{"Username":"bensawicki","Name":"Ben Sawicki","FirstName":"Ben","LastName":"Sawicki","Email":"bsawicki@thechemco.com","AddressCity":null,"AddressStreetLine1":null,"AddressStreetLine2":null,"AddressState":null,"AddressCountry":null,"AddressPostalCode":null,"Phone":null,"CompanyName":null,"TCCContactName":null,"Languages":null}

Critical Raw Materials July 2013

 

 

Summer Loving, Loving Summer

A Short Message from Robb Roach, TCC President

American’s work too hard and too long. This is a fact. And becomes a blunt fact when we work and live on such a small planet.

We are connected to our comrades in China who take holidays together, almost always. These holidays are often, not just one day, and there are very few excuses to work through one. There is New Year Holiday, Spring Festival Holiday, Labor Holiday, Tomb Sweeping holiday, Mid Autumn Holiday, National Day Holiday, Etc., Etc. There is no doubt that our friends in China work hard but they know that there is a time to rest and celebrate.

The Europeans are infamous for their Summer Holidays. The entire month of August is considered a time of rest. And the labor rules in most EU countries are strict with regard to time off. Our European comrades also work very hard and very smart. But they appreciate time of rest and socialization. Meals are an event and time is taken to enjoy the seasonal foods and drink. Work hard and enjoy life is the European way and it works!

Yet us Americans cant seem to come to grips with taking time of rest, socialization and relaxation. It is necessary and helps foster creativity and working smart rather then working hard.

Let’s all work smart and be more creative this Summer. Take time to be with friends and family enjoying all of the wonderful parts of Summer.

All of us at TCC are ready to work hard and smart on your behalf so you can rest easy and enjoy the Summer Season.

Cheers to you and God Bless!

Contact:
The Chemical Company
P.O. Box 436
44 Southwest Ave.
Jamestown, RI 02835
Phone: (401) 360-2800
Website: thechemco.com
Email: Info@thechemco.com

ATTENTION: TCC will be moving November of 2013. Our new address will be:

The Chemical Company
P.O. Box 436
44 Southwest Ave.
Jamestown, RI 02835
Phone: (401) 360-2800
Website: thechemco.com
Email: Info@thechemco.com

 

Quote of the Month:

“If your not barefoot, you’re over dressed!”

– Anonymous, Summer 2013

 

 

In 2013 The Chemical Company is celebrating our 25th year in business and looking forward to 25 more!



 

 

 

Upcoming Events:

SPI Flexible Vinyl Products Division’s 24th Annual Compounders Conference

The SPI Flexible Vinyl Products Division is pleased to announce our 24th Annual Compounders Conference. Each year we bring together the best technical and industry issue specialists for an excellent program of education and information. This is our invitation to you to join us for three exceptional days in Charleston, South Carolina.

July 14-17, 2013
Charleston Place Hotel
205 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401

 

Connect with TheChemCo!

facebook.com/thechemicalcompany
@thechemicalco

 

 

 

 

Downloadable Brochures:

The Chemical Company Brochure
TCC Plasticizers and Plastics Additives
Iron Oxides
Composites
Flame Retardants

 

Product News

 

Adipic Acid: 25 Kg., 500 Kg. and 1,000 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)

NatureFlexx 509: Phthalate Free General Purpose Plasticizer. Available in Totes (2200 lbs.) and Drums. (In stock and immediately avail.)

Malic Acid: 25 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)

Bio- Succinic Acid: 2000 lb. supersacks and 25 Kg. Bags

Vestinol 9 DINP: TCC offers bulk trucks and split loads (w/ eso or dop) of DINP to North America.

Zinc Borate: TCC now offers Zinc Borate in 25 Kg. Bags in Stock and Immediately Avail.

Ammonium Bromide: 25 Kg. Bags in Stock and Immediately Available

 

Products In Transit/ Available Soon

Chlorinated Paraffin Solvent

 

New/ Updated Technical Information:

Have you ever checked out TCC’s “Featured Chemicals” page???

Alumina Trihydrate

Calcium Nitrate

Chlorinated Paraffins

Dimethyl Terephthalate

Epoxidized Soybean Oil

Maleic Anhydride

Silanes

TDI 80/20

Vestinol 9 DINP

Please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

or Tel: (401) 423- 3100 for more information.

We appreciate your taking the time to review this newsletter. We welcome your comments as well as contributions regarding our readers’ company/industry activities. Please send them to Robb Roach at Robb@thechemco.com

**Please note that all products are now in Alphabetical Order and many products are linked to their own information page.**

CRITICAL RAW MATERIALS MARKETS

Benzene: U.S. benzene contracts for July settled down $.35/ gallon to US$4.07/ gallon from US$4.42/ gallon in June. Spot prices are in the $4.11- $4.15/ gallon range.

n-Butane: Normal Butane prices are trading in the mid-low to mid US$1.20’s per gallon. Pricing had been trending lower since March but have settled in this range recently.

Ethylene: U.S. Contract Price for June has settled at US$.455/ lb. Pricing has drifted slightly lower for April, May and now June.

Natural Gas: The Natural Gas pricing trend has been down. Prices fell for much of June with a slight rebound as of late. Current pricing is in the $3.65/ mmbtu range.

Oil: Current WTI crude has climbed above US$105.00/ barrel! Pricing has been steady near US$95.00/ barrel until Late June when pricing started to steadily increase. UP

Orthoxylene: July contracts settled down $.02/ lb. to $.61/ lb.

Propylene: Contract pricing for June settled at $.65/ lb. for Polymer Grade and $.625/ lb. for Chemical Grade. Up US$.03/ lb. for Polymer Grade and $.02/ lb. for Chemical grade from May. July is not settled yet but an additional small increase is expected. UP


Chemical Industry News – July

Chemical Industry News July 2013

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) US Chemical Production Index increased by 0.1% in May 2013 following a downwardly revised 0.2% decline in April. Compared to May 2012, chemical production rose in all regions by 0.9% following April’s 0.5% year to year increase. Comparing the first five months of 2013 to those of 2012, total chemical production rose 0.7% nationally.

The ACC’s Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) rose by 0.3% in June, following a revised 0.1% increase in May. The year over year monthly moving average showed an increase of 3.5% over a year ago.

The TSCA reform bill is supported by the ACC and other groups, including the Environmental Defense Fund.
Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, has introduced the Qualifying Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Act of 2013, which would cut taxes for American renewable chemicals producers.

The ACC filed a lawsuit in federal district court challenging new EPA requirements for antimicrobial pesticides, which are used to disinfect or sanitize and as ingredients in coatings and paints.

An EPA proposal aimed at requiring energy and chemical companies to disclose emissions-calculating methods has drawn criticism from the chemical industry, as it could expose trade secrets.

The Obama administration will not penalize businesses that do not provide health insurance in 2014, the Treasury Department announced on July 2. It will delay enforcement of a requirement of the Affordable Care Act for a year.

President Obama revealed on July 2 a package of separate actions focused on curbing US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with an apparent focus on coal-fired electrical generation. His plan also covers home appliance efficiency standards, fuel mileage rules for over the road trucks, and new subsidies for wind farms. As recently as 2008, coal accounted for more than 50% of US electric generation but dropped to 37% in 2012. He also declared that he will approve the Keystone XL pipeline “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” It’s anticipated that if the project isn’t approved, the Alberta oil will end up in China.

Evonik announced on June 20 that it is introducing a new generation of PVC plasticizers with the product name of ELATURE. Production is at the company’s facility in Marl, Germany.

The European Chemicals Agency reported that 6,600 materials were registered under the first two phases of the REACH chemicals registration program. The next target date of May, 2018 will require registration of chemicals supplied in volumes of one to one hundred MTs per year. There is speculation in the industry that smaller or less profitable businesses may cease operations as a result.

Netherlands-based DSM plans to license its cellulosic ethanol technology after its first commercial plant in Iowa is completed. The plant is projected to make 20 to 25 million gallons of fuel per year from corn waste (husks, crop waste); production is expected to start early in 2014.

NOVA Chemicals is building a one billion pound per year linear low density polyethylene plant in Joffre, Alberta Canada in order to take advantage of low cost natural gas feed stock. The feedstock will be from the Bakken shale in North Dakota as well as off-gas from oil sands production in Alberta.

Linde will invest €70 million as well as manage the gas supply infrastructure for SIBUR, the Russian petrochemical company.

A bill banning the sale of polystyrene food service products proposed by New York City Mayor Bloomberg has been opposed by food industry representatives. Polystyrene foam takes hundreds of years to break down and NYC recyclers have difficulty in separating it at extra costs.

US chlor-alkali operating rate for May 2013 was reported stable at 87% of capacity. European operating rates were below 2012 level due in part to severe flooding in parts of Central Europe.

The US District Court for the District of Columbia recently struck down a rule implemented as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law requiring publicly traded extractive industry companies to report taxes, royalties, and other fees paid to foreign governments. The decision was hailed by industry groups that stated that such disclosure would hurt companies’ ability to compete.

Solvay will be closing its Portuguese soda ash facility by January, 2014. At the same time, the company is planning to expand capacity at its Green River, Wyoming operation.

Shintech (Japan) plans investing $500 million in further expansion of its Louisiana operation. Planned capacity increases are expected to be about 200,000 MT/year of caustic soda, 300,000 MT/year of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and 300,000 MT/year of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Target completion date is 2015.

Chinese industrial output slowed in June, and employment figures also dropped at the fastest rate since the Asian financial crisis of 1998. The World Bank cut its growth forecast for China, saying that it would likely grow 7.7% compared to an earlier figure of 8.4%.

Petrobras, the state-owned Brazilian energy enterprise, has signed a letter of intent with Chinese petrochemical company Sinopec to study a possible joint venture to build and operate a planned refinery in Maranhao state, Brazil. The refinery would have a total capacity of 300,000 bbls per day.

The Chinese government has decentralized decision making regarding 177 refinery and petrochemical projects. For certain projects, approval from Beijing will not be required and authority will shift to local governments.

The Organization for European Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Cooperative Chemicals Assessment Program was since the 1990’s the world’s only source of internationally agreed hazard assessments for large volume production chemicals. The program’s functions have now largely been taken over by Europe’s REACH program and various US activities and the program will be replaced by the end of next year. An OECD spokesman said that the organization should develop a new program based on new test methods.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has started a chemical risk assessment network in order to enhance global efforts to assess risks to human health from chemicals. It is expected to provide a forum for scientific exchange.

Unemployment across the seventeen European Union countries that use the euro hit a high of 12.1% in May, with the number of people out of work rising above nineteen million. Among the member states, the lowest rates were Austria at 4.7% and Germany at 5.3%. Youth unemployment in Spain and Greece has been reported at close to 60%.
Inflation in the Euro zone increased to 1.6% year to year in June, an increase from May’s 1.4%.

South Korea’s nine major companies have announced a plan to invest $2.45 billion over the next three years in order to prevent deadly chemical accidents. The plan is the result of a recent series of deadly accidents at Korean chemical plants.

Carload rail volume was up 2.7% annually in June on major US railroads. Intermodal volume was also up 2.7% compared with the same period last year. Total weekly traffic for carloads and intermodal units was up 1.2% annually. Petroleum products shipments were up 37.2%.

The American Trucking Association reported that seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage increased 2.3% in May after falling an adjusted 0.2% in April.

Shale oil and Gas-related:

 

The EPA tabled a draft study that suggested that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) contaminated groundwater in Pavillion, WY. The agency stated that it “recognizes the state of Wyoming’s commitment to further investigation and efforts to provide clean water and does not plan to finalize or seek peer review of its draft Pavillion groundwater report.” The EPA further said that it plans to use the results of its ongoing national study to inform of its recommendations regarding fracking. The national study is expected in 2016.

Plentiful and inexpensive US shale gas is becoming a threat to the European petrochemical industry which is dependent on oil-based feedstock. European manufacturers, such as BASF, Ineos, and LyondellBasell are seen as particularly vulnerable.

Illinois is making plans to leverage abundant supplies of shale gas in order to fuel an economic revival. In early June, the Illinois legislature overwhelmingly endorsed the use of fracking as a first step.

According to the International Energy Agency, US natural gas production will accelerate from 2014 through 2018. Gas output will reach 797 billion cubic meters by 2018, 17% higher than last year. US shale production increased sixfold from 2007 to 2012.

