08 December 2003 00:10 [Source: ICIS news]
DuPont launches $900m global restructuring program
In line with its transformation into a smaller, leaner organisation, DuPont will embark on a major restructuring program. The plan features job cuts, product line consolidation and new sourcing strategies, while targeting $900m (Euro743.8m) in annualised cost savings by 2005. In addition, the company will sharpen its focus on emerging markets such as China, Eastern Europe and Brazil to help drive targeted revenue growth of 6%/year.
PS producers announce '04 price increases
The market for polystyrene (PS) is strengthening and producers are looking to start the new year with a wave of price increases. Inventories are tight throughout the chain from producers to consumers and demand is projected to roar back after an off year in 2003. Nevertheless, producers complain that margins are too slim and they remain wary about high costs for energy and raw materials.
General Chemical files for bankruptcy protection
Struggling soda ash and calcium chloride producer General Chemical Industrial Products has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court. The company had been in discussions with its lenders since defaulting on interest payments to bondholders in May but failed to reach an agreement on a financial restructuring.
Producers trim capital expenditures
European chemical companies are finalising 2004 capital expenditure budgets in anticipation of stronger demand for the coming year. But very few chemical producers are expected to increase capital expenditures for 2004 or the following year. Most chemical companies in Europe appear wedded to a policy of curbing or even decreasing capital expenditures for at least several years even if it means keeping capital spending well below depreciation.
Dow sees permanent shift in chem business
It will be survival of the fittest for US chemical producers and distributors as they negotiate a monumental shift in the global chemicals business. Speaking at the National Association of Chemical Distributors annual meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples, Florida, Lee McMaster, business group president for the Dow Chemical, laid out his company's Darwinian vision of the future for both producers and distributors.In the News
Cargill advances on bioproducts venture
Cargill is making headway in its effort to develop and soon commercialise industrial products made from renewable agricultural resources. Successive recent announcements on alliances with technology providers and additional partnerships currently under negotiation will further accelerate the company's plans in providing more sustainable and low cost chemicals and materials based on raw materials such as carbohydrates and vegetable oils.
Brazil's Braskem begins metallocene PE output
Brazilian petrochemicals giant Braskem has begun producing metallocene-based polyethylene (PE) and will have a 100 000 tonne/year capacity by the 2004 first quarter.
Natural gas price hike estimated at $111bn
The price of natural gas has increased 83% over the past 3 1/2 years, costing consumers more than $111bn, according to a report sent to Congress and the Bush Administration by the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA).
Merck reaches out to fill early stage pipeline
Merck continues to add discovery and development partners to its roster, announcing alliances with both Branford, Connecticut-based Neurogen and Basel, Switzerland-based Actelion. The company needs to ensure its early stage pipeline is sufficiently packed with drugs in the wake of a disappointing run of late stage product failures.
Hydro Agri prepares for demerger
Hydro Agri says that it will be well positioned to benefit from consolidation in the global fertiliser sector after its demerger from parent Norsk Hydro in March of next year. The fertiliser and industrial gases and nitrogen chemicals operation is being spun off to Hydro shareholders, including the Norwegian state, which will retain a stake of around 34%. A tranche of 20% of shares will be floated on the Oslo stock exchange.
Lenzing mulls fibres expansion in China
Amid signs of a global recovery in demand for viscose, Lenzing Group expects to decide by mid-2004 on the location and timing of a planned 40 000 tonne/year specialty fibres plant in China. As Lenzing is moving into new specialty areas, especially in the nonwoven segment, the Chinese project will be in line with the company's recent strategy of expanding viscose capacity.
Mississippi Chem to sell potash mines to Intrepid Mining
Mississippi Chemical has signed a definitive agreement to sell its potash mine assets for roughly $27m to Intrepid Mining, a privately held Denver, Colorado-based natural resources company. The sale is part of the Yazoo City, Mississippi-based company's ongoing reorganisation efforts under the bankruptcy protection, which it sought last May.
Solutia, Monsanto in asbestos dispute
Solutia is wrangling with Pharmacia and Monsanto over payments in two asbestos settlements that could set the stage to reduce its legacy liabilities. Solutia is refusing to pay $3m to satisfy asbestos litigation settlements in two cases it settled on behalf of Pharmacia.
Butadiene pricing pressured by Euro, energy costs
Pfizer weeds the Pharmacia pipeline of odds and ends
Rubber chemicals remain tied to the economy
Sorbitol market gets healthier as consumers turn to low-carb foods
Prices up for ground calcium carbonate
Praecis gets FDA approval for new prostate cancer therapy
Avastin fails drug trial but remains on track
US agribusiness eyes China's oilseed market potential
Reichhold shutters Bridgeville plant
Barr to acquire female healthcare products
DuPont joint venture stops making HCFC-22
Diversa licenses enzyme to BASF
SGL Carbon fined for third cartel
Eastman sells unit to Sherwin-Williams
First Analysis boosts price targets on specialties
DoE rolls out guidelines for emissions reporting
Dynea's credit rating lowered
IMCD acquires Rudolf Streuli
Minerals Tech to close plants, cut jobs
Bradford Soap Works acquires Hewitt Soap
Johnson Matthey to sell most of colour, coatings business
Homeland Security set to inspect chemical plantsFor further information, including subscription details, access CMR on its Web site at: http://www.chemicalmarketreporter.com
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