The market is now expecting March propylene to rise by 7c/lb . . . more info when it arrives!
BASF hereby advises that it is lifting its Force Majeure declaration on all of its EO-
containing Pluracol® polyether products, effective March 1, 2012. Please be aware that
we will monitor your orders and may be required to impose sales controls, if necessary,
as we transition back to normal operations on these products.
Domestic PU Production up by 15% in 2011
From: PUWORLD独家发布 / 2/29/2012 2:41:50 PM
PUWORLD (2012-2-29)--At the beginning of the twelfth five year plan our domestic PU industry has kept the steady growth rate. At the same time, PU industry achieved creativity level improvement by self research and development and introduction from overseas. Industry upgrading is also accelerating at stable manner. In the feedstock region, production is increasing steadily with enterprises capacities expansion and industry scale expanding.
According to China PU industry association statistic, domestic PU production up was up by 15% (more than 7 million tons). Products production and consumption scale rank the world first. While at the same time, there is also over production pressure piling up as a result of rapid expansion. PU rigid foam suffered in external wall insulation area.
China PU raw material capacity market expands continuously in 2011. at the beginning of the 2011, Yantai Wanhua achieved TDI capacity expansion by 250ktpa and MDI by 200krpa by purchasing 96% of BorsodChem stock. It is credited as the third largest MDI suppliers just inferior to Bayer and BASF. In the March, Wanhua MDI project’s coming into operation ceremony was held in Yantai which include 600ktpa MDI, 300ktpa TDI, 300ktpa PPG and relevant PO and acrylate plants. In April, BASF linked Chongqing Chemical and Medical Group 400ktpa MDI integrated project going into operation with investment totaled 35 billion. In November 16th Bayer’s gaseous phase phosgene TDI plant was put into production with capacity reaching 250ktpa. Bayer Material Science would expand capacity on another notch.
As upstream industry capacity expansion and downstream demand announced slow growth rate depressed by domestic macro regulatory policy and foreign financial crisis. Domestic TDI capacity faced with supply-over-demand stance and market was in downturn trend. Quotations went down consecutively. Especially domestic TDI enterprises will encounter more severe challenge with Bayer’s low cost TDI products going into market. Spandex expansion tide is rising and this industry will continue this supply-over-demand stance.
Propped by real estate, automobile and shipping industry, domestic PU coating industry is rising day by day. in spite there is decrease for rail way engineering project, coating production maintained the rapid growth trend. Consumption of PU from leather and shoes industry also grew rapidly. Rigid and frigid foam industry polarized influenced by domestic economic and policies. Driven by automobile and furniture demand, soft polyurethane market presents optimistic. There is also increase of solar energy, refrigeration sets and pipe insulation materials demand.
In 2011, PU industry is mixed in raw materials and products innovative area. In July, Evonik signed the 300ktpa HPPO technology transfer agreement. At the end of 2011, Shandong Runxing chemical developed the non-phosgene HDI and electrosynthesis adiponitrile technology and realized the industrialization. It also succeeded to build 1kepa production line and broke the monopoly.
SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO Mohamed Al-Mady and Mitsui Chemicals President and CEO Toshikazu Tanaka shake hands at the signing ceremony in Riyadh. (AN photo)
By IBRAHIM AL-GHAMDI | ARAB NEWS STAFF
Published: Feb 29, 2012 01:20 Updated: Feb 29, 2012 01:20
JUBAIL: The Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has signed a TDI and MDI technology license agreement with Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., in keeping with the company’s strategic plan to be a global leader in polyurethane and serve its customers with value-added services, solutions and products.
Under the agreement, Mitsui will provide manufacturing technology for producing TDI and MDI, which are both raw materials for producing polyurethane. The agreement also provides for joint technology development in TDI/MDI.
The agreement was signed by Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC vice chairman and CEO, and Toshikazu Tanaka, Mitsui Chemicals president and CEO, at SABIC’s headquarters in Riyadh.
Expressing strong optimism over the agreement, Al-Mady said that it would spearhead a strategic collaboration between the two companies to explore future possibilities to collaborate in the polyurethane (PU) business.
