Europe top stories: weekly summary

Source: ICIS News


LONDON (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Europe for the week ended 15 December.

Germany's Covestro to invest €200m in MDI expansion at Tarragona site
Covestro aims to invest around €200m to expand production of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) at its Tarragona, Spain, facility and continue producing beyond 2020, the German chemicals major said.

European naphtha-based cracker margins rise, LPG margins fall
European cracker margins based on naphtha feedstock have risen week on week, giving contract margins the advantage over those based on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), according to ICIS margin analysis.

UK’s Elementis sells surfactants business to Swiss-based Kolb for €39m
Elementis has agreed to sell its surfactants business located in Delden, the Netherlands, to Swiss-headquartered chemical producer Kolb Distribution for €39m, the UK specialty chemicals firm said.

ExxonMobil to increase carbon impact disclosure on shareholder pressure
ExxonMobil has bowed to a shareholder request to increase disclosure of the potential impact of climate change on its business, the US-headquartered oil and gas major said.

2018 Non-OPEC oil supply forecasts upgraded on US output
Increased investment in US tight oil is likely to drive non-OPEC crude supply growth in 2018 and was a key force behind above-forecast output this year, OPEC said.

Eurozone manufacturing growth at all-time high, composite PMI hits 82-month peak
The eurozone composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has hit an 82-month high, climbing from 57.5 in November to 58.0 this month, according to a flash estimate from IHS Markit.

Europe PE focus shifts towards January as arbitrage opportunities arise
The mood in the European polyethylene (PE) market is uncertain as buyers and sellers focus on January and look towards arbitrage opportunities that are arising as Europe remains one of the lowest-priced regions, sources said.

Europe toluene market slows down, Eurobob gasoline softens despite firmer crude
The European toluene market has entered a more relaxed mode with rather slow activity and reduced demand as the Christmas holiday period is only a few days away, sources said.

Europe benzene spot still firm on tight prompt material, good demand from styrene
European benzene spot prices firmed further this week amid upward pressure from the crude oil market and tight supply for prompt or early January material, players said.

Early European first-quarter TiO2 contracts spike on supply constraints
The European titanium dioxide (TiO2) market’s upward price momentum is continuing into the first quarter (Q1), with early settlements showing increases of €100/tonne and slightly above on the back of underlying supply limitations.