Critical Raw Materials Update

 TheViewIMG_Aug2014

Prop 65: Forest Goodman Executive VP Tells us how he really feels

Prop 65, the 1986 California initiative to limit exposure to certain chemicals was a major topic of conversation at this year’s Vinyl Formulators Conference, for good reason.  For strictly emotional reaction and without proper scientific evaluation, certain ortho-phthalate plasticizers have been placed on the list including DINP, which was supposedly not going to be listed.  But it was.  Much to the consternation of Nina Hallmark, the PHD Toxicologist with Exxon, who described the painful process used by the proponents of Prop 65 to get what they wanted.  Prop 65 has become a lawyer’s dream mechanism to extort money from companies all up and down the supply chain.  A lawyer who spoke at the conference who fights these law firms kept calling them bounty hunters, but that is unfair to bounty hunters.  Because of this law there are a handful of California law firms who are raking in hundreds of millions of dollars at the expense of American Industry.

A quote from one of our handouts: “Since 1988, over 17,000 NOVs (Notice of Violation) have been issued by bounty hunters affecting over 34,000 separate businesses and almost 3,500 Prop 65 lawsuits have been filed.”

The most disturbing discussion was when several compounders gave their examples being hit with a lawsuit and the subsequent financial damages.  One was very far removed from the consumer.  Say you make a compound, someone buys it, modifies it, sells it to a third person.  They make a partially finished part that goes elsewhere, winds up part of an assembly which goes to a manufacturer who completes a product and off it goes to a big box store and eventually gets to California.  That is what one of these cases was like.  And the truly sad fact was that the compound did not even contain what the predator lawyers claimed.  But the problem is, with Prop 65, you are guilty until proven innocent.  To fight one of these lawsuits will likely cost about $250,000 minimum.  So everyone is settling for whatever will make the predators go away, usually about $50,000.

And these predators work the food chain.  In one case they brought a lawsuit against a consumer products company who settled and then by way of discovery through the process of that lawsuit identified their non-California suppliers and went after them and extorted money from them also.  They are working further and further up the chain.

Another tool of these law firms is the MSDS’s companies post online.  They are using that data to build a base for further lawsuits in the future.  They are also looking to see if the Prop 65 warning is posted on them if there is a chance the product will wind up in California. They are gunning for everyone involved in the flexible vinyl industry.

One proposed solution to limit the damages being caused by this was to establish a Pollution Liability Insurance Coverage with a $500,000 limit and a $5000 deductible.  I think the figure thrown out was about a $5000

cost per annum.  So the year the bounty hunters come for you, it will cost 10 grand but only 5 grand for every other year after that. What a deal.

The positive note about all this is that the SPI and particularly the Vinyl Group are concerned and trying to marshal resources to come up with strategies to combat this egregious assault on our industry.

 

“How inapropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.”

– Science Fiction Writer Arthur C. Clarke quoted in the Wall Street Journal

 

SPI Event review by Thomas Guadagno

Producers, suppliers and compounders joined together July 13th – 15th in Williamsburg, VA to discuss the current status and future of the flexible vinyl industry.  The large focus of the meeting was the discussion of the listing of Di-Isononyl-Phthalate (DINP) under California’s Prop 65, and the ramifications for vinyl.  The American Chemistry Council ACC recently filed suit against California regarding the listing of DINP as “known to cause cancer”.  Multiple presentations were made in support of DINP, including a presentation by a toxicologist explaining why the listing is erroneous and lacking any scientific support. The listing of DINP under Prop 65 has left the industry scrambling to reformulate using other primary plasticizers, mainly Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-Terephthalate (DOTP).

In additional to the domestic regulation, the harmonization of global standards was discussed in hopes of trying to avoid as much of the inevitable growing pains that are to be expected during implementation. It was noted in multiple presentations that the trends of regulations first start in Europe and move westward to the Americas.  DINP has been deemed suitable for children toys and food packaging in the much more stringent regulations of European.  The vinyl industry often looks to Europe in hopes of gaining insight into which direction American regulation is heading, although they have been left perplexed in regards to the Prop 65 listing of DINP.

