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Resins & Coatings

News Review


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German chemical production results

The German chemical trade group Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) said the industry registered lower production rates, prices, sales and capacity utilisation on a sequential basis during Q4 of 2014.
VCI expects the chemical industry to increase its output in 2015 by 1.5%, although prices will fall 2% and sales by 0.5% totalling €192.2 billion. VCI said the growth experienced by the German economy in 2014 did not reach the chemical industry on the back of falling crude prices, adding that "customers were hoping for a further decline of chemical prices", postponing their buying decisions.
According to VCI, chemical production was 0.3% lower in Q4 quarter on quarter, while the fall was of 0.8% if measured in year on year terms. Capacity utilisation stood at 83.3%, within its normal range, the trade group said. The chemical industry employed in the Q4 of 2014 a total of 444,500 workers in Germany, an increase of 1.5% year on year.

Apax Partners buy chemicals distributor Azelis

Apax Partners agreed to buy a majority stake in Azelis from 3i Group Plc to help the European chemical-distribution company expand globally.
The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. Financial terms were not disclosed. Azelis generated 944 million euros ($1.1 billion) in sales and 38 million euros in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2013, according to its website. Despite the challenging European economic environment in recent years, Azelis has successfully expanded into new markets and in its core market segments. CEO Hans-Joachim Mueller, a former executive at Clariant AG and BASF SE, is expanding Azelis into emerging markets such as Morocco and Indonesia, opening laboratories to offer clients from paintmakers to cosmetic companies more choice on formulations.
Azelis, based in Antwerp, Belgium, would provide Apax with a foothold to expand globally as large chemical-distribution companies such as Brenntag AG swallow up smaller ones in fast-growing emerging markets.

Croda's full-year profit hurt by strong pound

Specialty chemicals maker Croda International Plc reported a 6.4% fall in full-year adjusted pretax profit, hurt by the strengthening of the British pound against the euro.
Adjusted pretax profit fell to 235.4 million pounds ($363.69 million) for the year ended Dec. 31 from 251.4 million pounds in 2013. The company, which counts L'Oreal, Unilever and Procter & Gamble among its customers, said revenue fell 2.8% to $1.63 billion.

Elementis profits higher on specialty chemicals

ELEMENTIS specialty chemicals company said its pretax profit for the year to the end of December was USD 141.9 million, up from USD 136 million last year. Sales for the year rose to USD 790.4 million, compared to USD 776.8 million last year, as a strong performance in its specialty products unit was offset to a degree by the performances in its chromium and surfactants businesses, though Elementis said both performed in line with its expectations.
"Elementis delivered another year of solid financial performance," said Elementis Chief Executive David Dutro. "This continuous improvement has been achieved despite uneven regional and market growth, which further validates strategy and underlines the resilience of Elementis". Although economic uncertainties in Europe and evolving dynamics in the oilfield sector remain evident, the current year has started on a solid footing for the coming year.

Chemoxy secures £20 million funding

Speciality chemicals manufacturer Chemoxy has secured £20 million in funding to increase capacity and expand its product and service range.
Chemoxy specialises in production of low-toxicity solvents, including the Coasol range, which is used in environmental-friendly paints, industrial coatings and cleaning products, and serves various blue chip companies in chemical and oil and gas industries. The company exports chemicals produced at two of its facilities in Teesside, north-east England, to overseas markets. It has a workforce of more than 130. Chemoxy plans to use the new funding for further investments in capital and facility over the next four years.
In 2011, Chemoxy's management acquired the business from DOW Chemicals in a management buy-out led by CEO Ian Stark and chief operating officer Martyn Bainbridge.

Clariant reports sales growth for 2014

Specialty chemicals company Clariant announced 2014 full-year sales from continuing operations of CHF 6.116 billion compared to CHF 6.076 billion in full-year 2013, an increase of 5% in local currencies, mainly driven by higher volumes (+4%).
Clariant posted strong growth of 18% in local currencies in Latin America despite a slowdown in growth in Brazil. Sales in Asia increased 9% in local currencies driven by strong demand from Southeast Asia and India, the latter growing 24% in local currencies.
Sales in North America increased by 3% as a slower start at the beginning of the year was compensated by a recovery of industrial demand during the year. Sales in Europe decreased by 2% given a slow business environment and a reduction of exposure to lower margin products. Sales in Middle East & Africa increased by 7% in local currencies.
In an overall challenging business climate, three out of four business areas achieved good sales growth in local currencies in a range of 6% to 8%. Looking forward, Clariant expects an ongoing challenging environment characterized by an increased volatility in commodity prices and currencies. In emerging markets, the economic environment is expected to remain favorable but at a lower level and with increased volatility. Moderate growth should continue in the United States. However, growth in Europe is expected to remain weak.

