HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US October benzene contract price is expected to increase slightly, smaller than in recent months amid a more stable spot market, sources said on Tuesday.
Contract prices generally take direction from the spot market in the week prior to settlement. During most of 2015, the spot market has been volatile, resulting in steep month-on-month changes in contract prices.
Contract prices in 2015:
* average price of split settlements
Prior to the September settlement, which was 79 cents/below August contract values, spot benzene prices had been under pressure from record lows in upstream WTI crude futures, which fell below $40/bbl. The downtrend and volatility kept demand in the benzene market subdued in late August as buyers awaited a price floor.
However, upstream values have been higher and less volatile this month with WTI remaining in the mid $40s/bbl. The stability, along with increased buying activity in the benzene market, helped offset ample benzene imports and pushed benzene spot prices slightly higher than a month ago.
Spot benzene prices in the last week ranged 2.07-2.12/gal FOB (free on board). This week, bid/offer levels have been slightly lower, with spot benzene assessed at $1.98-2.08/gal FOB early on Tuesday.
Market sources expect October benzene to settle at 2.05-2.10/gal FOB, which would be a 4-9 cents/gal increase over the September settlement.
The US benzene contract is typically settled on the last day of the previous month.
Major US benzene producers include ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, Shell and Phillips 66.
Houston (Platts)--28 Sep 2015 549 pm EDT/2149 GMT
Initial nominations for October US polymer-grade and chemical-grade propylene contract prices are calling for rollovers at 30 cents/lb and 28.5 cents/lb, respectively, multiple sources said Monday.
ExxonMobil Chemical is the only producer that has announced propylene contract price nominations so far, sources said. Producer confirmation was unavailable Monday.
The nomination marks the fourth call for a rollover in four months -- the June flat nomination resulted in a 2-cent drop, while July and August nominations each resulted in 3.5 cent/lb drops. September propylene was nominated at a 2-cent drop, which later resulted in a 3-cent contract decrease. US propylene contract prices for September settled mid-month at 30 cents/lb for PGP and at 28.5 cents/lb for CGP, both at their lowest since the 29 cents/lb for PGP and 27.5 cents/lb for CGP in April 2009. The dip also marked the seventh consecutive decrease in 2015.
US polymer-grade propylene was assessed Monday at 26.75-27.25 cents/lb FD USG for October deliveries, while November was assessed at 26.5-27 cents/lb FD USG.
US propylene contracts are settled on a monthly basis between major producers and buyers. The process includes price nominations by producers and subsequent negotiations with customers.
(RTTNews.com) - German chemical giant BASF SE (BFA.L, BASFY.PK) Monday announced a further operational excellence program called DrivE - Drive Efficiency, which would run from 2016 to 2018. It targets an annual earnings contribution of 1 billion euros by the end of 2018.
The company will bring down capital expenditures to levels slightly above depreciation in the coming years.
BASF said it is well on track with its 'We create chemistry' strategy despite a challenging environment. "We are growing BASF with the goal of making it even more profitable," said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF, at the BASF Investor Day 2015 in Ludwigshafen.
BASF expects chemical production to continue to grow well above global GDP until 2020. However, the business environment has changed since the company introduced its "We create chemistry" strategy in 2011, it added.
Major markets did not grow as fast as expected, and the oil price has been unpredictable. Further, geopolitics have contributed to higher volatility.
As a result, BASF has slightly adjusted its expectations for the global economic environment from 2015 to 2020, and sees growth of gross domestic product of 3 percent, instead of the previous 3.2 percent.
Growth in industrial production is seen at 3.5 percent, compared to the previous projection of 3.7 percent. Expectation for growth in chemical production has been adjusted to 3.9 percent from 4 percent.
This year, BASF will achieve its target of generating 10 billion euros of sales with products and solutions that have been on the market since 2010. BASF aims to maintain its R&D spending at around 3 percent of sales excluding Oil & Gas.
Further, the firm said it would add new specialty and solutions businesses through its innovation pipeline as well as acquisitions. The company will also continue to look for better owners of businesses that only provide a low strategic fit.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Sept. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) identified certain trends which are expected to impact its third quarter earnings.
Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO, commented:
"Although we are seeing headwinds within the business during the third quarter, we are optimistic about the future. Lower raw material prices impacted demand and margins in the third quarter, thus the accounting benefits will be delayed into the fourth quarter. Based on current market conditions, we expect our fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA to look similar to the third quarter – notwithstanding normal seasonality – and expect that it will also be in the range of prior year results of $300 million. In 2016 we expect that cash flow will improve approximately $300 million with further improvements projected in 2017. We remain committed to a separation of the Pigments and Additives business by the end of 2016 or sooner."
25 Sep 2015, 3.12 am GMT
Shanghai, 25 September (Argus) — South Korean refiner S-Oil has made a final commitment to build a 60,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit with associated petrochemical capability, to be completed by June 2018.
S-Oil has an existing 580,000 b/d refinery and petrochemical complex at Onsan. The new FCC will adopt high-severity technology licensed by Axens. It maximizes a propylene yield ratio of up to 20pc compared with a normal yield at about 5-10pc. S-Oil has not yet finalized the final plans on propylene capacity but said output will be close to 700,000 t/yr. The new unit will take the company's total propylene capacity to about 900,000 t/yr.
The FCC will also be able to produce up to 200,000 t/yr of ethylene from an off-gas recovery unit.