“The agreement will spur our strategic business plan to penetrate the global polyurethane market as well as power the ambition and competitive advantage of our customers for the long term,” he said. “It will also enable a fast development of PU application industries in Saudi Arabia, especially with regards to thermal insulation which will contribute to employment creation as well as energy savings.”
Al-Mady pointed out that Mitsui Chemicals has a long experience as a manufacturer of TDI and MDI and has over the years developed pioneering manufacturing processes. “Through this technology license agreement, we will strengthen our product capabilities with high quality TDI and MDI and expand into the polyurethane business,” he said.
Tanaka commented, “For Mitsui Chemicals, this license agreement will be the largest and most extensive one we have ever made. We will support this project full force on every front and are committed to its success. I hope that it will be just the first step in a future business partnership with SABIC, which may include establishment of a strategic supply base for competitive TDI/MDI.”
Polyurethane is a resilient, flexible and durable manufactured material that can take the place of paint, cotton, rubber, metal or wood in thousands of applications across virtually all fields. Polyurethane will serve a very rich variety of segments including building and construction, automotive and transportation, furniture and bedding, sports and footwear, food packaging, cold chain and refrigeration, and home appliances. The advantages of polyurethane include strength and flexibility, application versatility, variable rigidity/firmness, and high performance.
Chemtura Corporation (NYSE: CHMT), a world leader in hot-cast urethane pre-polymers, urethane surface coatings, polyurethane dispersions, flame retardants and polymer antioxidant and UV stabilizers, is highlighting its latest innovations and additions to its portfolio on April 17 to April 19, in Maastricht, the Netherlands at UTECH Europe, Stand 1330.
Chemtura's two, new, liquid stabilizer packages for polyurethane applications: Naugard(R) PS3015 stabilizer and Lowilite(R) UV B1260 UV light stabilizer, are perfect for demanding applications where low VOC and FOG emissions are required. While the Witcobond(R) PUDs are used in the "soft-touch" protective coatings for plastic dashboard components. (Photo: Business Wire)
Efforts focused on looking into safer alternatives to traditional amine curatives such as MOCA has led to the continued promotion of Chemtura's Adiprene® Duracast® Low Free MDI pre-polymers, first highlighted at UTECH Europe 2009, but now cured with either Vibracure® A260 or Vibracure® A26X proprietary curatives. At UTECH Europe 2012, Chemtura will highlight the benefits offered by these systems over TDI/MOCA systems, including the use of less hazardous curatives, reduced free isocyanate levels and longer pot life.
Chemtura continues to expand the Vibrathane® / Vibracure® Quasi MDI range of systems to have less environmental impact by replacing the mercury catalysts used in traditional Quasi MDI systems. In addition to the three component mercury free Quasi MDI Ester system, Vibrathane® 8000 / Vibracure® 7559 / BDO, that covers a hardness range from 50 Shore A to 95 Shore A, Chemtura now offers a four-component mercury free Quasi MDI Ester system, Vibrathane® 8000 / Vibracure® 7561 / BDO / Vibracat MF and a four-component mercury free Quasi Ether system, Vibrathane® B860 / Vibracure® A863 / BDO / Vibracat MF both of which cover the hardness range 55 Shore A to 95 Shore A. The use of an external mercury free catalyst allows for better pot life control and optimized reactivity. These new systems have been successfully commercialized at a number of customers in Europe over the last couple of years.
Baxenden Chemicals Limited, a Chemtura company and part of the Chemtura Urethanes business since 2008, will be presenting a range of isocyanate and urethane-based products for foam manufacture and the surface coating industries.
Flexocel® is a range of polyether/MDI-based foam systems, used to manufacture flexible and semi-flexible molded parts. They are all based on blowing agent technologies that are non-flammable and zero ozone depleting. Applications for Flexocel® products include integral skin molding (including fire-retardant grades), production of energy and impact absorbers, automotive seating, sound insulation and water-blown microcellular foam. The Isofoam® products are based on similar technology but intended for rigid molded and sprayed foam systems. They are used for insulated and non-insulated composite panels and a variety of structural automotive products, ranging from door trims to high density underbody moldings. Other major applications are for thermal insulation for domestic use (e.g. hot water cylinders), road tankers, industrial chillers and pipelines for the oil and gas industry.
