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Drugmaker Merck Posts Spike in 4Q Profit, Beats Forecasts

February 4, 2015 10:29 am | by LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Merck, the maker of blockbuster diabetes pill Januvia edged past Wall Street expectations, despite hits to revenue from multiple divestitures, patent expirations and the strong dollar, but its forecast for 2015 came in below Wall Street expectations.

Survey: Majority of Manufacturers Plan to Bolster Mobile App Use

February 3, 2015 4:40 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Of the 111 manufacturing professionals responding to the Georgia-based company's survey, 55 percent indicated their organizations would increase their use of mobility, while 43 percent said they did not expect any changes. Eight-five percent of respondents also said their businesses planned to increase investments in their operations this year compared to 2014.

Walmart, Target Announce Efforts to Improve Chemicals in Personal Care Products

February 3, 2015 3:35 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The efforts stemmed from the Beauty and Personal Care Products Sustainability Summit where event organizers concluded that product manufacturers should aim to produce safer consumer goods instead of simply relying on regulations or bans on specific chemicals.

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More Oil Industry Layoffs Hit Texas

February 3, 2015 3:14 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The rapid increase in domestic oil production in recent years helped fuel a banner year for Texas' economy in 2014. As the price of oil has plummeted to less than half its summer value, however, the industry continues to bear the brunt of job cuts.  

Report: Offshoring, Federal Policy Haven Taken Toll on U.S. Industry

February 3, 2015 10:50 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The report, titled "America’s Advanced Industries: What They Are, Where They Are, and Why They Matter," analyzed 50 high-technology industries, from aerospace to foundries to pharmaceuticals. Those sectors employed more than 12 million Americans directly and more than one-quarter of all U.S. jobs when indirect positions were factored in.

BP Reports Loss of $4.4 Billion in 4th Quarter of 2014

February 3, 2015 10:26 am | by DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press | News | Comments

The net income figure includes a $5 billion writedown on the value of BP's inventories, after the price of Brent crude, the benchmark for North Sea oil, dropped almost 50 percent last year. BP posted a profit of $1.04 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Coke Bets on 'Premium Milk' to Boost Category

February 3, 2015 10:22 am | by CANDICE CHOI, AP Food Industry Writer | News | Comments

The drink has already started appearing on shelves and is expected to continue rolling out nationally over the next several weeks. It comes in sleek, plastic bottles reminiscent of milk cartons. At a supermarket in Indianapolis, a 52-ounce bottle of Fairlife was being sold for $4.59. By comparison, the national average cost for a half-gallon of milk is $2.18...

Scientists Create Eyeglasses That Change Into Sunglasses — Within Seconds

February 3, 2015 9:37 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The lens is comprised of electrochromic polymers that would be controlled by a small electrical charge. When activated by the user, the charge alternates the electrochromic lens between clear and dark shades — which could be tailored to match all hues available in commercial sunglasses.

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Strikes Begin At Oil Refineries; Prices Rally

February 2, 2015 4:32 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The strike is the largest at refineries in more than three decades, though the workers in question represent just a fraction of the roughly 30,000 USW members working at 63 refineries and plants, which account for about two-thirds of the nation's refining capacity.

US Manufacturers Taking a Hit From Strong Dollar

February 2, 2015 10:05 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Several trends have weighed on U.S. factories in recent months. Overseas economies are weak. And the dollar has risen steadily in value as the U.S. economy's strength has attracted international investors. Both trends have weighed on American firms' export sales.

Shell Says it Will Drill Off Alaska if it Can Get Permits

January 30, 2015 10:39 am | by DAN JOLING, Associated Press | News | Comments

Royal Dutch Shell PLC will move forward with drilling off Alaska's northwest coast if it can obtain permits it needs and drill safely, its chief executive officer said Thursday. Speaking in London on the company's fourth-quarter earnings, Ben van Beurden said Shell will move forward with its plan to use two drill vessels in the Chukchi Sea, subject to getting permits and legal clearance.