S-Oil has planned to build two propylene derivative units to extend its petrochemical supply chain, including a 400,000 t/yr polypropylene unit and a 300,000 t/yr propylene oxide plant, which are targeted to start up in the second half of 2018. No investment plans have been made for ethylene downstream units.
S-Oil is majority owned by Saudi Arabia' state-owned oil firm Saudi Aramco.
BASF and Genomatica have expanded the scope of their license agreement for the production of 1,4 butanediol based on renewable feedstock (renewable BDO) using Genomatica's patented process.
The parties added certain countries in Southeast Asia to their initial agreement, which focused on North America. The license agreement allows BASF to build a world-scale production facility that will use the Genomatica process to manufacture renewable BDO. BASF has secured rights to allow production of up to 75,000 tons per year. Under the terms of the agreement, Genomatica will continue to advance its patented GENO BDO process technology for the production of renewable BDO. The process, which includes a single-step fermentation, can be based on dextrose or sucrose as renewable feedstock. It was agreed not to disclose financial details of the license contract.
BASF has produced commercial volumes of renewable BDO, offering it to customers for testing and commercial use. The quality of this BDO is comparable to petrochemical-based BDO. BASF also expanded its portfolio by producing and offering Polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF(R)) made from renewable BDO.
"We are happy to expand our license agreement with Genomatica to the dynamic Asia-Pacific region," said Stefan Blank, president of BASF's Intermediates division. "We appreciate Genomatica's openness to give BASF greater flexibility to add BDO from renewable feedstock to our portfolio and to respond to market requirements."
"We're delighted to provide BASF with these additional license rights for our GENO technology," said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. "We look forward to seeing our technology deliver
sustainability benefits to our business partners, and through them, to end-users of everyday products."
BDO and its derivatives are used for producing plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers for the packaging, automotive, textile, and sports and leisure industries, among others. BASF currently produces BDO and BDO equivalents at its sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Geismar, Louisiana; Chiba, Japan; Kuantan, Malaysia; and Caojing, China. BASF announced it would increase its global capacities for BDO to 650,000 metric tons and for PolyTHF to 350,000 metric tons by the end of 2015, and beginning of 2016, respectively.
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US propylene inventories rose 2.1% during the week ended 18 September, according to data released Wednesday by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories of non-fuel refinery-sourced propylene rose to 4.524m bbl, up from 4.429m bbl a week ago.
Despite refinery operating rates falling during that period, gasoline production was 2.6% higher, the EIA said.
Gasoline production is expected to start declining in late September through the rest of the year on less demand and a shift in focus toward distillate production.
Refinery-grade propylene (RPG) demand remains somewhat curtailed by higher-than-normal production of propylene from crackers.
Year on year, propylene stocks are 45% higher from 3.122m bbl for the week ended 19 September 2014.
Propylene inventories (m bbl)
Refinery operating rates (%)
September 22, 2015 166 Views 0 Comments
Wind Point Partners has agreed to sell Argotec to Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc. for $280 million in cash (subject to certain customary adjustments). Argotec supplies custom engineered, high-performance, polyurethane films and sheet for a wide variety of critical applications.
Chicago, IL, September 21, 2015 — Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell portfolio company Argotec to Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. (NYSE: SWM).
Wind Point acquired Argotec in May 2013 in partnership with Guy Broadbent. Prior to joining Argotec as CEO, Guy served as CEO of Xcellerex, an early stage bio-manufacturing platform backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. Prior to that, Guy was President of the $1.8 billion Laboratory Products Group at ThermoFisher Scientific.
Guy Broadbent commented, “Over the past two years we created significant value at Argotec by launching new products, pursuing sales in new markets including medical films and graphic films, and significantly expanding our footprint geographically. Wind Point has been an involved and supportive partner throughout.”
Paul Peterson, a managing director at Wind Point, stated, “We have had a great partnership with Guy and the whole Argotec team during our ownership. They have done an excellent job enhancing Argotec’s product capabilities and expanding into diverse markets.”
Reed Smith LLP acted as legal advisor to Wind Point. Pepper Hamilton LLP acted as legal counsel for Argotec.
About Wind Point Partners
Wind Point Partners is a private equity investment firm that manages commitments of approximately $2.5 billion. Wind Point partners with top caliber CEOs to acquire middle market businesses where we can establish a clear path to value creation. Additional information about Wind Point is available at www.windpointpartners.com.
Argotec is a supplier of custom engineered, high-performance, polyurethane films and sheet for a wide variety of critical applications. In addition to flat-die, cast-on-carrier and blown-film-extrusion technologies, Argotec has expertise in extrusion coating, multi-layer constructions and closed-cell polyurethane foam sheet extrusion. Argotec provides TPU film and sheet products globally to the international specialty films market, including adhesive coaters, plastics converters and fabricators, as well as direct to OEM’s. Further information about Argotec may be obtained at www.argotec.com.
SWM is a leading global provider of highly engineered solutions and advanced materials for a variety of industries. Although SWM primarily serves the tobacco industry, it also manufactures specialty papers for other applications and acquired DelStar, Inc. in late 2013 to further expand its product portfolio and the markets it serves. SWM and its subsidiaries conduct business in over 90 countries and employ approximately 3,000 people worldwide, with operations in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, Spain, Luxembourg, Brazil, Canada, Poland and China, including two joint ventures. For further information, please visit the Company’s Web site at www.swmintl.com.