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Resins & Coatings

News Review

19

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European decorative coatings outlook


After a slowdown in demand in the second half of last year in many parts of Europe, coatings companies in the region have become less confident about the short-term future.
However, despite economic forecasts of relatively slow growth in the European Union, there is still a lot of optimism in the coatings sector, particularly among larger producers which are active in higher growth markets outside Europe. European demand is expected to pick up later this year and then start to accelerate more strongly in 2016, according to figures from the European Commission.
Faster growth through to next year is being predicted in Germany, Europe's largest coatings market. The GDPs of France and Italy, two other major economies, are also expected to continue to recover. Also, low inflation and an easing of the money supply by the European Central Bank (ECB) should help to boost EU business investment, which would be good news for industrial coatings suppliers.
The German Paint and Printing Association (VdL), is forecasting a 1.3% decrease in coatings output this year, but also expecting an upturn in the second half of the year, mainly due to low inflation, which will stimulate both investment and rising demand across the EU.
The German decorative market, which is expected to decline by a further 2% this year, has been hit by uncertainties about governments rules on energy efficiency in buildings. In the U.K., "while volume sales of all coatings rose by 5% last year, they increased by only 2.5% by value. There's been more price pressure as customers continue to squeeze their suppliers", said Tom Bowtell, Chief Executive at the British Coatings Federation (BCF).
AkzoNobel's decorative paints business, the European market leader, recorded a 10% decrease in sales in the region in 2014. Since Europe accounts for 60% of its total sales, its global decorative revenues went down by 6% to €3.9 billion for 2014. However, EBITDA for the business rose by 12% to €405 million.
Tikkurila of Finland has been suffering badly from its reliance on the Russian market where it has production plants and a network of sales offices. Russia, whose economy has been battered by low oil prices and economic sanctions triggered by its involvement in the insurgency in neighboring Ukraine, accounts for approximately 40% of Tikkurila's sales.
(Coatings World)

CARDOLITE's new fast curing agent for waterborne epoxies


Cardolite introduced NX-8101, the CNSL curing agent for waterborne epoxy coatings. NX-8101 is designed for cost effective water-based concrete primers and self-levelers that require quick return to service, excellent adhesion to concrete and top coats, and superior durability. This new low odor epoxy curing agent is supplied in water and does not contain or require any solvents in the formulation to deliver excellent performance.
Primers and self-levelers formulated with NX-8101 exhibit fast cure, early walk-on hardness, and excellent film appearance at extreme conditions such as 10°C and 80% relative humidity while still maintaining a workable pot life. Unlike many water-based systems, NX-8101 provides a visible end of pot life by a noticeable increase in viscosity. Moreover, NX-8101 based coatings have excellent adhesion to dry and wet concrete, and good stain resistance to household and industrial chemicals.
Cardolite is one of the world leaders in developing, manufacturing, and promoting products using natural and renewable cashew nutshell liquid technology. With a history of over 25 years, Cardolite has the technology and capability to service the most demanding customers in its core markets of coatings and friction materials.
(specialchem.com)

BASF increases ethanolamines prices


With immediate effect, or as existing contracts permit, BASF is increasing its European sales prices for ethanolamines (EOA) by EUR 55/MT.
Ethanolamines are high-class intermediates used in the manufacture of crop and wood protection agents, surfactants for detergents and cleaning products, process chemicals for gas treatment, lubricants and cement additives as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients.
(chemeurope.com)

ARKEMA increases polyolefins prices


Due to the rising costs of raw materials, Arkema will implement a price increase of EUR 150/MT on its whole range of grafted polyolefins.
This price change will be effective on May 1st, 2015 or as contracts allow and will be in effect for all grades and modes of deliveries. This new increase is in addition to the ones already announced and agreed in April 2015.
(chemeurope.com)

