Posted: November 18th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Chemicals, Commodities, Europe, Potash | Tags: Potash, potash belarus, potash market, potash price, potash russia | No Comments »
The Russia-Belarus potash war could be ending as Suleiman Kerimov, the Russian oligarch and primary shareholder of the world’s largest potash miner Uralkali, has agreed to sell his 21.75 per cent stake to billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, in a move which is likely to calm tensions between Russia and Belarus.
The potash industry has been in disarray since Uralkali announced in late July that it was leaving a trading partnership with Belarus which controlled around 40% of the world’s trade in the fertilizer ingredient. The move effectively ended an informal global pricing cartel, sent potash prices tumbling and stock prices for the world’s top producers into a tailspin. 3 weeks later, China‘s sovereign wealth fund (CIC) acquired a 12.5 percent stake in Uralkali.
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Posted: September 25th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Chemicals, Commodities, Europe, Potash | Tags: Potash, potash canada, potash china, potash market, potash price, potash reserve, potash russia | 1 Comment »
China‘s sovereign wealth fund (CIC) has acquired a 12.5 percent stake in Uralkali, the Russian fertilizer giant currently embroiled in a highly politicized dispute with its Belarusian counterpart, according to a statement released by Uralkali on Tuesday.
Analysts said the Chinese government’s first direct investment in a producer of the soil nutrient often used in fertilizer follows a pattern of China’s acquiring direct control of overseas mineral companies to keep price and supply stable. As a result, it threatens the exports of other major producers to the Chinese market, including Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan and Belarus state-owned Belaruskali.
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Posted: August 31st, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Chemicals, Commodities, Europe, Potash | Tags: Potash, potash belarus, potash market, potash price, potash russia | 2 Comments »
Potash is produced worldwide at amounts exceeding 30 million tonnes per year, mostly for use in fertilizers. In 2013, almost 70% of potash production was controlled by two cartels, Canpotex (Canada) and the Belarusian Potash Company (Russia/Belarus).
The latter was a joint venture between Belaruskali (Belarus) and Uralkali (Russia), but angered by a law passed in Belarus last year allowing Belaruskali to make sales outside the marketing venture, Uralkali quit the cartel on July 30, saying it would seek to maximize its own volumes. It warned that prices could fall as much as 25 percent this year to less than $300 per tonne.
On August 26th, Belarusian officials detained Vladislav Baumgertner, CEO of Russia’s Uralkali, as he was departing the Minsk airport after he was invited to the capital by the Belarusian Prime Minister. Baumgertner is charged with ‘abusing power’ as chairman of Belarusian Potash Company and causing damages of about $100 million.
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Posted: March 9th, 2013 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Chemicals | Tags: TiO2, tio2 market, tio2 price, titamium dioxide market, titanium dioxide, titanium dioxide price | No Comments »
Prices for the white paint ingredient, known by its chemical formula TiO2, have tumbled 33 percent to $3.97 a kilogram from a February 2012 peak, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Producers of titanium-dioxide pigment are facing slimmer margins as prices in the $16.3 billion market are poised for the first two-year drop in a decade because of oversupply and weak demand.
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Posted: October 24th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Chemicals, Plastics | Tags: benzene, benzene price, benzene spot price, crude, crude price, energy | No Comments »
US benzene spot prices tumbled swiftly this week after hitting a record $5.35/gal ($1,599.65/mt) DDP US Gulf on Friday, Platts data showed.
On Tuesday, October benzene was assessed at $5.18/gal ($1,548.82/mt) DDP, down 9 cents/gal ($26.91/mt) from Monday, while November benzene was assessed at $4.55/gal ($1,360.45/mt) DDP, down 25 cents/gal ($74.75/mt).
Weakness in the energy complex contributed to the bearish aromatics market.
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Posted: October 24th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Chemicals, Natural Gas | Tags: chemical, energy, fertilizer, natural gas, oil, shale gas, shale oil | No Comments »
Plunging prices have turned the U.S. into one of the most profitable places in the world to make chemicals and fertilizer, industries that use gas as both a feedstock and an energy source. And they have slashed costs for makers of energy-intensive products such as aluminum, steel and glass.
“The U.S. is now going to be the low-cost industrialized country for energy,” the energy economist Philip Verleger says. “This creates a base for stronger economic growth in the United States than the rest of the industrialized world.
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Posted: September 9th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Chemicals, Plastics | Tags: benzene, styrene | No Comments »
European styrene spot prices are at their highest level since July 2008 because of a lack of availability and a surprising level of demand, market sources said on Friday.
September spot styrene was offered at $1,700/tonne (€1,343/tonne) FOB (free on board) Rotterdam on Thursday evening. This is the highest price recorded since mid-July 2008, when spot styrene traded at a record high of $1,860/tonne.
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Posted: June 15th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Chemicals, Plastics | Tags: plastics | No Comments »
Global petrochemical prices fell by 11% in May, their biggest month-on-month drop since November 2008, when the worldwide economic crisis became an accepted and painful reality.
Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market averaged $1279/tonne in May, plummeting by $165/tonne according to the Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI), a benchmark basket of seven widely used petrochemicals.
Platts noted that all seven components of the PGPI were lower in May, with propylene and ethylene experiencing the largest losses (17% each).
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Posted: December 20th, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Chemicals, Natural Gas, Plastics | Tags: naphta, shale | No Comments »
Processing ethane into chemicals is 50% cheaper than using crude oil-derived naptha and its availability has made U.S. petrochemical companies the envy of overseas competitors. It also brings the prospect of lower prices for auto parts, Styrofoam and other products.
The U.S. shale-oil and natural-gas boom has cracked open another lucrative market—gas liquids used to make plastics.
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Posted: May 18th, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Chemicals | Tags: TiO2 | No Comments »
North American TiO2 prices reached $1.30-1.44/lb €0.80-1.00/lb, up by 6-7 cents from the start of the fourth quarter 2010.
TiO2 has seen a sharp global upward price spiral over the last twelve months. European prices for the pigment increased by €100-200/tonne in the first quarter of 2011.
The increase continued a trend seen throughout 2010, when prices soared by €450-470/tonne over the course of the year. According to pricing service ICIS, free delivered NWE north west Europe TiO2 prices were trading between €2,300-2,550/tonne in early March.
Asian TiO2 prices jumped by $100-200/tonne €69-138/tonne at the beginning of the year to $2,800-3,000/tonne €1,900-2,100/tonne CFR cost and freight Asia, following the price hike announcements of $150-200/tonne €100-138/tonne by major producers in November.
via European Plastics News.