Cuadrilla Resources, a British oil and gas company said that it was applying for a permit to hydraulically fracture an exploration well at Grange Hill, in Lancashire, England. The British government sees shale gas as possible replacement for the declining North Sea production. The UK formation is said to resemble the Barnett shale deposit in Texas.

The Economy

 

The Congressional Budget Office reported that the federal government incurred a budget deficit of $627 billion from October 2012 through May 2013 (the first eight months of fiscal 2013), almost $220 billion less than the shortfall recorded for the same period last year. The CBO’s updated estimates indicate a fiscal year deficit of $642 billion. The US Treasury Department reported that on July 2, 2013 the federal debt was $16.75 trillion. The national debt has increased an average of $3.81 billion per day since September 2007.

Personal income in May increased by $69.4 billion, or 0.5% compared to April. In April, personal income decreased by $5.6 billion or less than 0.1%. In March, personal income increased $36.2 billion or 0.3%.
The US government debt held by foreign entities is in excess of $5.7 trillion, with China holding $1.26 trillion of it, or approximately 20% of all the debt owned by foreign entities. In January 2009 the US government owed $3.07 trillion to foreign entities. China remains the top creditor. Japan is a close second, holding $1.1 billion.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised estimate of the first quarter 2013 Gross Domestic Product showed an increase of 1.8%, that is from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. The previous estimate was an increase of 2.4%. Revised fourth quarter real GDP increased 0.4%. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1%. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3%. Current-dollar GDP, the market value of the nation’s output of goods and services, increased at a revised rate of 3.1% or $120.0 billion in the first quarter of 2013 to a level of $15,984 billion. In the fourth quarter current dollar GDP increased 1.3% or $53.1 billion.

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index increased 0.1% in May to 95.2 (2002=100) following a 0.8% increase in April and a 0.3% decline in March.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index which had improved in May increased again in June. It stands at 81.4 (1985=100) up from an adjusted 74.3 in May.

The Institute for Supply Management’s June Manufacturing Index registered 50.9%, an increase of 1.9% from May’s number of 49.0%, indicating expansion in manufacturing for the fifth time the first six months of 2013. The Non-Manufacturing Report for June was 52.2%, or 1.5% lower than the 53.7% reported for May, reflecting continued growth, but at a slower rate.

In May, retail and food services sales adjusted for seasonal variations were $421.1 billion, an increase of 0.6% from April and 4.3% above May 2012. March through May 2013 sales were up 3.7% from the same period a year ago.

Privately owned housing starts in May of 914,000 were 6.8% above the revised April estimate of 856,000 and were 28.6% above the May 2012 rate of 711,000. Single family housing starts in May were at a rate of 599,000 or 0.3% above the revised April figure of 597,000. New single home sales in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000. This was 2.1% above the revised April rate of 466,000 and 29.0% above the May 2012 estimate of 369,000.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rose in May. Existing home sales increased 4.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.18 million units, an increase of 12.9% from the same period a year ago. Distressed homes, foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 18% of May sales, unchanged from April, but the lowest number since monthly tracking began in 2008. They were 25% a year ago.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in May increased $8.0 billion or 3.6% to $231.0 billion. This increase, up three out of the last four months, followed a 3.6% increase in April.

May unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods increased $8.1 billion or 0.8% to $1,004.7 billion. This followed a increase of 0.3% in April.

Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers increased 0.1% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over the last twelve months the all items index increased 1.4 % before seasonal adjustments. Food index, which rose in April, declined 0.3% in May. The shelter index rose 0.3% and accounted for more than half of the May increase.

The Producer Price Index for all finished goods increased 0.5 % in May, seasonally adjusted, following decreases of 0.7% in April and 0.6% in March. On an unadjusted basis prices for finished goods increased 1.7 % for the twelve months ended in May 2013.

Interest rate: Prime at 3.25%, unchanged since 12/16/08.
Inflation: Inflation rate in May reported at 1.4%. The April rate was 1.1%, March rate was 1.5%, February rate was 2.0%, and January rate was 1.6%. The average rate of 2.1% was reported for 2012. It is expected to rise slightly in 2013 to approximately 2.0%.

Industrial production was unchanged in May, having decreased 0.4% in April and increased 0.4% in March after having increased 1.1% in February. For the first quarter as a whole, output increased at an annual rate of 5.0%, the largest gain since the first quarter of 2012. At 98.7% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in May was 1.6% above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization rate for total industry decreased to 77.6%, a rate 0.2% below the level of a year earlier, and 2.6% below its 1972 – 2012 average.

Unemployment: The June 2013 rate was little changed at 7.6%, and has shown little movement since February. The number of unemployed persons was reported at 11.8 million, basically unchanged. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the long-term unemployed, i.e., jobless for 27 weeks and over was essentially unchanged at 4.3 million in June. Those individuals accounted for 36.7% of the unemployed. Over the past twelve months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by one million. North Dakota continued to lead the nation with the lowest state unemployment rate in May of 3.2%; Nevada was reported highest at 9.5%, Illinois, Mississippi, and California close behind. An analysis completed for the US Conference of Mayors said that more than half of all US metro areas won’t regain the jobs lost in the recession until the second half of 2015 or later.

Chemical Industry News June

Chemical Industry News

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) US Chemical Production Index declined by 0.1% in April 2013 following a downwardly revised 0.5 % increase in March. Compared to April 2012, chemical production rose in all regions by 0.5% following March’s 0.3% year to year increase. Comparing the first four months of 2013 to those of 2012, total chemical production rose 0.6% nationally.

The ACC’s Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) rose by 0.1% in May, following a revised 0.4% decrease in April. The year over year monthly moving average showed an increase of 3.1% compared with May 2012.

Senator Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, a long-term proponent of reforms for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) passed away on June 3. He was credited for his leadership in establishing bipartisan approach to TSCA reform.

The EPA recently proposed two new rules regarding the use of formaldehyde in composite wood products. A response from the Formaldehyde Panel of the ACC noted that while regulatory goals are consistent with safe use, formaldehyde is a necessary ingredient in thousands of essential materials.

President Obama plans to reveal a package of separate actions in July focused on curbing US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This appears to be an alternative to the proposed Keystone XL project, a $5.3 billion pipeline that would carry tar-sands oil from Canada to US refineries. It’s anticipated that the package will include final rules from the EPA limiting GHG emissions from new power plants. The State Department continues to assess the impacts of the pipeline; a final review is expected in weeks.

The ACC presented its Responsible Care Company of the Year award to Eastman Chemical Company, Solvay America, Inc., and Niacet Corporation in recognition of superior environmental, health, safety, and security performance.

Eastman Chemical is investing $1.6 billion in expansion of its Kingsport, TN facility which is expected to create an additional 300 jobs.

Linde North America plans a $200 million expansion at its La Porte, TX operation with start-up expected in the first quarter of 2015.

NOVA Chemicals is building a one billion pound per year linear low density polyethylene plant in Joffre, Alberta Canada in order to take advantage of low cost natural gas feed stock. Cost is estimated at $1 billion with start-up in late 2015.

BASF is considering investing $13 billion in the Asia-Pacific region, to include increased R&D activities.

Chevron Phillips Chemical is reported set to increase its ethylene manufacturing capacity at its Sweeny, TX facility. Annual output increase is estimated at 200 million pounds. CPChem is also investing in a $5 billion Gulf Coast project.

Kuwait’s state-owned Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC) announced that it had reached a final settlement of $2.2 billion with Dow Chemical Co. as compensation for PIC pulling out of a petrochemicals joint venture. Dow said on its website that payment had been received.

Fluor Corp. has been awarded contracts for the engineering and construction of several new Dow Chemical Company facilities in Freeport, TX. This is part of Dow’s planned $4.0 billion Freeport expansion.
Total is considering the construction of an ethane cracker in Texas that would be connected with an existing cracker at Port Arthur co-owned with BASF.

Mitsui and Co. announced on May 15 that it will establish a joint venture with Celanese Corp. to manufacture methanol at the Celanese plant in Clear Lake, TX. Plant capacity is estimated at 1.3 million tons/year. Mitsui’s share of the production will be sold mainly in the US, while Celanese will use the material in the production of methanol derivatives.

Methanex CEO John Floren recently said that his company expects methanol demand to increase at an annual rate of 7.6% through 2016 or four million tons a year and that his company’s goal is to add 3 million tons of new capacity.

US chlor-alkali operating rate for April 2013 was reported at 87% of capacity, a drop of 4% from a month earlier. However, European operating rates dropped to 67.8% during the same period.

On May 10, ExxonMobil stated that ethylene production at its new one million MT/year cracker in Singapore was expected in a few weeks.

Chinese industrial output growth for May was 9.2% above May 2012. From 1990 to 2013 China’s industrial production growth averaged 13.3%.

Doubts are beginning to grow about whether China can pass the US to become the world’s largest economy in this century. A number of large ambitious projects have been delayed and growth appears to be slowing.

European bisphenol A (BPA) makers and users have shown concern over legislation that could restrict the use of BPA in European food packaging. The French government has banned BPA from food contact starting in 2015. There is concern that other countries will follow suit. The situation is similar to the ongoing issue in the US.

Unemployment across the seventeen European Union countries that use the euro hit a high of 12.2% in April, up from 12.1% in March. Among the member states, the lowest rates were Austria at 4.9%, Germany at 5.4% and Luxembourg at 5.6%. The highest were Greece, Spain, and Portugal at 27%, 26.8%, and 17.8 respectively.

For the first quarter, the eurozone economy shrank for a record sixth calendar quarter. This is the longest recession since records began in 1995.

The EU plans to impose punitive duties on imports of biodiesel; 7 – 11% for fuel from Argentina and 0 – 10% from Indonesia. The EU says that these countries are selling the product at unfairly low prices.

Russia’s SIBUR is expected to make a final decision whether to proceed with its planned 1.5 million MT/year ethylene cracker by the end of this year.

The Dow Chemical Company and Union Pacific said on June 7 that they have published a new report on a cooperative agreement that began in 2007 to improve rail safety and security. The project is a public-private partnership involving Dow, Union Pacific, Union Tank Car Co., the Federal Railroad Administration, Transport Canada, and the US Transportation Security Administration. The focus was to develop the next generation railroad tank car; there are new cars coming into service now.

Carload rail volume was up 2% annually in May on major US railroads. Intermodal volume was up 3.0% compared with the same period last year. Petroleum products shipments were up 41.8%.

The American Trucking Association reported that seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage decreased 0.2% in April after increasing an adjusted 0.9% in March.

Shale oil and gas-related:

According to a report from the Energy Information Administration, technically recoverable oil and natural gas reserves in the US have increased by 35% compared with figures from 2011.

Affordable and abundant US natural gas supplies resulted in 97 announced chemicals and plastics projects totaling $71.7 billion in potential new investment, according to a recent ACC report. By 2020 these projects could lead to the creation of 46,000 chemical industry jobs, plus 264,000 jobs in supplier industries, and another 226,000 jobs in communities where workers spend their wages.

As a result of the shale gas boom, North Dakota showed a GDP increase of 13.4% in 2012.
The CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance, Marty Durbin, said that the continued expansion of natural gas in the market doesn’t require a major new policy on climate change as reductions in emissions have come about without regulation.

According to a study by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, if New York emulated Pennsylvania by using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to gain access to vast amounts of shale gas, it would add $8 billion in income for upstate New Yorkers.

The public comment period for the Interior Department’s proposed fracking rules issued on May 16 will be extended for sixty days, it was announced on June 6. A spokesman from the American Petroleum Institute said that such an extension will allow for study of the new rules and to compare them with existing individual state policies. There are industry concerns that the new rule could slow production as well as damage state and local economies.

The Economy

The Congressional Budget Office reported that the federal government incurred a budget deficit of $627 billion from October 2012 through May 2013 (the first eight months of fiscal 2013), almost $220 billion less than the shortfall recorded for the same period last year. The CBO’s updated estimates indicate a fiscal year deficit of $642 billion. The US Treasury Department reported that on June 13, 2013 the federal debt was $16.74 trillion. The national debt has increased an average of $3.81 billion per day since September 2007.
April personal income decreased by $5.6 billion, or less than 0.1% compared to March. Consumer spending decreased 0.2% in April. In March, personal income increased $36.2 billion or 0.3%.

