller’s prospects against its peers.

Changing rules for ‘proved reserves’

The old SEC rules were designed with conventional oil reserves in mind, the iconic gushers of the first oil rushes. Very roughly speaking, you could reliably estimate how much oil could be pumped from a new find once you struck oil and then did some testing to measure your find.

The hard part was finding those pools of oil to begin with. Once you did, figuring out how much was underground (and then what percentage of that could be pumped from the ground) became relatively straightforward for petroleum engineers.

But shale oil and gas are different — everyone in the industry knows where the shale rock layers containing oil and gas are. The question has become how much trapped fossil fuel can you afford to free up by using the expensive process of hydraulic fracturing to shatter that shale.

The SEC’s 2008 decision to change this rule, one of the last acts of the outgoing George W. Bush administration, scrapped the “flow test.” This long-standing requirement had obligated a company to first flow oil or gas from a well or ones nearby in the same formation before counting that well’s oil as “proved.”

But after 2009, companies were allowed to use new methods to establish oil supplies as proved, replacing the old flow test with a range of technologies, including secret proprietary methods. As long as a company considered those technologies reliably able to predict whether oil and gas could be pumped, the SEC would be satisfied.

The rule change also allowed shale drillers more freedom to assume that an as-yet-undrilled well will produce about the same amount of oil and gas as their other wells nearby.

This shift in SEC policy landed right at the dawn of the shale rush, allowing shale drillers to count oil and gas from all of the wells they planned to start flowing within the next five years as proved reserves.

It’s a setup that implicitly assumes drillers will act rationally — only making plans to drill wells from which oil can be sold profitably. But it coincided with an unprecedented journey into deep debt for the historically cash-rich oil and gas industry, which in a single decade burned through over $280 billion more than it has earned from shale oil and gas, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Regulators also considered — but ultimately rejected — a proposal that would have required third-party audits of booked reserves.

The SEC’s enforcement agents have instead focused heavily on enforcing the five-year rule, challenging companies whose numbers don’t add up.

“I believe that everyone is satisfied that the 5-year rule on PUDs will resolve any insecurity about these reserves. (I am not),” Arthur Berman, a petroleum geologist who since the very early days of shale drilling has warned about the reliability of shale reserves estimates, told DeSmog via email.

“I don’t trust the proved producing reserve numbers because I cannot replicate them on a per-well or company basis by my own technical estimates based on production history. The PUD component is, therefore, highly suspect.”

House of cards

For years, the problem of reserves overbooking has been known in the oil industry as “the problem no one wants to talk about.”

Oil companies have plenty of reasons to present the rosiest possible picture of their future prospects, while Wall Street investment analysts often focus on short-term prospects or compare companies against their peers rather than scouting for industry-wide issues. And once a loan is made, lenders have little incentive to question whether collateral is as valuable as it was expected to be.

The SEC rule revision also aimed to provide investors with better ways to assess the uncertainty associated with oil and gas wells.

It enabled drillers to talk about a range of likely outcomes by allowing them to describe reserves as “probable” (at least 50 percent likelihood) and “possible” (at least 10 percent likelihood) to their investors, in addition to “proved” (90 percent likelihood) reserves.

By letting drillers convey a range of numbers and the levels of risk associated with them, investors would be better informed, the SEC reasoned.

The “possible” reserves category never really caught on in the industry. Instead, after the rule change the category that grew significantly, at least among shale drillers, was proved reserves — and particularly proved undeveloped reserves.

And because the rules closely link drillers’ five-year plans to the price of oil, the shale industry has already gone through one massive wave of reserves write-downs.

To be sure, if oil prices rise, drillers will have plenty of cash on hand to pay off their debts and keep production flowing. Figuring out exactly where that break-even line lies has long been the subject of heated debate.

But while many have viewed the shale industry’s tenacity during the price slump as evidence that shale can offer decades more of cheap oil, the picture that emerges on closer inspection suggests that shale drillers have struggled far more than generally understood.

In other words, American oil might be far more expensive than the relatively cheap gasoline prices of the past few years would suggest.

Oil prices go down while percentage of ‘proved undeveloped’ reserves goes up

When oil prices collapsed from over $90 per barrel (of West Texas Intermediate crude) in 2014 to less than $50 in 2015, drillers had to write down billions of barrels of proved reserves in what Bloomberg called “a puff of accounting smoke.”

At that point, lenders faced an expensive dilemma — if they foreclosed on loans to drillers, they would have to shoulder the burden of actually drilling that oil or selling the acreage to someone who could, all in a market where oil prices had plunged.

The Oil and Gas Financial Journal took a close look at what happened next in a September 2017 article — and what they found deserves an in-depth review.

In 2015, after oil prices slumped, drillers started claiming that their as-yet-undrilled wells (those in the proved undeveloped reserves category) would have higher initial production rates and last longer, resulting in higher total production — even though nothing changed about the physical assets — which let them add proved reserves to their books, the Journal reported.

“Some of these changes may be justified, but, in many cases, reserves values were already inflated as borrowers levered up with the ultra-low interest rates to boost returns and fund the large unconventional [shale] programs prior to 2014,” reservoir engineer and finance consultant Laura Freeman wrote.

What’s worse? Instead of cracking down on companies for nudging their numbers upwards, banks turned a blind eye.

“For many companies, if not all, the changes [to proved undeveloped reserves on the books] weren’t enough to cover billions of dollars in gaps, but borrowing bases still didn’t contract,” Freeman wrote.

Banks routinely review the “borrowing base” for their loans, making sure that a loan is covered by enough collateral.

“However, despite a 75 percent contraction in oil prices from 2014 to 2016,” Freedman found, “many of these loans were not reduced in 2015, 2016, or 2017.”

She gave the example of Chesapeake Energy, one of the nation’s largest oil and gas drillers, which was heavily involved in the shale rush.

“In plain terms, in 2016 Chesapeake no longer had sufficient collateral to back its loans … but the losses associated with foreclosing were so high that the lenders cut the interest rate coverage in half” and took other steps to bail Chesapeake out. “Unfortunately, they are only one example of many in the industry and many others have a much higher draw on borrowing bases that are now not sufficiently collateralized.”

The oil and gas sector currently owes over $833 billion to lenders, a May 31 analysis by Reuters found, and nearly half of that — roughly $400 billion — is due to be paid off or refinanced by the end of 2019.

That means banks and drillers will be re-negotiating hundreds of billions of dollars in loans relatively soon.

Overbooking and overbuilding

For pipeline companies, one of the hardest challenges is finding the balance between what their ever-optimistic customers expect to be able to pump from an oil or gas field and how much pipe they can actually afford to lay.

Shale plays are notorious for having concentrated sweet spots, where the best wells can be drilled, surrounded by larger areas that give less bang for drillers’ buck.

That’s why it caught a lot of attention when Mark Papa, ex-CEO of EOG Resources (originally Enron Oil and Gas) and founder of Centennial Resource Development, told a crowd in November 2017 that in two of the country’s biggest shale plays, North Dakota’s Bakken and Texas’ Eagle Ford, the sweet spots are already 70 percent drilled out.

And, he warned, the nation’s most prolific shale field, the Permian basin in Texas, might not be far behind.

“The Permian has the same rock quality and phase issues as the Bakken and Eagle Ford — it’s just less developed to date,” a November 16 presentation by Papa notes.

One of the biggest vulnerabilities of the revised SEC rule is that companies can predict that their as-yet-undrilled wells will be in the sweet spots, without having a full and clear understanding of exactly how big those sweet spots are (or having initial production readings to find out for sure) — and the difference between a well in a sweet spot and a well outside one can be significant.

‘We don’t know what we’re doing’

For Permian pipeline builders already worried about their industry’s habit of building more pipe than needed and then struggling to pay the bills when there’s not as much oil or gas to ship as expected, questions about the reliability of proved reserves numbers add an extra layer of uncertainty to an already difficult calculus.

“If we don’t overbuild this time, it will be the first time in the history of the industry. There’s absolutely, we will overbuild, there’s no doubt about it,” Wouter van Kempen, Chairman, President, and CEO of DCP Midstream, said at an April 16 executive roundtable at the GPA Midstream 2018 Convention.

“The question is when, and by how much, and I think what you heard earlier from all of us here, none of us want to own that last gas project, none of us want to own that last pipe because those are not the ones you want to own.”

“We don’t know a lot of the time,” Bill Ordemann, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Products, added, as the executives discussed the possibility of overbuilding pipelines, according to materials from that conference provided to DeSmog.

“We don’t know what we’re doing.”

Instead, the pipeline industry has sought to pass some of the risk back to drillers through contracts that require payment even if pipes go unused, explained Terry Spencer, President and CEO of ONEOK, a natural gas infrastructure company.

That strategy puts the hot potato right back into the hands of shale drillers — and it turns out the drilling industry may be far less prepared to handle that risk than their proved reserves figures suggest.

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BRICS Summit 2018: Foreign Ministers Oppose ‘New Wave Protectionism’, US Decision To Impose Tariffs On Its Allies – BRICS Summit 2018 Protectionism US Tariffs

BRICS Summit 2018 Protectionism US Tariffs BRICS Summit 2018 Protectionism US Tariffs  BRICS Summit 2018 Protectionism US Tariffs  BRICS Summit 2018 Protectionism US Tariffs  BRICS Summit 2018 Protectionism US Tariffs  BRICS Summit 2018 Protectionism US Tariffs  BRICS Summit 2018 Protectionism US Tariffs  

BRICS Summit 2018: Foreign Ministers Oppose ‘New Wave Protectionism’, US Decision To Impose Tariffs On Its Allies

Pretoria (South Africa): India and other members of the BRICS grouping have said they oppose the “new wave of protectionism” and the systematic impact of unilateral measures that are incompatible with WTO rules, apparently referring to US President Donald Trump’s tough trade policies.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is on a five-day trip to South Africa, attended the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Pretoria on Monday.

After the meeting, the foreign affairs ministers of BRICS nations reiterated their commitment to multilateralism and a rules-based international order and reaffirmed the centrality of the UN, the WTO and international law.

The ministers pledged their support to efforts towards making global governance more representative with greater participation of emerging markets and developing countries in global decision making. The ministers emphasised the importance of an open and inclusive world economy enabling all countries and peoples to share the benefits of globalisation, a statement released after the meeting said.

They underlined their firm commitment to free trade, and the centrality of a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, multilateral trading system as embodied in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the statement said.

BRICS Summit 2018 Protectionism US Tariffs

File image of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. AP

They opposed the new wave of protectionism and the systematic impact of unilateral measures that are incompatible with WTO rules, and undermines global trade, and economic growth. “They reiterated that the WTO Dispute Settlement System is a cornerstone of the multilateral trading system (MTS) as it is designed to enhance security and predictability in international trade,” the statement said.

The statement came as Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from top US trading partners, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union. He has threatened tariffs on up to $200 billion in Chinese imports, raising the potential of a trade war.

The BRICS ministers reaffirmed their resolve to foster a global economic governance architecture that is more effective and reflective of current global economic landscape, increasing the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing economies, it said.

They reaffirmed their commitment to conclude the   International Monetary Fund’s 15th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula, by the 2019 Spring Meetings. The emerging counties, like India, China, Brazil and Russia, has been asking for increased voting rights in IMF, which would reflect their growing share in world economy.

They also deplored the continued terrorist attacks, including in some BRICS countries. They condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever.

“They urged concerted efforts to counter terrorism under the UN auspices on a firm international legal basis, and expressed their conviction that a comprehensive approach was necessary to ensure effective fight against terrorism,” the statement said. “They recalled the responsibility of all States to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories,” it added.

They expressed concern over the ongoing conflict and heightened tensions in the West Asia region, especially with regard to the Israel-Palestinian situation.

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EIA expects Brent crude prices will average $71 per barrel in 2018, $68 per barrel in 2019 – EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019

EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019 EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019  

EIA expects Brent crude prices will average $71 per barrel in 2018, $68 per barrel in 2019

er barrel in 2019 - EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019 In the June 2018 update of its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA forecasts Brent crude oil prices will average $71 per barrel (b) in 2018 and $68/b in 2019. The updated 2019 forecast price is $2/b higher than in the May STEO. Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $77/b in May, an increase of $5/b from April and the highest monthly average price since November 2014. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices are forecast to average almost $7/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and $6/b lower in 2019.

Crude oil prices have reached high levels as global oil inventories have generally declined from January 2017 through April 2018. Even though the 2019 oil price forecast is higher than it was in the May STEO, EIA expects oil prices to decline in the coming months because global oil inventories are expected to rise slightly during the second half of 2018 and in 2019.

er barrel in 2019 - EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook

Expected inventory growth results from forecast oil supply growth outpacing forecast oil demand growth in 2019. EIA currently forecasts global petroleum and other liquids inventories will increase by 210,000 barrels per day (b/d) next year, a factor that, all else being equal, typically puts downward pressure on oil prices.

Most of the growth in global oil production in the coming months is expected to come from the United States. EIA projects that U.S. crude oil production will average 10.8 million b/d for full-year 2018, up from 9.4 million b/d in 2017, and will average 11.8 million b/d in 2019. If the 2018 and 2019 forecast annual averages materialize, they would be the highest levels of production on record, surpassing the previous record set in 1970.

Tight oil production in the Permian region of West Texas and New Mexico is the main driver of rising U.S. production. Among other countries outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Canada and Brazil are also expected to experience significant growth in oil production in 2019.

EIA expects that OPEC crude oil production will average 32.0 million b/d in 2018, a decrease of about 0.4 million b/d from the 2017 level. Total OPEC crude oil output is expected to increase slightly in 2019 to an average of 32.1 million b/d. The 2018 and 2019 levels are 0.2 million b/d and 0.3 million b/d lower, respectively, than forecast in the May STEO, reflecting revised expectations of crude oil production in Venezuela and Iran. The lower OPEC forecast is one of the main reasons EIA expects oil prices to be slightly higher in 2019 compared with last month’s forecast.

OPEC, Russia, and other non-OPEC countries will meet on June 22 to assess current oil market conditions associated with their existing crude oil production reductions. Current reductions are scheduled to continue through the end of 2018. Oil ministers from Saudi Arabia and Russia have announced that they will re-evaluate the production reduction agreement given accelerated output declines from Venezuela and uncertainty surrounding Iran’s production levels.

In the June STEO, EIA assumes declining Venezuelan and Iranian crude oil production in 2019 will be offset by increasing production from Persian Gulf producers, primarily Saudi Arabia. Depending on the outcome of the June 22 meeting, however, the magnitude of any supply response is uncertain. Overall, EIA expects global oil production to increase by almost 2.0 million b/d in 2019 compared with forecast oil demand growth of 1.7 million b/d.
Source: EIA

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-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

 EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019   EIA Brent crude prices forecast 2018 2019  

IVL, Dhunseri form joint venture to acquire Egypt PET plant – Indorama Ventures Public Co Ltd (IVL) and India’s Dhunseri Petrochem have teamed up to acquire and restart a 540,000 tonne/year polyethylene terephthalate (PET) facility in Egypt – IVL Dhunseri joint venture Egypt PET plant

IVL IVL Dhunseri joint venture Egypt PET plant IVL Dhunseri joint venture Egypt PET plant IVL Dhunseri joint venture Egypt PET plant IVL Dhunseri joint venture Egypt PET plant IVL Dhunseri joint venture Egypt PET plant IVL Dhunseri joint venture Egypt PET plant Dhunseri joint venture Egypt PET plant

IVL, Dhunseri form joint venture to acquire Egypt PET plant

Source:ICIS News

 IVL Dhunseri joint venture Egypt PET plant SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Indorama Ventures Public Co Ltd (IVL) and India’s Dhunseri Petrochem have teamed up to acquire and restart a 540,000 tonne/year polyethylene terephthalate (PET) facility in Egypt, the Thai producer said on Friday.

 

A 50:50 joint venture was formed between IVL indirect subsidiary, Indorama Netherlands, and Dhunseri for the purchase of the PET plant of Egyptian Polyester Company SAE (EIPET), IVL said in a statement.

“Restart activities for manufacturing recyclable PET has commenced and key raw material PTA [purified terephthalic acid] will be shipped from IVL Portugal soon after restart of Portugal PTA production anticipated in early July 2018,” IVL said.

The Thai company signed definitive agreements for the joint venture and the acquisition of up to 50% of EIPET but financial details were not disclosed.

EIPET is one of the largest PET producers in the Middle East and Africa, with its production site in Ain Sokhna free trade zone, northwest of the Gulf of Suez.

The acquisition will increase IVL’s existing global PET capacity by 10%, it said.

“EIPET also marks Indorama Ventures’ maiden entry into Egypt, complementing our existing footprint in EMEA [Europe-Middle East-Africa],” IVL’s CEO Aloke Lohia said.

IVL said that EIPET will help Egypt generate $300m of positive trade balance as imported resin is phased out and net exports of resin and packaging commence.

“EIPET will provide meaningful opportunities for feedstock integration from our existing assets while allowing us to serve our customers in growth markets of Egypt and in the region,” Lohia said.

IVL and Dhunseri have an existing joint venture in India since 2016.

