07182018Wed
Last updateThu, 19 Jul 2018 1am

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U.S. Specialty Chemicals Market Regains Momentum

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes regained momentum, increasing 0.4% in February after only a 0.1% gain in January. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. Of the twenty-eight specialty chemical segments ACC monitors, twenty-one expanded in February and seven experienced decline. During February, large market volume gains (1.0% and over) occurred in food additives, mining chemicals, oilfield chemicals and textile specialties.

The overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 5.1% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) 3MMA basis. The index stood at 113.1% of its average 2012 levels. 


Goldman Sachs: Oil Majors Entering New “Golden Age”

According to Goldman Sachs, the world’s largest oil companies “have survived a life-changing crisis, and are now poised to reap the rewards,” Bloomberg  reports.

“Oil majors [are] in a sweet spot with rising oil prices and low operating costs, leaving them with the biggest cash-flow growth in two decades and boosting earnings, Goldman said in a report Monday. That will increase their attraction for investors after years of elevated spending followed by crude’s slump sent their weighting in global equity indexes to a 50-year low, according to the bank.”   

U.S. LNG Exports Quadrupled in 2017

U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) reached 1.94 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, up from 0.5 Bcf/d in 2016. As LNG exports increased, shipments went to more destinations. U.S. LNG exports in 2017, all of which originated from Louisiana’s Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal, reached 25 countries.

More than half (53%) of U.S. LNG exports in 2017 were shipped to three countries: Mexico, South Korea, and China. Mexico received the largest amount of U.S. LNG exports, at 20% of the 2017 total. Growing natural gas demand in Mexico, particularly from the power generation sector, and delays in the construction of domestic pipelines connecting to U.S. export pipelines led Mexico to rely on LNG imports to supplement imports of natural gas by pipeline. 

MATS Technology Could Upend Food & Beverage Industry

Microwave-assisted thermal sterilization (MATS) could potentially have a significant impact on the packaged foods and beverages sector, as global consumers are increasingly choosing prepared foods, according to GlobalData. Enhanced quality and sensory benefits, preservation without the use of additives or preservatives and shelf-stability are the three main benefits of MATS technology that are attracting interest from foodservice operations as well as food and beverage companies.

The MATS process uses a combination of pressurized hot water and long-wavelength microwave energy to quickly sterilize and store food at room temperature for up to a year. Since the sterilization process is much shorter than the conventional retort process, fewer nutrients are destroyed, and the need for food additives, preservatives and excess sodium is reduced or eliminated. 

JSW Steel Investing $500 Million in Texas Plant

Texas Governor Greg Abbott visited JSW Group Global Headquarters in Mumbai, India, and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to develop and augment the steel industry in the state. With this agreement JSW Steel (USA) Inc. has agreed to consider an investment of $500 million in phases in developing its steel manufacturing infrastructure in Baytown, TX. This investment will be used to expand the company's Plate & Pipe Mill unit.

Parth Jindal of JSW Group said it “provides JSW USA an opportunity to participate in USA’s infrastructure development and job creation priorities. Access to natural gas at extremely economical prices and the abundant availability of scrap steel in Texas make conditions very conducive for manufacturing through the Electric Arc Furnace route.” 

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