HOUSTON (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Americas for the week ended 21 August 2016.
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US spot toluene widens as buyers, sellers far apart
US spot toluene prices widened over the past week as buyers and sellers were far apart in their bid and offer ranges. Buyers are seeking lower prices for toluene, pointing to a weaker demand outlook given the upcoming end of the summer driving season. Octane supplies are already sufficient and gasoline blenders will begin shifting to their winter blends starting from September.
Talk emerges of higher US Sept ABS due to feedstock
The US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market remained very quiet last week, but there was some talk of higher prices in September. The talk of higher prices next month was the result of higher feedstock styrene and benzene prices. It is typical for ABS prices to follow the lead of styrene and benzene, one market source said.
Bolivia bidding call for PP plant attracts 15 firms
Bolivian state energy company YPFB says 15 companies have responded to a call to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for a $2.2bn propylene and polypropylene (PP) plant.
PVC market faces critical conditions in Venezuela
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) domestic prices in Venezuela have been assessed as stable for several months because of government controls, although prices in US dollars fluctuate. Demand for non-essentials in general, including demand for PVC, remains weak as the population is more concerned about obtaining scarce food, local sources say.
ExxonMobil Texas ethylene outage impacts PE supply
An unplanned outage at ExxonMobil’s cracker in Beaumont, Texas, could disrupt polyethylene (PE) production there, according to a company letter. The company told customers in a letter dated 16 August that the company is assessing the “potential impact on the volume of certain polyethylene products from Beaumont”.
US Enterprise Products mulls ethylene exports
US-based Enterprise Products is considering exporting ethylene overseas, in addition to its current exports of ethane, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and propylene. The company discussed the possibility during an investor presentation early last week at the Citi MLP/Midstream Infrastructure Conference.
US INVISTA restarts ADN, HMDA plant but FM remains
INVISTA has resumed production of adiponitrile (ADN) and hexamethylene diamine (HMD or HMDA) at its plant in Victoria, Texas, although the force majeure is still in place. INVISTA declared force majeure in late June as a result of a chemical process issue at the site.
US Axiall restarting Louisiana plant after flooding
Axiall’s 725,000 tonne/year polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana, has been down since 15 August when flooding in the region cut off roads and damaged an estimated 40,000 homes. The exact cause of the plant outage was not detailed by the company representatives, who confirmed that it was down.
Mexico to launch pilot carbon credits programme
Mexico will launch a year-long pilot emissions trading system that will involve companies from the electricity, oil and gas, industrial and petrochemical sectors. Mexico officials said the voluntary programme would involve 60 companies initially. Mexico is hoping to launch a mandatory carbon programme in 2018.
US Westlake, Axiall get regulatory clearances
Westlake Chemical and Axiall have received all regulatory approvals for Westlake’s planned $3.8bn deal to acquire Axiall, including clearance from both the US and Canadian competition authorities. Axiall filed a definitive proxy statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to notify shareholders of a special meeting to be held on 30 August to vote on the deal.