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May 22, 2015

Innovation and customer intimacy are key priorities for specialty chemical companies as they try to maintain margins. Pressure is coming from the ever-smaller window for new, high-margin products and the mixed impact of low energy costs. Working closely with customers is seen as an important way to preserve value.

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http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Managing-specialties-Innovating-ahead-of-the-curve_70587.html
May 8, 2015
LyondellBasell’s fortunes have reversed dramatically in the past five years. LyondellBasell, hobbled by more than $24 billion in debt after the December 2007 combination of...
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/LyondellBasell-New-CEO-charts-steady-course_70254.html
May 8, 2015
Valuations for chemical companies have remained high, driven by cheap debt and high public stock market valuations....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/M-and-A-High-valuations-persist-despite-uncertainty_70194.html
April 24, 2015
Chemical distributors rode out a turbulent period in Europe during 2014, relying once again on their robust business model and ability to control costs. A spike in M&A activity, in Europe and elsewhere, reflected greater liquidity and availability of debt financing. Distributors expect an upturn at the end of last year to continue throughout 2015....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Distribution-Riding-out-volatility_69748.html
April 17, 2015
Asia’s olefins industry is restructuring. Old, inefficient naphtha crackers are being displaced by a wave of new, world-scale olefin plants, some based on naphtha but many based...
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Japan-closes-and-China-builds-as-Asias-olefin-producers-restructure_69510.html
April 17, 2015
Japan’s chemical industry had a solid 2014 despite anemic conditions in the country’s overall economy. Large chemical makers gained despite Japan’s GDP declining...
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Japan-Weaker-yen-cheaper-crude-boost-results-as-reforms-advance_69537.html
April 8, 2015
For the eighth year, BASF retains the top ranking in CW’s Billion-Dollar Club, our annual ranking of chemical makers by revenue on a dollar basis. China’s Sinopec and Saudi Arabia’s Sabic have pushed the normal US leaders lower, rising respectively to the second and third spots....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Billion-Dollar-Club-Asia-Mideast-makers-climb-ranks_64416.html
April 6, 2015

Global adhesives and sealants manufacturers expect another year of steady growth, with modestly lower raw material prices boosting margins. Demand is expected to rise from industrial assembly applications, particularly automotive, as well as emerging markets with expanding consumer purchasing power.

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http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Adhesives-and-sealants-Bonding-across-diverse-markets_69210.html
March 20, 2015
North America’s natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) remain cost advantaged, but with oil prices at half their previous level, the returns expected for some projects may not be as compelling or reliable as once thought. Add to these considerations the ongoing resource crunch created by so much construction, and incentive is growing to postpone final investment decisions or even cancel projects....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Petrochemicals-Falling-crude-prices-complicate-capital-plans_68763.html
March 13, 2015

The fall in crude oil prices and its impact on shale oil and gas production, as well as increased consumer spending in the United States, a weak euro, and slower GDP growth in China, are factors that will continue to influence supply-demand fundamentals for plastics worldwide in 2015. The only certainty is that short-term visibility will be limited.

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http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Plastics-Industrys-fortunes-are-uncertain_68509.html
March 13, 2015
Although refiners are grappling with a dramatic decline in oil prices, catalyst suppliers to the sector say global GDP and fuels growth in 2015 will keep the category growing....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/New-feeds-and-growth-markets-buoy-refinery-catalysts_68540.html
February 27, 2015

The global paints and coatings sector is rolling into a bright 2015, with growth prospects buoyed by a solid North American economy and cheaper oil. Producers are optimistic about growth in most coatings end markets, although low oil prices could weaken some industrial markets. Meanwhile, new functionalities are a key driver of product development.

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http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Paints-and-coatings-Bright-outlook-enhanced-functions_68103.html
February 27, 2015
FMC is nearing the end of a portfolio transformation that will soon have the company generating more than 90% of revenue from its agricultural chemicals and health and nutrition segments. The work started soon after chairman and CEO Pierre Brondeau joined the company in January 2010....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/FMCs-transformation-to-an-agricultural-chemicals-powerhouse_68183.html
February 20, 2015
India’s chemical industry is set for exceptional growth. The country’s economy continues to rebound from a relatively soft patch, with GDP forecast to expand by 6.7% in 2015. The International Monetary Fund and IHS each predict that India will overtake China to become the fastest-growing major emerging market in 2015–17....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/India-Industry-energized-under-new-government_67911.html
February 20, 2015
The European Commission’s vision of a sustainable future in Europe is based on establishing a common and coherent EU framework to promote the “circular economy: a...
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/The-circular-economy-Europes-vision-of-a-sustainable-future_67913.html
February 6, 2015

The water treatment market looks set for another solid year in 2015. While cheaper energy could cut growth for oil and gas customers, industrial customers are adopting new technologies and municipal customers are seeing an uptick in budgets.

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http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Water-treatment-Increase-reuse-recycle_67557.html
January 23, 2015
Pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers are witnessing a rise in demand, and they remain positive about the near-term outlook for the industry. Increasingly stringent regulations on manufacturing standards, however, are causing some manufacturing to return from Asia to the West....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Fine-chemicals-Stringent-regulations-prompt-return-of-manufacturing-to-the-West_67105.html
January 23, 2015
Socma recently unveiled ChemStewards Optimization, a Web-based portal to manage Socma’s ChemStewards management program and related environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) data and information....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Socma-launches-ChemStewards-Optimization-Web-portal_67119.html
January 16, 2015

After years of declining volumes and competitive pricing, soap and detergent manufacturers are counting on innovation and consumer insight to jump-start growth. Surfactant makers are trying to get more functionality out of every molecule. Meanwhile, monsoons in December and January have destroyed much of Malaysia’s current harvest of palm fruit, putting upward pressure on the price of palm kernel oil, a key feedstock for fatty alcohols.

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http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Soaps-and-detergents-Formulators-seek-sweet-spot-between-cost-and-performance_66909.html
January 16, 2015
Surfactant producers are working on highly concentrated formulations with multiple benefits in response to demand from customers and formulators, and they’re hoping that lower oil prices will lift consumer discretionary income....
http://www.chemweek.com/sections/cover_story/Surfactants-More-functions-in-smaller-formulas_66910.html
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