Consumer goods companies pump up promos to beat slump

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averting major price declines. Theprice of linear alkylbenzene (LAB) inAsia has dropped from $900-1000/tonne late in 2001 to just over$700/tonne currently due toincreasing supplies of n-paraffinfeedstocks in China. The effect ofHuntsmans acquisition of Albright &Wilsons surfactants business inEurope during 2001 is discussed.Dow maintains a diverse product linewith commodities accounting for 40%and specialities 60%. Dow acquiredUnion Carbide during 2001 and hasintegrated around 90% of thecompany currently. The trend towardsincreasing environmental awarenesswithin the industry is investigatedincluding the effect of the BiocidalProducts Directive in Europe. Stepanhas acquired Pentagon ChemicalSpecialties based in Workington, UKfrom Dow Haltermann. The companyproduces amine oxides, betaines andethanolamide together with methylchloride and benzyl chloridequaternaries. The company has alsoacquired Manro PerformanceChemicals of Stalybridge, UK andDegussas biocidal quaternarybusiness in Italy. Liquids currentlyaccount for 72% of the detergentformulations market in the UScompared to 52% around 5 yearsago. Degussa is the leading supplierof raw materials to the fabricsoftening market. The company hascentralized its care specialities R&Dand marketing activities at Hopewell,VA, US. It is debottleneckingmanufacturing sites at Janesville, WIand Mapleton, IL to increaseproduction of fabric softeners,quaternary surfactants and fattyamines. The market for fabricsofteners in the US remained flat in2002.Chemical Week, 29 Jan 2003, 165 (4), 17-18,20-21,23Surfactants makers are suffering [1 table]2002 was a relatively quiet year forsurfactant sector. Demand was11.182 M tonnes, with Asiaaccounting for 3.565 M tonnes, NAmerica 3.166 M tonnes, W Europe2.263 M tonnes, and Latin America1.004 M tonnes. Demand is expectedto grow 3%/y in the period 2002-2010. But prices are downconsiderably. Although volume isgood, revenue is down. Pressure onprices is coming from both customersand producers. Most customers havebeen able to increase their ownprices. The real pressure has comemore from within the industry asproducers lower prices to protect theirmarket share. Another concern is theavailability of surfactantintermediates. New capacity fordetergent alcohols is threatening tocreate a surplus and push pricesdown. Environmental issues will alsodrive the industry. Degussa seesbiodegradability as a major driver inthe future for cationic fabric softeneradditives. A table shows surfactantsdemand in the worlds main regions in2002 and growth forecasts for theseregions for the period 2002-2010.Chemical and Engineering News, 20 Jan 2003, 81 (3),21-22InChem Holdings finds its niches:developing strong positions inphenoxy resins and surfactants [1 table]The largest of InChems surfactantsbusinesses is Ifrachem that has a50,000-60,000 tonnes/ysulfation/sulfonation capacity as wellas 15,000 tonnes/y ethoxylationcapacity. InChem also has a generalpurpose plant with a capacity of30,000 tonnes/y, 20,000 tonnes ofwhich is committed to the productionof saturated polyether andpolyurethane resins. Inchemica hasexpanded its product range at its20,000 tonnes/y surfactants plant inPortugal. It claims over 80% of thedomestic market.Chemical Week, 15 Jan 2003, 165 (2), 32-33Focus report: Surfactant producerstake a cautious stepAn extensive report on the globalsurfactants market, covering:consumption, the five primarysurfactants (linear alkylbenzenesulfonates, alcohol ethoxysulfates,alcohol sulfates, alcohol ethoxylates,and alkylphenol ethoxylates), industryconsolidation, capacity additions andclosures for fatty alcohols, the marketfor normal paraffins (alkanes), newdevelopments in n-paraffinproduction, linear alkylbenzene(markets, pricing, plant capacities),anionic surfactants, and individualproducer company data.Chemical Market Reporter, 27 Jan 2003 (Website:http://www.chemicalmarketreporter.com)MARKETSConsumer goods companies pump uppromos to beat slumpMajor players in the Rup 800 bn fastmoving consumer goods (FMCG)sector have resorted to aggressivepromotional campaigns to offset theslowdown in the sector. The sectorhas recorded a 1.7% decline ingrowth. The slowdown is noticed insoaps, detergents and toothpastesegments. Sale of toothpastesregistered a negative growth of 9%during Jan-Nov 2002. Analystsattribute the slowdown to saturation ofdemand in the urban markets coupledwith poor sales in the rural marketsdue to poor monsoons and lack ofproduct differentiation.Business Line, 21 Jan 2003, 10 (20), 6Procter & Gamble 2Q 2002-2003updateThe Procter & Gamble Co (P&G) israising its estimated earnings/sharegrowth for the Dec 2002 quarterbehind higher operating margingrowth versus previous guidance.Volume is expected to grow in thehigh single digits behind strongperformance by the health carebusiness unit and continued strengthin developing markets. Operatingmargin growth for 2Q 2002-2003 isexpected to be towards the upper endof the previous guidance range of 100to 150 basis points. Sales, excludingforeign exchange impacts, areexpected to grow 4 to 6%. P&G iscelebrating 165 years of providingtrusted quality brands that make everyday better for the worlds consumers.P&G markets nearly 300 brands including Pampers, Tide, Ariel,Always, Whisper, Pantene, Bounty,Pringles, Folgers, Charmin, Downy,Lenor, Iams, Crest, Actonel, Olay andClairol Nice n Easy in more than160 countries around the world.Procter & Gamble updates the 2Q 2002-2003 results,11 Dec 2002, (The Procter & Gamble Co, 1 or 2,Procter & Gamble Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45201, USA.Tel: +1 513 983 1100. Website: http://www.pg.com)6 MARCH 2003F O C U S O N S U R F A C T A N T S

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