Safeguard duty likely on LAB imports

Safeguard duty likely on LAB imports

F O C US maintained this momentum, with 4Q net revenues at constant exchange up 15% to £1.825 bn. ColgatePalmolive also showed solid earnings performa...

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F O C US maintained this momentum, with 4Q net revenues at constant exchange up 15% to £1.825 bn. ColgatePalmolive also showed solid earnings performance though P&G’s sales fell in the last quarter (p 7). Investment will undoubtedly have become a matter for very careful consideration but, with the exceptions noted above, strategic activity has by no means dried up over the course of 2008. Indeed, the economic climate may well have provided the stimulus in some cases, such as BASF’s offer for Ciba and the sale of CECA’s quaternary and phosphoric esters to Stepan [ibid, Dec 2008 & Feb 2009]. Also in Europe, Dr Kolb commissioned a third ethoxylation reactor for nonionic surfactant production at Moerdijk [ibid, Dec 2008] while Huntsman announced plans to double capacity for its NANSA EVM range of anionic surfactants at its Castiglione plant in Italy. Brazil’s Oxiteno progressed several surfactant-related expansion ventures during 2008 and Cytec announced plans to produce sulfosuccinate surfactants in South Korea. The past 12 months had many trends in common with previous years, such as the growing emphasis on sustainability and greener or natural-based products, as highlighted by the premier surfactants event of 2008, the four-yearly CESIO World Surfactants Congress held in Paris in June. These themes are also demonstrated by many of the year’s product innovations. Dow unveiled its Ecosurf SA range of biodegradable surfactants for fabric and surface care applications while Air Products’ new Tomadol alcohol ethoxylate surfactants for I&I applications are based on palm or coconut oil. US-based Colonial Chemical has been particularly active in this regard, extending its range of sustainable, naturally-based surfactant products with the addition of Poly Suga Betaine L and Poly Suga Betaine C (lauryl and coco glucoside betaine cross polymers), Cola Det RF and the Poly SugaMate sulfosuccinate surfactant range, all for personal care applications. Miracare Plaisant from Rhodia also targets personal cleansing products while Cognis’ Plantacare 12000 GLY is intended for oral/dental use. It is impossible to mention every new product in this brief summary but also noteworthy are BASF’s 2

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2-propylheptanol-based detergent surfactant Lutensol M, McIntyre’s Mackam ASC very low foam surfactant for applications such as brewery and dairy cleaners, and Cytec’s Aerosol EF-800, an APE-free sulfosuccinate for use in emulsion polymerization processes. Several new enzymes for laundry and dishwashing applications have also come onto the market from Genencor and Novozymes. Finally, for chemical companies within the European Union, and global companies selling chemical products into the EU, the year has been marked by the REACH preregistration process. Companies were required to comply with the 1 Dec 2008 deadline in order to continue uninterrupted manufacture or import of their chemical products in the EU. Stepan, AkzoNobel and CECA are among the companies in the surfactants sector to announce their successful completion of the process. Caroline Edser

RAW MATERIALS Linear alkylbenzene

period of three years. The imposition of a provisional safeguard duty was also requested with a view to control the aggravating market conditions. Chemical Weekly, 6 Jan 2009, 54 (21), 132

Kuokuang relocates planned petchem complex Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co plans to build its proposed NT$400.5 bn ($12.2 bn) refinery and petrochemical project on reclaimed land at Changhua, Taiwan. The company originally intended to construct the complex in Yunlin, but decided against it because it would take too long to obtain the required environmental impact assessment permits. The Taiwanese government has already cleared the new site for Kuokuang’s planned petchem complex. In the project’s first phase, the company will set up an oil refinery, a naphtha cracker and an aromatics complex. Phase one will also include 23 downstream units including plants for manufacturing alpha-olefins and linear alkylbenzene. Some of the phase-one units are targeted for start up in 4Q 2015, with the first phase due to be fully operational by 2017. Chemical Week, 19 Jan 2009, (Website: http://www.chemweek.com)

Safeguard duty likely on LAB imports

Oleochemicals

As a sequel to the complaint lodged by producers of linear alkylbenzene (LAB) such as Reliance Industries Ltd, Tamil Nadu Petrochemicals Ltd, Nirma Ltd and Indian Oil Corp Ltd, the Directorate General of Safeguard Customs and Central Excise in India has begun investigating the high imports of LAB from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Iran. The plea further relates to the imposition of a safeguard duty on the imports. The imports of products from other countries have affected India’s domestic LAB producers. Decline in consumption by the domestic market has led to reduced market shares thereby affecting the profits of the companies. Moreover, some of the companies have been forced to shut down facilities owing to the sluggish market growth. The companies have appealed to the authority to impose a safeguard duty on imports for a

Rocky ride in 2008: palm oil The palm oil price volatility experienced during 2008, which went from a high of $1355/tonne in Mar 2008 to a low of $505/tonne in Nov 2008, was blamed on a number of factors. The strong economic growth in both China and India in 2007 that resulted in increased consumption and exports drove demand for raw commodities. Simultaneously, a revival of interest in biofuels generated the view that demand for oils and fats would increase dramatically. However, severe weather in 2007 affected yields, causing prices to shoot up across the board. The robust increase in commodity prices during 1H 2007 generated interest from investors. By Jun 2007, commodity prices were at their peak and this price trend continued into 1H 2008. From the beginning of the price recovery in MARCH 2009