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
info@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

 

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The Chemical Company Downloadable Brochures:

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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