Thursday, 11 February 2010

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Looking East for Chemicals blog shifting to ICIS platform

My Looking East for Chemicals blog is shifting to become an ICIS blog. Please add the following link to your favourites: Thanks for your interest. I hope to give you even more on chemical industry strategy and events in central and eastern Europe and elsewhere on the new site. All Blogger entries have been transferred. Many thanks from Will Beacham, ICIS Chemical Business Deputy Editor and London Bureau Chief.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Top 10 chemical companies 2015

The top 10 chemical companies in 2015 will be dominated by Middle East and Asian players according to global consultancy KPMG. Take alook at their latest white paper on the chemical industry in Europe. The rank assumes historical growth rates will continue. I've pulled the list off:

Top 10 chemical producers, 2015/16
Rank Company Country
1. SABIC Saudi Arabia
2. BASF Germany
3. Reliance India
4. Exxon Mobil US
5. Sinopec China
6. Sinochem China
7. Dow Chemical US
8. Saudi Aramco Saudi Arabia
9. Dupont US
10. ADNOC / IPIC Abu Dhabi
Source: KPMG in the UK, December 2009

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Could Poland fertilizer agreement signal a merger?

Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP), Poland’s largest fertilizer producer, and Zaklady Chemiczne Police (ZChP), the country’s second-largest fertilizer producer, today signed a business cooperation agreement.

With the two groups in the midst of privatisation, I wonder if potential purchasers might look to merge the two groups, with all the consequent savings in overheads. ZAP produces nitrogen fertilizer, melamine and caprolactam, while ZChP produces nitrogen phosphorus potassium (NPK) fertilizer and titanium dioxide (TiO2) so there are obvious synergies in terms of prduct portfolio.

Any moves entailing job cuts or plant closures will attract fierce opposition in Poland, where social considerations have stymied previous attempts to rationalise outdated operations.

According to ICIS news, the agreement would initially address possible joint activities in optimising production processes, investing in and repairing fertilizer and ammonia units, and pushing ahead with environmental protection and energy initiatives, the companies said.

It replaced a previous cooperation agreement drawn up in 2008, which was abandoned because of the economic downturn.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Greece economic crisis a worry for chemical producers

The news that the International Monetary Fund is standing by to bail out Greece must be a worry to chemical producers regionally. So far we've had no reports of a negative impact on demand for chemicals at ICIS. But financial instability is bound to affect the buying habits of consumers and a negative impact on GDP growth.

Greece's problems have hit the Euro, which has fallen sharply against major currencies. This could be an unexpected benefit for Eurozone chemical producers who will benefit from cheaper exports and more expensive imports.

Let's hope the newly-elected government there can act swiftly to resolve a deficit worth 12.7% of GDP. According to The Independent "Earlier [last] week, investors showed unexpected appetite for Greek debt when the market responded with €25bn-worth of demand for its issue of €5bn-worth of five-year bonds, allowing the government to raise the issue to €8bn."

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