Europe top stories: weekly summary

16 October 2017 09:00 Source:ICIS News

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

BASF aims to become agro global major with €5.9bn Bayer seeds acquisition
Formerly a bystander in the large-scale mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity that has swept through the agrochemicals industry, BASF's announcement on Friday of plans to invest €5.9bn to acquire a large part of Bayer’s seed business and some herbicides operations reestablishes the German chemical firm as a major player in the agrochemicals space, according to analysts.

Europe styrene spot softer on weak Asian sentiment, improving supply
European styrene spot prices have fallen further this week despite expectations that values would be firming following the Golden Week holiday in China, sources said on Friday.

Europe October EPS prices vary on robust demand, logistics issues
Players in the European expandable polystyrene (EPS) market have settled early October contracts at a wide variety of prices that range from rollovers to decreases up to €60-90/tonne, depending on the supplier and the region, sources said on Thursday.

Balanced oil markets in 2018 if OPEC producers hold their nerve - IEA
The Paris-headquartered International Energy Agency (IEA) sees roughly balanced oil markets next year if OPEC production remains unchanged and weather conditions remain normal, it said on Thursday.

Europe market reacts to BASF TDI purity issues
Multiple foam manufacturers have announced temporary production stops, following news that BASF is recalling certain Ludwigshafen, Germany-manufactured toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) deliveries, leaving the European market in a state of confusion.

Spanish stock up as Catalonia's independence ‘suspended’
The Spanish stock exchange was trading higher on Wednesday morning as the president of Catalonia suspended the region’s independence soon after declaring it as he asked the central government for “dialogue” for an ordered withdrawal.

Europe chemicals logistics improving but weather adds strain
The logistical situation is slowly improving in the European chemical markets following the re-opening of the German Rhine valley route last week, according industry players.

INSIGHT: Europe petchem players upbeat at EPCA 2017, face digital challenges
European petrochemical industry players were upbeat at the 51stEuropean Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Berlin last week. Producers are broadly optimistic given the economic backdrop. For the core of the industry, the decline in the cost of naphtha and the ready availability of LPGs (liquefied petroleum gases) and ethane underscore a degree of competitiveness that has not been apparent for years.

Europe PE, PP buyers facing hikes as sources prepare for Fakuma trade fair
Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) buyers in Europe are facing higher prices for October, as new capacity comes on stream in North America, and many prepare to head to the 25th Fakuma, the industry event in Friedrichsafen, Germany, due to begin on 17 October.

Germany’s K+S to merge potash, salt units, sets €3bn EBITDA target
K+S is to merge its muriate of potash (MOP), salts, and magnesium units in a company-wide strategic overhaul, as the German fertilizer producer sets out to achieve annual operational savings of €150m ($176m) by 2030.

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By Staff Reporter