Picture: Mineral water in plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles (Photographer: Ulrich Niehoff/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock)

By Pearl Bantillo

New route to synthesize bioplastics developed – While preparing oligoesters as part of regular experiments, researchers observed formation of a viscous solution which was behaving very similar to molecular self-assembly: disordered molecules were adopting a defined structure on their own – Route synthesize bioplastics

Route synthesize bioplastics Route synthesize bioplastics  Route synthesize bioplastics  Route synthesize bioplastics  Route synthesize bioplastics  Route synthesize bioplastics  Route synthesize bioplastics  Route synthesize bioplastics  Route synthesize bioplastics  Route synthesize bioplastics  

New route to synthesize bioplastics developed

While preparing oligoesters as part of regular experiments, researchers observed formation of a viscous solution which was behaving very similar to molecular self-assembly: disordered molecules were adopting a defined structure on their own

Route synthesize bioplastics

By Ratneshwar Thakur

New Delhi: A group of researchers has developed a new strategy that promises to help expand the scope for production of bioplastics.

In recent years, scientists and industry have focused on developing bioplastics as a replacement for synthetic ones to help protect the environment. However, bio-polymers produced from materials like starch have found limited applications and their production processes are expensive and generate pollution.

The strategy – developed by researchers from National Institute of Technology (Warangal), SASTRA Deemed University (Thanjavur) and Central University of Jammu – promises to overcome this problem. The process involves use of natural monomers and a bio-catalyst called Novozyme 435. It is a lipase obtained from yeast called Candida Antarctica.

While preparing oligoesters as part of regular experiments, researchers observed formation of a viscous solution which was behaving very similar to molecular self-assembly: disordered molecules were adopting a defined structure on their own. “This observation motivated us to understand the concept of self-assembly assisted polymerization,” said K. Muthusamy from Sastra University, Thanjavur, co-author in the study.

The new protocol involves two steps. First, bio-based monomers, C-glycosylfuran and diacids, were subject to poly-condensation to form high molecular weight compound in the presence of bio-catalyst. The output was then made to undergo self-assembly assisted polymerization to realize the desired product. Conventionally, vegetable oils, carbohydrates, lignin, and cardanol are used for producing bio-based polymers. The process is, however, expensive and not environment friendly.

“We have used environmental friendly bio-based monomers, C-glycosylfuran derived from monosaccharides and a bio-catalyst. With this approach, we can generate cross-linked polymers and different products with varying properties can be produced by manipulating the design of oligoester. The products may find use for a range of applications in medical and food sectors,” explained study leader Dr. S. Nagarajan of NIT, Warangal.

Converting bio-based monomers into value-added materials is important in sustainable chemistry. “The group has prepared bifunctional monomers and which were converted into polymers using an enzyme catalyzed reaction. It is an efficient way of generating materials which have potential to make soft materials, and may find applications in near future,” commented Dr. Praveen Kumar Vemula from Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Bangalore who is not a part of this study.

The research team included K. Muthusamy, K. Lalitha, Y. Siva Prasad, A. Thamizhanban, C. Uma Maheswari (SASTRA Deemed University),V. Sridharan (Central University of Jammu) and S. Nagarajan from NIT Warangal. The study, financially supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has been published in journal ChemSusChem.

(India Science Wire)

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-5 Minutes Wth… Gerald Michael, global business manager at Synvina – The site that the company uses in Antwerp, Belgium, has a capacity of 50,000 metric tonnes of the bio-plastic that could well be the breakthrough, polyethylene furanoate (PEF) – Gerald Michael manager Synvina bioplastic

-Synvina extends PEF pilot phase – Amsterdam-based Synvina CV is planning to extend the pilot phase of its FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) production by 24 to 36 months in order to “optimise” future commercial-scale production – Synvina PEF pilot phase

 What’s new in bioplastics? – 12th annual European Bioplastics conference discusses food brand owners’ use of bioplastics, biodegradable solutions for multilayer food packaging, and production of new polymer PEF – European Bioplastics conference EUBP

Moretto presented its new technological solutions at Plast 2018 – Moretto presented a range of products and machines, prepared for 4.0 process management at Plast 2018 – Moretto new technological solutions Plast 2018

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Moretto presented its new technological solutions at Plast 2018

by Grace Nolan

U.S. Shale, OPEC To Discuss Market Balance In Vienna – As everyone watches OPEC and Russia ahead of their meeting in Vienna next week, it’s easy to miss the fact that this is not the only meeting that will set the course of the global oil market in the coming months – USA Shale OPEC Market Balance Vienna

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U.S. Shale, OPEC To Discuss Market Balance In Vienna

USA Shale OPEC Market Balance Vienna

As everyone watches OPEC and Russia ahead of their meeting in Vienna next week, it’s easy to miss the fact that this is not the only meeting that will set the course of the global oil market in the coming months. OPEC officials will also meet with chief executives from the U.S. shale industry in Vienna, with Continental’s Harold Hamm, Hess Corp’s John Hess, and Pioneer’s Scott Sheffield among those to address OPEC, Reuters reports.

Although none of the executives were willing to comment on the meeting ahead of it, the topic of discussion will be cooperation, after the last price crisis revealed that the only way to achieve a balance between crude oil demand and supply is to work together rather than against each other.

The fact that has brought shale producers and OPEC closer together is that production is no longer priority number-one. “We’re getting to a point where a continued rise in the oil price is going to cause major problems for the global economy,” Reuters quoted the Council on Foreign Relations’ energy security and climate change program director Amy Meyers Jaffe as saying. “There are bigger issues at hand besides output that OPEC and shale producers care about.”Related: Saudi Arabia: Deal To Gradually Ease Cuts Is ‘Inevitable’

One of these bigger issues is the increase price elasticity of oil. A couple of decades ago, fossil fuels had no real alternatives. Now there are solar power plants and electric cars. As we saw from the last oil price rally, consumers are no longer willing to pay more to get increasing amounts of oil. They often seek alternatives and can find them relatively easily.

According to analysts, the top priority for shale producers now is not ever-higher oil prices—it’s stable prices. Although they cannot legally coordinate production to achieve these stable prices, the can discuss the situation and the future prospects of the global industry with OPEC. What will come out of these discussions remains to be seen.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

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

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-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

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-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

Market outlook: Recycling moves up the agenda – A paradigm shift is under way in the plastics industry as public concern mounts over the impact of plastic waste on the oceans and the environment – Market outlook Recycling

Market outlook Recycling Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  

Market outlook: Recycling moves up the agenda

 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Market outlook Recycling  A paradigm shift is under way in the plastics industry as public concern mounts over the impact of plastic waste on the oceans and the environment.

For 30 years, plastics producers have primarily focused upstream on securing cost-competitive feedstock supply. Now, almost overnight, they find themselves being forced by consumers, legislators and brand owners to refocus downstream on the sustainability agenda. It is a dramatic shift, and one which is likely to create winners and losers over a relatively short period of time.

The pace of change is startling. In January, 11 major brands, including Coca-Cola, Unilever, Walmart and Pepsi (and since joined by Nestle) announced they were committed to working towards using “100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025”. Then, in April, a UK government-led initiative saw 42 companies, responsible for over 80% of the plastics packaging sold in UK supermarkets, promise to “transform the plastic packaging system and keep plastic in the economy and out of the ocean”.

Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, added to the pressure by beginning the move to a “closed loop system”. Clearly seeing the issue as a source of potential competitive advantage, it announced plans to remove all “hard to recycle” plastics – such as polystyrenepolyvinyl chloride (PVC) and water-soluble bioplastics – by the end of next year. Then last month, the EU Commission adopted new rules that will mean a minimum of 50% of all plastic packaging waste will be recycled by 2025. In addition, it has proposed drastic action, including bans, to reduce the use of the top 10 single-use plastic items found on EU beaches by 2021.

Understandably, many companies and CEOs have failed to keep up with these developments. Others have simply ignored them on the assumption they will prove to be all talk and no action. But nobody who attended the Circular Economy Forum at the recent ICIS World Polyolefins Conference could have come away believing that business as usual was a viable option for the future. As Borealis, Europe’s second largest polyolefin producer, explained, its vision is instead to “establish plastic waste as just another standard feedstock as the new normal” for the industry.

Different geographies will doubtless move at different speeds with the switch to recycling. But Europe is not the only major region where a big change in attitudes is under way. It is already clear that consumers in the emerging economies have exactly the same priorities as those in the West. Indonesia, for example, recently had to use its army to unblock rivers in its third city, Bandung, as these had become filled with plastic waste. China is similarly engaged in a “war on pollution”, which is seen by President Xi Jinping as one of his “three tough battles” to secure China’s goal of “becoming a moderately prosperous society” by 2020.

CRITICAL BUSINESS IMPACT

This paradigm shift will have two critical impacts on business models in the petrochemicals and plastics industry. In the short term, it will reduce demand growth and could easily lead to demand destruction. The end of next year is only 18 months away for polystyrene and PVC producers, after all. In the medium to longer term, it seems probable that waste plastic will become an important feedstock in its own right, reducing actual demand for virgin feedstocks based on oil and gas.

Market outlook Recycling

As producers start to prepare their budgets for 2019-2021, they therefore cannot ignore the fact that the rise of the sustainability agenda will likely be the catalyst for a fundamental shift in business models for the whole plastics industry. Polyethylene (PE) was already heading into major over-capacity due to the US shale gas expansions now coming on line, as discussed here in March (Goodbye to business as usual model, 16-22 March). Now it and polypropylene (PP) are under threat from the likely reduction in demand for single-use plastics due to rising concern over the impact of plastic packaging.

This will impact the entire petrochemicals value chain. As the chart, below, confirms, PE is the largest volume plastic, with 92m tonnes produced in 2017, while 68m tonnes of PP was produced. And more than half of PE, and nearly a third of PP, goes into single use packaging. Following the World Economic Forum’s New Plastics Economy report in 2016, and Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series for the BBC, this application is now under major threat.

The New Plastics Economy involves leading participants from across the global plastic packaging value chain. Its report warned that on current trends, the oceans would contain more plastics than fish (by weight) by 2050 – a clearly unacceptable outcome. The issue is not that PE, PP and most other plastics can’t be recycled. It is simply that the recycling industry has failed to understand the true value of waste plastic as a resource.

Plastics Europe estimates, for example, that Europe produced 60m tonnes of plastics in 2016, but recycled just 5.3m tonnes of plastic post-consumer waste within the EU. This highlights the challenge to current business models in the plastics industry, and the opportunity.

Access to competitive sources of feedstock has been seen as a choice between oil and gas – principally between naphtha in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and ethane in North America and the Middle East. But now recycled plastic is set to be the growth feedstock . The Recycling Technologies company, for example, has developed a modular machine based on pyrolysis technology that chemically recycles unsorted, post-consumer plastics into cracker feedstocks, with the aim of installing a minimum of 10m tonnes/year capacity within 10 years (Polymer recycling comes of age, ICB 25-31 May).

WINNERS AND LOSERS

Paradigm shifts generally produce winners and losers. In this case, the winners will include those plastics producers that adapt to the new opportunity created by the need to produce recycled plastic. This will clearly require investment in recycling facilities, but the sums involved are small compared to the cost of building new olefin crackers or refinery capacity. And in many countries, producers can even expect to be paid to take the recycled plastic as a feedstock, when the alternative is the cost of sending it to landfill.

Business models are already starting to change. The current model was highly successful during the baby boomer-led economic supercycle, when demand grew on a constant basis. Companies could choose to compete via cost leadership or value-added strategies, or via a focus on premium products or service orientation. But now the middle ground is starting to disappear: demand growth is slowing and profits will be squeezed as competition intensifies. We are instead going back to the polarised model that existed before the 1980s:

  • Upstream-integrated companies can choose to adopt a feedstock focus and roll through their margins to the well-head (in the case of ethane) or refinery (in the case of naphtha) as margins come under pressure.
  • Those without this ability, however, need to instead adopt a market focus, as intensifying competition will squeeze non-integrated companies without the safety net of an upstream margin.
  • Market-focused companies have the opportunity to respond to brand-owner and legislative pressure by basing their feedstock needs on recycled plastic rather than naphtha, ethane and other virgin feedstocks.
  • They will need to develop new metrics to measure their progress as they start to build their capability to use recycled feedstocks and create long-term relationships with brand-owners and other stakeholders.

These developments are, of course, bad news for existing feedstock suppliers, which risk becoming losers in this New Normal world. Unfortunately, many oil and gas majors have failed to appreciate the potential impact of the sustainability agenda. Instead, they have mistakenly assumed that rising demand for petrochemicals will help to compensate for demand lost as a result of the changes under way in the transport sector. Similarly OPEC’s recent World Oil Outlook 2040 saw petrochemicals as providing “significant growth” for the future. The International Energy Agency will also need to revisit its assumptions about future demand growth as the impact of the new paradigm becomes more apparent.

As National Geographic reported, the world has produced around 8.3bn tonnes of plastic over the past 60 years, and only 9% has been recycled. This is a shocking waste of a resource. The paradigm shift under way is well overdue and should prove very profitable for those companies that seize the opportunities it creates.

By Paul Hodges
Market outlook Recycling Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  Market outlook Recycling  

Crude oil-to-chemicals technology could be game changer for chemicals industry – Siluria Technologies (San Francisco and Menlo Park, CA) and Saudi Aramco Technologies Co. (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) announced this week that they would join forces to revolutionize the petrochemicals industry through crude oil-to-chemicals (COTC) and oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) technologies – Crude oil chemicals technology chemicals industry

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Crude oil-to-chemicals technology could be game changer for chemicals industry

by: Clare Goldsberry

Crude oil chemicals technology chemicals industry   Siluria Technologies (San Francisco and Menlo Park, CA) and Saudi Aramco Technologies Co. (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) announced this week that they would join forces to revolutionize the petrochemicals industry through crude oil-to-chemicals (COTC) and oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) technologies. According to analysis by IHS Markit’s Don Bari, Vice President of Chemical Technology, this will “have a very significant impact on the chemical industry.”

One of the most significantly disruptive technologies or categories of technologies being developed, based on sheer volume, is crude oil-to-chemicals, according to analysis from IHS Markit (London). “These projects, in effect, merge a refinery and petrochemical plant into one, and, thus, go well beyond the state-of-the-art refinery petrochemical integration by the implementation of new/reconfiguring unit operations into a refinery.”

The objective of this technology is to shift product derived from a barrel of oil from the traditional 15% to 25% to 40% to 80% range of chemical feedstocks and non-fuel products. In a joint press release issued by Siluria and Saudi Aramco, Ahmad Al Khowaiter, CTO of Saudi Aramco, said, “Maximizing the output of high-value chemicals products from our future crude-oil processing projects is one of the key objectives in our downstream technology strategy.”

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The Siluria Technologies process, which produces olefins directly from natural gas through oxidative coupling (chemistry) of methane (OCM), is expected to further allow Saudi Aramco’s future crude oil-to-chemicals facilities to create more value by converting the very low-value off-gasses (largely methane) into higher-value olefins products, which improves carbon efficiency and increases the volume of the barrel of oil directed to valuable fundamental petrochemicals, IHS Markit explained in its analysis.

In addition to those benefits, the Siluria OCM process also delivers significant reduction in carbon emissions over traditional ethylene production processes. An IHS Markit evaluation of total carbon dioxide emissions for the production of ethylene by various feedstock types shows that “the Siluria OCM technology is expected to be a net-negative CO2 producer per ton of ethylene/olefins produced because of the heat generation for the OCM exotherm, and methane production (partly) from CO2 is considered in our methodology as an offset to CO2 emissions.”

IHS Markit estimates that the Siluria OCM process generates negative one ton of carbon dioxide emissions per ton of ethylene produced as compared to the more conventional naphtha-cracking process for converting crude to olefins, which is estimated at greater than 1.4 tons of CO2 produced per ton of ethylene produces. “This is a significant improvement in carbon emission reduction, while at the same time capturing greater value from the molecules,” said IHS Markit’s analysis.

The disruption to conventional petrochemical producers would likely be the loss of market position due to COTC’s immense petrochemical volume, explained IHS Markit. “The global demand for ethylene and propylene are 160 million metric tons (MMT) and 111 MMT per year, respectively, and at approximately 4% annual growth rate, the required global annual capacity additions would be 6.4 and 4.4 MMT of ethylene and propylene, respectively. These volumes could nearly be supplied from two large-scale 200,000 barrel-per-day COTC complexes, instead of four conventional state-of-the-art naphtha-cracking light olefins plants.”

Crude oil chemicals technology chemicals industry

Siluria Technologies, headed by former Royal Dutch Shell plc executive Robert Trout, notes that the oxidative coupling of methane to ethylene (and propylene) process converts methane to olefins in the presence of a catalyst in an oxygen-rich environment. “The catalyst reaction diverts roughly half of the carbon to the undesirable co-products of carbon monoxide (CO) or carbon dioxide (CO2),” said IHS Markit. “In this highly exothermic (heat-generating) reaction, Siluria exploits this exotherm by injecting ethane or propane into a second reaction chamber, where the light alkane is thermally cracked to the olefin.”

IHS Markit’s analysis notes that there has been considerable interest in this technology since the early 1980s, but efforts by major petrochemical companies at that time were unsuccessful and produced “undesirable products (CO, CO2 and coke).”

Siluria has developed and “scaled-up a proprietary commercial, low-temperature OCM catalyst that can operate adiabatically with fewer stages at several hundred degrees centigrade lower inlet temperatures and at higher pressures. This catalyst produces a favorable yield and has a standard lifetime for a commercialized process.”

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IHS Markit concludes that the teaming of “a global hydrocarbon resource powerhouse such as Saudi Aramco with Siluria Technologies, a small, but innovative, process technology company, is expected to yield significant returns for both entities, but also drive the industry forward in process improvements and greater carbon efficiency, capital efficiency and value creation. While these technologies are capital-intensive, the commercial application of these two revolutionary technologies not only imparts greater carbon efficiency, flexibility and value to petrochemicals producers, but is also a significant route to greater carbon emission reduction, which has an untold value to chemical producers and to the sustainability of the industry. This sustainability value will likely only continue to increase as more consumers, investors and regulators seek greater environmental stewardship from petrochemicals producers.”

