Chemical industry weekly news roundup, 18 October
1:35 PM MDT | October 18, 2013 | By LINDSAY FROST
This Week in CW:
Earnings season kicked off this week with several companies reporting mixed results. Honeywell says its performance materials and technologies segment reported third-quarter segment profit up 11%, to $305 million, driven by strong performance at UOP and productivity gains partially offset by inflation and continued growth investments, the company says. Segment sales for the quarter were $1.6 billion—up 10% YOY, though organic sales were down, the company says. Cytec reported third-quarter net earnings of $43.8 million, or $1.19/share, down 25% year-on-year (YOY), with sales from continuing operations totaling $464 million, up 2%. PPG Industries has reported third-quarter net income of $220 million, or $1.52/share, down 24% year-on-year (YOY), on sales up 17%, to $4 billion. Syngenta says its third-quarter sales rose by 11%, at constant exchange rates, to $2.9 billion. Sales in Latin America rose by 17%, to $1.2 billion. Reliance Industries says net profits for its fiscal second quarter, ended 30 September, increased 1.5% compared with the same period of the previous year, to about 54.9 billion Indian rupees ($894 million).
The K Plastics Fair in Düsseldorf, Germany kicked off this week with several announcements being made at the fair. The triennial trade show’s current theme is Resource conservation and energy efficiency, and the event is much more customer-focused than its predecessor in 2010, which took place just after the recession. K 2013 has attracted more exhibitors and more Asian participation than ever, the organizers say. Braskem and Toyota Tsusho (Tokyo), the trading arm of Toyota, have renewed their agreement for the distribution of "green" polyethylene (PE) in Asia. Songwon (Ulsan, South Korea) is evaluating its next major investment and will make a decision within 18 months to two years, Johgho Park, CEO told CW. Dow Chemical outlined a strategy for its performance plastics business and gave an update on the company’s major projects in Saudi Arabia and on the US Gulf Coast. Perstorp (Perstorp, Sweden) is investing about 1 billion Swedish kronor ($153.8 million) to develop a production platform at Stenungsund, Sweden—the largest investment the company has made. DSM has joined the Lightweight Integrated Process Application (LIPA) Team, established to develop an industrial process for the manufacture of endless-fiber-reinforced advanced thermoplastic composite parts.
The Unite trade union has called off a strike planned at Ineos's Grangemouth, UK, refinery and petrochemical complex. The announcement follows negotiations between Unite and Ineos officials that began on 15 October at the offices of the Advisory.
Around the Web:
The Council on Foreign Relations writes in its Foreign Affairs publication about OPEC’s oil embargo and what the US “got wrong” on energy dependence. Today, with the country in the middle of an oil and gas boom that could one day crown it the world’s largest oil producer, the pendulum has swung toward complacency. But 40 years ago this week, panic ruled the day, as petroleum prices quadrupled in a matter of months and Americans endured a traumatic gasoline shortage.
World markets gave the U.S. debt deal a tepid reception Thursday, even as lawmakers opened the government for business and removed the threat of a costly default, CNN Money says. Major European stock indexes fell, with Germany's DAX index down nearly 0.8%. Markets in London and Paris were also weaker and the dollar fell sharply against major currencies. That followed a mixed performance for shares in Asia, where Japan's Nikkei posted a 0.8% gain but both Hong Kong's Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite closed the session in the red.
Yale professor Robert Shiller won the Nobel Prize in Economics this week, reports Business Insider. Among other things, Shiller correctly predicted the US housing bubble when no one else would. With prices still off of their all-time highs, many can't help but ask the Professor if now's the time to invest in housing—and he says no, because it’s an investment that will have you renting for the rest of your life.