America’s position on light feed stocks due to shale-gas was also highlighted at the conference.  The industry is looking forward to the additional domestic capacities coming on line now and continuing into the coming years. T he plastics industry as a whole is starting to reach pre-recession levels and job growth in the industry is already in place and expected to continue for over a decade, mainly due to the economical advantaged of shale gas.

 

Product News

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

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

Bio- Succinic Acid:            Myriant Bio- Succinic Acid 2,000 lb. supersacks and 25 Kg. Bags Available Now!

Citric Acid:            Food Grade 25 Kg. bags and 1,000 Kg. sacks in stock and available now.

DiEthylene Glycol (DEG):             New terminal for DEG in New Jersey!  Bulk, split, and partial loads available for immediate pick up or delivery.

Dicyandiamide:            25 Kg. Bags and 2,000 lb. supersacks in stock and available now!

Epoxidized Soy Bean Oil:            TCC offers bulk trucks, drums and totes to North America.  In stock and available now.

DiOctyl Terephthalate (DOTP):             TCC offers bulk trucks of DOTP to North and South America.

Malic Acid:            25 Kg. Bags in Stock and Available Now!

Maleic Anhydride:            25 Kg. bags of USA produced briquettes available now!

MonoEthylene Glycol (MEG):            New terminal for MEG in New Jersey!  Bulk, split, and partial loads available for immediate pick up or delivery.

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

Phthalic Anhydride:            25 Kg. Bags and 1,000 Kg. sacks in stock and available now.

Tetrabromo Phthalic Anhydride (TBPA):            1,000 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.

Urea:             Prilled and Feed Grade in 25 Kg. and 1,000 Kg. bags in stock and available now.

 

  

CRITICAL RAW MATERIALS MARKETS

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

Raw Material Trends LegendBenzene: U.S. benzene contracts for July settled up significantly from $4.48/ gallon in June to US$5.28/ gallon.  August contracts settled at $5.06/ gallon down $.22/ gallon from July.  US pricing for benzene remains highest in the world.  

n-Butane:  Normal Butane prices are currently trading in the low US$1.20’s/ gallon.  Pricing has trended slightly lower recently. 

Ethylene:   U.S. Contract Price for May settled up US$.0025 to $.47/ lb.  June settled up $.0075/ lb. to $$.4775/ lb.  July has not yet settled.  Spot ethylene hit an all time high in mid- July at US$.78/ lb. and inventories got critically low due to planned and unplanned outages.  +

 

Natural Gas: August NYMEX Henry Hub settled at $3.808/ mmbtu.  Pricing has seen erosion through July.  End of July settled at $3.847/ mmbtu.  Current NYMEX pricing is US$3.922/ mmbtu.  

NatGasGraph_Aug2014

Oil: WTI crude pricing has been trending lower since reaching its recent high in late June of $106/ barrel.  The first parcels of US crude have been exported. 

CrudeOilGraph_Aug2014

Orthoxylene: July contract pricing increased $.0875/ lb. to US$.645/ lb.  This is the largest one month increase ever for orthoxylene.  August is in discussion but all indications are we will see a decrease of US$.04- $.05/ lb.  Strong mixed xylene pricing has pushed orthoxylene pricing to these high levels.  +

Propylene: July contract pricing settled flat at $.675/ lb. for Polymer Grade and $.66/ lb. for Chemical Grade.    

Chemical Markets Update

March2K14

ACCThe American Chemistry Council

The ACC is conducting a webinar on March 6, 2014 at 11 AM Eastern time regarding the topic of the DINP to the California “Propisition 65” list of chemicals “known to the State to cause cancer.” This listing passed despite the weight of scientific evidence to the contrary.  The listing occurred on December 20, 2013 and will take effect on December 20, 2014.

Those of you who wish to know more about the impact of this listing, and estimating exposure to DINP in consumer products, may wish to participate in the webinar.  Registration is required, accessed by the link below.  Once you go to the link, scroll down to the second entry to register.

