Europe top stories: weekly summary

Source: ICIS News


LONDON (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Europe for the week ended 19 January.

BASF stock shoots up on ‘stunning’ 2017 results, base chems the star of the show
BASF shares were up more than 2% in Friday’s afternoon trading after the German chemical major published ahead-of-consensus financial results for 2017, with analysts describing the figures as “stunning”.

US supply growth to dominate 2018 oil markets, outstrip Saudi Arabia - IEA
North America continues to strengthen as a player in the global crude oil markets, with US supply beating all expectations in 2017 and set to outstrip Saudi Arabia this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

Plastics manufacturers must shift thinking to make EU packaging targets an opportunity
The European Commission’s new recycling targets for plastic packaging plus moves by retailers to cut the use of the material provide a significant challenge, but also possibly an opportunity, for plastics manufacturers.

Europe toluene fundamentals slow, but firm crude keeps spot prices high
European toluene spot prices continue to hover around the high $600s/tonne and slightly above as the crude oil market shows consistent strength despite having undergone a correction through the sell-off of long positions, sources said.

Saudi Aramco aims to commercialise thermal crude-to-chems technology
Saudi Aramco is planning to scale up and commercialise its thermal crude-to-chemicals technology, the Saudi energy major said.

Europe BD spot prices reach three-month high on strong demand, limited supply
European butadiene (BD) spot prices have reached levels not seen since October 2017 on the back of a steady uplift in both domestic and export demand, sources said.

Africa polymer prices rise breaking months of resistance
African polymer players are facing rising costs as upward pressure from supply and global competition for product finally breaks their resistance.

Sadara seals off-take deal to supply Saudi-German JV with EO, PO
Sadara Chemical has signed a deal to supply ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO) to SADIG-ILCO, a new Saudi-German joint venture focused on EO and PO derivative products, Sadara said in a statement.

EU chems aim to engage on recycling, but true circular economy still far off
EU petrochemical sources have embraced the drive for more recycling but figureheads like the European chemical regulator’s executive director conceded a true circular economy is still a distant thought.

Western petchem progress slow in Iran despite promise, US casts a shadow
Progress by western businesses into Iran has been slow despite the promise the resource-rich country offers for petrochemicals producers, due to challenges of doing business there and fear of sanctions snapping back in the wake of US uncertainty on the deal.

EU wants all plastic packaging to be recyclable by 2030
The EU has adopted the “first-ever” Europe-wide strategy on plastics in what it described as a bid to protect the planet, defend its citizens and empower its industries, the European Commission said.

ECHA new chief aims to smooth ‘natural friction’ with firms, warns of financial woes
The newly appointed executive director at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) aims to have an “open and honest” relationship with chemical firms but warned that the “natural friction” between the two is unavoidable.

Europe PE prices in the doldrums despite Asian increases, Brent close to $70/bbl
Polyethylene (PE) prices in Europe are firmly in the doldrums, even as Asian prices continue to rise and Brent crude oil flirts with $70/bbl, ICIS data showed.