Europe top stories: weekly summary

Source: ICIS News


LONDON (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Europe for the week ended 26 January.

Europe chems face weak auto market in 2018 - UBS
European chemicals firms are likely to face weakness in key end market the automotive sector in 2018, according to investment bank UBS, due to margin pressure on suppliers and a prevailing bearish market for vehicles in China

ICL's UK polyhalite plan: Are Boulby mine's days numbered?
Simon Clarke, the UK member of parliament (MP) for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, is on a war footing.

The politician travelled to London on behalf of 230 workers set to lose their jobs in June 2018, when Israel Chemicals (ICL) switches its muriate of potash (MOP) mine at Boulby in Yorkshire to polyhalite production.

Global potash prices to continue steady recovery in 2018 - Bernstein
Global muriate of potash (MOP) prices look set to continue increasing in 2018, thanks in part to tight producer discipline amid strong demand, chemical equity analysts at Bernstein Research said.

Europe styrene spot surges, fresh logistics issues occur in upper Rhine
Europe styrene spot numbers continued on an uptrend this week recording significant increases compared with the week before, although players seem puzzled when trying to explain the main drivers behind this upward push.

Europe chems to reap windfall from US tax reform - UBS
Corporate tax cuts are likely to deliver an uplift in earnings per share of up to 8% for listed European chemicals firms, more than balancing out headwinds from a stronger euro against the dollar, investment bank UBS said.

Rhine closed to shipping traffic as water levels rise
Sections of the River Rhine are closed to shipping with further closures expected, a representative of Germany’s waterways and shipping administration said, as heavy rain swells the key petrochemicals transport route.

70% chance of Swiss Clariant takeover in the next 24 months - analyst
Expectations for a takeover of Clariant have been upgraded to over 70% by some chemical analysts after news that Saudi petrochemical major SABIC had acquired a 24.99% stake in the Swiss chemicals producer, thus becoming its biggest shareholder.

Europe benzene spot trades higher, softens soon ahead of styrene turnaround season
The European benzene spot market rose this week on the back of ongoing bullishness in the energy market, a few customers covering short term needs as well as a significant spike in the downstream styrene spot market, sources said.