The webinar agenda is as follows:

Prop 65 and High Phthalates

Thursday, March 6, at 11:00 AM EST (New York)
Presented by the American Chemistry Council

In December 2013, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added the phthalate DINP to California’s Proposition 65 list as “known to the State to cause cancer” despite the weight of scientific evidence indicating that DINP should not be listed on Prop 65. To support the DINP value chain, the American Chemistry Council High Phthalates Panel plans to develop a resource to assist in estimating potential exposures to DINP from vinyl consumer products.
As part of this webinar, we will provide an example of how to estimate exposures to the high phthalate DIDP, using an existing tool developed by the High Phthalates Panel. Currently, there are almost 900 substances on the Prop 65 list, including food ingredients and common household products, naturally occurring substances, ethyl alcohol in alcoholic beverages, aspirin and many prescription drugs. Prop 65 requires anyone doing business in California to label a product but only if human exposure to a listed substance in the product is expected to be at a level above the established “safe harbor” level for that substance.

http://www.ides.com/webinars/

 

 Quote of the Month:

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.  We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

 


 

AFPM

Schedule a Meeting with The Chemical Company!

Join us at The American Fuel and Petrochemicals, the world’s largest and most prestigious conference representing the petrochemical industry.

March 30 – San Antonio, TX

Schedule a Meeting

 

 

 


 

Product News

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

Tetrabromo Phthalic Anhydride (TBPA):1,000 Kg bags in stock and available now!

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

Malic Acid:25 Kg. Bags in Stock and Available Now!

Maleic Anhydride:25 Kg. bags of USA produced briquettes available soon!

Bio- Succinic Acid:2,000 lb. supersacks and 25 Kg. Bags Available Now!

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

GPO DiOctyl Terephthalate (DOTP): TCC offers bulk trucks of GPO DOTP to North America.  Product is in stock and available now.

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

 


 

New & Updated Technical Information

Benzoic Acid

ChemFlexx 206 Plasticizer for Outdoor Applications

Methanol

Phthalic Anhydride

Succinic Acid

Urea

 


 

Critical Raw Materials Markets

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

Raw Materials Legend - The Chemical Company Benzene:   U.S. benzene contracts for March settled down $.14/ gallon to US$4.90/ gallon from US$5.09/ gallon in February.  February spot prices averaged $4.98- $4.99/ gallon. 

n-Butane:  Normal Butane prices are trading in the high US$1.20’s and low $1.30’s per gallon.  Pricing has trended lower recently and maintained its price below January’s price average of US$1.49 per gallon.  

Ethylene:   U.S. Contract Price for February has not yet settled but are expected to roll.  January settled at US$.5025/ lb.  This is a $.02/ lb. increase from December. 

Natural Gas: NYMEX NG pricing has steadily moved higher throughout February.  Current NYMEX pricing is US$4.60/ mmbtu. UP

Oil: WTI crude has moderated higher to US$103+/- per barrel.  UP

Orthoxylene: February contracts settled down US$.015/ lb. to US$.585/ lb.  March has not yet settled.  

Propylene: February contract pricing settled at $.735/ lb. for Polymer Grade and $.72/ lb. for Chemical Grade.  March contracts have been nominated by at least one producer to decrease by $.01/ lb.  

 


 

Chemicals Markets

Adipic Acid:

Adipic Acid pricing has steadily increased following strong benzene pricing.  Supply is balanced due to recent capacity restrictions in the EU and a lack of consistent production in China.  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

March pricing in Tampa increased US$45/ ton to US$460/ton.  UP

 

Antimony Trioxide:

Demand for antimony trioxide remains weak.  Current offers are in the low to mid $4.00/ lb. range for full truckloads.  Buyers continue to keep inventories to a minimum and use alternate chemistries where possible.  Small bags and sacks are immediately available.  

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

 

Citric Acid:

Citric Acid pricing remains steady with overall good demand.  The Chemical Company has both 25 Kg. bags and 1,000 Kg. bags in stock and immediately available.  

 

Dicyandiamide:

One major Chinese producer is shut down with production issues and is expected to be down until the end of March.  This will likely cause prices to trend up slightly in the near future.  The Chemical Company has both 25 Kg. bags and 1,000 Kg. sacks in stock and immediately available.     

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

 

Epoxidized Soybean Oil:

Soybean oil prices are trending higher (CBOT up 5% in the last week) and expected to continue.  Check thechemco.com for real time soybean oil pricing on our commodities ticker.  Epoxidized Soybean Oil Supply is healthy with new players pushing prices lower.  ESO Pricing has stabilized for the moment due to South American supply restrictions.  TCC offers bulk, split trucks, drums and totes of epoxidized soy bean oil.   

