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Asian Chemical Connections

China Polyester Chain Weakens

By Malini Hariharan The polyester chain is feeling the strain of poor Chinese demand. Weak export demand and Chinese government policy are also impacting this sector, as is the case in polyolefins. A further factor behind the problems in the polyester chain is the fall in cotton prices, as fellow blogger Paul Hodges points out. Monoethylene […]

Butadiene Set To Decline Further

By Malini Hariharan The drama continues in the Asian butadiene market. Bids this week are about $100/tonne lower than sellers’ price ideas, writes Helen Yan in an ICIS news report. Buying indications have dropped to $3,350-3,400/tonne CFR Northeast Asia. Butadiene prices appear to be going through another downcycle, reflecting the fundamentals of a market that it […]

HDPE Premium Likely To Fade

By Malini Hariharan High density polyethylene’s (HDPE) premium over linear low density PE (LLDPE) is likely disappear in the second quarter reversing a trend that has lasted for nearly a year. LLDPE supply is getting tighter with few capacity additions due this year. Additionally plant turnarounds in Asia and the Middle East are also likely […]

Quick recovery forecast for South Korea

By Malini Hariharan Analysts are predicting a quick recovery for South Korean petrochemical companies after a dismal performance in the last quarter. Honam Petrochemical’s Q4 2011 sales were down 14.7% quarter on quarter at Won3,488 bn. Operating profit declined 59.8% to Won158.4bn. LG Chem’s sales dipped 4.8% at Won5,602bn while operating profit slipped 30% to […]

India polymer exports to Pakistan set to rise

By Malini Hariharan After years of waiting truck movement of petrochemicals from India to Pakistan has started paving the way for Indian companies to boost their exports. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), which regularly exports polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) by rail to Pakistan, successfully sent its first consignment to Lahore last week from its petrochemical […]

India demand slides for PVC and PS

By Malini Hariharan The last year has been rough for Indian polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS) producers with demand for their products showing almost no growth. PVC consumption is likely to increase by only 1-2% year on year in the fiscal year ending on 31 March 2012, said S Gopal, managing director of Chemplast […]

Weak margins hit earnings

By Malini Hariharan It is the results season and numbers posted so far confirm that the last quarter has been rough with depressed demand, weak product prices and firm feedstock costs affecting earnings. Siam Cement Group’s EBITDA for the chemicals division dropped 25% in Q4 from the previous quarter, while sales revenue declined by 5%. […]

China set for aromatics expansion

By Malini Hariharan China is preparing to bring onstream huge capacities for aromatics this year. Nearly 1.7m tonnes/year of  toluene capacity is due to be added, writes Dolly Wu in the latest issue of ICIS Chemical Business. The major projects to keep an eye on are Dragon Aromatics (350kta), Jilin Petrochemical (350kt), PetroChina Sichuan Petrochemical […]

Power outage hits Al-Jubail plants

By Malini Hariharan A power outage at Al-Jubail has forced crackers and downstream plants at Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia, to shut down. ICIS news reports that all polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plants at the site were shut yesterday. It is not yet clear which other derivative plants were affected. LyondellBasell has temporarily withdrawn its February […]

Methanol set for a strong year

By Malini Hariharan Chinese methanol demand growth in 2011 has beaten expectations thanks to rising requirement from the gasoline blending and methanol-to-olefins (MTO)/methanol-to-propylene (MTP) segments. Demand last year is estimated to have expanded by an impressive 30% to reach 26m tonnes, well above earlier forecasts of 19% growth, according to Ken Yin, the methanol editor […]

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