The US government debt held by foreign entities is in excess of $5.7 trillion, with China holding $1.25 trillion of it, or approximately 20% of all the debt owned by foreign entities. In January 2009 the US government owed $3.07 trillion to foreign entities. China remains the top creditor. Japan is a close second, holding $1.1 billion.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised estimate of the first quarter 2013 Gross Domestic Product showed an increase of 2.4%, that is from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. Revised fourth quarter real GDP increased 0.4%. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1%. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3%. Current-dollar GDP, the market value of the nation’s output of goods and services, increased at a rate of 3.7% or $146.1 billion in the first quarter of 2013 to a level of $16,010 billion. In the fourth quarter current dollar GDP increased 1.3% or $53.1 billion.

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index increased 0.6% in April to 95.0 (2002=100) following a 0.2% increase in March and an increase of 0.4% in February.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index which had improved in April increased again in May. It stands at 76.2 (1985=100) up from an adjusted 69.0 in April.

The Institute for Supply Management’s May Manufacturing Index registered 49.0%, a decrease of 1.7% from April’s number of 50.7%, indicating contraction in manufacturing for the first time since November 2012 and only the second time since July 2009. The Non-Manufacturing Report for May was 53.7%, or 0.6% higher than the 53.1% reported for April, reflecting growth for 46 consecutive months.

In May, retail and food services sales adjusted for seasonal variations were $421.1 billion, an increase of 0.6% from April and 4.3% above May 2012. March through May 2013 sales were up 3.7% from the same period a year ago.

Privately owned housing starts in April of 853,000 were 16.5% below the revised March estimate of 1,021,000 but were 13.1% above the April 2012 rate of 754,000. Single family housing starts in April were at a rate of 610,000 or 2.1% below the revised March figure of 623,000. New single home sales in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000. This was 2.3% above the revised March rate of 444,000 and 29.0% above the April 2012 estimate of 352,000.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rose in April to the highest level in close to 3½ years. Existing home sales increased 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million units. Realty Trac reported that foreclosure sales fell 22% in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

A Census Bureau report stated that the share of Americans who own their homes was 65% in the first quarter, down from 65.4% a year earlier and the lowest level since the third quarter of 1995. Investors are buying single family homes and renting them out to capitalize on demand from families unable to qualify for mortgages.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in April increased $7.2 billion or 3.3% to $222.6 billion. This increase, up two out of the last three months, followed a 5.9% decrease in March.
April unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods increased $2.7 billion or 0.3 % to $996.2 billion. This followed a decrease of 0.5% in March.

Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers decreased 0.4 % in April on a seasonally adjusted basis. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over the last twelve months the all items index increased 1.1 % before seasonal adjustments. Food index, unchanged in March, rose 0.2% in April. A sharp decrease in the gasoline index was the primary cause for the decrease in the all items index.

The Producer Price Index for all finished goods increased 0.5 % in May, seasonally adjusted, following decreases of 0.7% in April and 0.6% in March. On an unadjusted basis prices for finished goods increased 1.7 % for the twelve months ended in May 2013.

Interest rate: Prime at 3.25%, unchanged since 12/16/08.

Inflation: Inflation rate in April reported at 1.1%. The March rate was 1.5%, February rate was 2.0%, and January rate was 1.6%. The average rate of 2.1% was reported for 2012. It is expected to rise slightly in 2013 to approximately 2.3%.

Industrial production was unchanged in May, having decreased 0.4% in April and increased 0.4% in March after having increased 1.1% in February. For the first quarter as a whole, output increased at an annual rate of 5.0%, the largest gain since the first quarter of 2012. At 98.7% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in May was 1.6% above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization rate for total industry decreased to 77.6%, a rate 0.2% below the level of a year earlier, and 2.6% below its 1972 – 2012 average.

Unemployment: The May 2013 rate was little changed at 7.6%, and has shown little movement since September 2012. The number of unemployed persons was reported at 11.8 million, basically unchanged. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the long-term unemployed, i.e., jobless for 27 weeks and over was essentially unchanged at 4.4 million in May. Those individuals accounted for 37.3% of the unemployed. Over the past twelve months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by one million. North Dakota continued to lead the nation with the lowest state unemployment rate in March of 3.3%; Nevada was reported highest at 9.6%, Illinois, Mississippi, and California close behind.

The goods and services deficit increased to $40.3 billion in April, from a revised March number of $37.1 billion January as imports increased more than exports.

Crude Oil: Present WTI spot price ~$98/bbl, compared to ~$100+/bbl a year earlier. OPEC outlook continues to show a slight reduction in demand in 2013.

Natural Gas: Henry Hub spot price closed on June 12 at $3.74/MMBTU. July 2013 contract reported at $3.77/MMBTU. Working natural gas in storage is lower than last year and the five year average.
The US dollar trading at 94.1 Japanese yen; $1.32 = euro. The British pound sterling = $1.57. The Canadian dollar trading at US$1.01.

Current US gold price: Quoted at $1381.40/ounce, down from $1463.60/ounce approximately one month earlier. The record price of $1920/ounce was recorded in September, 2011.

Succinic Acid Supplier

Leaders in Succinic Acid Supply

The Chemical Company is the leading Succinic Acid supplier in the United States. Yes, we still offer one-on-one personal service every time, all the time. The Chemical Company is one of the most respected global chemical suppliers and chemical distributors because we focus on anticipating the needs of the marketplace. Our response network never closes. We stock our inventory in a network of warehouses throughout the world. We have procurement offices in NAFTA, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. When you call The Chemical Company, you get one-on-one service from a real person, the procurer. Middlemen are never involved. We are recognized worldwide for our advanced, accurate solutions.

Succinic Acid from The Chemical Company

Succinic acid from The Chemical Company is a dicarboxylic acid comprised of four carbon atoms. This four carbon dicarboxylic acid has uses in a number of industries including polymers (clothing fibres), food, surfactants and detergents, flavors and fragrances and as a starting material for any number of chemicals including adipic acid, N-methyl pyrrolidinone, 2-pyrrolidinone, succinate salts, 1,4-butanediol, maleic anhydride, tetrahydrofuran and gamma-butyrolactone, which are used in the pharmaceutical industry. Succinic acid has many uses in the pharma industry – too many to mention, but some examples are as a starting material for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), as an additive in formulation, succinic acid monoethyl ester has been used as an insulinotropic agent, and the compound has also been used as a cross linker in drug control release polymers.

Succinic Acid Uses

The estimated 2010 worldwide use of succinic acid is around 20,000 to 30,000 tonnes per year and this is on the increase by around 10 per cent a year. It occurs naturally in plant and animal tissues. Succinic acid plays a significant role in intermediary metabolism (Krebs cycle) in the body. The Krebs cycle (also known as citric acid cycle) is a sequence process of enzymatic reaction in which a two-carbon acetyl unit is oxidized to carbon dioxide and water to provide energy in the form of high-energy phosphate bonds.

Succinic Acid Properties

Succinic acid is a colorless crystalline solid with a melting point of 185-187° C. It is soluble in water, slightly dissolves in ethanol, ether, acetone and glycerine. It does not dissolve in benzene, carbon sulfide, carbon tetrachloride or oil ether.
Carboxylic acids can yield acyl halides, anhydrides, esters, amides, and nitriles for applications in the drug, agriculture, food products, and other industries.

Succinic Acid Shipping Info

Succinic acid from The Chemical Company is available in 25kg bags, 1 met ton supersacks, and in bulk throughout the continental United States. Special packaging is available upon request.

The Chemical Company 44 Southwest Ave. Jamestown, RI 02835 (401) 360-2800

Chemical Markets Update May

Chemical Markets Update

The View from Jamestown – May 2013

 

The Story of a Chemical Salesman

A short message from Robb Roach, TCC President

Each and every year, around this time, the TCC sales team migrates to our corporate offices for its annual sales meeting.  We are all people of the chemical industry, as you most likely are.  We have one goal in mind and that is to sell chemicals in the most safe, responsible and competitive manner possible.  That is the ends; but the means to get there often involves many journeys.  Some short, and some long.  We get exhausted by the travel and then get relief from taking time to be with friends and co-workers.  This is all a part of our job and in many ways is why we love it.  Our people will travel to Jamestown, RI just as they have traveled many times before and we will receive them with open arms.

Several days of meetings are held.  They are filled with deep discussions, occasional disagreements and many presentations.  The presentations are informative, educational, inspiring, and give great motivation for the coming fiscal year.  We review where we are, how we got there and where we are going.  We discuss our valuable suppliers, our most important customers, and strategize how we can accomplish great things that benefit both.  We try to understand the constant changes in the chemical industry and how to embrace them.  We look at where we can save money, and budget where to spend money accordingly.  We look at our technology and make sure it is the best available to get all of our most important information to the team.  These are all very important details that can only be addressed together, in person, as a unit.

The Chemical Sales people are a curious bunch.  Throughout the process there are some very feisty discussions, which we encourage, because they have led to great improvements in the past.   The strong opinions of our great sales staff come from decades of experience in the Chemical Industry.  Together we represent centuries of experience.  Our most experienced sales staff has learned many lessons and these are passed along to the next generation of TCC.  There is respect for all at TCC but it is earned.  You need to work hard.  You need to have stories of the most horrible motels, in the most god-awful places.  Of the sale that got away, and those that were successful.   The stories are colorful, sometimes serious, and often hilarious no matter how many times we hear them.  But they are always intriguing, educational and so important as they show the level of work we must put forth in order to be successful.

Our sales team brings their families along; their most important people.  But they also come to spend time with their comrades.  It is a well-deserved break to spend time with old friends and to introduce themselves to new ones.

This annual pilgrimage culminates in a company-wide celebration.  It is a time to celebrate everything that is TCC.  Those who are working now and those who have worked for us in the past will be there.  They are all still considered a part of the TCC family.

Just like those who came before us at TCC, we too are looking for happiness in our lives.  We have learned from the mistakes of the past and are aware that our time is limited.

We are all in this together.  Make your story.  Enjoy your story.

 

ATTENTION:  TCC will be moving November of 2013.  Our new address will be:

The Chemical Company
P.O. Box 436
44 Southwest Ave.
Jamestown, RI 02835

 

 Quote of the Month

“Two things define you. Patience when you have nothing, and attitude when you have everything.” –Unknown

 

In 2013 The Chemical Company is celebrating our 25th year in business and looking forward to 25 more!



 

 

 

Upcoming Events:

SPI Flexible Vinyl Products Division’s 24th Annual Compounders Conference

The SPI Flexible Vinyl Products Division is pleased to announce our 24th Annual Compounders Conference.  Each year we bring together the best technical and industry issue specialists for an excellent program of education and information.  This is our invitation to you to join us for three exceptional days in Charleston, South Carolina.

July 14-17, 2013
Charleston Place Hotel
205 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401

 

Connect with TheChemCo!

facebook.com/thechemicalcompany
@thechemicalco

 

 

 

 

Downloadable Brochures:

The Chemical Company Brochure
TCC Plasticizers and Plastics Additives
Iron Oxides
Composites
Flame Retardants

 

Chemical Company Product News

Adipic Acid:                   25 Kg., 500 Kg. and 1,000 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)

NatureFlexx 509:             Phthalate Free General Purpose Plasticizer.  Available in Totes (2200 lbs.) and Drums.  (In stock and immediately available.)

Malic Acid:                    25 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)

Vestinol 9 DINP:            TCC offers bulk trucks and split loads (w/ eso or dop) of DINP to North America.

Zinc Borate:                    TCC now offers Zinc Borate in 25 Kg. Bags in stock and immediately available.

Ammonium Bromide:       25 Kg. Bags in Stock and Immediately Available.

 


Products In Transit/ Available Soon

Bio- Succinic Acid:          2000 lb. supersacks and 25 Kg. Bags (Available Q1 2013)

Dicyclopentadiene:          Isocontainers

 

 New/ Updated Technical Information

Alumina Trihydrate

Calcium Nitrate

Chlorinated Paraffins

Dimethyl Terephthalate

Epoxidized Soybean Oil

Maleic Anhydride

Silanes

TDI 80/20

Vestinol 9 DINP

Please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

or Tel: (401) 423- 3100 for more information.

We appreciate your taking the time to review this newsletter. We welcome your comments as well as contributions regarding our readers’ company/industry activities. Please send them to Robb Roach at Robb@thechemco.com

**Please note that all products are now in Alphabetical Order and many products are hyperlinked to their own information page.**

 

 

Critical Raw Materials Markets

UP Benzene: U.S. benzene contracts for May settled up $.11/ gallon to US$4.47/ gallon from US$4.36/ gallon. Spot prices are in the $4.40- $4.45/ gallon range.

n-Butane: Normal Butane prices are trading in the mid-low. US$1.20’s per gallon. Pricing has trended lower since the beginning of March.

