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Asian Chemical Connections

Action in the propylene market

By Malini Hariharan Just when Asian propylene prices started easing comes news of disruptions in production and price hikes in the West. Propylene availability in Europe was hit after a strike by Total’s refinery workers early in the week resulted in the closure of 36% of France’s C3 capacity. This forced Total to declare force […]

Optimism as China returns

By Malini Hariharan The China market appears to have started the year of the tiger on a strong note. We are not yet hearing a roar but at least it is not a whimper. Pic source: Xinhua A polyolefin market participant says that traders have started making enquiries after the Lunar New Year holidays. End-users […]

Is China Targeting Polyolefin Re-export Market?

By John Richardson MORE evidence that China will not remain as easy a sink for surplus polyolefin volumes – especially in the case of the higher-cost importers – is emerging. “There are plans to open a bonded warehouse in Guangdong province to sell RMB material converted into US dollar product,” a Singapore-based polyolefin trader told me […]

SK moving to China?

South Korean producers have for long been dependent on the Chinese market to absorb a large percentage of their output. So it is perhaps not surprising to read that SK Energy plans to move the headquarters of its chemicals division to China. It is also said to be looking at hiving off the chemicals business […]

China PVC Capacity Binge Clobbers Northeast Asia

By John Richardson CHINA’S capacity expansions in industries including steel, aluminium and petrochemicals continue to astound. Take polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for example., where, according to a new report by ChemSystems, “capacity (in China) has expanded from 5m tonne/year in 2003 to over 15m tonne/year in 2009, almost 90 percent of total global capacity expansion over […]

Korea’s Kumho faces heavy dose of restructuring

By Malini Hariharan The financially troubled Kumho Asiana group, with assets stretching from petrochemicals to airlines, has finally been able to work out a plan that should satisfy its creditors. The Korea Herald reports that the group plans to raise $1.13bn by selling assets as part of a restructuring programme. Kumho Tire and Kumho Industrial […]

Qatar says there will be one more cracker

By Malini Hariharan Qatar has reconfirmed its commitment to build more petrochemical plants including a new worldscale cracker. At a ceremony to mark the start of construction of Qapco’s new ldPE project, the deputy premier and minister of energy and industry said Qatar was launching an aggressive plan to achieve optimal utilization of the country’s […]

Update 1: Reliance said to be offering $10-12bn

Reliance Industries – which is attempting to buy LyondellBasell – is offering $10-12bn, according to this report from Reuters quoting two sources with direct knowledge of the deal.  This would be one of the biggest-ever acquisitions by an Indian company. In 2007, Tata Steel bought Corus for $13bn. Reliance raised $660m through a share sale in September. […]

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