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Southeast Asia PE market faces longer H2 supply, weak demand – Southeast Asia’s polyethylene (PE) market may be facing longer supply in the second half, hinging on how the US-China trade spat plays out, amid the region’s weakening demand for imports – Southeast Asia PE market

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Southeast Asia PE market faces longer H2 supply, weak demand

Source:ICIS News

Southeast Asia PE market   SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Southeast Asia’s polyethylene (PE) market may be facing longer supply in the second half, hinging on how the US-China trade spat plays out, amid the region’s weakening demand for imports.

Global PE trade flows will be affected should China, the biggest importer of spot PE cargoes in the world, decide to impose retaliatory 25% tariff on US cargoes.

Southeast Asia as an alternative buying region might be hard pressed to absorb additional supply from the US, where massive PE capacities recently started up which were meant to cater to huge Chinese demand.

Around 5m tonnes of additional US PE capacities are expected from several major projects, including those in the pipeline to start up within the second half of 2018.

China primarily imports PE cargoes from Asia and the Middle East, while the US is its sixth leading PE supplier in 2017.

“Eventually, more substantial and regular volume of US [PE] cargoes are expected to be traded in Asia in the second half of the year as we have yet to see them in the first half of this year,” said a regional trader.

Any changes in trade flows would pose challenges to US suppliers in the short term as they would need to revamp their logistics and distribution channels to redirect cargoes to other markets.

Suppliers from the Middle East, meanwhile, might take the opportunity to supply more cargoes to China, and would mean fewer volumes available to the southeast Asian market.

The Middle East is southeast Asia’s major PE supplier.

Demand for PE imports in southeast Asia has been weak amid low prices in the domestic markets, as in the case of Thailand.

“Thai traders are not keen to import as local prices are more competitive so they do not have the margin to sell the imported cargoes in local market. Only some converters who need specific cargoes continue to import,” said a local Thai trader.

For Malaysia and Indonesia, which have predominantly Muslim population, market activity has slowed down since mid-May, when Ramadan – the Muslim fasting month – started and which will end with the Eid ul-Fitr holiday on 15 June.

The Indonesian government has declared a longer Eid-ul Fitr holiday this year from 11-20 June.

Markets in Singapore and the Philippines will be closed for the mid-June holiday as well.

With supply expected to become long, some market players expect regional PE prices in July and August to ease from June, with restocking activities expected to kick in towards the end of the third quarter.

In the first half of 2018, southeast Asia’s average prices for commodity PE were largely stable to firm owing to suppliers’ relatively comfortable-to-tight supply for most of the period.

At the start of June, high density polyethylene (HDPE) film grade prices averaged $1,395/tonne CFR SE Asia; while linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE) film were at $1,210/tonne CFR SE Asia and 1,265/tonne CFR SE Asia, respectively, according to ICIS data.

Prices had spiked in the first quarter as suppliers were holding comfortable-to-tight inventory as several regional producers have scheduled turnarounds at their plants in March. Production issues and shutdowns in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia also limited availability of imports to southeast Asia during this period.

Supply for HDPE film was particularly tight as some producers from the Middle East as well as Asia switched their focus into making HDPE pipe grade amid robust demand and better netbacks.

The price uptrend across most PE grades could not be sustained in the second quarter although prices remained relatively stable-to-firm.

The depreciation of local currencies in southeast Asia against the US dollar in most of the second quarter was also curbing overall demand for imports. A weaker currency makes US dollar-denominated imports expensive.

“Indonesian buyers have not been buying much cargoes as the market slowed down during Ramadan and also because of weak rupiah which led the central bank to increase interest rate to limit the depreciation,” said a regional producer.

Focus article by Felita Widjaja

Picture: A container ship at Singapore dock. (Source: Sinopix/REX/Shutterstock)

By Felita Widjaja

Evertis continues its commitment to sustainability – At Evertis Ibérica, the company’s purpose has been achieved to the fullest extent. Evertis Ibérica, located in Portugal, is a subsidiary of Control PET, a group pioneer in the field of PET film extrusion – Evertis sustainability PET film extrusion Control PET

Evertis sustainability PET film extrusion Control PET Evertis sustainability PET film extrusion Control PET  Evertis sustainability PET film extrusion Control PET  Evertis sustainability PET film extrusion Control PET  Evertis sustainability PET film extrusion Control PET  Evertis sustainability PET film extrusion Control PET  

Evertis continues its commitment to sustainability

Evertis’ logo is a symbol of one of its founding goals—sustainability.
     
Evertis sustainability PET film extrusion Control PET

At Evertis Ibérica, the company’s purpose has been achieved to the fullest extent. Evertis Ibérica, located in Portugal, is a subsidiary of Control PET, a group pioneer in the field of PET film extrusion with more than fifty years of experience.

Since the beginning, Evertis set ambitious recycling goals and strategies to promote a circular economy of their products and minimize the company’s waste. Evertis’ philosophy is that issues, such as landfilling, cannot be left for governments to solve alone; hence they believe in a duty to create environmentally friendly packaging solutions and challenge their stakeholders to effectively address these concerns.

The group began recycling from the time the business was founded, in 1959, but it was in 2002 that their recycling ambitions took on a dynamic dimension, with the start-up of their own recycling plant. Built on the same industrial site as Evertis Ibérica, this plant has significantly contributed to the recycling of post-consumer PET in Portugal, at times recovering more than 90% of post-consumer PET bottles from the Portuguese waste stream. Partnering with non-profit organizations, producer compliance programs and customers, the volume of recovery has grown to 8,755 tons of post-consumer PET recycled in-house last year.

Two categories of PET flake emerge from this process: clear/light blue flake and green flake. Green flake is sold to authorized recycling companies who resell them for applications where clarity is less critical, while one hundred percent of the clear/light blue flake is consumed by Evertis Ibérica for film production. Additionally, Evertis Ibérica sources and reincorporates PET flake beyond the internally recovered quantities which is produced and converted in the international market and some domestic suppliers

To further enhance their recycling goals, Evertis Ibérica partnered with a company that has researched and developed a unique technological process to recycle multilayer PET, making it possible to reincorporate recycled PET from Evertis’ multi-layered films back into the production cycle.

As food companies become more committed to environmental issues, several of Evertis Ibérica’s customers have joined the initiative and have invested in equipment for the disposal of multilayered PET by-product at their plants. This involves a process whereby the trim and off-cut film is collected and processed by Evertis’ partner, creating reusable RPET from the complex films.

In the past multilayered PET could not be recycled and was added to the waste stream. Now, as a result of this innovation, a new realm of possibilities has arisen in the plastic industry. Cost reduction by eliminating landfill volumes combined with the significant environment benefits through source reduction and reuse, make this a win for all with long term and recurring positive impact. Circular economy has become a reality for Evertis, whereby PET from their films is reintroduced into the next chain of production.

Following, the company’s sustainable focus, Evertis incorporates recycled material into the production of their products, whenever the application allows, while meeting all customer requirements Evertis strives for maximum quality of the PET flake production and counts on a high-tech EREMA recycling system that has EFSA approval for food contact, for films with up to 100% of recycled PET composition.

Evertis has instituted a strict waste management and reuse policy, reincorporating virtually one hundred percent of waste produced in the extrusion and slitting processes. This also includes scrap produced during equipment changeovers, auto-cleaning of filters, machine stops and restarts.

Evertis’ philosophy to reuse resources was key to the group’s constant focus on recycling. It’s their belief that recycling is a great waste-management strategy, whereby environmental impact and resource depletion are reduced. With their principals based on high levels of recycling, Evertis paired their reuse or remanufacturing efforts to lower levels of material usage and energy. Within this framework of sustainable development, Evertis is not only providing a partial solution to solid waste problems, but also contributing to reduction of energy and raw petrochemicals consumption.

It is also of importance to mention Evertis Ibérica’s use of environmentally friendly adhesives in their lamination process. It was their eco-friendly goals that made them pioneers in the field of lamination resulted in their alliance with their recycling partner, which would not have been possible if this technology wasn’t in place.

Evertis’ commitment to being environmentally conscious and responsible has been present since their beginnings. Most importantly it is their ambition to continually challenge and update their environmental goals, that has made their products fit for the future.

Disconnect with feedstock allows European PET to be sold forward – The disconnect between raw material and current, high polyethylene terephthalate (PET) spot prices is so big in Europe that domestic producers are prepared to sell forward without knowing production costs – European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material

European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material  European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material  European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material  European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material  

Disconnect with feedstock allows European PET to be sold forward

Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)–The disconnect between raw material and current, high polyethylene terephthalate (PET) spot prices is so big in Europe that domestic producers are prepared to sell forward without knowing production costs, a reseller said on Thursday.

European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material “Just because of the situation we have, it puts European producers in such a comfortable position that they sell for July delivery and already know they will make a margin because [the PET spot price] is so disconnected from raw materials, so it changes the market completely,” he said.

Producers tend to prefer current month sales, but at the moment, those with availability have good order books for July and may even start to sell August, the reseller added.

Material has been worryingly short in Europe, and is tight globally. Imports have been scarce, are priced similar to local material and do not seem to be having much of an impact.

A shift in exchange rates that favour euro-based buyers, or a push by Asian exporters would normally prompt customers in Europe to wait for imports. This competitive edge often results in domestic PET losing value.

While this is something that could happen at any moment, it is not a scenario that is relevant for today. Also, freight rates from China to Europe have recently increased.

In this environment of short supply, domestic producers have the upper hand to the extent that notwithstanding developments in Asia or upstream, they can continue to ask over €200/tonne higher than they did in May, for deliveries in June and July.

There are contracts based on raw materials that are currently between €200-300/tonne cheaper than spot, so producers’ risk in selling spot is minimal.

European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material PET is used in fibres for clothing, containers and bottles for liquids and foods, thermoforming for manufacturing, and in combination with glass fibre for engineering resins.

Picture source: Ulrich Niehoff/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

By Caroline Murray

Related Topics

-Jiangsu Sanfangxiang plans to launch a new PET plant in the third quarter  – Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group, a major Chinese petrochemical producer, plans to launch a new PET plant in Jiangsu Province, China, in the third quarter – Jiangsu Sanfangxiang PET plant China

-Far Eastern Union plans to launch a new PET plant in Vietnam in July  – The Chinese company Far Eastern Union Petrochemical plans in July this year to launch a new bottled PET plant in Vietnam, ICIS reports with reference to market participants – Far Eastern Union PET plant Vietnam

-Chengxing Group will launch a new PET plant in China on June 1 – Chengxing Group, a major Chinese producer of petrochemicals, is planning to put into operation a new PET production plant in Jianggyin, Jiangsu – Chengxing Group PET plant China

-Europe PET players mull over further price hikes in June on tightness – European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) players are considering June spot prices as sellers announce further increases due to high demand during a period of tightness – Europe PET price hikes June

-Prices of PET in the Gulf countries increased against the backdrop of limited supply – Manufacturers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in the countries of the Persian Gulf (GCC) increased their price proposals at the end of last week, as the supply of material in the region remains limited – Prices PET Gulf countries

-Nan Ya Plastics increases June prices of PET in the US  – The Taiwanese company Nan Ya Plastics (part of the Formosa Group) announced an increase in June prices for all grades of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for the US market by 5 cents per pound or USD110 per tonne – Nan Ya Plastics June prices PET USA  

-Thai Indorama completes acquisition of Brazil PET plant – Thai Indorama acquisition Brazil PET plant

-Judge approves sale of bankrupt M&G plant – A bankrupt plastics plant that had been under construction in Corpus Christi now might be completed and put into operation – Judge bankrupt M&G plant

-Buyer emerges for bankrupt M&G plant, but sale still not final – Italian plastics giant M&G USA files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company will now have to sell the $1 billion plant it is building in Corpus Christi – Buyer Mossi Ghisolfi M&G plant

-Alpek, Indorama, Far Eastern consortium to acquire M&G Texas PTA-PET plant for $1.12bn – Alpek Indorama Far Eastern consortium Mossi Ghisolfi Texas PTA PET

-The bankruptcy nightmare on Mossi & Ghisolfi will decide the court – A glimmer opened when Eni had shown interest in Biochemtex, but in the end of February the cold shower arrived at the Ministry of Economic Development – Bankruptcy Mossi Ghisolfi court

-Indorama to buy M&G’s Brazil PET plant – Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL), has entered into an agreement to acquire M&G Polimeros Brazil SA in Ipojuca Brazil for an undisclosed amount – Indorama Mossi Ghisolfi Brazil PET plant

-Indorama wants to buy M&G West Virginia PET plant – Bangkok-based materials company Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. is bidding to buy the West Virginia PET plant and Ohio research and development site of bankrupt M&G Polymers USA LLC. –Indorama Mossi Ghisolfi West Virginia PET plant

-Indorama Ventures is considering buying a M & G PET plant in the US – Indorama Ventures Mossi Ghisolfi PET US

 

European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material  European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material  European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material  European PET polyethylene terephthalate raw material  

Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress 57 to be held in September – The 57th Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress (Dornbirn GFC), the European-led innovation platform for the fibre industry, will be held from September 12 to 14, 2018, in Austria – Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress

Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress  Dornbirn Global Fiber CoDornbirn Global Fiber Congress Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress gress  Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress  Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress  
Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress 57 to be held in September
Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress
Courtesy: Dornbirn-GFC

The 57th Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress (Dornbirn GFC), the European-led innovation platform for the fibre industry, will be held from September 12 to 14, 2018, in Austria. Dornbirn-GFC is an innovation platform for the fibre, textile, nonwovens, equipment, and mechanical engineering industry. The event is a major player as an idea and network generator.

Around 100 expert lectures will focus on topics like fibre innovations, transportation und mobility, recycling – circular economy, energy generation and energy storage, and surface modification, and additive technologies. More than 700 participants from over 30 nations take advantage of the Dornbirn-GFC in order to learn about the latest innovations of the fibre industry and its downstream stages.

Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Federal Chancellor will give his presentation via a video transmission. We can also look forward to the chancellor`s statements in terms of the Austrian presidency of the Council of the European Union starting in July 2018.

James Holbery from Microsoft US will discuss on the issue of ‘How will Smart Textiles change the world and what does Microsoft expect from industry?’ Smart Textiles in the age of digitalisation – an enormous potential for textile industry.

As a connoisseur of the automotive industry, professor Theo Sams from AVL, the world’s biggest independent company for the development of drive systems, will illuminate the ‘relevance and potentials of the fibre industry in the future development of the automotive industry’.

The successful, rapidly growing Canadian brand Lululemon Athletica, represented by Yogendra Dandapure, will provide forward-looking trends and the technology approach for the industry and he will take part at the panel discussion ‘Circular Economy’.

Edwin Keh, CEO from the international renowned Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel HKRITA, will give a lecture on ‘Circular Economy’ and also participate at the subsequent panel discussion. A panel discussion will also take place titled ‘Circular Economy – What an Opportunity!’ moderated by Anton Schumann/ Gherzi. The participants Eberhard Brack/Märkische Faser, Peter Bartsch/Lenzing, Michel Chtepa/Seaqual4U, Yogendra Dandapure/Lululemon, Edwin Keh/HKRITA, Luis Marinheiro/ISWA (International Solid and Waste Association) will show approaches to the current topic, strongly promoted by the EU Commission.

The topic ‘Digital Age in Research and Development’ will be deepened in a workshop by young scientists on September 11, 2018 guided by Syngroup Consulting (AUT). The subsequent visit of the congress will integrate the next generation into the network of the ‘Dornbirn- GFC Innovation Community’.

The Smart Textiles symposium will be held on September 12 and 13, 2018. This symposium will offer top-class lectures on smart textiles. (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

Related Topics

-NCTO, AFMA Merger Announced – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) announced a merger of their respective organizations effective April 1, 2018 – NCTO AFMA Merger

NCTO CEO Testifies At USTR NAFTA Hearing– US Textile Renegotiation NCTO USTR NAFTA

US shale firms miss out on $70 oil after hedging at $55 – Many top US shale oil producers are missing out on the rally in oil prices to more than $70 a barrel – because they sold their oil through futures contracts at about $55 last year when that looked like a good deal – USA shale firms $70 oil

USA shale firms $70 oil USA shale firms $70 oil  USA shale firms $70 oil  USA shale firms $70 oil  USA shale firms $70 oil  USA shale firms $70 oil  USA shale firms $70 oil  USA shale firms $70 oil  USA shale firms $70 oil  USA shale firms $70 oil  

US shale firms miss out on $70 oil after hedging at $55

NMMA provides update on EPA bio-isobutanol approval –  Earlier this week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt approved the registration of bio-isobutanol as a fuel additive – NMMA EPA bioisobutanol

NMMA EPA bioisobutanol NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  NMMA EPA bioisobutanol  

NMMA provides update on EPA bio-isobutanol approval

BY THE NATIONAL MARINE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION

 NMMA EPA bioisobutanol   Earlier this week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt approved the registration of bio-isobutanol as a fuel additive.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association has been a leading voice in the effort to secure approval for bio-isobutanol, raising it directly with Pruitt on multiple occasions since he took office.

May’s American Boating Congress featured a special question-and-answer session with NMMA President Thom Dammrich and Pruitt.