Jotun reports 2014 profit

Jotun gained a top line growth of 9%, partly driven by currency fluctuations. After a somewhat careful start of the year, the sales numbers improved throughout the year, and Jotun experienced a substantial growth of 17% during the last four months.
Jotun obtained total sales of NOK 17.5 billion in 2014, including full revenues of associates and of joint ventures, compared to NOK 16 billion in the same period the year before.
Among Jotun's many segments, the sales development within Decorative Paints has been good, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Additionally, there has been an improvement in the segment of Marine Coatings, particularly due to constructions of new ships in Northeast Asia.
(Coatings World)

Huntsman to reduce european TiO2 capacity

Huntsman Corp. plans to reduce its titanium dioxide (TiO2) capacity by approximately 100.000 MT, representing 13% of the company's European TiO2 capacity, generating approximately $35 million of annual savings.
Huntsman proposes to close specific operations at its Calais, France site. The company plans to close the manufacturing operations and ancillary activities during 2015. Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corp., commented: "With the recent deterioration in industry conditions, we have reviewed our manufacturing network in terms of cost and potential. We are confident that by rationalizing our capacity, we can continue to meet our customers' needs and improve our competitiveness as we create a market-leading Pigments & Additives business".

WACKER joins Sustainability Initiative

WACKER aims to strengthen its commitment to sustainable business practices in the supply chain. To this end, the company now joined the "Together for Sustainability" (TfS) initiative.
The initiative is based on established principles such as those subscribed to by United Nations Global Compact and Responsible Care®, the chemical industry's sustainability initiative. Together, the TfS members organize supplier evaluations using questionnaire analyses and audits. Thus, the suppliers' sustainability performance is assessed by independent auditing bodies, based on criteria tailored for the chemical industry. Aspects that are evaluated range from the environment, health and safety, labor and human rights to ethical company management. The audits include on-site checks, for example of production sites and office buildings.
After AkzoNobel, Arkema, BASF, Bayer, Clariant, DSM, Evonik Industries, Henkel, Lanxess, Merck and Solvay , WACKER is the twelfth company to become a TfS member.
(Coatings World)

Oxea announces price increase for specialty esters

Oxea will increase list and off-list prices by EUR 50/MT on Trioctyl trimellitate, Dioctyl terephthalate and Dioctyl adipate, effective March 1, 2015, or as contracts allow.
Oxea is a global manufacturer of oxo intermediates and oxo derivatives, such as alcohols, polyols, carboxylic acids, specialty esters, and amines. These products are used for the production of high-quality coatings, lubricants, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, flavorings and fragrances, printing inks and plastics. In 2012, Oxea generated revenue of about EUR 1.5 billion with its over 1,400 employees worldwide. Oxea is owned by Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C.

Meta-xylene market to grow by 4.64% over 2014-2019

Meta-xylene is an aromatic isomer of xylene with two methyl groups attached at the meta position of benzene. This aromatic hydrocarbon is produced by a catalyst in processes such as adsorptive separation and moving bed adsorption and crystallization. It is used for various commercial applications, most notably for the production of IPA which is used as a raw material for the production of plastics, chemicals, and paints.
According to the report, increased demand for meta-xylene in emerging economies is one of the major drivers of the market. Isophthalic acid, one of the major end-products of meta-xylene, is used extensively in the Plastics and Painting sectors. The market is expected to experience a steady growth rate because of the growing infrastructure and low costs of raw material and labor.
Meta-xylene is mainly used for the production of Isophthalic acid, which limits its use exclusively for Isophthalic acid's applications. Growing demand for green packaging and bioplastics has led to a decline in demand for PET from developed regions such as the Americas.

China adds VOC tax on coatings

Coating manufacturers worldwide will help subsidize the cleanup of China's notoriously foul air through a new tax on Volatile Organic Content in paints and coatings.
The new regulation, known formally as "Finance Tax (2015) Notification on Imposing Consumption Tax on Battery and Coating Products", was developed jointly by the Ministry of Environment Protection, the Ministry of Finance, and the National Development and Reform Commission. Published at the end of January, the regulations impose on coatings manufacturers a four percent tax on the invoice price of any coating whose ready-to-spray VOC level exceeds 420 g/L, according to ACA.
As a "key precursor" to fine particulate matters, low-level ozone and other secondary pollutants, VOC content is a key piece of the pollution puzzle. Toxic VOC levels account for about 30% of all pollutant emissions in China, with about 25 million tons emitted annually and growing.

Exhibition : Gulf Coating Show 2015

The Gulf Coating Show 2015 is a unique specialized exhibition which promotes the latest trends & technologies covering all aspects of the production of paints, varnishes, construction chemicals and adhesives. The exhibitors represent the most important companies in the industry, including paint application systems, industrial coatings, cabinets for applying powdered paint, recovery equipment, and technology for the handling of finishes, corrosion control and prevention, among others.
Saudi Arabia and UAE are driving the GCC building construction sector in the region. Total project value of projects awarded till date in Saudi Arabia stood at USD 724,309 million followed by UAE at USD 672,959 million. Kuwait and Qatar also have a significant share of the projects in the region. The coatings sector is essential for construction. Its growth is directly linked to the growth of the construction industry in the Middle East. With mega projects across the region catching up on their targets, this has triggered more demand in the coatings sector.
The Gulf Coating Show of 2015 will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between 6-9 April.

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The Resins & Coatings News Review by ANDRIANOS Chemicals is a weekly newsletter offered freely to all subscribers, since 2006. News covered include new products, new technology, M&A, J/V, price changes (affecting European market), market analysis and historical facts of the European and global resins & coatings chemical industry. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter.
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News are listed from various sources, as quoted above, aggregated by agents ANDRIANOS Chemicals, Athens, Greece.