Offerings for the coating industry focus on the Trixene® range of blocked isocyanates. It features solvent-based and new aqueous blocked crosslinkers for applications such as OEM-type, heat cure coatings and adhesion treatments for industrial processes e.g. fibre reinforcement. Another emphasis is on conventional PU systems with very low MDI and TDI contents that meet new regulatory requirements. Low monomer products are suitable for a broad spectrum of applications, ranging from adhesives to 2-K membrane coatings. Materials offered for general coatings include a wide range of aromatic and aliphatic pre-polymers, moisture scavengers and oxazolidine developments.
Latest developments in the Witcobond® range of polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) are also highlighted. These materials are used globally in a multitude of aqueous coatings and finishes for hard and soft substrates. The extensive range covers high-solids products, dispersions with low or no cosolvent (including NMP-free), and grades without APEO/NPEO or other surfactants. Witcobond® chemistries embrace anionic, nonionic and new cationic systems providing for wide pH tolerance. They include fully-reacted polymers for 1-K formulations, hydroxyl-functional urethanes for 2-K coatings, and latent-curing mechanisms.
Great Lakes Solutions, a Chemtura business, will highlight its new Emerald? series of flame retardant solutions for polyurethane applications with particular focus on Emerald? NH-1, a non-halogen flame retardant for automotive and flexible polyurethane furniture foam applications. This product was developed as part of Great Lakes Solutions "Greener is Better" innovation strategy and achieves the goal of providing sustainable, effective fire safety solutions in flexible polyurethane foams. A technical paper entitled "Emerald? NH-1: A Non-Halogen Flame Retardant for Flexible Polyurethane Foams" will be presented by Dr. Patrick Jacobs at the adjoining UTECH Europe conference on April 18 at 11:45 a.m. The presentation will highlight the full benefits of Emerald? NH-1 versus the more traditional chlorinated phosphate ester flame retardants.
Chemtura's Antioxidant and UV Stabilizer Solutions business will be promoting two new stabilizer packages suitable for polyurethane applications: Naugard® PS3015 stabilizer and Lowilite® UV B1260 light stabilizer. Naugard® PS 3015 stabilizer is an easy to use, liquid additive package providing very good scorch and gas fading resistance in flexible foam applications. The innovative, Naugard® PS 3015 stabilizer package is less volatile than conventional stabilizers, which is very important in demanding applications where low VOC and FOG emissions are required. Whilst the new, liquid Lowilite® UV B1260 light stabilizer confers outstanding stability to flexible foams that have been exposed to light and heat, while also outperforming conventional light stabilizer packages in fogging tests. To further support this promotion, a technical paper entitled "Latest Innovations in Post-Treatment Foam Stabilizers with Improved Environmental Characteristics" will be presented on Tuesday, April 17 at 5 p.m. by Dr Andrea Landuzzi at the parallel UTECH Europe conference.
|Dr. Marijn Dekkers, Management Board Chairman, at the company’s Financial News Conference on February 28, 2012 in Leverkusen.|
Leverkusen, February 28, 2012 – The Bayer Group had a very successful year in 2011 both strategically and operationally, posting record levels of sales and EBIT. “We achieved the Group targets that we raised after the first quarter,” said Bayer CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers at the Financial News Conference in Leverkusen on Tuesday. The company also made good progress toward further innovation and expanding its activities in emerging markets. For 2012 Dekkers predicted a slight improvement in underlying earnings despite an economic situation marked by uncertainty. Sales of the Bayer Group rose by 4.1 percent in 2011, to EUR 36,528 million (2010: EUR 35,088 million). Adjusted for currency and portfolio effects (Fx & portfolio adj.), sales were up by 5.5 percent. “Thus we exceeded the record set in 2010,” Dekkers said. Sales in the emerging markets rose by 9.0 percent on a currency-adjusted (Fx adj.) basis, contributing disproportionately to the expansion in business. The operating result (EBIT) advanced by a substantial 52.0 percent to EUR 4,149 million (2010: EUR 2,730 million).