“We applaud Administrator Pruitt’s approval of bio-isobutanol as a biofuel additive, which will provide consumers a safe, efficient, and environmentally-friendly E15 alternative that is highly compatible with marine products,” Dammrich said. “This decision will promote an innovative fuel supply, with direct benefits to American boaters and consumers.

As Congress continues to discuss potential reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard, it is absolutely critical that all stakeholders remember the threat posed by fuel blends exceeding 10 percent ethanol, Dammrich added.

“Thanks to the leadership of Administrator Pruitt and champions in Congress like Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA-1), who highlighted the value of bio-isobutanol during multiple committee hearings, consumers could now have much-needed additional choices at the pump” he said.

While additional steps by EPA are needed to break down other regulatory impediments to the full-scale commercialization of bio-isobutanol, EPA’s recent actions are very encouraging, Dammrich said.

In addition to increased fuel options, the boating industry needs a comprehensive public education and awareness campaign in place prior to any E15 expansion

“We owe it to the millions of American boaters and the 650,000 workers that the industry supports,” Dammrich said.

Background:

  • According to the NMMA, 95 percent of boats are fueled at retail gas stations. Boat owners depend on safe, reliable and proven fuel choices to be universally available.
  • Misfueling of engines voids warranties, leaving consumers with expensive repair and replacement bills.
  • Biobutanol is a four-carbon alcohol produced from renewable, plant-derived energy sources in a fermentation process similar to beer and wine production.
  • Biobutanol can be produced using existing ethanol feedstocks, such as corn and sugar beets, or advanced feedstocks (cellulosic biomass) such as crop residues, wood residues, dedicated energy crops, and industrial and other wastes.
  • Unlike E15, which causes severe damage to small engines like those used in recreational boating, biobutanol delivers more renewable energy content than ethanol while remaining compatible with current vehicles, boats, and infrastructure.

According to a Harris Poll commissioned by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (2018):

  • Nearly two thirds of Americans (65 percent) assume that any gas sold at the gas station is safe for all cars, as well as boats, mowers, chain saws, snowmobiles, generators and other engine products;
  • As a result, an ever-increasing number of outdoor power equipment owners are using the wrong type of fuel in their products, including boats. In 2018, 11 percent reported using E15, E30, E50, or E85 to fuel their equipment, up from 7 percent in 2015;
  • The EPA issued a small voluntary label for gas stations to post if they sell fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol. When asked about the label, more than 3 in 5 Americans (63 percent) feel it is inadequate to inform consumers about E15 fuel being illegal to use in outdoor power equipment.

China’s Hengli aims to start first PX line in Nov, after refinery starts – China’s Hengli Petrochemical plans to start test runs at one of its two new paraxylene production lines in Dalian, Liaoning province, in November – China Hengli PX line

China Hengli PX line China Hengli PX line  China Hengli PX line  China Hengli PX line  China Hengli PX line  China Hengli PX line  China Hengli PX line  China Hengli PX line  China Hengli PX line  China Hengli PX line  

China’s Hengli aims to start first PX line in Nov, after refinery starts

Singapore (Platts)-

China Hengli PX line  China’s Hengli Petrochemical plans to start test runs at one of its two new paraxylene production lines in Dalian, Liaoning province, in November, in line with planned trial runs at its new 20 million mt/year (400,000 b/d) refinery in October, a source close to the company said Thursday.

Both lines have a production capacity of 2.25 million mt/year. The second line is expected to start in the first or second quarter of 2019, the source said.

Hengli is one of China’s, and the world’s, largest producers of purified terephthalic acid, with three plants at Dalian totaling 6.6 million mt/year in production capacity. PX is used to produce PTA.

In June, Hengli received a crude oil import quota of 5 million mt (36.65 million barrels) from China’s Ministry of Commerce, S&P Global Platts reported previously.

Construction of the refinery is scheduled to be completed in July, after which it will need final approval from the government to start operations.

–Gustav Holmvik, gustav.holmvik@spglobal.com

–Yi-Jeng Huang, yi.jeng.huang@spglobal.com

–Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@spglobal.com

Related Topics

-Asian PX-MX spread hits 8-month low amid firm isomer-MX, sluggish PX – The spread between paraxylene and feedstock isomer-grade mixed xylene in Asia has reached its lowest level in eight months due to increased demand for MX for gasoline blending and sluggish PX demand – Asian PX MX spread sluggish PX

-ExxonMobil announced the May contract price of paraxylene at USD1,030 per tonne – ExxonMobil May contract price paraxylene

-SKGC and JXTG announced the May price of paraxylene at USD1,040-1,050 per tonne – JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy (part of Nippon Oil Corporation), a major petrochemical producer in Japan, and SK Global Chemical (SKGC), one of the largest petrochemical producers in South Korea, announced the May contract the price of paraxylene for supplies to Asia at the level of USD1 040-1 050 per ton – SKGC JXTG May price paraxylene

-US April PX CP slips as feedstock MX prices surge on supply, demand – The US April paraxylene contract price was heard settled Friday at 48 cents/lb, sources said Friday – USA April PX CP supply demand

-Paraxylene prices in Asia rose – The spot prices of paraxylene in Asia rose amid the growth in the market of terephthalic acid (TPA) – Paraxylene prices Asia

OPEC Lifts Non-OPEC Oil Production Growth Forecast – OPEC revised up on Tuesday its 2018 forecast for total non-OPEC supply growth, while it left unchanged its projection for world oil demand growth at 1.65 million bpd this year – OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production

OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  

OPEC Lifts Non-OPEC Oil Production Growth Forecast

OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production

OPEC revised up on Tuesday its 2018 forecast for total non-OPEC supply growth, while it left unchanged its projection for world oil demand growth at 1.65 million bpd this year.

In its closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report published today, OPEC revised up its non-OPEC supply growth estimate by 130,000 bpd compared to last month’s report, and now expects non-OPEC supply growth of 1.86 million bpd in 2018 compared to 2017.

“World oil demand in 2018 is forecast to grow by 1.65 mb/d, broadly unchanged from the previous month’s assessment, to stand at 98.85 mb/d,” OPEC said.

Total OECD commercial oil stocks—OPEC’s current gauge of the oil market rebalancing—were 26 million barrels below the latest five-year average, as per preliminary data for April.

Looking to the rest of 2018, the cartel pointed to “pronounced uncertainty about the second half of the year.”

“While oil demand in the US, China and India shows some upside potential, downside risks might limit this potential going forward, including a slowdown in the pace of economic growth in some major economies, stronger impact of policy reform with regard to retail prices, and further substitution toward natural gas,” according to OPEC.

OPEC’s crude oil production increased by 35,400 bpd from April, to 31.869 million bpd in May, as Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Iraq boosted production that was partially offset by lower production in Nigeria, Venezuela, and Libya.

Related: Venezuela Won’t Have Enough Oil To Export By 2019

Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer, raised its production by 85,500 bpd to 9.987 million bpd, according to OPEC’s secondary sources. The Kingdom self-reported a production increase of 161,400 bpd to 10.030 million bpd, just below its ceiling of 10.058 million bpd.

According to secondary sources, the biggest drop in May was registered in Nigeria, whose production fell by 53,500 bpd to 1.711 million bpd, as pipeline outages hampered production last month.

Venezuela was a close second in terms of a production decline in May, with output plummeting again, by 42,500 bpd to below 1.4 million bpd—1.392 million bpd, according to secondary sources.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprcie.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

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-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

OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  OPEC NonOPEC Oil Production  

Sustainable packaging requires a flexible supply chain – Many companies across the globe are attempting to develop sustainable packaging materials to reduce environmental impact – Sustainable packaging supply chain

Sustainable packaging supply chain Sustainable packaging supply chain  Sustainable packaging supply chain  Sustainable packaging supply chain  Sustainable packaging supply chain  Sustainable packaging supply chain  

Sustainable packaging requires a flexible supply chain

Sustainable packaging supply chain

Many companies across the globe are attempting to develop sustainable packaging materials to reduce environmental impact. However, developing the materials required is a time-consuming and expensive process, and companies need to build flexibility into their supply chain while regularly updating consumers on their progress to remain in the competition, according to GlobalData.

The company’s report, ‘Innovation Scenarios in Sustainable Packaging Materials’, reveals that two-thirds of consumers across the globe think that living an ethical or sustainable lifestyle is an important aspect in developing a feeling of well-being. This increased focus on environmental impact is creating new opportunities for the manufacturers of sustainable packaging materials.

Mayu Teeven, associate analyst of FMCG at GlobalData, says: “Pressure from governments and consumers is forcing companies to better track the environmental impact of their packaging. However, concerns remain over cost, barrier properties and product safety, product functionality, and scalability that must be addressed for sustainable materials to increase their market share.”

While analysing the packaging landscape, the report states that glass packaging is seen as environmentally friendly yet inconvenient. On the other hand, even though the growth of flexible packaging across many categories is driven by cost and convenience, it will come under threat due to the negative sustainability credentials many plastics have.

GlobalData has identified micro fibrillated cellulose, polyvinyl alcohol, ethylene vinyl alcohol and polyethylene furanoate as the materials that impact innovation in sustainable packaging markets. MFC specifically is a 100% renewable material based on cellulose fibres extracted from wood. While the use of MFC is currently niche and severely limited by production capability, GlobalData found that it has the potential to replace existing paper and board in food and drink cartons.

Teeven explains: “Consumers in regions such as Asia-Pacific are used to drinks being served in a carton format, which means there will be fewer obstacles to increasing adoption.

“EVOH, which is mainly made up of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, is relatively common in East Asian markets such as Japan. It is suited for a wide range of applications, but its environmental benefits can be hard to communicate to consumers as it may not be biodegradable.”

Teeven concludes: “The biggest challenge for producers is to convince consumers that these sustainable packaging materials are worth the cost. Although there are long-term savings to be made by manufacturers moving to more sustainable materials, in the short term prices will likely need to increase to cover the research and development costs of developing new materials and upgrading machinery in factories to work with the new packs.”

Related Topics

-HOW BIG BRANDS ARE TRYING TO PULL OFF A RECYCLING REVOLUTION  – RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING

-Testing ‘recyclability’ with an eye on sorting systems – Testing protocols developed by the Association of Plastic Recyclers give brand owners the chance to prove their plastic packaging can be correctly sorted at materials recovery facilities – Testing recyclability sorting systems

-UK company adds Max-AI robotic sorting technology – MaxAI robotic sorting technology

PE prices in Europe are rising in June – Prices of polyethylene (PE) in Europe are expected to grow in June, buyers and sellers note, but the rise in PE prices has not yet covered the increase in raw material quotations – PE prices Europe June

PE prices Europe June PE prices Europe June   PE prices Europe June   PE prices Europe June   PE prices Europe June   PE prices Europe June  

PE prices in Europe are rising in June –  PE prices Europe June  

PE prices Europe June   MOSCOW – Prices of polyethylene (PE) in Europe are expected to grow in June, buyers and sellers note, but the rise in PE prices has not yet covered the increase in raw material quotations, ICIS reports.

The contract price of ethylene in Europe for June supplies was agreed at the level of EUR1,150 per tonne, which is EUR63 per ton higher than the level of May.

Initial prices grew rapidly, buyers expected an increase of about EUR50 per tonne and above. According to sources on the market, contracts tied to the price of ethylene will grow by EUR65 per ton, but freely agreed prices take time to settle.

Deliveries of imports from new North American PE capacities are still expected in the market, but so far their volume has been low. Most players expect that by the end of the year the volumes of supplies will grow.

It is expected that the June price for PE will be finally agreed at the very end of the month, when the contract price for ethylene in July is likely to be settled.

Earlier it was reported that European producers went for a more substantial increase in the export prices of certain types of polyethylene (PE) for June supplies to the CIS countries than the increase in the price of the monomer. The increase in the cost of ethylene in the region has led to a proportional increase in export prices for low-density polyethylene (HDPE) for customers from the CIS, while in the segment of high-density polyethylene (LDPE), the price increase is half the size of the increase in the price of ethylene. Negotiations for June shipments of HDPE were conducted in the range EUR1 080-1 153 per tonne, FCA, which is EUR63-80 per ton higher than the May price level.

mrcplast.ru

Author:                Anna Larionova

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Asia PTA supply to lengthen in H2 on India, China plant start-ups – Asia PTA supply India China plant

Asia PTA supply India China plant Asia PTA supply India China plant  Asia PTA supply India China plant  Asia PTA supply India China plant  Asia PTA supply India China plant  Asia PTA supply India China plant  Asia PTA supply India China plant  Asia PTA supply India China plant  

Asia PTA supply to lengthen in H2 on India, China plant start-ups

 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Supply of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in Asia is expected to lengthen in the second half of 2018 as new capacities will start up in the major markets of India and China, amid a slowdown in demand.

Major plants will have resumed production after unplanned outages to ease the current global supply tightness that has been driving up Asian prices, while demand typically weakens in the third quarter.

Asian PTA prices may start to come under pressure as fresh supply will hit the markets when new major regional plants start production in the third quarter.

“Market sentiment is currently pessimistic about the outlook, however, this can quickly change if we see a sudden uptick in downstream demand,” a China-based producer said.

In India, JBF Group’s 1.25m tonne/year PTA unit in Mangalore is expected to start up in the third quarter, although the schedule is still fluid, according to several market participants.

In China, Fuhaichuang Petrochemical, formerly known as Dragon Aromatics (Zhangzhou), is planning to resume operations at its complex in the third quarter this year after a prolonged shutdown.

Its petrochemical complex in Zhangzhou has a 4.5m tonne/year PTA plant, which is comprised of three 1.5m tonne/year lines, two of which have been in operation since end-2017. The company is likely to restart the third line once smooth operations at its upstream paraxylene (PX) unit at the site is achieved, market players said.

In Europe, Indorama Ventures Portugal plans to start up in July an idled 700,000 tonne/year PTA unit in Sines. Thailand-based Indorama Ventures Ltd acquired the plant from Portuguese Artlant PTA in late 2017.

All these factors should see the narrowing of the price gap between China’s import and domestic markets as early as next month, after widening steadily from March to May.

As of 12 June, the gap stood at $96/tonne, down from the peak of about $111/tonne on 30 May.

Asia PTA supply India China plant

Asia’s PTA prices are currently steady at high levels, with regional end-users preferring to procure cargoes on a need-to basis and were not keen on building inventories.

Future movement will depend on market conditions in the downstream polyester industry.

The wide price gap in China’s import and domestic markets have been deterring Chinese buyers from tapping the international spot market for supplies since March, while demand was healthy, especially in the downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) markets.

Tight global supply in the first half saw Asian producers shipping out cargoes to the Middle East, as well as Europe, which was hit by unplanned outages in Belgium and Poland in April.

In Europe, BP Chemical on 15 April declared a force majeure at its Belgium PTA unit, and declared a second force majeure on 17 May; while PKN Orlen on 23 April declared a force majeure at its Wloclawek PTA unit in Poland which was subsequently lifted on 2 May, with spot cargoes from the plant limited until after a planned maintenance in September/October 2018.

Within Asia, the southeastern region has had PTA plant outages and had to procure cargoes from the northeast in the past two months.

Regional supply tightened further with the unexpected shutdown of Hanwha General Chemical’s 700,000 tonne/year PTA unit in Daesan, prompting a force majeure declaration on 21 May.

In the first half of 2018, strong growth in demand in the downstream polyester markets in Asia, particularly China, supported the rally in PTA prices amid tight supply.

Downstream polyester markets were enjoying positive margins, keeping demand for feedstock PTA healthy.

In the key China market, operating rates at polyester units were higher compared with the previous year.

Asia PTA supply India China plant

The country’s PTA production losses in January-June 2018, on the other hand, were estimated at around 1.34m tonnes due to planned and unplanned outages.

Asia PTA supply India China plant

Asia’s PTA producers were largely enjoying healthy margins, on the back of steady demand growth in the downstream polyester markets. Firmer upstream energy and feedstock PX prices have also buoyed up PTA prices.

In January to May 2018, Brent crude traded at $66.92-76.16/bbl, up by about 25% year on year, while PX prices were at $938-994/tonne, representing a 15% increase over the same period.

Asia PTA supply India China plant

Focus article by Samuel Wong

Picture: Inside a textile factory in Jiangsu province, China. Textiles are the main downstream of purified terepthalic acid (PTA). (Source: Imaginechina/REX/Shutterstock)

By Samuel Wong

BASF invests in carbon recycling company LanzaTech – BASF invests carbon recycling LanzaTech

BASF invests carbon recycling LanzaTech BASF invests carbon recycling LanzaTech  BASF invests carbon recycling LanzaTech  BASF invests carbon recycling LanzaTech  BASF invests carbon recycling LanzaTech  BASF invests carbon recycling LanzaTech  BASF invests carbon recycling LanzaTech  

BASF invests in carbon recycling company LanzaTech

  • Unique biotechnological procedure for using gaseous waste as a source for raw materials
  • Technology with potential for applications in the chemical industry

BASF invests in carbon recycling company LanzaTech Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Chicago, USA – BASF Venture Capital GmbH is to invest in LanzaTech, a biotech company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Using special microbes, LanzaTech has developed a technology for gas fermentation that first enables ethanol to be produced from residual gases containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen. By re-using waste streams instead of incinerating them, industrial companies can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

LanzaTech’s patented technology is now being deployed at commercial scale in the steel industry where carbon monoxide from residual gases (off-gases) can be converted into ethanol. Ethanol can be used as the raw material for the production of diesel, gasoline or jet fuel and as a precursor to plastics and polymers. The company’s product portfolio includes additional biochemicals besides ethanol, such as chemical specialties and intermediates, that can be used as raw materials in other chemical production processes. The technology is also potentially suitable for treating and recycling waste streams in the chemical industry and for municipal waste disposal.

