Americas top stories – weekly summary

22 February 2010 15:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS news Americas for the week ended 19 February 2010.

(Please click on the link to read the full text.)

Interview: US Huntsman to boost CAPX to $250-$275m in 2010
US-based chemical firm Huntsman will boost capital spending (CAPX) to $250m-$275m (€183m-€201m) in 2010, up sharply from 2009 levels, a company official said on Friday.

US producer Huntsman’s fourth quarter net income plummets to $66m
US producer Huntsman's net income for the fourth quarter of 2009 plummeted to $66m (€48.8m), from $598m for the same period in 2008 which included $815m in income related to Hexion’s terminated takeover of the company, it said on Friday.

Interview: Bio-succinic acid can beat petchems on price
US lactides producer Myriant Technologies expects that renewable succinic acid can become a bio-based intermediate that can compete on price against its petrochemical peers, an executive said on Thursday.

US benzene buyers wary of spike in spot market
US benzene buyers were wary of spiking spot prices on Thursday, but questioned the trend’s staying power.

Terra Industries swings to $3.8m Q4 loss, sales drop 47%
Terra Industries posted a 2009 fourth-quarter net loss of $3.8m (€2.8m), versus a profit of $165.7m in the year-earlier period, largely because of $77.8m in special charges and a 47% decline in sales, the US fertilizer firm said on Thursday.

US Cambrex to benefit as smoking restrictions spread
US firm Cambrex expects to increase sales of nicotine replacement therapies as developing countries adopt anti-smoking regulations, the company’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

US biodiesel tax credit now in limbo - sources
The re-instatement of a biodiesel tax credit that the industry considers crucial is now officially stalled in Congress, sources said on Wednesday.

US Rockwood swings to $10.8m Q4 profit, sales rise 7.4%
US specialty chemicals producer Rockwood Holdings said on Wednesday that slightly improved business conditions and continued cost-control measures drove its 2009 fourth-quarter net income to $10.8m (€7.9m).

US ethanol healthy but higher blends, tax breaks critical – RFA
The US ethanol industry is in a healthy state but must tackle some critical challenges in 2010, including raising gasoline blend levels and preserving tax incentives that are due to expire at year-end, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said on Tuesday.

Update: Lyondell reaches $450m deal to settle creditor case
LyondellBasell on Tuesday announced that a $450m (€333m) settlement had been reached to satisfy a dispute with unsecured creditors, pushing the petrochemicals major closer to an emergence from US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Ben DuBose
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