Special items totaled minus EUR 876 million (2010: minus EUR 1,722 million). They included EUR 741 million in charges for the Group-wide restructuring initiative, EUR 260 million in litigation expenses, and EUR 99 million in gains from divestitures. EBIT before special items increased by 12.9 percent to EUR 5,025 million (2010: EUR 4,452 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) – before special items – rose by 7.2 percent to EUR 7,613 million (2010: EUR 7,101 million). There was a particularly sharp increase of 89.9 percent in net income, to EUR 2,470 million (2010: EUR 1,301 million). Core earnings per share moved ahead by 15.3 percent to EUR 4.83 (2010: EUR 4.19).
Gross cash flow advanced by 8.4 percent to EUR 5,172 million (2010: EUR 4,771 million), while net cash flow declined by 12.4 percent to EUR 5,060 million (2010: EUR 5,773 million). Net financial debt fell by EUR 0.9 billion against December 31, 2010, to EUR 7.0 billion. “Our remaining financial liabilities have an even maturity structure, so we aim to make all repayments in the coming years out of available liquidity and current cash flows,” said CFO Werner Baumann.
Earnings of MaterialScience below expectations
“The MaterialScience business unfortunately performed below expectations in 2011,” said Dekkers. “A positive factor is that we increased sales, and were able to raise selling prices, in all business units and regions. On the other hand, we scarcely achieved any volume increases.” Sales of high-tech materials rose by 6.7 percent (Fx & portfolio adj. 8.2 percent) overall to EUR 10,832 million (2010: EUR 10,154 million).
Business with raw materials for foams (Polyurethanes) improved by 9.5 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.). High-tech plastics (Polycarbonates) advanced by 5.6 percent, while raw materials for coatings, adhesives and specialties were up by 4.5 percent (both Fx & portfolio adj.). Industrial Operations achieved a sales gain of 21.9 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.).
EBITDA before special items of MaterialScience moved back by 13.6 percent to EUR 1,171 million (2010: EUR 1,356 million). This decline resulted primarily from higher raw material costs that could not be fully offset by selling-price increases. Higher operating costs were also incurred, including those for commissioning the TDI plant in China. Among the positive effects were savings achieved through efficiency-improvement measures.
Emerging markets’ share of sales increased
“Another positive aspect was our strong performance in the emerging markets, where we raised sales by 9 percent overall,” said Dekkers. Bayer has defined the emerging markets as Asia (excluding Japan), Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. With sales of EUR 13,290 million in 2011 (2010: EUR 12,493 million), these countries accounted for 36.4 percent (2010: 35.6 percent) of total Group sales.
Clear improvement in net income in the fourth quarter of 2011
“Overall business development in the fourth quarter showed a mixed picture,” said CFO Werner Baumann. “While HealthCare and CropScience achieved modest sales gains on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis, business at MaterialScience was level with the corresponding period of 2010.” Group sales advanced by 2.0 percent (Fx and portfolio adj. 1.9 percent) to EUR 9,191 million (Q4 2010: EUR 9,012 million). EBIT showed a clear improvement to EUR 629 million (Q4 2010: EUR 51 million), while EBITDA before special items moved back by 8.8 percent to EUR 1,541 million (Q4 2010: EUR 1,689 million). “This was almost entirely because of the distinct drop in earnings at MaterialScience,” explained Baumann. Net income came in at EUR 397 million, against a EUR 145 million net loss in the prior year. Core earnings per share were EUR 0.97 (Q4 2010: EUR 0.95).
Confident for future business development
Dekkers expressed his confidence for the company’s future development: “We got off to a solid start in 2012,” he said. The Bayer Group anticipates sales growth in 2012 of about 3 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.) overall. Based on the company’s currency assumptions – including a rate of US$1.40 (2011 average: US$1.39) to the euro – Bayer therefore expects Group sales to come in at around EUR 37 billion. The company plans a slight improvement in EBITDA before special items. This will be driven by HealthCare and CropScience, while earnings at MaterialScience are likely to be flat with 2011 in view of the currently difficult market conditions. Bayer also plans to slightly improve core earnings per share.