“LanzaTech offers a promising technology that allows currently unused industrial residue and waste streams to be recycled,” says Markus Solibieda, Managing Director of BASF Venture Capital. “We support our customers and society with chemistry that makes optimum use of available resources, and we are working to integrate sustainability increasingly in all our business processes. One part of this is investment in technologies that help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

“Investment from BASF will help us realize our goal of a Carbon Smart Future,” says Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “BASF’s expertise in creating sustainable chemistry that benefits society aligns with our carbon recycling vision, where we capture and reuse waste carbon to make useful everyday items, displacing fossil feedstocks and keeping the sky blue for all.”

About BASF Venture Capital
BASF Venture Capital GmbH (BVC) was founded in 2001 and has offices in Europe, the U.S., China and Israel. The aim of BVC is to generate new growth potential for BASF by investing in new companies and funds. The focus of investment is on chemical products and new materials, software and services as well as innovative and digital business models in the broader field of chemistry. Further information
at  www.basf-vc.de.

About BASF
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.

About LanzaTech
LanzaTech has developed a unique microbial capability that captures and recycles a broad spectrum of gases for fuel and chemical production with over 50 different molecules demonstrated. Proprietary microbes combined with innovative approaches in bioreactor design and process development have enabled rapid scale up. The first 2 commercial units converting steel mill waste gases to fuels are being built; in China with Shougang and in Belgium with the world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal. Across the supply chain, LanzaTech promotes a “Carbon Smart™” circular economy, where both gas providers and end users can choose to be resource efficient by recycling or “sequestering” carbon into new products rather than making them from fossil reserves.

Founded in New Zealand, LanzaTech has raised more than US$250 million from investors including Khosla Ventures, K1W1, Qiming Venture Partners, Petronas, Mitsui, Primetals, China International Capital Corp, Suncor, China International Investment Corporation (CITIC) and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

BASF Media Contact:
Inga Franke
+49 173 3099242
 inga.a.franke@basf.com
LanzaTech Media Contact:
Freya Burton
+1 630 347 8054
 freya@lanzatech.com
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Colour Tone to urge producers to ensure recyclability of non-clear plastics at PDM 2018 – Colour Tone producers recyclability nonclear plastics PDM 2018

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Colour Tone to urge producers to ensure recyclability of non-clear plastics at PDM 2018

by Grace Nolan

by Grace Nolan

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First bio-based FDME pilot plant opens – First biobased FDME pilot plant

First biobased FDME pilot plant First biobased FDME pilot plant  First biobased FDME pilot plant  First biobased FDME pilot plant  First biobased FDME pilot plant  First biobased FDME pilot plant  First biobased FDME pilot plant  First biobased FDME pilot plant  

First bio-based FDME pilot plant opens

By Scott Jenkins

The world’s first pilot plant for manufacturing bio-based furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME) began operating last month in Decatur, Ill.

A collaboration between DuPont Industrial Biosciences (Wilmington, Del.; www.biosciences.dupont.com) and Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM; Chicago, Ill.; www.adm.com), the 60-ton/yr pilot facility represents the next step in an ongoing commercialization process for bio-based FDME (see Chem. Eng., March 2016, p. 9; www.chemengonline.com/collaboration-lowers-cost-bio-based-fdme-process).

Bio-based FDME is made from cornstarch-derived fructose starting material, and will be used to make a range of bio-based chemicals and plastics. The fructose is dehydrated and the products from the reaction are oxidized to form furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA). The FDCA iFirst biobased FDME pilot plant s then reacted with methanol, resulting in FDME. DuPont and ADM say plastics derived from bio-based FDME will ultimately be more cost-effective, efficient and sustainable than their petroleum-based counterparts.

One of the first FDME-based polymers under development by DuPont is polytrimethylene furandicarboxylate (PTF), a novel polyester also made from DuPont’s proprietary Bio-PDO (1,3-propanediol). PTF is a 100% renewable polymer, DuPont and ADM say, that, in bottling applications, can be used to create plastic bottles that are lighter-weight, more sustainable and better performing. Research by the two companies shows that PTF has up to 10–15 times the CO 2 barrier performance of traditional PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic, which results in a longer shelf life. Improved barrier performance could allow lighter-weight packaging designs for beverages.

The two companies say they hope to further scale up the FDME production process in the coming months.

Related Topics

-FDCA (2,5-furandicarboxylic acid) biorefineries – FDCA has two carboxylic acid groups, which makes it a suitable monomer for polycondensation reactions with diols or diamines – FDCA furandicarboxylic acid PEF Polyamides

-Synvina extends PEF pilot phase – Amsterdam-based Synvina CV is planning to extend the pilot phase of its FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) production by 24 to 36 months in order to “optimise” future commercial-scale production – Synvina PEF pilot phase

DSM launches innovative fermentation solution that improves ethanol production – DSM fermentation solution ethanol production

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DSM launches innovative fermentation solution that improves ethanol production

Parsippany NJ, US,

eBOOST™ provides consistent increased ethanol yield while significantly reducing glycerol production

DSM fermentation solution ethanol productionRoyal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, today introduced eBOOST™, a complete solution for ethanol producers seeking higher yield and significantly reduced glycerol production in starch conversion processes. The launch took place at the annual Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Omaha, Nebraska, USA (11-13 June 2018). Developed by DSM’s Bio-based Products & Services business, the solution includes yeast; a license to proprietary, patented technology; and technical service from DSM’s local team.

To establish the comprehensive viability of this solution, DSM undertook several full-scale application trials. The trials demonstrated that the solution enables a step change in performance for the ethanol market, increasing ethanol yields up to 6% and reducing glycerol formation more effectively than other industry-standard yeast products. This superior performance was demonstrated during continuous use over extensive periods, resulting in clear benefits to plant owners and managers looking to improve their plant economics and reduce energy consumption to make them more competitive and profitable.

One such trial took place with Corn Plus, an ethanol plant located in Minnesota, USA, that is owned and supported by more than 600 local shareholders. “In working with DSM, we saw a near 50% reduction in glycerol production – this is very significant,” said Mike Jerke, Corn Plus General Manager. “Beyond that, DSM provided a high level of attention to the technical side with people on site to guide us through the process. Having a vendor who is willing to deploy resources in this way is a good thing.”

Available in dry and cream forms, eBoost™ is tailored to provide ethanol producers with an easy-to-use solution that will optimize their ethanol production and improve their profitability. The solution is manufactured and commercially available in the United States.

DSM is committed to delivering unique and differentiating technologies and solutions that enable the biofuel industry to optimize its processes and maximize its yields and profits in a sustainable way,” said Atul Thakrar, President of DSM Bio-based Products & Services. “eBOOST is the newest example of our efforts to bring customers the latest in yeast technology, allowing them to deliver the best fermentation results and helping to advance the entire biofuels industry.”

DSM continues to invest in the biofuel industry and has a dedicated team working on the development and commercialization of products and services for the industry. Global research facilities exist for the business in Illinois, USA, and in Delft, the Netherlands.

To learn more about DSM’s range of yeast and enzyme solutions that enhance performance, visit DSM at booth 1014 at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop on 11-13 June 2018, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA or by visiting www.biofuelthefuture.com.

Related Topics

-Ethanol still presents an industry challenge – Congress and the Trump Administration are currently exploring ways to reform the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard – Ethanol industry challenge

-Russia Eyes Petrochemicals As Answer To Crude Oil Reliance – On a sprawling construction site in Western Siberia, about 20,000 workers are busy building what will be one of the world’s five biggest petrochemical plants – On a sprawling construction site in Western Siberia, about 20,000 workers are busy building what will be one of the world’s five biggest petrochemical plants, part of a play by Russia to capture more of the value from the oil it produces – Russia Petrochemicals Crude Oil Reliance

-Asia petrochemicals outlook, w/c May 14 -Asian petrochemical prices are seen likely to continue to trend higher this week amid support from bullish crude futures – Asia petrochemicals outlook

-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

-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

-Americas petrochemicals outlook: w/c Apr 16 – Spot ethylene has been on the rise, 0.50 cent/lb higher than the record lows seen April 9 after prompt-month was heard offered at 14 cents/lb MtB Nova – Americas petrochemicals outlook

-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 

-AFPM ’18: EQUATE’s US MEG plant begins construction phase – CEO – AFPM 2018 EQUATE USA MEG

-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

Improving nature’s tools for digesting plastic – Improving nature digesting plastic

Improving nature digesting plastic Improving nature digesting plastic   Improving nature digesting plastic   Improving nature digesting plastic   Improving nature digesting plastic   Improving nature digesting plastic   Improving nature digesting plastic   Improving nature digesting plastic  

Improving nature’s tools for digesting plastic

by Mary L. Martialay, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Improving nature digesting plastic
Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Enzymes found in nature can break down certain plastics, but not well enough to support industrial recycling and stem the scourge of plastic waste. Building on what nature has provided, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have improved the efficiency of a leaf and branch compost cutinase that breaks down polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the plastic used in clear and colored plastic water bottles and many other products. Researchers believe the enzyme can be further refined, offering a promising candidate to fuel limitless recycling of PET and possibly other plastics such as cellulose acetate.

In work recently published in the journal Biochemistry, the researchers used yeast cells to express the leaf and branch compost cutinase (LCC) modified by the addition of sugar molecules – or glycans – in two locations. The “glycosylated” modified enzyme retained at least half of its activity after 48 hours at 75 degrees Celsius, versus a previously reported half-life of 40 minutes for the unmodified enzyme at 70 degrees Celsius.

“We need plastics and other materials that retain good performance and, after use, can then be broken down by safe and mild processes to their original  for reuse,” said Richard Gross, lead author of the research, Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering, member of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rensselaer. “The goal should be zero waste and to do that, we have to build reuse into the design of a wide range of polymers and materials. This is an encouraging step toward that goal.”

“This promising advance, which is sorely needed as  pollution becomes an ever-greater threat to our environment, is a result of the diverse skill set and collaborative environment we have built at Rensselaer ” said Deepak Vashishth, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. “Dr. Gross’ research spans boundaries between biologics and biomanufacturing, and is certain to help us resolve the critical problems we face.”

With existing technologies, a plastic bottle isn’t so much recycled as down-cycled. After a single use, a high percentage of PET bottles go directly to landfills or are reused as other plastics such as PET fibers and fleece for clothes, carpet, bags, furniture, and packing materials. Eventually, down-cycled PET makes its way to landfills or other undesirable environments such as oceans and lakes, a fate many consumers are unaware of as they toss their water bottles in a recycling bin.

Breaking PET down into its building blocks – terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol – would enable the limitless reuse more commonly associated with other recyclable materials such as glass and metal. Some naturally occurring enzymes can break down PET, but not within the constraints of time and temperature required by an industrial recycling process. Many enzymes lose their activity at higher temperatures, and eventually denature. An enzyme suitable for industrial recycling must be able to operate at optimal temperature for breaking down PET, which is about 75 degree Celsius, and it must retain its activity long enough to do its job cost-effectively at that temperature.

LCC was initially discovered through metagenomic analysis of a leaf-branch compost, meaning scientists extracted DNA found in a compost irrespective of the organisms that produced it, and then used the DNA to express and catalogue enzymes that were present. A 2012 study published by unrelated researchers in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology showed that LCC was able to hydrolyze, or break down, PET, but lost activity quickly at higher temperatures. That attracted the attention of Gross, an expert on biocatalytic and chemical synthetic methods, who saw the opportunity to improve the enzyme’s “kinetic stability” without damaging its ability to break down PET.

The lab studied the enzyme and found three separate glycosylation sites,  to which glycans are attached during protein synthesis. Gross said the glycosylation sites could have evolved in a previous organism and been conserved even though they were not used by the natural bacterium that originally produced this protein. Regardless, when the team expressed the enzyme using the yeast strain Pichia pastoris, they found that the yeast naturally glycosylated the enzyme at the three sites. Further research showed that two glycosylation sites yielded a more effective enzyme than three sites.

With only those minor changes, the team saw greater than a 60-fold improvement in kinetic stability. And Gross said additional research will explore how to further improve the kinetics and the overall activity of the  by experimenting with amino acid sequences to create variant structures. Through this work, Gross expects to understand the design rules that lead to better performance.

“This cutinase is an excellent candidate for commercialization, but this work will also help us redesign other cutinases to break down other polymers, and that’s a much larger end game,” said Gross.

“Stabilizing Leaf and Branch Compost Cutinase (LCC) with Glycosylation: Mechanism and Effect on PET Hydrolysis” was published in Biochemistry.

 Explore further: Research enhances enzyme that degrades plastic

More information: Abhijit N. Shirke et al. Stabilizing Leaf and Branch Compost Cutinase (LCC) with Glycosylation: Mechanism and Effect on PET Hydrolysis, Biochemistry (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b01189

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MEGlobal nominates July MEG ACP at $1,110/mt CFR Asia, down $40/mt from June – MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia

MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia  MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia  MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia  MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia  MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia  MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia  MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia  

MEGlobal nominates July MEG ACP at $1,110/mt CFR Asia, down $40/mt from June

Singapore (Platts)-

MEGlobal MEG ACP $1,110/mt CFR Asia MEGlobal has nominated its July Asia Contract Price for monoethylene glycol at $1,110/mt CFR Asia, down $40/mt from June, a company official said Wednesday.

The lower July ACP nomination reflects the short term supply and demand situation in the market, the source added. MEG was last assessed at $915/mt CFR China Tuesday, up $15/mt from Monday.

–Serena Seng, serena.seng@spglobal.com

–Edited by Pankti Mehta, pankti.mehta@spglobal.com

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-The initial May contract price of MEG in Europe increased by EUR40 per tonne – The initial contract price of monoethylene glycol (MEG) in Europe for May deliveries was agreed at the level of EUR1,005 per ton, which is EUR40 per ton higher than the April contract prices – Price MEG Europe

-Sinopec raised MEG prices in April by USD162 per tonne – China China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), the largest oil refining company in Asia, increased the April contract prices of monoethylene glycol (MEG) in the eastern regions of China by 1,020 yuan (CNY) or USD162 per ton – Sinopec MEG prices April

-Sinopec raised April MEG prices in East China by CNY500 per tonne – China China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), the largest oil refining company in Asia, on April 17 raised the selling prices of monoethylene glycol (MEG) in the eastern regions of China by 500 yuan (CNY) or USD80 per ton compared to the March level – Sinopec April MEG prices East China

-Europe MEG spot prices play catch up after steep Asia gains – European monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot prices are playing catch up to the recent price surges in the Asia market – Europe MEG spot prices

-Prices of MEG in Asia rose again – Price proposals for monoethylene glycol (MEG) continued to grow in the Chinese market this week, as market sentiment became more optimistic amid the near-term outlook for the situation in the polyester market – Prices MEG monoethylene glycol Asia

-European MEG sellers emboldened by Asian rebound as April talks continue -The European monoethylene glycol (MEG) initial April contract decrease fell short of original expectations, but the latest rebound in Asia seems to have renewed European sellers’ confidence in the spot market – European MEG Asian April

-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

Oil prices are unlikely to increase as ‘sharply’ from now on, IEA says – Crude Oil prices IEA

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Oil prices are unlikely to increase as ‘sharply’ from now on, IEA says

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes a recent spike in the oil price could soon start to ease, helping to alleviate concerns that surging prices could hurt demand and global economic growth.
  • “Prices are unlikely to increase as sharply as they did from mid-2017 onwards and thus the dampening effect on demand will be reduced,” the Paris–based organization said in its latest monthly report published Wednesday.

Crude Oil prices IEA
Getty Images

The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes a recent spike in the oil price could soon start to ease, helping to alleviate concerns that surging prices could hurt demand and global economic growth.

“Prices are unlikely to increase as sharply as they did from mid-2017 onwards and thus the dampening effect on demand will be reduced,” the Paris–based organization said in its latest monthly report published Wednesday.

Rising oil prices have created question marks over the strength of demand, but the IEA left its oil demand growth forecast for 2019 largely unchanged, at 1.4 million barrels a day (mb/d), similar to this year’s level.

However, it cautioned that there are possible downside risks to the demand outlook, including “the possibility of higher prices, a weakening of economic confidence, trade protectionism and a potential further strengthening of the U.S. dollar.”

In terms of supply, the IEA revised upwards its estimate for 2018 non-OPEC production growth to 2 mb/d and said 2019 would also see what it called “bumper growth” of 1.7 mb/d. Most of that non-OPEC supply growth would come from the U.S., it said.

The IEA’s latest report comes amid uncertainty over the amount of oil production we can expect to see from major producers in coming months.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia are continuing with a deal to curb their supply, but the strategy is seen to have been effective with Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) now trading around $75 and $66, respectively.

The OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed back in November 2016 to curb supply in order to boost then-low oil prices. There are now fears that prices could rise steeply if supplies are disrupted from OPEC members Venezuela and Iran. The former is experiencing economic turmoil and the latter is facing a re-imposition of sanctions after the U.S. withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers are meeting in Vienna on June 22 to discuss the supply situation. The encounter could be fractious with arguments expected between producers over whether to increase production or maintain supply as it is — given rising prices and potential supply disruptions. There is also the specter of competition from U.S. shale oil producers and a reluctance to cede more market share to them.

