Americas top stories - weekly summary

03 February 2014 15:00 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Americas for the week ended 1 February 2014.

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US January cumene settles higher on benzene increase
The US cumene contract has settled up by 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne) for January, in line with the January benzene increase, sources confirmed.

LyondellBasell CEO Gallogly is long on US ethane
LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly remains long on ethane despite the recent spike in prices, he said on Friday.

US Jan truck acetone settles 7 cents higher, barge delayed
US January truck acetone contracts settled up by an average of 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne), sources said, citing upstream pressure and a margin push by producers facing continued poor co-product phenol economics.

US fatty alcohol buyer/seller price sentiment far apart
US fatty alcohol buyer/seller price sentiment is far apart, sources said on the sidelines of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Eastman won't divest adhesives, plasticisers, despite tough year
Eastman Chemical is not divesting its adhesives and plasticizers business, which it still sees as a "good business" even after the segment’s operating earnings fell 34% year on year in 2013, the CEO of the US-based producer said.

Microbe-killing polymer made from PET shows promise
An IBM synthetic organic chemist who has spent much of his research career making materials for semiconductors is now applying his know-how on making things smaller and better to help create nanopolymers at the forefront of medical research.

US methanol projects face labour shortage, high costs – Methanex
Despite the boom in new methanol plant announcements in the US, building them will be tough because of a looming labour shortage and the high cost of such projects, Methanex chief executive John Floren said.

US State Dept says not building Keystone would lead to more GHG
Not constructing the hotly contested northern segment of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline could lead to an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 28-42% as the Canadian oil sands product makes its way to market in other ways, the US State Department said in the release of a long-awaited report on the project.

US, Texas regulators propose deal for state's air-permit programme
US and Texas environmental regulators have proposed a deal that would grant conditional approval to the state's flexible air-permit programme, the two sides said.

N America epoxy resins face demand, import, policy challenges
The North American epoxy-resin industry continues to struggle with the challenges of fluctuating demand, Asian imports, raw material price volatility and legislation, a manager for a producer said.

Liveris defends US Dow after Loeb calls for petchem spin-off
Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris defended the company's strategy of integrating its upstream businesses with its downstream specialty chemicals, following an earlier request by an activist investor to spin-off its petrochemical business.

By Staff Reporter