Ethylene: U.S. Contract Price for April has not yet settled but it is expected to move down by $.02/ lb. to $.46/ lb. Current spot is in the high $.50’s down from the average in March.

Natural Gas: Natural Gas pricing has been moving lower since early May but has recently rebounded. Pricing was in the $4.50/ mmbtu range before falling back to the high $3.00’s and low $4.00’s/ mmbtu before firming to its current $4.20/ mmbtu.

UP Oil: Current WTI Crude price is at $95.50+/- per barrel range. Prices have been trading up since mid- April when pricing was below $88/ barrel. WTI has been range bound at $94-$97 mainly driven by geo-political issues in sensitive regions.

UP Orthoxylene: May contracts settled up $.02/ lb. to $.645/ lb.

Propylene: Contract pricing for May settled at $.62/ lb. for Polymer Grade and $.605/ lb. for Chemical Grade. Down $.01/ lb. from April.

 

CHEMICALS MARKETS

UP Adipic Acid:
Adipic Acid pricing is under pressure with good demand and rumors of possible U.S.  supply issues.  Under scrutiny are both U.S. producers but no details are available.  Ammonia and Benzene prices are trading range bound but  Cyclohexane is tight world-wide.  TCC has Adipic Acid in stock and immediately available in 1,000 Kg. Sacks, 500 Kg. Sacks and 25 Kg. bags.  

 

Ammonia:
May pricing in Tampa decreased US$10/ ton to $587/ton from April’s US$597/ ton.  NOLA is seen at US$600/ ton fob.  Despite gas curtailments in both Trinidad and Egypt demand has shifted lower.  Industrial demand for ammonia is down and fertilizer demand is expected to decline rapidly.  Tampa is expected to be steady or see a further decline for June. 

 

Antimony Trioxide:
Demand for antimony trioxide remains weak and availability from South America is keeping prices flat.  Current offers are in the upper $4.00/ lb. range for full truckloads.  Buyers continue to keep inventories to a minimum and use alternate chemistries where possible.  

 

Dicyandiamide
Prices have moved lower and are currently at the lowest point since October of 2010. We are keeping a close eye on energy demand and increased freight costs from China.  Prices are expected to climb as energy demand picks up through July and August and the freight increases take effect.  The Chemical Company has both bags and sacks in stock and immediately available.  

 

UP Epoxidized Soybean Oil:
Soybean prices have been pushing higher, check thechemco.com for real time soybean pricing on our commodities ticker.  Epoxidized Soybean Oil Supply is healthy but feedstock pressure has forced producers to announce price increases.   

 

Fumaric Acid:
Fumaric Acid Pricing has stabilized and availability on both domestic and imported material is good.   

 

Glycol (Mono, Di and Tri):

  Ethylene – U.S. Contract Price for April has not yet settled but it is expected to move down by $.02/ lb. to $.46/ lb. 

  MEG – U.S. producers have announced no change for June.  Spot prices are in the mid- $.40’s fob Gulf. 

DEG – U.S. producers have announced no price change for June.  Spot prices are in the mid to high $.40’s per lb. fob Gulf with good availability.  

  TEG – U.S. producers announced no price change for June.     Spot pricing has dropped to the low $.90’s/ lb. range as demand for gas line anti-freeze ends.

 

Isophthalic Acid:
PIA pricing has been stable since March. Supply and demand also remain stable.

 

Maleic Anhydride:
Supply is balanced to tight in North America due to turnarounds and producer interruptions.  Molten Prices have remained stable with small increases the exception.  Many are surprised that pricing remained steady with Maleic’s major feedstock n-butane in decline.  Briquette prices have stabilized but one major offshore producer is taking a turnaround in May and June.  TCC offers Molten Maleic Anhydride to North America and has 25 Kg. bags of Maleic Anhydride Briquettes in stock.    

 

UP Melamine:    
Melamine supply has tightened considerably.  Price increases of $.05- $.08/ lb. were announce for Q1 2013.  Supply and Demand is the most recent driver of pricing.

 

Malic Acid:
Malic Acid Pricing has stabilized and availability on both domestic and imported material is good. TCC has Malic Acid in stock and available. 

 

Methanol:

The Methanex Non-Discounted Reference Price for June will remain unchanged at US$1.60/ gallon Spot pricing is currently approx. US$1.40- $1.41/ gal. thinly traded and stable.  

Notes:
Venezuela’s Supermetanol Plant has taken a 30-day outage starting in mid-April.

Gas Curtailment issues in Trinidad and Egypt continue.

China’s Methanol demand has reportedly increased significantly as a non-integrated MTO unit has re-started.

 

Nitric Acid:
Nitric Acid pricing is stable and availability is good. Some down ward pressure is noted as Ammonia pricing shifts lower.  

 

Phenolic Resins:
Phenol pricing has shifted only moderately lower.  This is  mainly due to an over-supply of Phenol, hence lower Phenol pricing.  On the other hand, Formaldehyde prices have inched higher as methanol pricing have found a new and higher market price.   

 

UP Phthalic Anhydride:
Phthalic Anhydride pricing will increase by $.02/ lb. in June in line with the May orthoxylene price increase.  Orthoxylene will likely continue to increase as mixed xylene prices have continued to strengthen.

 

Plasticizers and Plasticizer Alcohols:

Plasticizer demand in North America is considered “good” but extremely competitive.  Exports to Southeast Asia and PRC have dropped dramatically as domestic production has filled any void in supply.  Demand in Asia is also much lower.  North American and EU pricing has seen steady declines but with underlying raw material costs  and a strengthening crude price we have likely reached a floor.

Plasticizer alcohol pricing is stable with improved demand especially in branched with the exception of 2-EH.  Linear alcohols are inconsistent with some very limited in supply while others seeing price decreases and lackluster demand.

 

Plasticizers available from The Chemical Company

Note:  Please contact TCC for further details.

Non (ortho)- Phthalate:

ChemFlexx Dibenzoate Esters

ChemFlexx Di2-ethylhexyl Succinate (DOSX)

ChemFlexx NP 500” Non- Phthalate Replacement for General Purpose Plasticizers

ChemFlexx NP 600” Non- Phthalate Replacement for DIDP

NatureFlexx 509” Phthalate Free General Purpose (ATBC)

Epoxidized Soybean Oil

ChemFlexx TOTM (Tri-2-ethylhexyl Trimellitate)

ChemFlexx DOA (Di-2-ethylhexyl Adipate)

ChemFlexx 8 10 Trimellitate

ChemFlexx DOTP (Di-2-ethylhexyl Terephthalate)

Oxsoft 3G8 (Triethylenglycol-di-(2-ethylhexanoate))

Oxsoft DUO 1

Oxsoft DUO 2

 

Phthalate:

Vestinol 9 DiIsononyl Phthalate (DINP)

ChemFlexx 206” Functional Linear Phthalate Replacement

ChemFlexx 208” Low Temp Functional Linear Phthalate Replacement

ChemFlexx DOP (Di2-ethylhexyl Phthalate)

ChemFlexx DUP (DiUndecyl Phthalate)

DMP (DiMethyl Phthalate)

Brominated DOP

ChemFlexx 9 11 Phthalate

ChemFlexx L9 Phthalate

 

UP Styrene monomer:
Styrene pricing increased slightly for May in line with higher benzene values (up $.11/ gallon).   NA demand remains slow.  We expect styrene prices to remain stable to slightly up in June.  

 

UP Urea:
Current granular barge pricing of Urea is US$320 – $330/ ton and firm.  Prills are also $330- $335/ ton fob Gulf.  It appears pricing reached the “floor” around US$320/ ton in Mid- May but the massive inventories have depleted and prices have firmed.   Increased pricing should continue into June and beyond.  

Notes:

China has over 3 million tons ready for export when the export window opens after July 1.

Gas curtailment issues continue in both Trinidad and Tobago and Egypt.

Koch to invest US$1 Billion into a Urea plant in Enid, OK.


Zinc Borate:
Pricing has been steady.  Product is in stock and immediately available.

 

For more information on these or any of the products and services provided by TCC please contact Robb Roach directly at Robb@thechemco.com or go to our web site at thechemco.com

Chemical Industry News – Raw Materials – April 2013

The View from Jamestown – April 2013

“Think Positive and Good Things will Happen”

 by TCC CEO,  Nick Roach

Do we ever see a positive headline any more in the paper or on a news cast? The only one I have seen in recent years was about the Dow surpassing the all-time high of 2007. Why is all the news so grim?  It reminds me of Chicken Little from the children’s folk tale running in circles screaming, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”  I wonder if it’s my generation of baby boomers who probably expected too much from retirement that are responsible for this cynical attitude as their negativity is encouraged by the negative TV networks. Baby boomers have actually had it pretty good up until 2008. The economy was strong and new technology entertained us throughout our lives. Yet it is exactly that technology that I believe has made us so cynical.

Since before we were born, technology has been interfering with our security. I remember the corporate line charts in the seventies with many levels of management in the company. They were slowly going away over the first eleven years of my business career. We had regional offices throughout the country and rooms of clerks processing orders by hand. They were slowly replaced over the decades by computers. There has been a peering down of opportunity at large companies throughout the world. CEO’s and Presidents took credit for it and touted their skills, while the truth is, they just didn’t need the help thanks to technology. Management was ruthless and focused to peer down and fill personal pockets. Expansion into new markets was never considered. They just wanted to maximize their company’s value and use the proceeds for personal gains. This practice was taught at business schools, and there is no doubt that this so-called business technique is the best way to make a company look successful.

This is a fact of life with technology: we don’t need the average high school graduate as an employee today. To be employed, a person must be college educated and smart enough to oversee complex computers and machinery. We say college graduates are under-employed today. The fact is, we have eliminated tedious jobs by incorporating them into a new, highly productive manufacturing world. Unfortunately, such increased automated production levels cause even more jobs to be lost.

Give a smart kid the right opportunity and American productivity will increase. It can happen anywhere, even in a small restaurant. Look very closely at how productive all those employees in the food service industry have become; not just at McDonalds, but hiring people to do the work of machines has revitalized the corner deli, coffee shop and family restaurant.

So it’s time to be less cynical and start seeing the revitalization of the American economy. Yes we have a lot of debt, and my guess is that inflation will be the result of putting people to work to grow the economy. Yet with new technology developing gas and oil reserves all over the country, low interests rates and a productive young generation coming into control, I believe we have some good direction, and we must support it with a positive attitude.

The only change I would like to see is legislation that will allow companies to receive special tax incentives that expand and grow through the development of manufacturing new products and creating new markets. Let’s discourage the old attitude of buying for expansion by rewarding those who actually do expand. I see no reason for a company to pay any income tax if it has achieved specific predefined goals that clearly demonstrate its ability to help the economy grow. If the company is stagnant, then sure, let it hoard its cash, buy its competition, and pay income tax.

Reward aggressive management for the benefits they bring to America by expanding and growing the job market. Give them tax breaks that may even include tax incentives on bonuses they receive for a good job. It’s time to reward the people who have foresight, and help make the American economy develop and grow.

The right way would be to initiate programs that give national recognition to companies that stimulate growth by giving them US manufacturing awards. Let’s give some free national recognition to companies that are expanding their footprint while developing opportunities for our citizens. Let’s identify the good, ethical operations and reward them with the recognition they deserve. And let’s start with an occasional positive headline once in a while and a few positive news casts.

 

Contact:
The Chemical Company
P.O. Box 436
44 Southwest Ave.
Jamestown, RI 02835
Phone: (401) 360-2800
Website: thechemco.com
Email: Info@thechemco.com

 

Quote of the Month:

“Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.”

–Colin Powell, quoted in the Nashville Tennessean

In 2013 The Chemical Company is celebrating our 25th year in business and looking forward to 25 more!



 

 

Upcoming Events

 

Adhesive and Sealant Spring Convention and Expo.

April 21-23, 2013 Atlanta, Georgia

www.ascouncil.org/events

 

APIC Asia Petrochemicals Industry Conference

May 9-10, 2013 Taipei, Taiwan

http://www.apic2013.tw/

 

Connect with TheChemCo!

facebook.com/thechemicalcompany
@thechemicalco

Downloadable Brochures:

The Chemical Company Brochure
TCC Plasticizers and Plastics Additives
Iron Oxides
Composites
Flame Retardants

 

 

Product News

Adipic Acid:                   25 Kg., 500 Kg. and 1,000 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)

NatureFlexx 509:             Phthalate Free General Purpose Plasticizer.  Available in Totes (2200 lbs.) and Drums.  (In stock and immediately avail.)