Saudi Arabia and Russia are reportedly ready to increase oil output, while others like Iran and Iraq are against such a move.

The IEA said that, for its part, it had looked at a scenario (not a forecast, it emphasized) that by the end of next year output from these two countries could be 1.5 mb/d lower than it is today.

It said Middle East OPEC producers could make up for the loss and increase production by about 1.1 mb/d. “And there could be more output from Russia on top of the increase already built into our 2019 non-OPEC supply numbers,” it added.

German investor outlook slumps to six-year low on weaker demand, trade tensions and Italy – German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy

German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  

German investor outlook slumps to six-year low on weaker demand, trade tensions and Italy

Source:ICIS News

German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy   LONDON (ICIS)–German investor confidence weakened in June as sluggish economic demand and fears over the new Italian government exacerbated global trade tensions to drive business outlook to its lowest ebb in nearly six years, research group ZEW said on Tuesday.

The agency’s metric of German economic sentiment slipped by 7.9 points in June compared to the previous month to stand at minus 16.1 points, compared to a long-term average of 23.3 points, the most bearish score since September 2012.

Investor confidence has slumped in the country in recent months compared to the record high seen in January this year, as the momentum of eurozone economic growth has sputtered and geopolitical tensions have intensified.

ZEW’s investor confidence index had remained at minus 8.2 points in April and May, a deeper slump than in the upheaval following the UK’s Brexit vote in mid-2016.

The escalation of a potential trade dispute between the US and the EU and fears of the implications of an electoral upset in Italy soured outlook further, exacerbated by economic data pointing to weaker-than-expected exports, production and orders for German businesses in April, according to ZEW president Achim Wambach.

“The recent escalation in the trade dispute with the US as well as fears over the new Italian government pursuing a policy which potentially destabilises the financial markets have left their mark on the economic outlook for Germany,” said Wambach.

Expectations for the current and near-term economic development of the eurozone were even worse-hit, falling by double-digit levels month on month as a result of concern over the implications for Europe’s financial markets of an Italian populist, eurosceptic coalition taking office, ZEW added.

German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy

Pictured: Container ships being loaded at Hamburg’s harbour. German manufacturers have reported a sharp decrease in export orders
Source: Hans Lippert/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

By Tom Brown

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German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  German investor outlook demand trade tensions Italy  

Foreign producers in Russia urge Putin to block controversial bill – Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill

Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill  Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill  Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill  Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill  Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill  Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill  

Foreign producers in Russia urge Putin to block controversial bill

Foreign producers of technical textiles and nonwovens, operating in Russia, have called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to block a new, controversial federal bill, which was approved last week by the Russian Parliament State Duma. The bill poses a serious threat to their business in Russia, according to the producers and senior officials from the Russian Presidential Administration.

The newly approved bill has introduced criminal responsibility for the observance of sanctions, which were imposed against Russia by the US and the EU, for all producers from the US and the EU, operating in the Russian market. The new law means producers will have to be cautious whilst conducting business in Russia and will have to at least avoid securing long-term contracts with their local suppliers and other Russian partners.

Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill

Currently all technical textiles and nonwovens producers, operating their own production facilities in Russia, have a wide range of local suppliers, sourcing most of their raw materials for their Russian production locally. This is mainly because the majority of these companies have been working in Russia for almost 30 years and have strong business, political and economic connections in the country, both with federal and regional authorities.

As a rule, due to a traditional monopolies situation in the Russian economy, many of these suppliers are controlled by large vertically integrated holding companies (large corporations such as Rostec, some subsidiaries of which, have business relations with Western nonwovens and technical textiles producers, operating in Russia) whose top management and shareholders are on the sanctions list of the US and the EU.

In accordance to the newly adopted Russian legislation, refusal to cooperate with these suppliers, due to their presence in Western sanctions’ lists, will result in the initiation of criminal proceedings for foreign producers. In other words, any company from the US blacklist can force any business to deal, threatening partners with a complaint to the law enforcement agencies.

In a joint statement, representatives of producers, mainly from Germany, as well as US majors such as P&G, Kimberly Clark, specializing in the production of consumer goods based on nonwovens, such as diapers and feminine care products, said: “The adoption of this bill is categorically intolerable. It will increase administrative pressure on the business and contradicts the position of the Russian president, who is against excessive criminal liability for entrepreneurs.”

Foreign producers Russia Putin controversial bill

The producers’ statement lists several risks that the bill carries – violation of the sanctions regime threatens with secondary sanctions from the US and the EU, while following Western sanctions in Russia will be punished within the territory of the country by local authorities.

Threat to textile machinery suppliers

In the meantime, the new law also poses a threat to Western manufacturers of machinery who supply Russian technical textiles and nonwovens producers, as their refusal to supply  their products to any Russian company from the sanctions list of the EU and the US may result in the initiation of criminal proceedings against them in Russia. That may force these companies to suspend cooperation with their Russian partners and leave the market.

At the same time, the latter will have a catastrophic effect on the entire industry of innovative textile materials in Russia, which depends on high-quality Western machinery for their production facilities. Currently the majority of high-tech machinery and equipment for the needs of Russian producers comes from Germany and Netherlands, and a small amount from the US and Canada.

Threat to Russian state security?

The potential suspension of cooperation with Western machinery producers may even pose a threat to Russian state security – the Russian military is a large consumer of hi-tech textile materials. According to the Russian legislation, the supplies of imported high-tech textiles for the needs of the country’s aerospace, defence and other strategic industries is prohibited, however the ban does not apply to domestically-produced products on the basis of Western technologies and equipment.

The draft law introduced a prison sentence of up to four years and a fine of up to 600,000 Rubles (US$10,000) for the execution of sanctions against Russia within its territory, as well as up to three years and up to 500,000 Rubles for actions that lead to the introduction of new sanctions.

Interpretation and explanation

Sources close to producers have also added that the articles of the new law are extremely vague, which create conditions for their loose interpretation and explanation. In addition, according to the same sources, the new legislative amendment will negatively affect the level of competition in the local market, providing serious competitive advantages to domestic rivals.

In contrast to the domestic technical textiles and nonwovens industries, where in recent years the share of domestic producers has significantly increased, the majority of Russian consumer goods based on nonwovens, is still controlled by foreigners.

Currently the share of global majors in the Russian diapers’ market is estimated at 90%, the same as ten years ago. This is negatively accepted by some local producers – major competitors, who historically hoped to undermine domination of some US and the EU companies.

In the meantime, an official spokesman of the Russian Presidential Administration said they have already received a petition from producers, which is expected to be considered during the next two weeks, with a final decision, expected to be taken by this time.

Author:
Innovation in Textiles

Faurecia and FAW Group ink cockpit and sustainable mobility agreement – Faurecia FAW Group sustainable mobility agreement

Faurecia FAW Group sustainable mobility agreement Faurecia FAW Group sustainable mobility agreement  Faurecia FAW Group sustainable mobility agreement  Faurecia FAW Group sustainable mobility agreement  Faurecia FAW Group sustainable mobility agreement  Faurecia FAW Group sustainable mobility agreement  

Faurecia and FAW Group ink cockpit and sustainable mobility agreement

Faurecia FAW Group sustainable mobility agreement Global supplier Faurecia has signed a strategic partnership framework agreement with leading Chinese automaker FAW Group to develop, the pair said in a statement, “cockpit of the future technologies and sustainable mobility solutions”.

Within this strategic cooperation, several fields have been defined:

  • Develop cockpit of the future solutions and services for a personalised and intelligent user experience in particular for the Hongqi (Red Flag) luxury FAW brand. In addition, the two groups will cooperate on the industrial design and perceived quality for this brand
  • Develop connected, versatile and predictive seat solutions for different use cases and driving mode scenario
  • Provide zero emission and air quality technologies for commercial and passenger vehicles in the fields of battery pack and fuel cell systems and lightweight composite solutions

Faurecia CEO Patrick Koller said: “We are very honoured to have signed this strategic partnership with FAW, a leading OEM with a strong desire to disrupt the Chinese automotive industry.

“Faurecia is uniquely positioned to provide smart, predictive and connected technologies for a unique user experience. This collaboration will continue to reinforce our intimacy and collaboration with Chinese OEMs.”

According to just-auto‘s QUBE database, China’s privately owned but state-controlled FAW Group Corporation, along with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, and sells passenger cars, trucks, and buses. The Changchun-based company offers light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks; automobiles; city buses and luxury tourist coaches; bus chassis; mini-vehicles; SUVs and pickups; limousines; and components and parts.

China FAW Group Corporation was formerly known as First Automotive Works. FAW Group has three stockmarket listed subsidiaries: FAW Car Company; Tianjin FAW Xiali (50% ownership since 2002) and Changchun FAWAY Automobile Components. FAW makes vehicles under the Besturn, FAW, Oley and Hongqi brands. Tianjin FAW Xiali builds Tianjin and Xiali branded products and operates the Tianjin FAW Toyota joint venture.

As well as Toyota products, FAW also manufactures Volkswagen and Audi products in China under separate joint ventures, while the company’s FAW Mazda and FAW Hainan divisions are respectively a joint venture and an alliance with Mazda.

FAW Group was established in 1953. In 2017, annual sales passed 3m units.

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Making cars and planes lighter and cleaner using unidirectional fibre tapes – An EU initiative has developed a cost-effective way to produce unidirectional (UD) tape to manufacture and reinforce parts in cars and planes – Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes

Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes  Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes  Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes  Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes  Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes  Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes  Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes  

Making cars and planes lighter and cleaner using unidirectional fibre tapes

FORTAPE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 636860
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.5.1.
Country: Spain
Domain: Industry, Transport
An EU initiative has developed a cost-effective way to produce unidirectional (UD) tape to manufacture and reinforce parts in cars and planes. The solution will make them lighter and more environmentally sound.

Cars planes unidirectional fibre tapes

Automobiles are among the biggest culprits in generating greenhouse emissions, raising the costs for both the environment and manufacturers. One solution is to make vehicles lighter by using new materials such as UD fibre tapes. However, until now these tapes were costly and difficult to produce in sizeable quantities.

To address this issue, the EU-funded FORTAPE grouped 10 partners from 5 European countries covering the entire value chain. The broad range of stakeholders was needed in developing new integrated technologies with the most efficient use of materials and energy. This was done to adapt UD tapes for use in vehicles and aeroplanes.

UD tapes can be used to enhance the mechanical properties of a plastic part. They can also be used to manufacture structural parts, consolidating and thermoforming several layers.

Barriers to extensive use

But, this new high-performance material comes with some obstacles to widespread use in industry, says project coordinator Raquel Ledo Bañobre. The main hurdles are high consumption of resources, lower rates of automation, high production of defective materials and the subsequent rise in manufacturing costs.

“In global terms, industry needs to reduce vehicle weight in order to lessen greenhouse emissions and fulfil EU requirements using a cost-efficient solution,” she adds. “Despite their huge mechanical properties and lightweight potential, there were several issues that needed to be addressed to guarantee their extensive use in the industry.”

The project focused on three main axes: tapes manufacturing, part manufacturing, and the modelling of processes and parts. Three different technologies for fibre impregnation were researched to develop the innovative process in manufacturing UD carbon and glass fibre tapes with increased fibre content.

Drastically reducing price

FORTAPE was able to optimise the manufacturing process to produce 16 tapes at a time at the right width. This helped to considerably slash the tape price.

Another output was an automated method to use UD tapes as reinforcement for a window regulator. This will help to meet cycle times and production volume needs for the auto industry. A window frame manufacturing process using fireproof polyamide UD tapes was developed for the aeronautical sector.

Also developed was a comprehensive model of the UD tapes as reinforcement to predict the mechanical properties of the part and the injection moulding process. Both aspects are key to introducing new materials in the automotive sector.

The most significant achievement is energy and material savings. FORTAPE was able to beat all targets on material savings. The goal for aeronautics parts was originally set at 75 %, and reached nearly 92 %. Similarly, the savings for automotive parts reached almost 57 % from 40 % initially. The project matched all but one target for energy savings. All EU requirements were fulfilled.

The technical and economic feasibility of the processes have been successfully demonstrated. To achieve industrial implementation, new adjustments and optimisations will be required. Bañobre says the plan is to continue to explore the possibilities of maturing the innovation and bringing it to the market.

“The reduction achieved in terms of material and energy consumption will enable companies to decrease their manufacturing costs and reduce the environmental impact,” she concludes.

Oil demand defies gloomy forecasts but in ‘last gasp’ of growth: Fesharaki – Crude Oil demand forecasts

Crude Oil demand forecasts Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  

Oil demand defies gloomy forecasts but in ‘last gasp’ of growth: Fesharaki

Crude Oil demand forecasts
The oil market is finely balanced, according to FACTS Global Energy. AP
by Angela Macdonald-Smith

Global oil demand has outdone dire predictions of an early end but is in its “last gasp” of growth as fuel efficiency and the rise of electric vehicles look set to bring growth in gasoline use to a standstill by 2030, according to energy expert Fereidun Fesharaki.

The world’s consumption of crude oil has been increasing faster than most expected, boosted in recent years by the crash in oil prices in 2014-15, noted Dr Fesharaki, chairman of London-based consultancy FACTS Global Energy.

But he said the market was now in its last phase of growth, with consumption expected to expand by 0.7 per cent each year on average through to 2040 to reach 115 million barrels a day.

“We are in the last gasp of the oil,” Dr Fesharaki, a former energy adviser to the prime minister of Iran, said in an interview in Sydney, where he is due to address Credit Suisse’s annual energy conference.

“We still grow but we get to a level and we will stop. Peak oil is not going to come for a long time but peak gasoline is in front of us, peak gasoline [globally] is 2030, peak gasoline in Asia is 2040.”

The consultancy is expecting that improvements in fuel economy will erode 12 million barrels a day of oil demand between 2016 and 2040, double the amount of demand to be eroded by the rise of electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, however, oil demand is racing along, with FGE recently raising its forecast for growth this year to 1.7 million barrels a day from 1.5 million b/d.

The robust consumption, combined with disciplined production by OPEC and its allies and a drop in production from Venezuela, have wiped out the excess inventories that have plagued the market over recent years, putting prices on a northwards track, Dr Fesharaki said.

Brent oil was trading at about $US76.50 a barrel on Tuesday and has risen about 58 per cent in the past 12 months.

Dr Fesharaki said OPEC had to play a balancing act at its upcoming June 22 meeting to satisfy calls by US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin for lower prices, but with US sanctions to be reimposed on Iran on November 4, which could remove another 1 million-1.5 million barrels a day from the market and send prices “easily” up to $US100.

At the same time, “two big mysteries” still overhang the market: the limits to US shale oil production and the position that Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, known as MBS, will take on oil, whether he is prepared to cut production to support prices.

“It’s a fragile balance … The pressure is now huge on OPEC to do something,” he said. “If the higher prices kill the demand, that would be a very serious blow for the oil market because it is the demand growth which has filled all these gaps.

“I think there is good understanding among everybody that this is a pretty OK situation – let’s not kill the golden goose,” he said, suggesting prices in the $US70-$US72 range may be “reasonable” for everyone.

In LNG, Dr Fesharaki is forecasting a fresh squeeze to hit the market at the end of 2022 after a dearth of fresh commitments to build new supply projects in recent years.

He said a lack of appetite among LNG buyers to sign new long-term purchase contracts would make it difficult for new projects to go ahead and said Woodside Petroleum’s Scarborough project in Western Australia was the “one potential story” for new Australian growth.

“Scarborough is going to be developed there is no question on that one,” he said, while still noting the task ahead on signing up customers and final decisions yet to be made on whether the gas would be processed at the Pluto or North West Shelf plants.

Dr Fesharaki said that while expansion in Papua New Guinea was the lowest cost LNG project in the region, there were several issues still to be sorted before it could move ahead, including financing, an agreement with the PNG government and LNG sales contracts

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

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Crude Oil demand forecasts Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  Crude Oil demand forecasts  

Tight NE Asia propylene supply to limit H2 price fluctuations – Tight propylene (C3) supply in northeast Asia amid a heavy turnaround schedule in 2018 will continue supporting regional prices of the material into the second half- NE Asia propylene price fluctuations

NE Asia propylene price fluctuations NE Asia propylene price fluctuations   NE Asia propylene price fluctuations   NE Asia propylene price fluctuations   NE Asia propylene price fluctuations   NE Asia propylene price fluctuations   NE Asia propylene price fluctuations   NE Asia propylene price fluctuations  

Tight NE Asia propylene supply to limit H2 price fluctuations

Source:ICIS News

NE Asia propylene price fluctuations SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Tight propylene (C3) supply in northeast Asia amid a heavy turnaround schedule in 2018 will continue supporting regional prices of the material into the second half.

Sellers are likely to continue passing on high cost to buyers, which are wary of October, when heavy propylene production losses are expected.

 

NE Asia propylene price fluctuations

Buyers’ resistance in the key China market would keep any further increase in propylene prices in check, with some downstream producers considering cutting output due to high feedstock costs.

At the start of June, propylene prices have weakened, ending the strong general uptrend since end-March, tracking weakness in China’s domestic market as demand softened due to turnarounds at downstream polypropylene (PP) plants.

But the downward pressure on regional prices may be temporary as overall supply in Asia is expected to be tight.

Based on latest assessment, spot propylene prices in northeast Asia were about 9% higher from the start of 2018, according to ICIS data.

NE Asia propylene price fluctuations

The year started on a bullish note, fueled by a heavier cracker turnaround schedule compared with 2017, and higher premium levels concluded for contract cargoes.