For 2012 the company has planned capital expenditures of EUR 1.5 billion for property, plant and equipment and EUR 0.4 billion for intangible assets. Depreciation and amortization are expected to total about EUR 2.6 billion, including EUR 1.3 billion in amortization of intangible assets. Bayer expects research and development spending to continue on the high level of recent years at about EUR 3.0 billion.
HealthCare’s top priority for 2012 is to successfully commercialize the new pharmaceutical products. The subgroup plans to increase sales by a low- to mid-single-digit percentage (Fx & portfolio adj.). A slight improvement in EBITDA before special items is planned, although earnings are likely to be hampered by higher marketing expenses and the effects of the genericization of Yasmin™ in Europe. Sales of the Pharmaceuticals segment in 2012 are forecasted to remain stable or move slightly higher (Fx & portfolio adj.), and EBITDA before special items to approximately match the prior-year level. In the Consumer Health segment, Bayer anticipates mid-single-digit growth in sales (Fx & portfolio adj.) and in EBITDA before special items.
Bayer expects market conditions for its CropScience business to remain favorable in 2012. The subgroup predicts above-market growth and anticipates that sales (Fx & portfolio adj.) and EBITDA before special items will advance by mid-single-digit percentages.
MaterialScience currently forecasts sales (Fx & portfolio adj.) and EBITDA before special items in 2012 to remain level with the prior year. Should the market environment develop more favorably than anticipated, the subgroup expects sales and earnings to increase accordingly. MaterialScience forecasts currency- and portfolio-adjusted sales in the first quarter of 2012 to be roughly level with the fourth quarter of 2011. It expects EBITDA before special items in the first quarter of 2012 to be well above the figure for the fourth quarter of 2011 but below the first quarter of 2011.
In 2013 the Bayer Group expects to achieve continued growth in sales, EBITDA before special items, and core earnings per share, with its new pharmaceutical products contributing to this expansion. Bayer plans to make capital expenditures for property, plant and equipment and for intangible assets on about the same levels as in 2012. The company anticipates a slight increase in research and development expenses.
Dubai (Platts)--28Feb2012/727 am EST/1227 GMT
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation or Sabic Tuesday said it had reached agreement with Japan's Mitsui Chemicals to produce two feedstocks required to make polyurethane, days after Japanese media reported the companies were joining forces to make urethane in Saudi Arabia.
Sabic said Tuesday it has signed a license agreement with Japan's Mitsui Chemicals to provide the manufacturing technology for the production of toluene di-isocynate, or TDI, and methylene di-phenyl isocynate, or MDI.
This is a key step in plans the company announced in October 2010 to manufacture polyurethane. It is yet to disclose the cost of the TDI, MDI and polyurethane projects, their capacities or the development timeframe.
Sabic and Mitsui Chemicals are also planning to build a urethane plant in Saudi Arabia, Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported Saturday.
TDI and MDI are used as feedstocks to manufacture urethane molecules, which are then synthesized together to manufacture polyurethane.
The planned urethane plant is likely to have a greater annual capacity than all three of Mitsui Chemicals' facilities in Japan and South Korea combined, which is 427,000 mt/year, Nikkei reported. It would be built over 2015-2020, the report said.
Further details of the agreement between Mitsui Chemicals and Sabic are expected by the end of March, the daily said.
Polyurethane is a resilient, flexible material used widely in paints, metals and rubber.
--Shashank Shekhar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Here at The Motley Fool, I've long cautioned investors to keep a close eye on inventory levels. It's a part of my standard diligence when searching for the market's best stocks. I think a quarterly checkup can help you spot potential problems. For many companies, products that sit on the shelves too long can become big trouble. Stale inventory may be sold for lower prices, hurting profitability. In extreme cases, it may be written off completely and sent to the shredder.