EVONIK's Q1 with a positive trend


Specialty chemicals company Evonik Industries started 2015 with a strong performance, generating one of its best quarterly results since 2009.
"The positive trend observed in the second half of 2014 has continued," said Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG. "Looking at our clear earnings increase, it is pleasing to see that three quarters of our 22 business lines were able to improve their earnings year-on-year," he continued. Looking forward, he is optimistic about 2015 as a whole: "We should exceed the targets previously forecast for 2015."
Group sales grew 7% year-on-year to €3.4 billion. Adjusted EBITDA margin at a high level of 19 percent. In the Performance Materials segment, sales were €851 million, 15% lower than in the prior-year period. Adjusted EBITDA was €72 million. The adjusted EBITDA margin increased slightly to 8.5%. The main reasons for this segment's development were lower volumes and, in particular, a drop in selling prices due to the lower oil price.
(EVONIK)

BRENNTAG reports strong Q1 in all regions


Brenntag announced that it achieved sales of €2.57 billion in Q1 of 2015 compared with €2.42 billion in the corresponding period in 2014, an increase of 6.5% year-on-year, but a decrease of 2.5% after adjusting for foreign exchange effects.
Gross profit rose in Q1 of 2015 by 15.2% as reported to EUR 557.3 million. Profit after tax totalled EUR 91.2 million in Q1. Operating EBITDA climbed by 22%, or 9.7% on a constant currency basis. Brenntag Europe continued on the previous year's positive performance path, which is set against a stable to improving macroeconomic environment.
Steven Holland, CEO of Brenntag AG, commented: "Our company has made a strong start to the 2015 financial year. In a macroeconomic environment characterized by moderate recovery, in the first quarter of 2015 we achieved growth in our key financial metrics. Our operating EBITDA in particular substantially exceeded the level realized in the previous year. All of our regions have contributed to this positive development".
(BRENNTAG)

DOW to cut global workforce by 3%


The DOW Chemical Co. expects to reduce its global workforce by roughly 3%, part of an effort to streamline the company ahead of the pending spinoff of a significant portion of its chlorine business.
Dow said the streamlining plan, set to be completed over two years, is expected to result in a workforce reduction of 1,500 to 1,750 positions. The company expects to post related charges and write-downs of $330-380 million during Q2. With the latest moves, Dow is aiming to save roughly $300 million a year in operating costs.
Dow, based in Midland, U.S. Michigan, recently agreed to spin off a significant portion of its chlorine business to smaller chemical-maker Olin Corporation in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $5 billion, to shift toward making higher-profit chemicals and products. That deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
(The Wall Street Journal)

ICL to shut production line due to strike


Israel Chemicals (ICL) will close a line that produces decabromodiphenyl oxide, an additive for flame retardants, saying a workers' strike led to customers moving to alternate suppliers.
ICL, the world's sixth-largest potash producer and a maker of specialty chemicals, has been hit by a strike at two of its plants amid an efficiency plan that includes cutting 140 of 900 jobs at its bromine unit and 140 of 1,250 at its potash-producing Dead Sea Works.
(Reuters)

HUNTSMAN to form textile dyes J/V in Turkey


Huntsman Textile Effects and Pürsan Pigment A.S. have entered into a joint venture for the manufacture, formulation and sale of textile chemicals and dyes in Turkey.
Paul Hulme, president of Huntsman Textile Effects said: "We are impressed with Pürsan's proven success, and are excited to partner with the team. The strategic alliance between the two companies will strengthen Huntsman's position in the industry and enhance service offerings and solutions our customers".
The J/V is expected to come into effect in June 2015 and is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. (AR)
(fibre2fashion.com)

