F O C U S ICIS made no such deduction in respect of the 2006 figures. The approach by ‘CW’ shows greater consistency in respect of Bayer, but it takes into account sales for the Crop Protection and Materials segments only. ‘CW’ ranks Bayer in 10th place for 2006, with sales of $23.0 bn and in 11th place for 2007, with sales of $23.7 bn. Bayer hived off its pigments business, as well as most of its inorganic chemical activities, creating Lanxess in July 2004. Lanxess is now one of the world’s top 40 chemical companies, with sales revenues of $9.7 bn for 2007. After BASF, Mitsubishi Chemical is the next largest chemical company with some involvement in the pigments industry, as the owner of three carbon black plants in Japan. Next comes DuPont, the world’s largest TiO2 pigment producer. In fact, TiO2 pigments represented about 7% of DuPont’s total chemical sales revenue for 2007. Evonik (formerly Degussa) – the world’ s 14th largest chemical company – is second only to Cabot as the world’s largest carbon black producer, as well as being a leading supplier of precipitated silica. DIC (formerly known as Dainippon Inks & Chemicals), one of the four major global organic pigment suppliers and by far the world’s largest manufacturer of printing inks, has climbed to a place among the top 30 chemical companies. Huntsman’s deliberate downsizing has meant that it experienced a steeper descent in the rankings than any other company – from 21st in 2006 to 40th in 2007. The company sold virtually all its petrochemical and polyolefin assets, including those acquired from ICI in 1999, though it has retained ownership of the global polyurethane and TiO2 pigment businesses. Offsetting these disposals, Huntsman acquired the Textile Effects business of Ciba in June 2006, including dyes and colorants as well as specific chemical products designed to enhance the performance characteristics of textiles. Other companies that appear in this list of the top 100 chemical companies and are involved in pigments manufacture include: Merck (effect pigments); Clariant (organic pigments); Kemira (TiO2); and Cabot (carbon black). Some major pigment consumers, making paint or plastics masterbatch, also appear in the list.
Indeed, paint sales make a substantial contribution to the revenues of: BASF, DuPont, AkzoNobel, PPG, SherwinWilliams, Orica, RPM and Valspar. Plastics masterbatch sales make a substantial contribution to the revenues of: BASF, Clariant, PolyOne and Cabot. As a result of the BASF acquisition, Ciba’s name will not appear in the 2008 list of the top 100 chemical companies. Nor will the name of Rohm & Haas, which is about to be acquired by Dow Chemical. After considerable delays and acrimonious discussions, it now seems that Apollo (the private equity fund) will complete the long-heralded acquisition of Huntsman early next year. (See also ‘Focus on Pigments’, May 2008, 5). Huntsman will then be merged with Apollo’s existing subsidiary, Hexion, so the name of Huntsman will also disappear from the list. Various pundits have suggested various companies on the 2007 list that might be takeover candidates, Clariant being a name that crops up frequently in this context. In an interview for the ‘Financial Times’ (Ref 1), Mr Jürg Wittmer (Chairman of Clariant) addressed this possibility. He said: “It is very clear that this (chemical) industry is going to consolidate further. There’s no question about it. And we are going to be part of it. The question is, do we do this as a possible victim or as a credible player that can actively participate?” With a view to improving its credibility as an independent survivor, Clariant recently replaced its Chief Executive – Mr Hariolf Kottmann, taking over from Mr Jan Secher. According to Mr Wittmer, “This guy is exceptional. He has one of the broadest speciality chemical backgrounds I know. You don’t act just to please the market. You do what you think is right for the long term. It is not necessarily popular, but we’re not here to win popularity. You have to prepare yourself in the best way for a difficult future. The focus now is to fix this house once and for all. In order to do that, you have to have the right team. I really believe the fundamental strengths of Clariant have always been undersold. For us, the story is about creating perspectives now.” Reg Adams 1) Financial Times, 5 Nov 2008, (Website: http://www.ft.com)
MARKETS US to maintain anti-dumping duties on Indian & Chinese carbazole violet Imports of carbazole violet, known as Pigment Violet 23, from certain named Indian and Chinese suppliers have been subject to anti-dumping duties imposed by the US Department of Commerce (USDC) for several years. They were originally imposed following an investigation into carbazole violet pricing that stemmed from complaints filed in November 2003 by Nation Ford Chemical and Sun Chemical. (See ‘Focus on Pigments’, May 2007, 3 & Jan 2008, 3 & May 2008, 5). On 31 December 2007, Nation Ford and Sun Chemical requested that the USDC carry out another administrative review of the carbazole violet market. The review was duly carried out, covering the period from 1 December 2006 through to 30 November 2007. The USDC has now published its preliminary findings and is inviting comments from interested parties, with a promise to issue its final report by early March 2009. Alpanil Industries and Pidilite Industries (both of India) were found to have made sales of carbazole violet “below normal value.” There were 14 Chinese companies named for the investigation, including: Aesthetic Colortech (Shanghai) Co Ltd, Anhui Worldbest IE Co Ltd, Cidic Co Ltd, Nantong Haidi Chemical Co Ltd, Tianjin Hanchem International Trading Co Ltd and Trust Chem Co Ltd. However, the USDC declared: “Eleven of these companies failed to cooperate by not acting to the best of their ability to comply with the requests for information and should therefore be assigned an antidumping duty rate based on adverse facts available.” Federal Register, 8 Sep 2008, 73 (174), 52007-52015 (Website: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/advanced.html)
Asian GCC demand forecast to grow by at least 5% per annum In an 8-page review of the ground calcium carbonate (GCC) industry in Asia, Mr Ian Wilson notes that this year for the first time Asia will become the world’s largest region for GCC