Malic Acid:                    25 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)

Vestinol 9 DINP:            TCC offers bulk trucks and split loads (w/ eso or dop) of DINP to North America.

Zinc Borate:                    TCC now offers Zinc Borate in 25 Kg. Bags in Stock and Immediately Avail.

 

 

Products In Transit/ Available Soon

Bio- Succinic Acid:          2000 lb. supersacks and 25 Kg. Bags (Available Q2 2013)

Dicyclopentadiene:           Isocontainers

 

New/ Updated Technical Information:

Ammonium Carbonate

Castor Oils

ChemFlexx TOTM

Fish Oils

Melamine

Succinic Acid

Urea

Please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

or Tel: (401) 423- 3100 for more information.

We appreciate your taking the time to review this newsletter. We welcome your comments as well as contributions regarding our readers’ company/industry activities. Please send them to Robb Roach at Robb@thechemco.com

 

 

Critical Raw Materials Markets

Benzene: U.S. benzene contracts for April settled down $.33/ gallon to US$4.36/ gallon from US$4.69/ gallon in March.  Spot prices this month have strengthened and are in the $4.40- $4.50/ gallon range.

N Butane:  Normal Butane prices are trading in the mid to high US$1.20’s per gallon. Pricing has trended lower since the beginning of March continuing the downward trend in April. 

Ethylene:   U.S. Contract Price for March settled even at US$.48/ lb. Current spot is in the high $.50’s cpp with offers as high as $.62 cpp.

UP Natural Gas: Natural Gas pricing has increased steadily  since February.  Pricing eclipsed the $4.00/ mmbtu price point in Mid- March and continues to climb.  Current pricing is $4.35- $4.40/ mmbtu. 

Oil: Current WTI Crude price is at $88+/- per barrel range.  Prices have been trending steadily lower since Mid- February when pricing was in the $97 per barrel range.   

Orthoxylene: April contracts settled down $.07/ lb. to $.625/ lb. 

Propylene: Contract pricing for April settled at $.63/ lb. for Polymer Grade and $.615/ lb. for Chemical Grade. Down US $.10/ lb. from March.

Chemical Industry News – April 2013

 

Chemical Industry News

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) US Chemical Production Index declined by 0.1% in March 2013 following a revised 0.4 % increase in February. Compared to March 2012, chemical production rose in all regions by 0.9% following February’s 0.8% year to year increase. Comparing the first three months of 2013 to those of 2012, total chemical production rose 0.8% nationally.

The ACC’s Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) slipped by 0.1% in March, following a revised 0.4% gain in February. The year over year monthly moving average showed an increase of 0.9% compared with March 2012.

The recent explosion of a fertilizer plant in Texas has caused legislators to focus on the Department of Homeland Security’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program (CFATS) and its implementation. Senator Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ has called for new legislation on chemical plant safety as a result of this incident.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chemicals office will use the risk assessments it is developing for an initial group of fourteen chemicals to evaluate, reduce, and manage risks in these and similar compounds that may already be in commerce, an EPA senior chemicals officer said on April 18.

The EPA has significantly reduced its estimate of the amount of methane emissions generated by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations. The agency now says that the tighter pollution controls put in place by the oil/gas industry resulted in an annual decrease of 41.6 million MT of methane emissions from1990 through 2010, or more than 850 million MT in total. During the same period production grew by close to 40%.

According to a recent EPA analysis, emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) decreased slightly in 2011, dropping 1.6% year to year. Since 2005, levels have gone down nearly 7%. The agency cited improvements in automobile fuel efficiency, reduction of coal consumption and a relatively mild winter for this decline.

The EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention would get $686.2 million in fiscal 2014 under the White House budget proposal.

The ACC has expressed concern about how budget cuts could affect the EPA’s permitting activities for industrial facilities, with possible delays in capital projects as a result.

In the most recent activity around BPA, on April 19 a judge in California ordered on April 19 that the chemical be removed from the state’s list of reproductive toxicants.

Methanex plans to move a second plant from Chile to Geismar, Louisiana. The two facilities will hire a total of 165 employees. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners will invest $58 million to expand its methanol storage capacity in Geismar, LA near the Methanex site.

Cytec has completed the sale of its coating resins business to Advent International, a private equity company. The price was reported as $1.13 billion.

DuPont reported that profit more than doubled in the first quarter from the year-ago period as the company shifts its focus from paint pigments to agriculture.

BASF leads other European industrial companies in US investment, driven largely by favorable natural gas prices. Since 2009, BASF has invested more than $5.7 billion in US facilities.

LyondellBasell Industries could add a polyethylene (PE) line with approximately one billion pounds annual capacity, and a PE debottlenecking project in North America. These projects are in addition to other ethylene capacity expansions in Texas and are based on abundant supply of natural gas and natural gas liquids.

US chlor-alkali operating rate for February 2013 was reported at 82% of capacity, compared with 85% a year earlier. January operating rate was 78% according to the Chlorine Institute.

Chinese first quarter GDP figures showed an increase of 7.7% year to year. This was lower than the target of 8%.

Unemployment across the seventeen European Union countries that use the euro hit a new record high of 12.0% for the first two months of 2013.

According to figures published on April 25, the number of unemployed workers in Spain and France has reached all-time highs. Spain’s unemployment rate was 27.16%. In France’s unemployment rate stands at 10.6%, with youth unemployment hitting 25%. German Finance Minister Schaeuble said he will discuss a “bilateral investment program” with his Spanish counterpart, which is hoped that will become a model for the rest of Europe. Germany’s unemployment rate was 6.9% in March.

EU exports of chemical products increased by 8% year-on-year in 2012 according to the EU statistics body Eurostat.

Russian statistics agency Rosstat said that Russia’s overall production of chemical and petrochemical products was up year on year in January and February. Plastics and synthetic rubber outputs were up significantly.

Russia’s SIBUR polypropylene plant is due to come on stream in the near future, which could double the company’s basic polymers capacity.

Saudi Acrylic Polymers Co. (SAPCO) is on schedule for a September start-up of its 80,000 MT/year superabsorbent polymers plant in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia. This will be the first SAP plant in the Middle East.

Trinidad and Tobago and a group led by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical signed an agreement to build a methanol to petrochemical project in a new industrial area in the country. The cost is estimated at $850 million.

Carload rail volume was down 2% annually as of the week ending April 20 on major US railroads. Intermodal volume was up 0.6% compared with the same week last year. Petroleum products shipments were up 40%.

The American Trucking Association reported that seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage increased 0.9% in March after decreasing an adjusted 0.7% in February. Tonnage has increased in four of the past five months.

In a deal expected to end long delay for fliers caused by sequestration, Congress speedily approved a bill to revoke the furlough of air traffic controllers.

Shale oil and Gas-related

 

Pennsylvania State University is creating the Institute for Natural Gas Research in order to study natural gas developments in the Marcellus Shale. The project involves more than seventy faculty members.

Phillips 66 finalized agreements with energy logistics companies to increase supplies of lower cost US and Canadian crude oil, including Bakken shale product, to its US refineries.

The US east coast has seen a rejuvenation of refinery activities due to shale-based crude oil. Oil companies have begun to bring domestic shale east by rail then ship it down the coast. The Carlyle Group is building a high-speed rail facility as well.

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee was to have held a hearing on April 25 on the federal government’s studies of fracking. Officials from all concerned agencies were expected to testify.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was recently quoted saying that based on her experience fracking is a safe drilling procedure.

News that the UK government is to promote shale gas exploration is expected to be greeted positively by the European chemical industry, which is struggling with a non-competitive feedstock market.

Royal Dutch Shell and Williams Partners are forming a joint venture to supply natural gas and liquids to petrochemical facilities in northwest Pennsylvania, including a possible ethane cracker. The company will be called Three Rivers Midstream and will be operated by Williams, with Shell having the right to increase its investment.

David Spence of the University of Texas recently wrote that state-based regulation of fracking is more effective than federal oversight. He stated that the benefits and costs of fracking fall mostly on local and state communities.

China reportedly has about twice the amount of shale gas reserves as does the US and Chinese firms are eager to learn shale technology. Analysts expect a Chinese shale gas boom possibly as soon as three years from now.

The Economy

The Congressional Budget Office reported that the federal government incurred a budget deficit of $601 billion for the first half of fiscal year 2013 (that is, October 2012 through March 2013), $178 billion less than the shortfall recorded for the same period last year. The deficit in March 2013 amounted to $107 billion. The US Treasury Department reported that on April 27, 2013 the federal debt was $16.77 trillion. The national debt has increased an average of $3.81 billion per day since September 2007.

March personal income increased by $30.9 billion, or 0.2% compared to February. Consumer spending rose 0.2% in March. In February personal income increased $151.2 billion or 1.1% and spending increased $81.6 billion, or 0.7%.

It’s been reported in The Wall Street Journal that Congressional leaders were in confidential talks to exempt themselves and their staffs from Obamacare.

The US government debt held by foreign entities is in excess of $5.5 trillion, with China holding $1.23 trillion of it, or approximately 20% of all the debt owned by foreign entities. In January 2009 the US government owed $3.07 trillion to foreign entities. China remains the top creditor. Japan is a close second, holding $1.1 billion.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimate of the first quarter 2013 Gross Domestic Product showed an increase of 2.5%, that is from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. Revised fourth quarter real GDP increased 0.4%. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1%. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3%. Current-dollar GDP, the market value of the nation’s output of goods and services, increased at a rate of 3.7% or $146.1 billion in the first quarter of 2013 to a level of $16,010 billion. In the fourth quarter current dollar GDP increased 1.3% or $53.1 billion.

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index declined 0.1% in March to 94.7 (2002=100) following a 0.5% increase in February and an increase of 0.5% in January.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index which had improved in February, declined in March. It stands at 59.7 (1985=100) down from an adjusted 68.0 in February.

The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index decreased 2.9% to 51.3% in March, showing expansion for the fourth consecutive month but at a slower rate. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding. The Non-Manufacturing Report for March was 54.4%, or 1.6% lower than the 56% reported for February, but reflecting growth for 44 consecutive months.

In March, retail and food services sales adjusted for seasonal variations were $418.3 billion, a decrease of 0.4% from February and 2.8% above March 2012. January through March 2013 sales were up 3.7% from the same period a year ago.

Privately owned housing starts in March of 1,036,000 were 7.0% above the revised February estimate of 968,000 and were 46.7% above the March 2012 rate of 706,000. Single family housing starts in March were at a rate of 619,000 or 4.8% below the revised February figure of 650,000. New single home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. This was 1.5% above the revised February rate of 411,000 and 18.5% above the March 2012 estimate of 352,000.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes edged down 0.6% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million units. Sales of existing homes in March were 10.3% higher than the same period a year earlier.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in March decreased $13.1 billion or 5.7% to $216.3 billion. This decrease, down two out of the last three months, followed a 4.3% increase in February.

March unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods decreased $6.4 billion or 0.6% to $991.2 billion. This followed an increase of 0.7% in February.

Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers decreased 0.2 % in March on a seasonally adjusted basis. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over the last twelve months the all items index increased 1.5 % before seasonal adjustments. Food index was unchanged in March, and the gasoline index decreased 4.4% in March.

The Producer Price Index for finished goods decreased 0.6 % in March, seasonally adjusted, following increases of 0.7% in February and 0.2% in February. Unadjusted basis prices for finished goods increased 1.1 % for the twelve months ended in March 2013, the smallest twelve month increase since a 0.5% rise in July 2012.

Interest rate: Prime at 3.25%, unchanged since 12/16/08.

Inflation: Inflation rate in March reported at 1.5%. The February rate was 2.0%, January rate was 1.6%, and the December rate was 1.7%. The average rate of 2.1% was reported for 2012. It is expected to rise slightly in 2013 to approximately 2.3%.

Industrial production increased 0.4% in March after having increased 1.1% in February. For the first quarter as a whole, output increased at an annual rate of 5.0%m the largest gain since the first quarter of 2012. At 99.5% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in March was 3.5% above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization rate for total industry increased to 78.5%, a rate 1.2% above the level of a year earlier, but 1.7% below its 1972 – 2012 average.

