Oil Resurrection Sets Stage for Another OPEC-Shale Clash in 2018

Futures are up more than 11 percent in 2017, having entered a bull market in September. The year’s gains were driven by output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, along with geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and pipeline disruptions from the North Sea to Canada and Libya. In 2018, investors will watch whether the price recovery triggers a new flood of U.S. output. “The current highs are unsustainable in the short-to-medium term, with prices likely to head back below $60 once we get past January, but for now the season of goodwill appears to be in full swing,” said analysts led by Michael dei-Michei at consultants JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna. Click Read More below for additional information.
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Global Sawlog Prices Were Higher Throughout the World in the 3Q/17 and are Likely to Continue Upward Into 2018

Sawlog prices were up in most regions of the world in the 3Q/17. The price increases from the 2Q/17 were generally smaller in local currencies than in US dollar terms because of the weakening US dollar. In US dollar terms, quarter-to-quarter prices were up the most in Europe (+7.9%) and Oceania (+6.1%), while the upward price adjustments were more modest in North America (+2.8%) and Latin America (+2.2%). The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) has gone up for three consecutive quarters to reach $75.69/m3 in the 3Q/17. The increase of 5.1% from the 2Q/17 was the biggest quarter-to-quarter jump since 2010. In addition, the GSPI is at a three-year high because of the recent strengthening of sawlog prices throughout the world. With the outlook for continued strong demand for lumber in key markets and higher consumption of sawlogs, it is likely that the price index will continue upward in the coming quarters. Click Read More below for additional information.
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Christmas Week Sales Jump 7% Over 2016

While holiday unit sales of print books got off to a slow start Thanksgiving weekend, they ended on a strong note. Print unit sales increased 7% in the week ended Dec. 24, 2017, over the comparable week in 2016 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The gain was driven by the retail and club channel, where unit sales were 8% higher than the week ended Dec. 25, 2016. Sales through mass merchandisers fell 2% in the week compared to 2016. Juvenile nonfiction had the strongest gain among the major book segments, with units up 19% over 2016. Rob Elliott’s Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids was #1 on the category bestseller list, selling more than 33,000 copies. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo moved up the list in the week, selling almost 25,000 copies, which put it in fourth place on the segment bestseller list. Click Read More below for additional information.
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Sun Chemical Performance Pigments to Increase Global Prices on Azo/Specialty Pigments and their Preparations

Faced with dramatic increases in the cost of Azo intermediates and related raw materials, Sun Chemical Performance Pigments will raise its global prices on Azo pigments, specialty pigments and their pigment preparations, effective January 1, 2018. “The cost of Azo intermediates and other key raw materials have increased significantly and continue to do so, impacting the pigment industry,” said Chris Weighill, Vice President and Global Classical Pigment Product Manager, Sun Chemical Performance Pigments. “The expectation is that there will be no short-term relief in sight for these rising costs—forcing us to increase our prices. While we regret the necessity to take this action, current market conditions dictate that we must adjust our prices. We will continue to explore other cost reduction opportunities and productivity gains to offset the rising costs of raw materials.”
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Sun Chemical to Increase Prices of Silicone-Based Products in North America

Due to a massive shortage in silicones and silicone-based materials from manufacturers, Sun Chemical will increase prices by 35 percent on its entire silicone-based product line in North America, effective January 15, 2018. “Because of the silicone shortage we’re seeing in the industry, our suppliers have passed on price increases beyond anything we have seen in recent years,” said Dennis Sweet, Vice President-Commercial, Rycoline and Distributors, North American Inks, Sun Chemical. “While Sun Chemical has utilized all its resources to offset these shortages and increases, it has now become necessary to pass some of these increases on.”
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Huhtamaki to further improve its competitiveness in China

Huhtamaki has completed the sale of the vacated manufacturing facility and related land usage rights in Guangzhou, China, as announced on April 21, 2017. Further, to conclude the consolidation of its foodservice packaging operations in South China, Huhtamaki closed down the manufacturing unit in Shandong, China, impacting app. 200 jobs. The product range manufactured in Shandong will in the future be sourced externally. In addition, to gain synergies from the recent acquisition of International Paper's foodservice packaging operations in China, comprising of manufacturing units in Tianjin and Shanghai, Huhtamaki has decided to consolidate its manufacturing operations in Tianjin into one unit. All manufacturing operations will be transferred to the unit acquired from IP. Employees currently working at the unit to be closed will be offered equivalent work opportunities at the continuing Tianjin unit. The transfer is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2018. Click Read More below for additional information.
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ANDRITZ to supply three FibreFlow drum pulping systems to Dongguan Jianhui Paper, China

International technology Group ANDRITZ has received an order from Dongguan Jianhui Paper to install three FibreFlow drum pulping systems at the mill in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China. Start-up is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018. The scope of supply comprises a FibreFlow drum pulping system for the 300 bdt/d stock preparation line for the top ply, which uses ONP (Old Newspaper Pulp) as raw material. Two additional FibreFlow drum pulping systems will be installed for production of the filler ply in two parallel lines that process MOW (Mixed Office Waste) with a total capacity of 1,400 bdt/d. Click Read More below for additional information.
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ANDRITZ to supply an FRX shredder to Stora Enso, Poland

International technology Group ANDRITZ has received an order from Stora Enso Narew Sp. z.o.o., Poland, to supply an FRX shredder and a metal separator to the mill in Ostrołęka, Poland. The FRX shredder, which is part of the ANDRITZ Franssons product line, will process rejects from the pulping processes of two existing board production lines. Start-up of the new shredder, which will process around 60 tons of rejects per day, is scheduled for January 2018. The shredder will be installed upstream of the reject treatment system, which is part of the 455,000 tons per year board production line for which ANDRITZ also delivered the complete OCC line including reject treatment. Click Read More below for additional information.
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