The uptrend was sustained into February due to restocking activities in various import markets in northeast Asia before the Lunar New Year, which was on 16 February.

Before the holidays, some South Korean producers were convinced the market will experience supply shortage as both GS Caltex’s fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit with a 250,000 tonne/year propylene capacity, and Yeochun NCC’s (YNCC) cracker – which can produce 280,000 tonnes/year of propylene – due for maintenance in February through to April.

But propylene prices surprisingly weakened from 9 February to end-March without demand support from China’s weak PP market, which struggled through sluggish sales and high inventory after the country’s week-long Lunar New Year holiday (15-21 February).

A renewed wave of scheduled turnarounds at regional plants tightened supply and drove up propylene prices in April and May.

In Taiwan, Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPCC) took its residue fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC) unit with a 350,000 tonne/year propylene capacity off stream from 1 March to mid-April; while CPC Corp shut its 100,000 tonne/year FCC unit off stream on 10 April and restarted in early June.

In South Korea, GS Caltex also had a turnaround at its FCC unit with a 250,000 tonne/year propylene capacity from 19 February to 5 April.

SK Advanced shut its propane dehydrogenated (PDH) unit with 600,000 tonne/year propylene capacity on 21 April to early May.

Focus article by Joson Ng

Picture: Ningbo-Zhoushan port in east China’s Zhejiang province. (Source: Imaginechina/REX/Shutterstock)

By Joson Ng

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Japan’s Sumitomo settles June caprolactam contract price up $95 from May at $2,160/mt CFR: source – Japan Sumitomo caprolactam contract price

Japan Sumitomo caprolactam contract price Japan Sumitomo caprolactam contract price  Japan Sumitomo caprolactam contract price  Japan Sumitomo caprolactam contract price  Japan Sumitomo caprolactam contract price  Japan Sumitomo caprolactam contract price  

Japan’s Sumitomo settles June caprolactam contract price up $95 from May at $2,160/mt CFR: source

Singapore (Platts)-

Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical has settled its June caprolactam contract price at $2,160/mt CFR Far East Asia, a source close to the company said Tuesday.

This is up $95/mt from the May settlement of $2,065 CFR Far East Asia.

June contract prices in Taiwan settled two weeks ago at $2,100/mt.

Caprolactam was last assessed Thursday up $15/mt week on week at $2,110/mt CFR Far East Asia.

–Genevieve Soong, genevieve.soong@spglobal.com
–Edited by Jonathan Fox, jonathan.fox@splobal.com

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-Bio-capro, infinite recycling can secure nylon’s future in the circular economy – Aquafil CEO – Moving towards a circular economy for nylon is a matter of when, not if, according to the CEO at one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of nylon textile filaments, Italy’s Aquafil – Biocaprolactam recycling nylon future circular economy Aquafil

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Singtex launches eco-friendly stretch fabric – Singtex, a manufacturer of outdoor functional fabrics, has developed an eco-friendly moderate stretch fabric with long-lasting performance, S.Leisure – Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric

Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric  Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric  Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric  Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric  Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric  Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric  Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric  
Singtex launches eco-friendly stretch fabric
Singtex ecofriendly stretch fabric
Courtesy: Singtex

Singtex, a manufacturer of outdoor functional fabrics, has developed an eco-friendly moderate stretch fabric with long-lasting performance, S.Leisure. It features comfort stretch with breathability, fast-dry, lightweight and good recovery while emitting less carbon footprint. S.Leisure is recyclable and designed to replace fabrics with 6 per cent spandex.Pursuing comfort and outlook, spandex is usually mixed with cotton or polyester and accounts for a small percentage of the final fabric. The dyeing process of S.Leisure is at least 20 per cent more energy efficient than spandex. The energy savings of 3000 yards could supply 10 years of drinking water for an individual and 1 month household electricity. The carbon footprint each S.Leisure t-shirts saves is equal to the carbon absorption of a tree each day, S.Leisure said in a press release.

Other than being eco-friendly, S.Leisure also has excellent properties suitable for athleisure, training and sports apparel. It has better color fastness and flexibility so consumers can enjoy their garments longer. The comfort stretch fabric comes with great wicking ability making it fast dry and breathable. It has a soft touch to the skin, lightweight and easy to care for. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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Jiangsu Sanfangxiang plans to launch a new PET plant in the third quarter  – Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group, a major Chinese petrochemical producer, plans to launch a new PET plant in Jiangsu Province, China, in the third quarter – Jiangsu Sanfangxiang PET plant China

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Jiangsu Sanfangxiang plans to launch a new PET plant in the third quarter 

Jiangsu Sanfangxiang PET plant China MOSCOW  – Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group, a major Chinese petrochemical producer, plans to launch a new PET plant in Jiangsu Province, China, in the third quarter, ICIS reported citing sources in the market.

The capacity of the new production will be 500 thousand tons of PET per year.  The alleged launch of the plant was postponed several times because of delays in the construction of the facility.

Currently, the company operates a PET bottles production plant in Cangzhin with a capacity of 1.6 million tons per year.

Earlier it was reported that from March 14 to the end of May, one of the lines with the capacity of 200 thousand tons of PET was repaired per year at this site, closed earlier due to a technical malfunction.

According to the ScanMap of the company MRC, for four months of the current year the export of PET granulate from Russia amounted to 24.81 thousand tons against 13.98 thousand tons last year.  The volume of exports is traditionally fully attributable to the granulated Alco-Nafta.  Imported supplies of PET to the Russian market in the reporting period decreased by 9% and amounted to 12.81 thousand tons.  A year earlier this figure was 14.03 thousand tons.  The reduction in imports was due to the fiber production sector.  Import of PET granules for casting preforms remained at last year’s level.

Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group Co., Ltd., headquartered in Qiangin, is one of the largest petrochemical manufacturers in China.  In particular, the company produces polyethylene terephthalate and polyester (2 million tons per year), terephthalic acid (600 thousand tons per year).

mrcplast.ru

Author:   Anna Larionova

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Spot prices of ACN in Europe went up sharply after the announcement of force majeure by Ineos  – The spot prices of acrylonitrile (ACN) rose sharply in the European market after problems arose with supplies of material from Ineos plants to Seal Sands, the UK and Dormagen, Germany – ACN prices Europe force majeure Ineos 

ACN prices Europe force majeure Ineos  ACN prices Europe force majeure Ineos  ACN prices Europe force majeure Ineos  ACN prices Europe force majeure Ineos  ACN prices Europe force majeure Ineos  ACN prices Europe force majeure Ineos  ACN prices Europe force majeure Ineos  

Spot prices of ACN in Europe went up sharply after the announcement of force majeure by Ineos 

ACN prices Europe force majeure Ineos   MOSCOW  – The spot prices of acrylonitrile (ACN) rose sharply in the European market after problems arose with supplies of material from Ineos plants to Seal Sands, the UK and Dormagen, Germany, ICIS reported

Price proposals AKN were announced at the level of USD2,000 per ton, while the deals were in the range of USD1,860-1,980 per ton.

Thus, according to ICIS, quotes of the material rose by USD65 per tonne in the lower part of the price range and by USD90 per tonne – at the top.

The decrease in supplies from Ineos forced a large number of market players to apply for material on the spot market, but the ACN proposal is limited.

Many suppliers said that they had already sold their spot volumes.  It is likely that buyers will soon have to turn to foreign markets in search of affordable ACN lots.

Acrylonitrile is one of the main raw materials for the production of ABS.

According to the ScanMap of the company MRC, production of ABS in March in Russia amounted to 1.23 thousand tons.  In January-March 2018, Russian manufacturers produced 6.20 thousand tons of ABS plastic, which is 87% more than the volume of production a year earlier.

mrcplast.ru

Author:   Margarita Volkova

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Far Eastern Union plans to launch a new PET plant in Vietnam in July 

Far Eastern Union PET plant Vietnam

MOSCOW – The Chinese company Far Eastern Union Petrochemical plans in July this year to launch a new bottled PET plant in Vietnam, ICIS reports with reference to market participants.

The capacity of the plant located in Binh Duong (Vietnam), will be 400 thousand tons of PET per year.

Earlier it was reported that Far Eastern Union Petrochemical from 4 May to 8 June carried out repairs at the plant for production of monoethylene glycol (MEG) with a capacity of 500 thousand tons of MEG per year in Yangzhou (China).

According to the ScanMap of the company MRC, for four months of the current year the export of PET granulate from Russia amounted to 24.81 thousand tons against 13.98 thousand tons last year.  The volume of exports is traditionally fully attributable to the granulated Alco-Nafta.  Imported supplies of PET to the Russian market in the reporting period decreased by 9% and amounted to 12.81 thousand tons.  A year earlier this figure was 14.03 thousand tons.  The reduction in imports was due to the fiber production sector.  Import of PET granules for casting preforms remained at last year’s level.

Far Eastern Union Petrochemical is a joint venture between Taiwanese companies Oriental Union Chemical Corp’s (OUCC) and Far Eastern New Century Co.  Ltd.  Oriental Union Chemical also owns another production of MEG with a capacity of 250 thousand tons per year in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

mrcplast.ru

Author:   Anna Larionova

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Asia MEG to see demand tapering, lower supply in early H2 – The Asian monoethylene glycol (MEG) market could see demand slowing down from the end of June while supply will be reduced from a number of plant turnarounds – Asia MEG demand tapering

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Asia MEG to see demand tapering, lower supply in early H2

Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Asian monoethylene glycol (MEG) market could see demand slowing down from the end of June while supply will be reduced from a number of plant turnarounds.

Inventories are expected to decline in June after offtake rates at Chinese main ports rising sharply in the last two weeks of May because of an uptick in demand from downstream polyester buyers.

Demand for MEG is also expected to remain strong in the first half of June, boosted by high polyester production rates of above 85% and modestly low inventory levels.

A slowdown in demand may take place in the second half of June as the traditional manufacturing peak period nears its end in July.

Meanwhile, supply conditions could to tighten because of the plant turnarounds in northeast Asia.

However, supply from the Middle East will likely go back to normal given as there were no further delay in shipments in May.

On the pricing front, MEG prices in Asia have registered year-on-year growth rates in the months to June this year.

MEG prices have mostly hovered above $900/tonne CFR China Main Port (CMP) while prices were mostly below $900/tonne CFR CMP in 2017.

Prices have been volatile in 2018, with major price swings seen on a near monthly basis since February.

Asia MEG demand tapering

MEG prices in first quarter of this year year continued the uptrend seen in the fourth quarter of 2017, rising to $1030/tonne CFR CMP in early March from $922/tonne CFR CMP in late December, as the higher-than-expected growth in downstream polyester fuelled bullish market sentiment.

Polyester growth in 2017 was estimated at above 10%, beating an originally bearish expectation of 2-3%.

A price downtrend was observed in March, with the MEG weekly average prices losing nearly 10% of its value to $929/tonne CFR CMP by end March.

The price decline coincided with a sharp influx of imported cargoes, which was likely a result of over-procurement in January and February while prices were trending upwards.

March 2018 import volumes rose to nearly 1m tonnes, a record three-year high, according to official China customs data.

MEG prices rebounded in April, rising by around 9% from end March to $1,014/tonne CFR CMP by end-April ahead of the traditional peak period for the downstream polyester sector. Average polyester production rates rose to above 85% during the period.

MEG also achieved its to-date weekly peak of $1042/tonne CFR CMP in the week ending 20 April.

Supply tightness was also observed in the Chinese domestic market because of shipment delays from the Middle East and logistical issues at China main ports over the same period.

The lack of availability of prompt cargoes also led to an atypical price spread between April and May delivery parcels.

Normally, the spread between arrived-at-port and far-term arrival cargoes is at $0-10/tonne CFR CMP but this widened to $20-30/tonne CFR CMP. This drove concerns of sharp price adjustments in May once April delivery were fulfilled.

These concerns came true as MEG began to slide in May. MEG weekly prices stood at $928/tonne CFR CMP in the last week of May, falling from $1003/tonne CFR CMP in early May.

High inventory levels have also weighed on MEG prices. Inventory levels were above 900,000 tonnes from early May onward, rising to 938,000 tonnes by in late March. Most market participants deemed inventory levels above 900,000 tonnes to be high.

The increase in inventory levels in May were largely attributed to the arrival of Middle East shipments previously due for arrival in April.

Asia MEG demand tapering

By Eric Su

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Asia petrochemicals market outlook, w/c Jun 11

Singapore (Platts)-

Asia petrochemicals market   Market participants are continuing to monitor demand and supply conditions, especially for paraxylene and butadiene, where trade participants are watching whether deepsea butadiene cargoes from Europe will be delivered into Asia on schedule. Meanwhile, styrene and toluene inventories appear to have drawn down while benzene stocks are on the rise.

AROMATICS

Outlook for Asia’s paraxylene market in July and August remained uncertain, with some traders expecting volatility in the market. The delay in the delivery of some June cargoes from the Middle East to China, to July at the earliest, would be offset by some downstream turnarounds in July, keeping the PX-naphtha spread within the $330-$340/mt range.

Benzene inventories in Asia — particularly in South Korea and China — were still high despite ongoing turnarounds in Japan and South Korea, weighing on prices over the past week. Eyes were also on China’s planned imposition of anti-dumping duties on downstream styrene imports from the US, South Korea and Taiwan, with market participants expecting a final decision to be announced later this month.

Views on the styrene monomer market meanwhile, were mixed. While prompt supply remained extremely tight with latest inventory data from main ports in East China showing a week-on-week fall of 10,000 mt to a new year-to-date low of 25,700 mt as of last Friday, restarts at China’s Abel Chemical and Sinopec Zhenhai were expected to boost prompt cargo availability. Around 24,000 mt of deepsea Middle Eastern cargoes were scheduled for delivery in East China next week, according to shipping data, which would further alleviate supply tightness for second-half June.

Toluene meanwhile, is expected to continue finding support from low inventories in China. In East China, stocks of 22,000 mt as of last week were seen as relatively low compared with a year-to-date average of 43,500 mt. Along with a relatively wide spread of $28/mt between the CFR China and FOB Korea markers, this would draw buying interest from China. But demand could be capped by narrowing toluene disproportionation margins, which could result in lower operating rates or even shutdowns of some TDP units.

OLEFINS

Asia’s ethylene market has firmed on the back of tight supplies. Arbitrage opportunities from Europe to Asia were seen thinning out, while regional ethylene supplies were also limited by steam cracker turnaround season.

But for propylene, weakening demand in China, along with an expected increase in supply from South Korea, would likely continue pressuring the market. South Korea’s S-Oil plans to start up its new high-severity residue fluid catalytic cracker, or HS-RFCC, at Onsan around the middle of June. The unit is able to produce 200,000 mt/year of ethylene and 660,000 mt/year of propylene. Market sources said S-Oil would likely sell the additional ethylene from the unit on a term basis.

While Asia’s butadiene market was pressured last week by lower demand for ABS production and reduced short-covering interest from Japan, a possible delay in delivery of deepsea cargoes from Europe to Asia might lead to a rebound in the market, trade sources said.

POLYMERS

Asian polyethylene prices were mostly lower last week amid the seasonal demand lull, with the depreciation in the yuan currency expected to further curb China’s import appetite for high density polyethylene. But India’s peak demand for HDPE film for making irrigation pipes and tight supply from the Middle East have lent support to the South Asian market. Meanwhile, the rise in linear low density polyethylene imports by China since the start of 2018 would likely be tempered by higher recycling rates of Chinese domestic waste attributed to the government’s focus on environmentally sustainable measures.

Asian polypropylene prices were higher last week with Chinese PP futures prices up by Yuan 78/mt week on week to settle at Yuan 9,254/mt ex-warehouse. In addition, There might be export opportunities if buyers are willing to pay $1,300/mt FOB China, Chinese traders said.

–Fumiko Dobashi, fumiko.dobashi@spglobal.com
–Shermaine Ang, shermaine.ang@spglobal.com
–Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@spglobal.com

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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 

-AFPM ’18: EQUATE’s US MEG plant begins construction phase – CEO – AFPM 2018 EQUATE USA MEG

-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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HOW BIG BRANDS ARE TRYING TO PULL OFF A RECYCLING REVOLUTION  – RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING

RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING  RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING  RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING  RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING  RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING  RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING  RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING  

HOW BIG BRANDS ARE TRYING TO PULL OFF A RECYCLING REVOLUTION 

RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING

The country’s biggest companies are promising a recycling revolution.Coca-Cola said in January that by 2030, i…

The country’s biggest companies are promising a recycling revolution.

RECYCLING REVOLUTION SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING Coca-Cola said in January that by 2030, it will collect and recycle one bottle or can for each one it sells. Dunkin’ Donuts said it will try to stop using foam cups by 2020. Several others, including McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble, have made their own ambitious commitments to use sustainable packaging.

But even the most sweeping efforts won’t do much good without the help of customers, local governments and most importantly, competitors.

Why companies care

Recycling can give companies better control over their supply chains, explained Bridget Croke, who leads external affairs for Closed Loop Partners, which invests in recycling technologies and sustainable consumer goods.

Recycled materials aren’t always cheaper than raw materials, she said, but their prices are consistent.

“The volatility of the raw materials market is probably only going to continue to grow,” she said. If companies invest in their supply chain now, they won’t have to deal with volatility down the line – especially if oil prices continue to swing and global trade tensions continue to rise.

There are other advantages to going green. Kevin Wilhelm, who runs a sustainability consulting firm, said that companies typically make recycling pledges because they’ve found that waste hurts their bottom line.

And public commitments to sustainability are a good way to signal a company’s values to employees and customers.