Unemployment: The March 2013 rate was little changed at 7.6%, and has shown little movement since September 2012. The number of unemployed persons was reported at 11.7 million, basically unchanged. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the long-term unemployed, i.e., jobless for 27 weeks and over was essentially unchanged at 4.6 million in March. Those individuals accounted for 39.6% of the unemployed. North Dakota continued to lead the nation with the lowest state unemployment rate in March of 3.3%; Nevada was reported highest at 9.7%, Illinois, Mississippi, and California close behind.

The goods and services deficit decreased to $43.0 billion in February, from $44.5 billion in January as exports increased more than imports. President Obama recently told his advisory council on exports that the US is on target toward his goal of doubling US exports before 2015. He said that the best way to increase exports is to move ahead with free trade agreements in Asia and Europe.

Crude Oil: Present WTI spot price ~$93/bbl, compared to ~$100+/bbl a year earlier. OPEC outlook continues to show a slight reduction in demand in 2013.

Natural Gas: Henry Hub spot price closed on April 23 at $4.25/MMBTU. May 2013 contract reported at $4.40/MMBTU. Working natural gas in storage is lower than last year and the five year average.

The US dollar trading at 98.0 Japanese yen; $1.30 = euro. The British pound sterling = $1.54. The Canadian dollar trading at US$1.01.

Current US gold price quoted at $1463.60/ounce, down from $1597.00/ounce approximately one month earlier. The record price of $1920/ounce was recorded in September, 2011.

Chemical Industry News: March 2013

CHEMICAL INDUSTRY NEWS

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) US Chemical Production Index rose by 0.6% in February 2013 following a revised 0.8 % increase in January. Compared to February 2012, chemical production rose in all regions by 1.2% following January’s 1.4% year to year increase. Comparing the first two months of 2013 to those of 2012 total chemical production rose 1.3% nationally.

The ACC’s Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) for March 2013 showed slow expansion, with a 0.4% gain over February. The year over year monthly moving average showed an increase of 2.9% compared with March 2012.

The EPA is ready to begin evaluation of 23 common chemicals for health and environmental risks. This action will primarily involve flame retardants.

Chemical industry officials are proposing revision of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that would strengthen the EPA’s authority to limit exposure to harmful substances rather than completely barring their use. The ACC supports a safety standard that “ensures the safety of a chemical for its intended use.”

Methanex is said to be still evaluating relocation of a second Cabo Negro, Chile methanol plant to Geismar, LA. The estimated capital investment of $500 million would create 35 new jobs.

PolyOne reached a $250 million cash deal for the sale of its base resins business to Mexichem. Spartech stockholders approved its acquisition by PolyOne; the Spartech name will no longer be used.

BASF has established an advanced materials R&D initiative with Harvard, MIT, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The program will establish about twenty postdoctoral positions. The cost to BASF was not disclosed.

Dow Chemical projected petrochemical investment for the Gulf Coast involves recommissioning and improving existing ethane operations focused on performance plastics.

LyondellBasell Industries will upgrade its Houston refinery in order to handle an increased amount of oil from Canadian tar sands and to lower its reliance on feedstock from Venezuela. The company is relocating its R&D center from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania to Channelview, Texas.

Rigid plastics recycling in the US and Canada, excluding plastic bottles, exceeded 934 million pounds in 2011 according to a report issued by Moore Recycling Associates for the ACC.

US chlor-alkali operating rate for January 2013 was reported at 80% of capacity, essentially the same as December’s 81%.

Norwegian oil group Statoil announced a large natural gas find off Tanzania’s coast. This is the third major discovery in a year for the Statoil-ExxonMobil partnership.

Unemployment across the seventeen European Union countries that use the euro hit a new record high of 11.9 % in January.

A developing German political party led by economists, jurists, and Christian Democrats was established in March. It calls for the break-up of monetary union before it can do any more damage. They propose German withdrawal from the euro and return to the D-Mark, or a breakaway currency with the Dutch, Austrians, Finns and similar nations. The French are not among them.

Germany’s top industry trade group, BDI, welcomed plans by the federal government to prepare rules for fracking. German energy policies, particularly the country’s exit from nuclear power by 2022, made it necessary to investigate new domestic sources.

An apartment building under construction in Hamburg, Germany will be clad on its two south-facing sides with a transparent shell housing millions of microalgae. The building has been designed to harness heat generated by the microscopic plants and use it to heat its 15 apartments.

Russia’s Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest Russian company, offered to bail out Cyprus in exchange for gas exploration rights. It was reported that Gazprom would undertake the restructuring of the country’s banks in return for the exploration rights.

Cyberattacks traced to Chinese hackers prying into US company secrets have made more firms rethink plans to locate in China.

Royal Dutch Shell will explore for and produce shale natural gas in China with China National Petroleum Corp. No details were available.

Mixed carload traffic on major US railroads for the week ending 3/23/13 increased 0.2% year over year. Intermodal volume was up 1.4% compared with the same week last year. Petroleum products shipments were up 57%.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad has begun to experiment with locomotives that run on liquefied natural gas as replacement for the costlier diesel fuel now in use.

The ACC filed comments with the Surface Transportation Board urging the agency to take action on reforms that would increase access to competitive freight service for domestic producers.

The American Trucking Association reported that seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage increased 0.6% in February after increasing an adjusted 1.0% in January. Year to date, the tonnage index is up 4.4% for the same period.

 

SHALE OIL AND GAS-RELATED

 

The House Energy and Power subcommittee said that its primary goals for this session of Congress are getting the government out of the way of energy production, generation, and export. Examples such as easing export regulations, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, opening federal lands for drilling and applying a lighter touch on rules for greenhouse gas emissions and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) topped the agenda.

A Congressional Research Service report said that thanks to the innovation of fracking and horizontal drilling on private and state lands, the US in fisc

al 2012 produced 6.2 million barrels of oil daily, up from 5.1 barrels as recently as fiscal year 2007. Technological advances enabled private industry to increase production last year at the fastest rate in the history of the domestic industry. However, the same study found that federal oil production fell more than 23% from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2012 and today is below 2007 levels. It was also reported that natural gas production on non-federal lands grew 40% since 2007 while production on federal lands dropped by 33%.

ExxonMobil Corp. is expanding its Baytown, Texas refinery capacity for turning natural gas into chemical building blocks. Permit applications are pending. It’s expected that this multibillion dollar project will create 10,000 jobs during its construction.

In early March the New York State Assembly approved a two year moratorium on fracking to last until May 15, 2015. The bill calls for the State University of New York to conduct an independent, comprehensive health review; fracking would be further delayed if the study were delayed.

Some of the country’s largest energy companies and environmental groups have agreed on a voluntary set of standards for gas and oil fracking in the Northeast that appears to go beyond existing state and federal regulations.

California governor Jerry Brown, a noted environmentalist, said on March 13 that the state should consider the use of fracking so it could develop its massive shale oil reserves and reduce dependence on imported oil. Some groups in California have opposed the use of fracking, but Brown has said that decisions would be based on science and common sense.

 

THE ECONOMY

 

The Congressional Budget Office reported that the federal government incurred a budget deficit of $495 billion for the first five months of the fiscal year 2013 (that is, October 2012 through February 2013), $86 billion less than the shortfall recorded for the same period last year. CBO estimates are that if lawmakers enacted no further legislation affecting spending or revenues, the federal government would end fiscal 2013 with a deficit of $845 billion. The US Treasury Department reported that on March 29, 2013 the federal debt was $16.77 trillion. Since President Obama took office in January 2009, more than $6 trillion has been added to the national debt. It was $5.7 trillion in 2001.

January marked the sharpest one month decline in personal income in 20 years. Personal income decreased by $505 billion in January, or 3.6% compared to December. However, February showed an increase of 1.1% and was encouraging to economists. Consumer spending rose in January even as incomes dropped, and increased once again in February.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the number of Americans on food stamps saw an all-time high in 2012. An average of 46.6 million people received the benefits each month last year. In 2007, 26 million people received food stamps.

It’s been reported that health insurance companies are warning brokers that premiums for many individuals and small businesses could see a sharp increase in 2014 due to the health-care overhaul legislation. The projections appear to disagree with Department of Health and Human Services forecasts.

Banks wrote off $3 billion of student loan debt in the first two months of 2013, up in excess of 36% from the same period a year earlier. The cost of earning a four year undergraduate degree has increased 5.2% per year in the last decade according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

White House aides refused on March 27 to specify the date President Obama will release his proposed federal budget. Federal law requires that the White House submit a budget on the first Monday of February.

As of March 1, sequestration is in place. Sequester focuses on the portion of the budget that funds operating accounts for federal agencies and departments, including the Department of Defense.

The US government debt held by foreign entities is a record $5.56 trillion, with China holding $1.26 trillion of it, or approximately 21.% of all the debt owned by foreign entities. In January 2009 the US government owed $3.07 trillion to foreign entities. China remains the top creditor. Japan is a close second, holding $1.12 billion.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis third estimate of the fourth quarter 2012 Gross Domestic Product showed a revised annual increase of 0.4% that is from the third quarter to the fourth quarter. The earlier second estimate showed an increase of 0.1%. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1%. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3%. Current-dollar GDP, the market value of the nation’s output of goods and services, increased at a rate of .05% or $18 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 to a level of $15,829 .0 billion. In the third quarter current dollar GDP increased 5.9% or $225.4 billion.

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index rose 0.5% in February to 94.8 (2004=100) following a 0.5% increase in January and a 0.4% increase in December.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index which had improved in February, declined in March. It stands at 59.7 (1985=100) down from an adjusted 68.0 in February.

The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index increased 1.1% to 54.2% in February, showing expansion for the third consecutive month. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding. The Non-Manufacturing Report for January was 56.0%, 0.8% higher than the 55.2% registered in January, still indicating continued growth.

In February, retail and food services sales adjusted for seasonal variations were $421.4 billion, an increase of 1.1% from January and 4.6% above February 2012. December 2012 through February 2013 sales were up 4.5% from the same period a year ago.

Privately owned housing starts in February of 917,000 were 0.8% above the revised January estimate of 910,000 and were 27.7% above the February 2012 rate of 718,000. Single family housing starts in February were at a rate of 618,000 or 0.5% above the revised January figure of 615,000. New home sales increased 4.6% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000. This was 4.6% below the revised January rate of 431,000 but 12.3% above the February 2012 estimate of 366,000.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes reached a three-year high in February and their prices rose, adding to signs of acceleration in the housing recovery. Sales of existing homes rose 0.8% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4,980,000 units.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in February increased $12.4 billion or 5.7% to $232.1 billion. This followed five consecutive monthly increases.

February unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods increased $9.4 billion or 0.9% to $999.8 billion. This followed a decrease of 0.1% in January after four consecutive monthly increases.

Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers increased 0.7% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over the last twelve months the all items index increased 2.0 % before seasonal adjustments. Food increased slightly at 0.1% in February, and the gasoline index rose 9.1% in February.

The Producer Price Index for finished goods increased 0.7 % in February, seasonally adjusted, following an increase of 0.2% in January and a decline of 0.3% in December. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods increased 1.7 % for the twelve months ended in February 2013, the largest twelve month increase since a 2.3% rise in October of last year.

Interest rate: Prime at 3.25%, unchanged since 12/16/08.

Inflation: Inflation rate in February reported at 2.0%. The January rate was 1.6%, December rate was 1.7%. The average rate of 2.1% was reported for 2012. It is expected to rise slightly in 2013 to approximately 2.3%.

Industrial production increased 0.7% in February, having been unchanged in January. At 99.5% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in February was 2.5% above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization rate for total industry increased to 79.6%, a rate 0.6% below its 1972 – 2012 average.

Unemployment: The February 2013 rate edged down to 7.7%, but has shown little movement since September 2012. The number of unemployed persons decreased 236,000 to12.0 million. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the long-term unemployed, i.e., jobless for 27 weeks and over was essentially unchanged at 4.8 million in February. Those individuals accounted for 40.2% of the unemployed. North Dakota continued to lead the nation with the lowest state unemployment rate in February of 3.3%; Nevada, Mississippi, and California were all reported highest at 9.6%.

In a recent Federal Reserve report on economic conditions across the country, the cost of Obamacare was cited as one reason the unemployment rate has remained high.

The goods and services deficit increased to $44.4 billion in January, from $38.1 billion in December 2012 as imports increased and exports decreased. As a percentage of US gross domestic product, the goods and services deficit was 3.4% in 2012, down from 3.7% in 2011. Both imports and exports increased during the year. President Obama recently told his advisory council on exports that the US is on target toward his goal of doubling US exports before 2015. He said that the best way to increase exports is to move ahead with free trade agreements in Asia and Europe.