BAYER launches bio-based PUDs


Bayer MaterialScience introduced a range of waterborne, bio-based polyurethane (PU) dispersions. With a renewable content that reaches as high as 65%, this product class contributes to a further reduction of CO2 emissions, thus further improving the sustainability of waterborne PU.
"Sustainability is becoming a purchasing decision criterion for consumers and is high on the agenda for the textiles industry", said Nicholas Smith, Global Head of Textile Coating at Bayer MaterialScience. "Impranil® ECO improves the ecological footprint for manufacturers, OEMs and brand owners. For the first time, manufacturers can produce synthetic materials and coated fabrics with a high content of renewable materials in every layer. Performance matches the high level of conventional products, and the bio-based raw materials can be used immediately without reformulation. It is also an important consideration that the bio source used is not in competition with the food chain".
Bayer MaterialScience is among the world's largest polymer companies. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2014 Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,200 people around the globe.
(specialchem.com)

WACKER achieves double-digit growth in China


WACKER, the Munich-based chemical group, posted annual sales of €1.22 billion in Greater China in 2014, indicating an increase of 14% compared with that of the previous year (€1.07 billion in 2013).
The achievement was attributed to the overall macro-economic development of China and WACKER’s continuous investment in downstream facilities and research and development (R&D) in the country. WACKER expects to generate future growth in the region by further strengthening its innovation capabilities to offer tailor-made solutions for local market segments.
Both Siltronic and the polysilicon business performed strongly with higher sales volumes due to flourishing market demand. As for chemical products, vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions and silicone elastomers delivered the best results.
"China is of strategic importance to WACKER. In 2014, over a quarter of our global group sales came from the region", said Paul Lindblad, President of WACKER Greater China. "We expect continued grow of China's economy in 2015. WACKER is confident that our business here will grow faster than regional GDP, as the rising living standards and environmental protection requirements stimulate the demand for the high-quality and environmentally sound products that we supply".
(PCI)

CLARIANT announces strong Q1 results


Clariant announced first quarter 2015 sales from continuing operations of CHF 1.465 billion compared to CHF 1.492 billion in the first quarter of 2014. This corresponds to an increase of 4% in local currencies. The 4% organic sales growth was driven by 5% higher volumes and a decrease in prices of 1%.
The company's outlook was confirmed. 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. The combined effect of the appreciation of the Swiss franc with the weakening of the euro will impact Clariant's sales and profitability in absolute terms, but it will be fairly neutral in terms of relative margins.
Clariant confirms its mid-term target to achieve a position in the top tier of the specialty chemicals industry. This corresponds to an EBITDA margin before exceptional items in the range of 16-19% and a return on invested capital (ROIC) above the peer group average.
Clariant is one of the global leaders in the field of specialty chemicals. Strong business relationships, commitment to outstanding service and wide-ranging application know-how make Clariant a preferred partner for its customers. Clariant is represented globally by more than 100 group companies and employs about 17,500 people.
(specialchem.com)

AKZO divests paper chemicals


AkzoNobel has finalized a €153 million divestment of its paper chemicals business to Kemira Oyj, the Netherlands-based company.
The Pulp and Performance Chemicals portfolio includes products and technologies used in a variety of other applications. Six of AkzoNobel's paper chemicals manufacturing sites and about 350 employees will be transferred to Kemira, which will also increase the production capacity of its own paper chemical manufacturing sites.
"This is another step in our strategy to focus on leading positions in bleaching chemicals, colloidal silica and expandable microspheres", said Niek Stapel, managing director of the AKZO Pulp and Performance Chemicals business.
(PaintSquare)

Congress & Exhibition : ACHEMA 2015


About 3,600 exhibitors have already registered for the upcoming ACHEMA 2015, a world forum for chemical engineering and the process industry, between 15-19 June 2015 at Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Advances in catalyst development, electrification and integrated responses ("hybrid") process steps determine all other engineering and planning steps. The continuing trend towards more energy and resource efficiency and reduced environmental impact is driving the development of new processes.
More than 20 presentations withing the extensive ACHEMA congress program are dedicated to innovative process analytical technology. More than 90 presentations are dedicated to biobased solutions and highlight the technical, economic and political aspects. More than 20 presentations are dedicated to industrial water management.
(DECHEMA)

(More upcoming events on : andrianos.com/events)


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