in this issue
Chemical industry weekly news roundup—1 February
12:40 PM MST | February 1, 2013 | By LINDSAY FROST
This week in CW:
Several firms in the United States reported earnings this week—with the most notable losses coming from Dow Chemical and Royal Dutch Shell. Dow reported a net loss of $716 million due to a $1.1 billion restructuring charge. Shell’s chemical earnings were down 45% because of higher operating expenses and feedstock supply constraints from the United States. Eastman reported a $44-million loss in earnings, but the company met analyst estimates once one-time costs are excluded. Cytec had growth in sales and earnings thanks to its strong engineered materials segment, while PotashCorp had weaker results because of a slowdown in fertilizer nutrient sales worldwide.
CW reported from the American Cleaning Institute’s 2013 annual conference in Orlando this week—noting that sustainability and regulatory issues are key for the industry. The CEO panel discussed weak consumer demands, with top companies like Ecolab focusing on population growth and changing diet and consumption patterns. Innovation is advancing to the forefront of priorities as price volatility has gone down and soap and detergent manufacturers look for new growth opportunities as well.
PMC Group completed the acquisition of Dow’s tin stabilizers and solid lubricants business and its production facility in Cincinnati—adding to its acquisition of Arkema’s tin stabilizers business last year.
An explosion at state oil company Pemex’s headquarters on 31 January killed an estimated 25 people an injured at least 100 others, according to reports. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
Around the Web:
The US Department of Energy is currently working on the Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative to develop and deploy computational modeling and simulation tools to accelerate the commercialization of carbon capture technologies in power plants—ultimately focused on the reduction of greenhouse gases, according to a report from phys.org.
Mainstream economists mostly agree that immigration is on balance and good for the economy, as an article in Time magazine examines the big immigration questions after Obama’s proposal on Tuesday.
The United States added 157,000 jobs in January, and jobless rates are up to 7.9%, according to a recent article in The New York Times.