Crude Oil: Present WTI spot price ~$97/bbl, compared to ~$100+/bbl a year earlier. OPEC outlook shows a reduction in demand.

Natural Gas: Both spot and futures prices reached 18 month record highs during the week ending March 27. Henry Hub spot price closed on March 26 at $4.08/MMBTU. April 2013 contract reported at $3.97/MMBTU. Working natural gas in storage is lower than last year but is 3.5% above the five year average

The US dollar trading at 94.2 Japanese yen; $1.28 = euro. The British pound sterling = $1.52. The Canadian dollar trading at US$1.02.

Current US gold price quoted at $1597.00/ounce compared to the record price of $1920/ounce in September, 2011.

Chemical Industry News February 2013

CHEMICAL INDUSTRY NEWS

The View from Jamestown – February 2013

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) US Chemical Production Index rose by 0.7% in January 2013 following a revised 0.9% increase in December 2012. Chemical production rose in all regions for the second consecutive month. Compared to January 2012 total chemical production in all regions was up 0.9%. The outlook for 2013 is sluggish, with increase of approximately 2% foreseen.

The ACC’s Chemical Activity Barometer(CAB) for February 2013 showed slow expansion, with a 0.6% gain over January. The year over year monthly moving average showed an increase of 2.9% compared with January 2012.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R, AK) introduced an energy policy plan that includes drilling in ANWAR and opening the coasts of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia to leasing.

The Carlyle Group completed its acquisition of DuPont Performance Coatings for $4.9 billion. The new organization will be known as Axalta Coating Systems.

The BPA issue surfaced again recently with a toxicology analysis of 150 studies by the Department of Energy that found that the amount of bisphenol A used in plastic bottles and food containers is too little to account for negative effects on humans.

Air Products and Chemicals installed a $400 million demonstration-scale carbon capture system that can reduce carbon dioxide emissions at Valero’s Port Arthur, Texas refinery by approximately one million tons per year.

Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D, CA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I, VT) have proposed a bill that would tax carbon dioxide emissions of major industrial facilities, including natural gas processing plants. Their plan would charge a $20 tax for every ton of CO2 emitted beyond a set limit.

Plastic film recycling increased 4% in 2011 reaching 1 billion pounds annually for the first time. The category includes plastic bags, product wraps, and commercial shrink film. It was reported that recycling of plastic film has increased 55% since 2005.

A federal judge ordered that the Department of Health and Human Services meet with the ACC on February 27 regarding whether or not the department and its agencies have fulfilled ACC’s Freedom of Information Act request regarding a study on formaldehyde.

US chlor-alkali operating rate for January 2013 was reported at 80% of capacity, essentially the same as December’s 81%. In January, the UN Environmental Program’s Mercury Convention passed a set of legally binding measures accepted by more than 140 countries. It was agreed that there will be a mandatory deadline for phasing out mercury cells in chlor-alkali production by 2025. The EU deadline is 2020.

The federal government is implementing procedures to stop China, Russia, India, and other nations from stealing trade secrets worth billions of dollars from US businesses. Thefts of information from DuPont and Dow Chemical were cited as examples.

Officials from the US and the European Union stated on February 13 that they were moving ahead on major issues to resolve a US-Europe trade agreement. Such an agreement would lower/reduce import duties as well as reach agreement on regulations governing many industries including chemicals and drugs. The UN is moving towards this with its Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling. Finalization is possible before the end of 2014. The ACC has strongly endorsed the initiative.

The European Commission has said that REACH chemical legislation has affected the prices of some chemicals in Europe. It was reported that the cost of complying with this legislation has discouraged some companies from competing.

Great Britain’s pound sterling has fallen 4% against the dollar and 8% against the euro since October 1, 2012 in spite of the government’s success in reducing expenditures. From 2009 to 2012 UK government expenditures rose a total of 1.6% compared to the US rate of 7.9%. The country’s credit rating was recently downgraded by Moody’s from Aaa, the highest possible, to Aa1.

Unemployment in the eurozone was reported at 11.7 % in December.

The German economy registered a contraction of 0.6% in the fourth quarter and grew by 0.7% for all of 2012, compared with a positive 3% in 2011. Economists are confident that the German economy will start expanding again in the first quarter.

In France, the economy shrank by 0.3% in the fourth quarter, which was weaker than expected. France’s economic growth for 2012 was zero.

Russia has become the world’s largest gold buyer, with its central bank having acquired 570 metric tons in the past decade. The Russian cache of 958 tons is the world’s eighth largest; the US is first with approximately 8,000 tons.

China surpassed the US last year in order to become the world’s largest trading nation as measured by the sum of imports and exports. US exports and imports of goods totaled $3.82 trillion in 2012; China’s government reported trade in goods of $3.87 trillion. China’s export growth in January rose 25% from a year earlier.

Since 2008, China’s total public and private debt has grown to more than 200% of GDP, yet the consensus shows little risk to continued economic growth.

The recent announcement of the merger of American Airlines and US Airways will be the world’s largest air carrier, keeping the American Airlines name. It will be run by US Airways CEO Doug Parker. When the merger is completed, American, United, Delta, and Southwest will control about 75% of US airline traffic.

One of the worst droughts in decades along the Mississippi River caused mounting concern in the new year among shippers and navigation experts who were faced with the threat of a halt or reduced barge traffic on the river. If river traffic were shut down, industry experts said that 8,000 jobs could be affected, cost $54 million in wages, and halt the movement of 7.2 million tons of commodities with a value of $2.8 billion.

The Association of American Railroads announced that US Class I railroads originated a record 233,811 carloads of crude oil in 2012, up 256% from the 65,751 carloads in 2011. Mixed carload traffic on major US railroads for the week ending 2/16/13 declined 1.2% year over year. Intermodal volume was up 13.6% compared with the same week last year.

The American Trucking Association reported that seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage increased 2.9% January after increasing an adjusted 2.4% in December.

SHALE OIL & GAS-RELATED

Company representatives stated that BASF and Lanxess are reviewing building petrochemical facilities in the US in order to take advantage of cheap natural gas.

New York Governor Cuomo missed another deadline for completing a report on the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing (fracking.) Some observers say that nothing will happen until 2014.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (Oxy) has applied to build an ethylene plant in Ingleside, Texas, the latest company to consider new capacity in the region as generous gas supplies cut costs for chemical producers. Construction is expected to start in December 2014 with production beginning in early 2017.

The Institute for Energy Research has said that potential revenues from giving oil and natural gas drillers more access to public lands are much greater than the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates. According to the IER, the nation’s gross domestic product would increase by $127 billion annually for the next seven years through expanded development.

Shell Chemicals is still considering moving ahead with construction of a petrochemical plant in Pennsylvania.

Researchers at MIT have developed a process of treating water byproducts from the oil and natural gas industry through humidification dehumidification.

 

THE ECONOMY

The Congressional Budget Office reported that the federal government incurred a budget deficit of $295 billion for the first four months of the fiscal year 2013 (that is, October 2012 through January 2013), $54 billion less than the shortfall recorded in the first quarter of last fiscal year. The US Treasury Department reported that on February 25, 2013 the federal debt was $16.62 trillion. It was $5.7 trillion in 2001.

The White House missed the legal deadline of February 4 for sending a fiscal 2014 budget to Congress. A budget official said that submission will happen in mid-March. The Senate last passed a budget resolution in 2009.

As of February 27, there was a continuing impasse between the Congress and the White House regarding automatic budget cuts (sequestration) scheduled to be implemented on March first. Sequester focuses on the portion of the budget that funds operating accounts for federal agencies and departments, including the Department of Defense.

The US government debt held by foreign entities is a record $5.55 trillion, with China holding $1.20 trillion of it, or approximately 21.6% of all the debt owned by foreign entities. In January 2009 the US government owed $3.07 trillion to foreign entities. China remains the top creditor. Japan is a close second, holding $1.12 billion.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis advance estimate of the fourth quarter 2012 Gross Domestic Product showed a decrease of 0.1% at an annual rate that is from the third quarter to the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1%. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3%. Current-dollar GDP, the market value of the nation’s output of goods and services, increased at a rate of .05% or $18 billion in the fourth quarter to a level of $15,829 .0 billion. In the third quarter current dollar GDP increased 5.9% or $225.4 billion.

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index rose 0.2% in January to 94.1 (2004=100) following a 0.5% increase in December and no change in November.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index which had declined in November and December fell again in January. It stands at 56.8 (1985=100) down from an adjusted 66.7 in December.

The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index increased 2.9% to 53.1% in January, showing expansion for the second consecutive month. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding. The Non-Manufacturing Report for January was 55.2%, 0.5% lower than the 55.7% registered in December but still indicating continued growth.

In January, retail and food services sales adjusted for seasonal variations were $416.6 billion, an increase of 0.1% from December 2012 and 4.4% above January 2012. November 2012 through January 2013 sales were up 4.5% from the same period a year ago.

Privately owned housing starts in January of 890,000 were 8.5% below the revised December estimate of 973,000 and were 23.6% above the January 2012 rate of 720,000. Single family housing starts in January were at a rate of 613,000 or 0.8% above the revised December figure of 608,000. New home sales increased 15.6% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000. This was 28.9% above the January 2012 estimate of 339,000.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rose in January and left the supply of homes at its lowest level in 13 years. This was taken as a sign that steam is gathering in the US housing market. Sales of existing homes rose 0.4% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4,920,000 units. The national median existing home prices rose in January, up 12.3% from a year earlier.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in January decreased $11.8 billion or 5.2% to $217 billion. This followed four consecutive monthly increases.

January unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods decreased $2.1 billion or 0.2% to $989.2 billion. This followed four consecutive monthly increases.

Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers was unchanged in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over the last twelve months the all items index increased 1.6 % before seasonal adjustments. The energy index fell 1.7% in January, but other indices such as food and shelter increased, resulting in the all items index being unchanged. However, the gasoline index was on its way up in February.

The Producer Price Index for finished goods increased 0.2% in January, seasonally adjusted, following a decrease of 0.3% in December and 0.4% in November. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods increased 1.4 % for the twelve months ended in January 2013.

Interest rate: Prime at 3.25%, unchanged since 12/16/08.

Inflation: Inflation rate in January reported at 1.6%. The December rate was 1.7%, November rate was 1.8%. The October rate was 2.2%, September rate was 2.0% and the August rate was 1.7%. The average rate was 2.1% was reported for 2012. It is expected to rise slightly in 2013 to approximately 2.3%.

Industrial production decreased 0.1% in January, after having risen 0.4% in December. At 98.6% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in January was 2.1% above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization rate for total industry decreased to 79.1%, a rate1.1% below its 1972 – 2012 average.

Unemployment: The January 2013 rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9% as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of unemployed persons increased 157,000 to12.3 million. The BLS stated that the long-term unemployed, i.e., jobless for 27 weeks and over was essentially unchanged at 4.7 million. Those individuals accounted for 38.1% of the unemployed. North Dakota continued to lead the nation with the lowest state unemployment rate in December of 3.2%; Nevada and Rhode Island were both reported highest at 10.8%. The Federal Reserve announced on December 20 that it would hold interest rates near zero until it hit the target of 6.5% unemployment.

The goods and services deficit was $540.4 billion in 2012, down from $559.9 billion in 2011. As a percentage of US gross domestic product, the goods and services deficit was 3.4% in 2012, down from 3.7% in 2011. Both imports and exports increased during the year.

Crude Oil: Present WTI spot price ~$93 – 96/bbl, compared to ~$100+/bbl a year earlier.  OPEC has reduced production and that isn’t likely to change short term. OPEC outlook shows a reduction in demand.

Natural Gas:  Henry Hub spot price closed on February 22 at $3.34/MMBTU.  February 2013 contract reported at $3.28/MMBTU. Working natural gas in storage is lower than last year and remains above the five year average

The US dollar trading at 92.5 Japanese yen; $1.31 = euro. The British pound sterling = $1.52. Canadian dollar trading at US$1.03.

Current US gold price quoted at $1595.00/ounce compared to the record price of $1920/ounce in September, 2011.

