US PPG expects steady raw material costs through Q4

18 October 2012 23:56  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--PPG expects raw material costs to remain steady through the end of the year, especially as the seasonal slowdown continues, the US-based coatings and chemicals producer said on Thursday.

“We are still facing [upstream] inflationary pressure that has continued over the last 18 months; we haven’t recaptured that,” PPG CEO Charles Bunch said during the company’s third-quarter conference call. “But overall, we’re seeing more stability in our raw material costs.”

Earlier in the day, PPG Industries reported that its third-quarter net income rose by 9% year on year on cost savings and strength in its performance - coatings business.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) costs in the third quarter were higher than one year ago even though the trend is now toward lower pricing for TiO2 globally, Bunch said.

He added that the company was still committed to reducing its global TiO2 consumption, and averaged reductions of 3% through the first three quarters of the year. Its full-year average will be just over 4%, he said, the low end of its goal of 4-6%.

The company’s has lowered its TiO2 inventory levels for the remainder of this quarter and heading into the first quarter of 2013, and has no plans to destock further.

In the acrylic chain, Bunch said he anticipates no price spikes through the end of the year, despite the shutdown of Nippon Shokubai’s acrylic acid plant following an explosion in Himeji, Japan, in late September.

In other matters, Bunch said the company expects to close its deal with Georgia Gulf by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

The $2.1bn (€1.6bn) transaction will see PPG Industries merge its commodity chemicals business with Georgia Gulf, making the combined company the third-largest chlor-alkali producer and second-largest vinyl chloride monomer producer in North America.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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