In this series, I examine inventory using a simple rule of thumb: Inventory increases ought to roughly parallel revenue increases. If inventory bloats more quickly than sales grow, this might be a sign that expected sales haven't materialized. Is the current inventory situation at Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company's inventory growth to sales growth. How is Dow Chemical doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, OK, it seems. Trailing-12-month revenue increased 11.8%, and inventory increased 6.9%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks healthy. Revenue dropped 6.7%, and inventory dropped 10.0%.
I don't stop my checkup there, because the type of inventory can matter even more than the overall quantity. There's even one type of inventory bulge we sometimes like to see. You can check for it by examining the quarterly filings to evaluate the different kinds of inventory: raw materials, work-in-progress inventory, and finished goods. (Some companies report the first two types as a single category.)
A company ramping up for increased demand may increase raw materials and work-in-progress inventory at a faster rate when it expects robust future growth. As such, we might consider oversized growth in those categories to offer a clue to a brighter future, and a clue that most other investors will miss. We call it "positive inventory divergence."
On the other hand, if we see a big increase in finished goods, that often means product isn't moving as well as expected, and it's time to hunker down with the filings and conference calls to find out why.
What's going on with the inventory at Dow Chemical? I chart the details below for both quarterly and 12-month periods.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of latest fully reported quarter. Dollar amounts in millions. FY = fiscal year. TTM = trailing 12 months.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of latest fully reported quarter. Dollar amounts in millions. FQ = fiscal quarter.
Let's dig into the inventory specifics. On a trailing-12-month basis, raw materials inventory was the fastest-growing segment, up 18.8%. On a sequential-quarter basis, each segment of inventory decreased. With inventory segments moving opposite directions for the periods we're considering, this one is a toss-up.
Foolish bottom line
When you're doing your research, remember that aggregate numbers such as inventory balances often mask situations that are more complex than they appear. Even the detailed numbers don't give us the final word. When in doubt, listen to the conference call or contact investor relations. What at first looks like a problem may actually signal a stock that will provide the market's best returns. And what might look hunky-dory at first glance could actually be warning you to cut your losses before the rest of the Street wises up.
I run these quick inventory checks every quarter. To stay on top of inventory and other tell-tale metrics at your favorite companies, add them to your free Watchlist, and we'll deliver our latest coverage right to your inbox.
Magna Fourth-Quarter Profit Climbs 42%
From: PUWORLD独家发布 / 2/27/2012 9:59:02 AM
Net income rose to $312 million, or $1.32 a share, from $219 million, or 89 cents, a year earlier, the Aurora, Ontario- based company said today in a statement. Sales gained 13 percent to $7.25 billion, boosting revenue for all of 2011 to $28.7 billion. Magna forecast sales of $28 billion to $29.5 billion this year.
North American vehicle production increased 10 percent to 13.1 million vehicles in 2011, including a fourth-quarter rise of 15 percent to 3.44 million, Magna said. U.S. sales of cars and light trucks gained 10 percent last year to 12.8 million, according to Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based Autodata Corp.
“Industry production and sales data through the quarter continued to show growth in North America and Europe,” Steve Arthur, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto, said in a Feb. 16 note to clients. He rates Magna shares “outperform.”
Magna today also raised its dividend to 27.5 cents a share from 25 cents, the first increase since February 2011.
Excluding one-time items, Magna reported profit of $1.46 a share. That exceeded the $1.02 average of 17 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes rose 28 percent in the quarter to $321 million, buoyed by a 22 percent increase in profit at the company’s North American unit. On that basis, Magna’s European unit posted a loss of $3 million, compared with profit of $20 million a year earlier.
“Europe was a disappointment in 2011,” Chief Executive Officer Don Walker told analysts on a conference call. Still, fourth-quarter results showed an improvement from the previous three months, “and we expect further improvement through 2012,” he said.
Magna expects the auto-parts industry to continue to consolidate in the long term as carmakers expand globally, Walker said.
The company is “looking at a number of different things, no more or less than we have traditionally been looking at, but there are a lot of opportunities out there,” Walker said. “I suspect we will continue to make some acquisitions.”
He didn’t elaborate.
Magna fell 1.1 percent to C$44.95 at the close in Toronto today. The shares have risen 32 percent this year.