For more information please contact Tom Guadagno at tguadagno@thechemco.com

 

Fumaric Acid:

Fumaric Acid Pricing is stable but long lead times are noted.  Due to much lower butane values North American producers are enjoying a low cost production position.   Order early for rateable supply.   

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

 

Glycol (Mono, Di and Tri):

Ethylene:   U.S. Contract Price for February increased $.02/lb. to $.5025/ lb.  March is expected at a roll over from February.  

MEG: Contract pricing rolls for March.  Spot prices are in the low $.40’s/ lb. fob Gulf .

DEG: U.S. producers announced a $.02-$.03/lb. increase for March.  Spot prices are in the high $.40’s per lb. fob Gulf.  UP

TEG: Demand is weak despite continued cold weather.     Prices have retreated into the $.90’s per lb. on lack of demand.

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

 

Isophthalic Acid:

Supply of PIA is limited with a recent mechanical failure at Flint Hills forcing them to declare force majeure.  This FM could last 6-8 weeks!  Import product is offered at a major premium with long lead times.  UP UP

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

 

Maleic Anhydride:

Supply is tight in North America due to at least one producer outage.  Molten Prices have remained stable despite a sizeable drop in n-butane values.  Solid Maleic prices are stable with limited availability until anticipated new US production comes on line.  TCC offers bulk Molten Maleic Anhydride and  25 Kg. bags of Maleic Anhydride pastilles.   

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

 

Melamine:    

Melamine supply has improved on steady operating rates but pricing remains level.  TCC has Melamine in stock and available.  

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

 

Malic Acid:

Malic Acid Pricing has stabilized but there are significant lead times for both domestic and imported material.  Low butane costs have made North American producers the most competitive in the world.   The Chemical Company 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 March will remain unchanged at US$1.90/ gallon.  Spot pricing is currently approx. US$1.67- $1.68/ gal. 

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

Notes:

Methanol is seeing increased demand world –wide

World-wide operating issues are keeping supply snug and prices firm

Heavy demand for Winter season applications beginning to wane

Methanol expected to remain snug for the coming months as inventories recover

Availability of tank trucks remains an issue

 

Nitric Acid:

Nitric Acid pricing is stable and availability is good.   Ammonia pricing increased for March.  

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

 

Phenolic Resins:

Phenol pricing has shifted only moderately lower this month due to slightly lower benzene values.  Formaldehyde pricing remains under pressure from higher methanol pricing.  

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

 

Phthalic Anhydride:

Phthalic Anhydride pricing will decrease by $.015/ lb. in March in line with the orthoxylene price decrease.  

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

 

Plasticizers and Plasticizer Alcohols:

Plasticizer demand in North America is improving with seasonal demand starting to materialize.  Pricing is extremely competitive with continued Asian import pressure.  

Plasticizer alcohol demand has improved in North America and prices have firmed.  But oxo alcohols are long in Asia and the EU.  More new oxo capacity is coming on stream in China for Q2 adding more alcohol to an already over supplied market. 

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

 

TCC Plasticizers available:

For more details please visit https://thechemco.com/chemicals/featured/


 

Non (ortho)- Phthalate:

ChemFlexx Dibenzoate Esters

ChemFlexx Di-2-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 (Di-2-ethylhexyl Phthalate)

ChemFlexx DUP (DiUndecyl Phthalate)

DMP (DiMethyl Phthalate)

Brominated DOP

ChemFlexx 9 11 Phthalate

ChemFlexx L9 Phthalate

 

Styrene monomer:

Styrene pricing decreased slightly for March in line with lower benzene values (down $.15/ gallon).   NA demand remains slow.  

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

 

Urea:

Current granular barge pricing of Urea is US$420 – $430/ ton and steady to down in the coming weeks.  Prills are reported at $390- $400/ ton fob Gulf.   Prices are up $40-$50/ ton in the last month.  Forward prices appear stable to lower.  UP

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

 

 

We appreciate your taking the time to review this newsletter. For more information on these or any of the products and services provided by TCC or contributions regarding our readers’ company/industry activities, please send them to Robb Roach at Robb@thechemco.com