Continental Industries Group Inc.
Continental is headquartered in New York, USA and has a direct representative office in Istanbul, Turkey. Continental was established in 1983 and has grown into an international trading organization with a network of key trading centers located all over the world. Branch offices include Houston, USA; Amstelveen, Holland; Moscow, Russia; Jakarta, Indonesia.
Continental says that it can offer in-depth knowledge of the products in addition to the global markets allowing them to quickly and easily link suppliers and customers and provide competitive pricing.
The Istanbul office has nine employees and access to three warehouses in Istanbul. The average turnover for their office in terms of volume is 45-50,000 tons and they expect 50,000 tons for 2001 despite the crisis in Turkey.
Of the total sales volume of 45-50,000 tons/year, plastics, chemicals, and engineering plastics account for the total as follows:
The plastics product range is as follows:
Homopolymers: Injection molding grade, Film extrusion grade, Filament extrusion grade (raffia)
Copolymers: Upon request/per requirements
Film extrusion grades: General purpose/high clarity, Heavy Duty
Film grade: Hexene/Butene based with/without additives
Injection molding grade
Blow molding grade
Pipe grade for pressure/non pressure pipes
K57-58 Bottle grade and pipe fittings/window profiles
K65-67 Rigid pipe, calendaring,extrusion
K70-71 Cable grade/Flexible applications
Mass grade for pipe and siding
General purpose - Medium impact - high impact
Expandable for foam production, protective packaging, trays
Continental is a distributor for Equate Petrochemical Co. for PE products, Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company for PP products, BP Chemicals Ltd. for EPS, Zaklady Azotowe W Tarnowie-Moscicach SA for PVC, and Colores y Compuestos Plasticos SA for masterbatch.
In addition to the sources mentioned above, the main source countries per plastic breaks down as follows:
The US accounts for nearly 40% of their PP supply in 2001. As other members have mentioned, Russia used to be a large supply source, but as Russia's domestic demand has grown the supply to Turkey has been curbed. Ukraine was also a major source, but much of the supply has been diverted to Russia. The remainder of the PP for 2001 is expected to come from Europe, Romania and Bulgaria.
(For more on Russia's switch to a net importer from a net exporter see the ChemOrbis bulletin, Plastics, shining star of Russia?)
Nearly 40% of their PVC is supplied from Spain, with another 45% from Poland and the remainder is from Romania. Once in awhile the company will source PVC from the US or Venezuela.
Their LDPE needs are met by Europe and Azerbaijan, but the percentages change over time depending on market conditions. Their LLDPE is mainly supplied by Kuwait at 90% of their total needs with some coming from Brazil. HDPE is similar with 80% supplied by Kuwait for film and blow molding and the rest comes from Romania, Russia and Europe. In general, however, the company notes that the Middle East is usually not competitive to the European suppliers due to high freight costs and the customs duties.
Continental is a distributor for BP Chemicals in Europe for EPS. Its general purpose and high impact PS on the other hand are mostly sourced from Croatia, Russia, and Bulgaria.
Currently, the company says that it prefers not to stock inventory especially due to the economic crisis and the rapidly changing market conditions for plastics. However, future expansion plans would likely include establishing access to additional warehouses in other parts of Turkey for enhanced distribution purposes.
Continental says that PP prices are increasing in the US and South Asia appears stable. Meanwhile in Turkey, American PP cargoes are arriving which were sold at the level $480/ton CFR Turkey. Approximately 15,000 tons of American PP is arriving which was mostly sold to end users. However, many of the end users bought additional volumes last month when they needed immediate material and could not wait for the US product to arrive. On the other hand, it appears that Petkim is not holding stock and it appears there is no stock in the domestic market. So, prices should rise in Turkey as well, but may go down before the rise.
On the demand side, raffia grade is high and fibre grade is very good with business beginning to pick up in Mersin and Gaziantep. Injection molding demand is quiet.
For the PVC market, it's clear there is a current lack of material and the market is in a state of flux. Continental says the PVC price will certainly increase mainly from the psychological factor rather than a demand surge. There will be no PVC from Asia because the price is too high already and it appears that Europe can raise the prices by at least $50/ton.
Continental supports the view of most traders in Turkey and that is the LDPE market is dead in Turkey. They noted that many of the LDPE customers had switched their machines to accept HDPE instead. The general trend is going in the same direction, with the market showing no new entries to the LDPE market, but new companies are joining the HDPE market.
The company is actively marketing BP's EPS products to Turkey. The EPS market in Turkey is estimated at around 30,000 tons for 2000 and is expected to grow, particularly due to a new law which dictates the use of insulation in all new buildings. In September, the law will be amended to include EPS rather than solely XPS. Assuming the construction sector prefers EPS then it should see a fairly substantial growth rate. For the near term, Continental says that the European producers will push for a price hike for September, but during the current month the Turkish producer is heard to be lowering its EPS price further.
Continental believes the Internet opens up new ways to sell, particularly for chemicals rather than plastics. The Istanbul office is following the headquarters' lead from the US on its Internet strategy. The Continental organization has a marketing web site where visitors can find information on the products its sells and brief information on current market conditions from all of the major regions of the world organized by plastic.
The local office became a member of ChemOrbis mainly for the content since the idea of electronic trading is so new. As one of the local representatives pointed out, the most important thing for traders like themselves is information. They need information daily to make important decisions and the ChemOrbis site helps to provide what they need.
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