But for now, said Croke, too many bottlenecks exist for “the economics of recycling [to] work on their own.”

It’s not easy being green

“The US recycling system feels universal,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit group that uses corporate funding to help develop recycling infrastructure. “The truth is only half of Americans can.”

Harrison said that 22 million tons of recyclable materials end up being collected as trash because people don’t have access to recycling.

And not everyone who can recycle does. People might not recycle because it’s easier to dump an empty container in the trash or simply because they don’t care. But they also might not recycle because it can be complicated.

“Consumer education is huge,” said Wilhelm. He said that even he is confused when trying to recycle in new places. “When I travel and I go into a different city or state, I often times see myself standing over a bin and wondering what goes where.”

Plus, recycling can be expensive. In big cities where landfills are full, Wilhem said, curbside pickup for recycling costs the same as it does for trash. But in some places, recycling can cost more.

Ultimately, companies that switch to recyclable packaging “don’t control or have any ownership over the system that recovers their material,” said Croke.

To gain control, they have to collaborate.

Better together

The Closed Loop Fund and the Recycling Partnership count several major corporations as their funding partners, including Amazon, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Target, Walmart and others.

“Having more competitors at the table has not made it harder, it’s made it easier,” said Harrison. “They know they need to tackle large sustainability challenges collaboratively.”

Croke said that at this stage, companies are better served by joining forces than by trying to work separately.

“Smart companies,” she said, are trying to figure out, “‘What are the disruptive collective actions we can take to make the most out of our resources?'”

Working together, companies can pour significant funds into development projects and create collective demand for sustainable products, like recyclable, compostable paper cups. And they can invest in new recycling technologies that can be adopted by cities.

“A really forward-thinking company would prove out the business case,” for recycling, “and then lobby for it,” said Bethany Patten, a senior associate director and lecturer in MIT Sloan School of Management’s Sustainability Initiative.

“Partnerships are essential to really make progress,” said Bruce Karas, vice president of sustainability for Coca-Cola North America. “On recycling, it’s going to have to be a collaborative effort.”

Karas added that his peers at other companies “have the same headaches” when it comes to figuring out recycling solutions. “There’s always some opportunity to do some pre-comeptiteve work,” he said. “It benefits us all.”

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Canadian plastics and chemistry industries set ambitious recycling targets – The Canadian Plastics Industry Association and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada have partnered to establish some ambitious recycling targets designed to re-use, recycle, or recover 100 per cent of plastics packaging by 2040 – Canadian plastics chemistry industries recycling targets

Canadian plastics chemistry industries recycling targets Canadian plastics chemistry industries recycling targets   Canadian plastics chemistry industries recycling targets   Canadian plastics chemistry industries recycling targets   Canadian plastics chemistry industries recycling targets   Canadian plastics chemistry industries recycling targets  

Canadian plastics and chemistry industries set ambitious recycling targets

Canadian plastics chemistry industries recycling targets The Canadian Plastics Industry Association and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada have partnered to establish some ambitious recycling targets designed to re-use, recycle, or recover 100 per cent of plastics packaging by 2040.

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) have partnered to establish some ambitious recycling targets designed to re-use, recycle, or recover 100 per cent of plastics packaging by 2040.

“Plastics innovations are essential to increase living standards and improve overall sustainability via new products that design out waste, reduce food waste, support resource efficiency, conserve water and natural resources and reduce emissions,” said Carol Hochu, president and CEO of Toronto-based CPIA. “But it is a waste of precious resources for plastics to be used once and then landfilled.”

The two associations have also set what they call an “aggressive interim goal” of 100 per cent of plastics packaging being recyclable or recoverable by 2030.

“Achieving these goals will require significant investment across the value chain in new and upgraded infrastructure and improved packaging design,” the CPIA said. “Success will also require widespread public participation in recycling and recovery programs along with changes to littering behaviour.”

“Industry has a role to play in designing materials and applications for greater recovery, reuse and recyclability, but addressing the issue of plastic waste will require actions from society as a whole and from all of us as individuals,” said Bob Masterson, president and CEO of CIAC. “Our members are committed to doing their part, working with governments and others, to significantly improve the recycling and recovery of post-use plastics packaging to complement existing innovations. Supports for investments in new innovations such as chemical recycling will be essential to achieving these goals.”

These two targets put the Canadian plastics industry in line with PlasticsEurope and the American Chemistry Council, who recently announced similar ambitions.

Related Topics

OPEC president: US hasn’t asked us for more oil – The president of OPEC says the cartel has not been asked by the United States to boost oil production in the face of collapsing output in Venezuela and US sanctions on Iran – OPEC president USA crude oil

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OPEC president: US hasn’t asked us for more oil

Crude prices fall since late-May peak

OPEC president USA crude oilLONDON (CNNMoney) – The president of OPEC says the cartel has not been asked by the United States to boost oil production in the face of collapsing output in Venezuela and US sanctions on Iran.

“The US is important to us, but … we have not received any official communication, or even unofficial communication, from the administration,” said Suhail Al Mazrouei, the current head of OPEC and energy minister of the United Arab Emirates.

“I can tell you there is no truth in that whatsoever,” he added in an interview with CNNMoney Emerging Markets Editor John Defterios.

Bloomberg and Reuters reported last week that the Trump administration had quietly asked Saudi Arabia and some other OPEC members to increase oil production.

President Donald Trump has not been shy about suggesting that oil prices have been too high -— and that the cartel is to blame. US gasoline prices hit an average of $2.92 per gallon on Monday, up from $2.34 a year ago.

“Looks like OPEC is at it again,” Trump tweeted in April. “Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!”

The price of crude has fallen since hitting a recent peak of $72 in late May. US oil futures were trading 1% lower on Monday at $65 per barrel.

Still, production increases could be coming soon. OPEC oil producers and Russia are due to meet in Vienna on June 22 to discuss easing supply caps that have been in place since the beginning of 2017.

Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih told CNNMoney last month that he was engaged in intensive discussions with Russia and other OPEC officials about how to balance the oil market.

“We are now collecting all of the data,” Al Mazrouei said on Sunday. “I can assure you that every country is important to us.”

Trump policies have helped heighten fears over a major supply crunch. Global oil supplies were already getting tight before Trump vowed last month to exit the Iran nuclear deal and impose “powerful” sanctions on the OPEC nation.

Iran ramped up its oil production by 1 million barrels per day after sanctions were lifted in early 2016, and at least some of that oil will now be pulled from the market.

Tehran had requested that OPEC address US sanctions at its June 22 meeting, according to the country’s OPEC governor. But Al Mazrouei said the cartel would steer clear of politics.

“I will fight not to make OPEC … a political organization,” said Al Mazrouei. “It has never been a political organization. The objective of the organization is to ensure that the market is well supplied.”

Al Mazrouei also acknowledged that US shale producers have played a key role in the market amid the supply disruption in Venezuela.

“They are needed,” he said of shale producers. “Imagine if this increase in the US production did not happen, we would be at … an environment that is not very healthy for the world economy,” he said.

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Former GM chief Henderson named interim CEO of seating supplier Adient – Former GM chief Henderson seating supplier Adient

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Former GM chief Henderson named interim CEO of seating supplier Adient

Henderson: Retired as SunCoke Energy CEO last year

DETROIT — Former General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson has been named interim CEO of seating supplier Adient.

John Barth, Adient’s lead director, is the new interim chairman of Adient’s board, the company said Monday.

Henderson, 59, had been CEO of SunCoke Energy from its initial public offering in 2011 until he retired last year. Prior to that, he steered GM through its government-led bankruptcy in 2009.

Henderson succeeds R. Bruce McDonald, who is stepping down from his role as chairman and CEO of the Plymouth, Mich., company effective immediately, and will remain as adviser to the CEO until Sept. 30.

Adient was spun off from from Johnson Controls in 2016.

In May, Henderson joined Hawksbill Group — a Washington consulting firm founded by some of his former GM colleagues — as a principal.

Contact Automotive News

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-Boeing joins forces with Adient to bring fresh competition to aircraft seating market – Boeing and automotive seating supplier Adient have announced the formation of Adient Aerospace – Boeing Adient aircraft seating market

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Ethanol still presents an industry challenge – Congress and the Trump Administration are currently exploring ways to reform the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard – Ethanol industry challenge

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Ethanol still presents an industry challenge

BY TIM HENNAGIR

Technician shortage also addressed in survey

Ethanol industry challenge Congress and the Trump Administration are currently exploring ways to reform the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard.

There are a number of alternatives being discussed, all of which will have a significant impact on the recreational boating industry. Will E15 be expanded in the fuel supply? Will better alternatives like biobutanol be promoted?

We surveyed our readers via email in May to find out more about their views on ethanol and other service department challenges. Respondents were a mix of individuals working in the industry including dealers, manufacturers, marina personnel, and more.

ETHANOL CONCERNS REMAIN

Boating Industry readers continue to report seeing problems with engines and other boat components caused by ethanol.

Eighty-five percent of our respondents said they have seen damage to engines or other components caused by ethanol in their business. That was down from 92 percent last year and 87 percent in 2016.

“We have experienced continued issues with ethanol,” said one Maryland boat dealer. ‘It is tearing up rubber components. Customers are required to spend a lot more on additives to help prevent damage.”

According to our readers, ethanol remains a cause of boat repairs in their businesses. Almost 6 percent of readers said that based on what they are seeing in their businesses, more than half of the necessary repairs are being caused by ethanol-related issues. While that figure is down from nearly 15 percent reported last year, almost 55 percent of respondents reported that more than 20 percent of problems were being caused by ethanol. Those numbers have held basically steady over the last three years of Boating Industry’s spring ethanol survey.

E15 CONCERNS EASE SLIGHTLY

Source: Boating Industry survey, May 2018

Boating Industry readers continue to be worried about the use of E15, with 75 percent saying they are very concerned about it. An additional 18 percent were somewhat concerned. Last year, 85 percent of readers were very concerned.

The Renewable Fuel Standard was introduced by Congress to help shift the country away from fossil fuels and towards renewable green alternatives. The National Marine Manufacturers Association has endorsed and helped market biobutanol, an E15 alternative, and supports the “Look Before You Pump” campaign to raise public awareness of proper fueling.

The larger concern identified by the industry is the danger of misfueling by boaters who fill up at a roadside station and may not be aware of the potential danger.

Only fuels containing up to 10 percent ethanol (E10) are permitted for use in recreational boats, and anything greater voids many marine engine warranties.

Last summer, the EPA asked the public how much ethanol it wanted to be added to the nation’s gasoline supply, and recreational boaters as well as many other owners of gasoline engines and vehicles spoke up against increasing ethanol volumes.

A report from the Iowa Department of Revenue shows that ethanol-free gas is a more popular fuel choice than E15 and all ex fuels (E20, E85) combined, with Iowans purchasing more than 200 million gallons of ethanol-free fuel in 2016.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), says citizens of the No. 1 ethanol-producing state in the nation choosing ethanol-free fuel for their own personal vehicles and equipment is another example of the need for RFS reform.

Source: Boating Industry survey, May 2018

“The use of ethanol is politically-driven,” said a Wisconsin dealer. “Simply using the alternative biobutanol, which can be produced from the same equipment used for producing ethanol, has real benefits with far less negatives.”

Earlier this year, Harris Poll conducted its annual fuel survey of U.S. consumers on behalf of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

In that study, 11 percent of consumers reported using an ethanol blend to fuel their equipment, up from 7 percent in 2015.

The study also found that 38 percent of consumers are more likely now than in years past to believe higher ethanol blends are a safe replacement for any gasoline.

Researchers also found that roughly two thirds of Americans (66 percent) believe ethanol-free gas should be more widely available at gasoline filling stations.

More than half of consumers (51 percent) fill up their portable gas tank with the same fuel used to fill their vehicle, the study stated, and roughly two thirds (66 percent) admitted they used the least expensive gasoline grade whenever possible.

Most Boating Industry readers consider themselves to be fairly well informed about ethanol issues.

More than 50 percent said they know a lot about the pros and cons of ethanol, while an additional 43 percent said they know something. Only 5 percent said they know a little bit about the issue; last year 2 percent of readers said they knew nothing or a little bit about ethanol.

On the other hand, respondents believe there’s still work to be done in educating consumers about potential ethanol challenges. Only 1 percent said their customers know a lot about the issue, while 22 percent said their customers know some about ethanol. Sixteen percent of survey respondents said their clients know nothing about ethanol, while 61 percent know a little bit about it. That represents a slight change from 2017, when a total of 57 percent of those surveyed said their customers knew nothing or only a little bit about ethanol.

TECHNICIAN SHORTAGE CONTINUES

We also asked readers about other service department challenges and the top concern of survey respondents is still finding and keeping good service technicians.

Of those respondents that have a service department, 79 percent said it was very difficult to find qualified service techs. An additional 13 percent said it was somewhat difficult. Only 4 percent said that it was neither easy or difficult, while 4 percent said it was easy.

That challenge has only gotten more pronounced for many readers. Fifty-nine percent of those with service departments said it was more difficult this year than in the past and 27 percent said it was much more difficult. Only 2 percent said it was easier, while 32 percent said it is about the same.

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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

-Americas petrochemicals outlook: w/c Apr 16 – Spot ethylene has been on the rise, 0.50 cent/lb higher than the record lows seen April 9 after prompt-month was heard offered at 14 cents/lb MtB Nova – Americas petrochemicals outlook

-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

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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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-AFPM ’18: EQUATE’s US MEG plant begins construction phase – CEO – AFPM 2018 EQUATE USA MEG

-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

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Not All Foreign Companies Eager To Leave Iran – Amid a growing number of companies preparing to leave Iran as U.S. sanctions kick in, one international oil and gas consortium has announced it will stay in the country – Foreign Companies Iran

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Not All Foreign Companies Eager To Leave Iran

Foreign Companies Iran

Amid a growing number of companies preparing to leave Iran as U.S. sanctions kick in, one international oil and gas consortium has announced it will stay in the country. Pergas International Consortium, which includes 11 European, Canadian, and Asian companies, has no plans to abandon its Iranian operations, Irna quoted its managing director Colin Rowley as saying.

The statement comes a month after Pergas signed a preliminary contract with Tehran for the development of the Keranj oilfield in the southern Khuzestan province of Iran. Reuters noted at the time this was the first contract after President Donald Trump announced the Untied States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Pergas plans to pump a total 655 million barrels of oil from Keranj over the next 10 years. This weekend, the company’s head said, “the Consortium plans to execute the plan with precise and accurate management and for this purpose, it intends to cooperate with the Iranian and international parts manufacturers. Once this plan is executed completely, moreover increasing Iran’s crude production capacity, employment opportunities will be generated in Khuzestan Province.”

Energy Minister Bijan Zanganeh told media this weekend that there were plans to increase Iran’s crude oil production by 460 million barrels over the next three years. This will involve ramping up production from 29 fields across the country.

Related: The Real Reason For Higher Gas Prices

Most of the work on this production boost will be carried out by local companies, Zanganeh also said, adding that 75 percent of the equipment to be used in the endeavor is also Iranian.

Iran is OPEC’s third-largest oil producer, with a daily rate of 3.8 million barrels as of early June, according to a survey from S&P Platts. The return of U.S. sanctions is expected to affect this figure, although the precise extent of the impact is yet to be seen.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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

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-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

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

Global focus plastics growth change polymers Global focus plastics growth change polymers  Global focus plastics growth change polymers  Global focus plastics growth change polymers  Global focus plastics growth change polymers  Global focus plastics growth change polymers  Global focus plastics growth change polymers  

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

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

USA LLDPE HDPE LDPE supply USA LLDPE HDPE LDPE supply  USA LLDPE HDPE LDPE supply  USA LLDPE HDPE LDPE supply  USA LLDPE HDPE LDPE supply  USA LLDPE HDPE LDPE supply  USA LLDPE HDPE LDPE supply  USA LLDPE HDPE LDPE supply  

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

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

RTP Company MD&M East Show RTP Company MD&M East Show   RTP Company MD&M East Show   RTP Company MD&M East Show   RTP Company MD&M East Show  

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

Related Topics

-Global Biodegradable Medical Plastics Market 2018- Plantic Technologies Limited, Bio-On SRL., Metabolix Inc., Mitsubishi Chemical – The prime focus of Global Biodegradable Medical Plastics Market 2018 is to gather important factors inhibiting the growth of Biodegradable Medical Plastics industry. It also commits to target tendencies of Biodegradable Medical Plastics industry in order to adopt strategies favourable for business and market growth – Global Biodegradable Medical Plastics Market 2018

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

 

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

BOPP film margins BOPP film margins  BOPP film margins  BOPP film margins  BOPP film margins  BOPP film margins  BOPP film margins  BOPP film margins  

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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-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

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-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

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-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

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-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

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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

Wasted Opportunities Recycling Sorting Problems Chinese Clampdown Wasted Opportunities Recycling Sorting Problems Chinese Clampdown  Wasted Opportunities Recycling Sorting Problems Chinese Clampdown  Wasted Opportunities Recycling Sorting Problems Chinese Clampdown  Wasted Opportunities Recycling Sorting Problems Chinese Clampdown  Wasted Opportunities Recycling Sorting Problems Chinese Clampdown  

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

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  

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.

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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  

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

Polyethylene plastic antibacterial properties Polyethylene plastic antibacterial properties  Polyethylene plastic antibacterial properties  Polyethylene plastic antibacterial properties  Polyethylene plastic antibacterial properties  Polyethylene plastic antibacterial properties  

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