Chemical Markets Update – Feb 2013

Employment Optimism and

the New Era of Social Media

By: Nick Roach CEO, The Chemical Company

The Dow’s all time high was on October 9th of 2007. That day the stock market index closed at 14,164. What happened shortly after is not something we would like to relive. Yet it is fantastic that we have slowly climbed back and are now close to the pre- recession levels. With this recovery stock investment has grown, our 401K accounts look better, home sales are improving and it gives hope for an eventual recovery. There are indicators that 2013 could possibly be the year that we break the 14,164 barrier and surpass our all-time high. We hope this is true because it would be a huge psychological boost for all American’s.

In addition to an improving economy many of us “older folks” have continued our employment out of fear. If there is recovery we may take the bold step into retirement. This will open up advancement within companies and opportunity for replacement workers. Companies are looking for chemical engineers, chemists, sales staff, and other educated individuals. It is our belief that these educated individuals should be capable of finding jobs and will have choices.

But…. Something that isn’t discussed is the change brought on by the extensive record keeping thanks to computers and the internet. Your past life is recorded on the internet in many ways and if you have a criminal record of any kind it will be discovered by your potential employer. There is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Etc. where for some individuals every living breath is recorded by choice. Personnel departments are using social media when investigating any potential employee and unfortunately some individuals have developed a record on line that makes them unemployable. If you are looking for a job, remember that your online post of one tasteless picture or one misjudged statement can make you unemployable.

The Chemical Company
P.O. Box 436
19
Narragansett Avenue
Jamestown, Rhode Island 02835
Phone: 1(401) 360-2800
thechemco.com

 

Quote of the Month:

You never fail until you stop trying.

– Albert Einstein, quoted in The Cincinnati Enquirer

In 2013 The Chemical Company is celebrating our 25th year in business and looking forward to 25 more!



 

 

Upcoming Events

Come see us at Booth #2400!

 

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

2013 AFPM International Petrochemical Conference March 24-26 Grand Hyatt San Antonio, TX

 

Connect with TheChemCo!

facebook.com/thechemicalcompany
@thechemicalco

The Chemical Company Downloadable Brochures:

The Chemical Company Brochure
TCC Plasticizers and Plastics Additives
Iron Oxides
Composites
Flame Retardants

 

Product News

Adipic Acid: 25 Kg., 500 Kg. and 1,000 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)

NatureFlexx 509: Phthalate Free General Purpose Plasticizer. Available in Totes (2200 lbs.) and Drums. (In stock and immediately avail.)

Malic Acid: 25 Kg. Bags (In Stock and Available Now!)

Vestinol 9 DINP: TCC offers bulk trucks and split loads (w/ eso or dop) of DINP to North America.

Zinc Borate: TCC now offers Zinc Borate in 25 Kg. Bags in stock and immediately available.

 

 

Products In Transit/ Available Soon

Bio- Succinic Acid: 2000 lb. supersacks and 25 Kg. Bags (Available Q1 2013)

Dicyclopentadiene: Isocontainers

 

New/ Updated Technical Information:

Ammonium Carbonate

Castor Oils

ChemFlexx TOTM

Fish Oils

Melamine

Succinic Acid

Urea

 

Please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com or call (401) 423- 3100 for more information.

We appreciate your taking the time to review this newsletter. We welcome your comments as well as contributions regarding our readers’ company/industry activities. Please send them to Robb Roach at Robb@thechemco.com

*Please note that all products are now in alphabetical order and many products are linked to their own information page.

CRITICAL RAW MATERIALS MARKETS

 Check the real-time commodities tracker at thechemco.com for up to the minute info.

Benzene: U.S. benzene contracts for February settled down $.36/ gallon to US$4.80/ gallon from US$5.16/ gallon in January. Spot prices are in the $4.70- $4.80/ gallon range.

N Butane: Normal Butane prices are trading in the low US$1.60’s per gallon compared to the $1.70’s per gallon in January.

Ethylene: U.S. Contract Price for January settled higher by $.035/ lb. to $.48/ lb. Current spot is in the low to mid $.60’s due to strong demand. We expect a significant increase for February. Inventories expected to bottom in April. Pricing will remain firm until then.

Natural Gas: Natural Gas pricing has been moving lower since late November and continues to do so. Pricing eclipsed the $4.00/ mmbtu price point in Mid- November before it’s steady migration lower over the last 3 months. Current pricing is in the $3.20’s/ mmbtu.

Oil: Current WTI Crude price is at US$97+/- per barrel range. ICE Brent is in the US$116- $118 +/- per barrel range. Prices have been trending higher since mid- December 2012.

Orthoxylene: January contracts settled up $.06/ lb. to $.715/ lb. February announcements are for a $.02/ lb. increase but has not yet settled. Consumers are looking for a rollover in light of lower mixed xylene prices.

Propylene: Contract pricing for January settled up a dramatic $.15/ lb. to $.73/ lb. for Polymer Grade and $.715/ lb. for Chemical Grade. February will increase $.06/ lb. to $.79/ lb. for Polymer Grade and $.775/ lb. for Chemical Grade.

 

CHEMICALS MARKETS

Adipic Acid

Adipic Acid pricing has increased on higher Benzene pricing with good demand. Also, it is reported that a U.S. producer has had manufacturing issues and this has put some pressure on domestic supply. TCC has Adipic Acid in stock and immediately available in 1,000 Kg. Sacks, 500 Kg. Sacks and 25 Kg. bags.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

 

Ammonia

January pricing in Tampa decreased US$12/met. ton from December($685/ ton C&F) to US $673/ met. ton C&F. February saw a further decrease of US$18/ met. ton to the current $655/ met. ton. NOLA is currently at $640/ ton fob down from $685/ ton.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

 

Ammonium Nitrate

Ammonium Nitrate pricing will increase $25/ ton. In Feb. Seasonal demand is picking up and ammonia prices have been inflated.

For more information please contact AJ Petrarca aj@thechemco.com

 

Antimony Trioxide

Demand for antimony trioxide remains weak and good availability from South America and China are keeping prices flat. Current offers are in the upper $4.00/ lb. range for full truckloads. Buyers continue to keep inventories to a minimum and use alternate chemistries where possible.

For more information please contact AJ Petrarca aj@thechemco.com

 

Dicyandiamide

Prices are stable. We are keeping a close eye on energy demand and pricing for Q1 2013. Prices are expected to climb as energy demand picks up after the Lunar New Year. The Chemical Company has both bulk bags and sacks in stock and immediately available.

For more information please contact AJ Petrarca aj@thechemco.com.

 

Epoxidized Soybean Oil

Soybean prices have been steady, check thechemco.com for real time soybean pricing on our commodities ticker. Epoxidized Soybean Oil Supply is healthy keeping prices stable.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

 

Fumaric Acid

Fumaric Acid Pricing has stabilized and availability on both domestic and imported material is good.

For more information please contact AJ Petrarca aj@thechemco.com.

 

Glycol (Mono, Di and Tri):

Ethylene: U.S. Contract Price for January increased by by $.035 /lb. to $.48/ lb. Spot has shot up to $.67/ lb.

MEG: U.S. producers have announced a 3-4 cts/ lb. increase for February. Spot prices are in the low- $.50’s fob Gulf. Availability is good but producers have entered the spot market. Turnarounds have begun and are expected to continue into summer. Ethylene pricing and turnarounds will likely push spot prices higher and crimp availability.

DEG: U.S. producers have announced increases ranging from 2-5 cts./ lb. for February. Spot prices are in the mid $.50’s per lb. fob Gulf with good availability. We expect higher prices in the coming months due to ethylene pricing and turnarounds.

TEG: U.S. producers announced no price change for February on low demand and increased pressure from imports. Spot pricing is lower and in the $1.00/ lb. range to meet the import offers.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

 

Isophthalic Acid

PIA pricing has been level for January and February of 2013. Demand is good and supply healthy. Underlying raw material pricing will likely pressure prices in the coming months.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

 

Maleic Anhydride

Producers have announced no price change for February due to good availability and lower butane pricing. Molten supply is balanced to long in North America. Briquette pricing on the other hand has moved up with limited supply and higher prices from Asia.

For more information please contact AJ Petrarca aj@thechemco.com.

 

Melamine

Melamine supply has tightened considerably but could be improving. Price increases of $.05- $.08/ lb. were announce for Q1 2013. Supply and Demand is the most recent driver of pricing.

For more information please contact Javier Fernandez Javier@thechemco.com

 

Malic Acid

Malic Acid Pricing has stabilized and availability on both domestic and imported material is good. TCC has Malic Acid in stock and available.

For more information please contact AJ Petrarca aj@thechemco.com

 

Methanol

The Methanex Non-Discounted Reference Price for February will remain unchanged at US$1.45/ gallon (Southern rolled over at $1.46/ gallon). Spot pricing is currently approx. US$1.27- $1.29/ gal. and trending up.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

Notes:

European Methanol prices pushing higher.

Gas Curtailment issues in Trinidad have improved.

Chinese Lunar New Year holiday is in full swing causing the typical two week lull in methanol trade. Prices have moved lower widening the gap between Asian methanol prices and those in Europe and the America’s.

 

Nitric Acid

Nitric Acid pricing is stable and availability is good.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

 

Phenolic Resins

Phenol pricing has shifted moderately lower on decreasing benzene values and less demand. Formaldehyde prices are stable.

For more information please contact John Santini at john@thechemco.com

 

Phthalic Anhydride

Phthalic Anhydride pricing increased by $.06/ lb. in February in line with the January orthoxylene price increase. Orthoxylene will roll over or increase slightly for February. Imports are available with some savings, pricing for imported PA can be a bargain when OX prices move up.

For more Information please contact Javier Fernandez at javier@thechemco.com

 

Plasticizers and Plasticizer Alcohols:

Plasticizer demand world-wide has dramatically improved with additional and continuing pricing pressure by the underlying aromatics costs. Two new increases were nominated by majors for January 15th and February 1st. Now a new increase has been announced for March 1, 2013. Ethylene and propylene pricing continue to move up pressuring PZ prices.

Plasticizer alcohol pricing had been stable with lack luster demand and healthy supply. Now, underlying raw material costs are pressuring price and demand has increased in Asia and worldwide. Prices have begun to increase and some linear alcohols are on sales control. There has been large capacity expansions completed in Asia and staggering growth slated for the future.

For more information please contact Forest Goodman at forest@thechemco.com

 

TCC Plasticizers available:

Note: Some plasticizers have limited availability. Please contact TCC for further details.

Non (ortho)- Phthalate:

ChemFlexx Dibenzoate Esters

ChemFlexx DiOctyl Succinate (DOSX)

“ChemFlexx NP 500” Non- Phthalate Replacement for General Purpose Plasticizers

“ChemFlexx NP 600” Non- Phthalate Replacement for DIDP

“NatureFlexx 509” Phthalate Free General Purpose (ATBC)

Epoxidized Soybean Oil

ChemFlexx TOTM (TriOctyl Trimellitate)

ChemFlexx DOA (DiOctyl Adipate)

ChemFlexx 8 10 Trimellitate

ChemFlexx DOTP (DiOctyl Terephthalate)

Oxsoft 3G8 (Triethylenglycol-di-(2-ethylhexanoate))

Oxsoft DUO 1

Oxsoft DUO 2

 

Phthalate:

Vestinol 9 DiIsononyl Phthalate (DINP)

“ChemFlexx 206” Functional Linear Phthalate Replacement

“ChemFlexx 208” Low Temp Functional Linear Phthalate Replacement

ChemFlexx DOP (DiOctyl Phthalate)

ChemFlexx DUP (DiUndecyl Phthalate)

DMP (DiMethyl Phthalate)

Brominated DOP

ChemFlexx 9 11 Phthalate

ChemFlexx L9 Phthalate

 

Styrene monomer

Styrene pricing decreased slightly for February in line with lower benzene values (down $.36/ gallon). NA demand remains slow. We expect styrene prices to remain stable to slightly down in March.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

 

Urea

Current granular barge pricing is US$425 – $429/ ton and firm. Prills are also $415- $420/ ton fob Gulf. The firming of pricing is associated with a seasonal uptick in demand as well as higher international pricing. Increased pricing should continue into March and beyond.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

Notes:

Most fertilizer combinations are produced now well ahead of the Spring demand season.

96 Million acres of Corn expected for 2013.

 

Zinc Borate

Pricing has been steady. Product is in stock and immediately available.

For more information please contact Robb Roach at robb@thechemco.com

For more information on these or any of the products and services provided by TCC please contact Robb Roach directly at Robb@thechemco.com or go to our web site at thechemco.com