Label Manufacturer to Bring 154 Jobs to Scott County

January 30, 2015 10:35 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Multi-Color Corporation announced Friday that it's investing $13 million in its 120,500 square-foot manufacturing plant in Scottsburg. The company plans to increase operating efficiency, expand production volume and bring 154 jobs to the facility by 2020.

As Global Plastic Production Rises, Recycling Efforts Fall Behind

January 29, 2015 4:47 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

While plastics boast numerous social benefits, such extending the shelf life of food and reducing waste, efforts to keep it from impacting the environment have failed to keep pace with its use. It’s estimated that in the U.S., only 9 percent of post-consumer plastic was recycled in 2012...

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Pine Chemicals as an Engine for Economic Growth and Sustainability

January 29, 2015 2:49 pm | by Charles Morris | Blogs | Comments

Companies are looking for value-added innovations, reduced environmental impact and ways to set themselves apart from the competition, but not only that — they want to build a more sustainable, innovative business. This is where lessons from the pine resin industry can help. 

Shell to Slash Investment After Oil Price Drop Hurts Profit

January 29, 2015 10:41 am | by DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press | News | Comments

In a sign of the impact on the oil sector of the slump in energy prices, Royal Dutch Shell Plc said Thursday it plans to cut spending by $15 billion over the next three years amid a drop in earnings. Shell is the first major energy company to report earnings, so its quarterly update is watched for hints on the performance of the wider industry.

10 Resolutions For Building a Better B2B Supply Chain Operating Network in The Process Industries

January 28, 2015 4:31 pm | by Ed Rusch, vice president of Corporate Marketing at Elemica | Blogs | Comments

The inter-connectedness, expansive footprints, and co-dependency within the process industries, and the dynamic supply chain interactions in an inter-enterprise network, form the basis for these “10 Top Resolutions” to building a better Supply Chain Operating Network in 2015 and beyond. 

Education, Bias-Breaking Keys to Women's Rise in Supply Chain

January 27, 2015 2:38 pm | by Mike Hockett, Associate Editor, Industrial Distribution | Articles | Comments

Corrie Banks and Kleo Landucci, executives at logistics services providing companies, can’t stress enough how they’d like to see fellow females continue to enter the supply chain workforce and break the stereotype of it being “a man’s world.”

Supreme Court Rejects Lifetime Health Benefits For Chem Plant Employees

January 27, 2015 2:31 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

The unanimous ruling from the high court represents a victory for M&G Polymers USA, which first sought to require retiree contributions to health coverage in 2006 after purchasing the plant six years earlier. It also tightens the standard for collective bargaining agreements that do not specify terms for lifetime benefits.

DuPont Profit Rises, But Strong Dollar Cuts Into Sales

January 27, 2015 2:18 pm | by RANDALL CHASE, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Changes to DuPont's portfolio and improved productivity boosted fourth-quarter earnings and helped to offset the negative impact of a stronger dollar. The company, based in Wilmington, Delaware, boosted its estimated costs savings from operational redesigns by $300 million, to at least $1.3 billion by 2017.

ACC's Weekly Economic Report Shows Increases Compared to a Year Ago

January 26, 2015 5:06 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

Domestic chemical production last month was up compared to the end of 2013 as indicators continue to show a healthy chemical market, according to the American Chemistry Council. Recent ACC analysis shows that chemical output in December was up 5.2 percent over December 2013, with increases reported in each of the seven geographical regions tracked by the industry group.

Cancellation of $6.5B Petrochemical Project in Qatar Changes Outlook For MEG Market

January 26, 2015 11:52 am | by Tison Keel, director, global EO& Derivatives, IHS Chemical | Articles | Comments

Royal Dutch Shell and Qatar Petroleum’s (QP) joint announcement last week that they have cancelled their planned $6.5 billion Qatari petrochemical project, called Al-Karaana, which will significantly change the global supply and demand balances for mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins.

Policing The Patch: It's 'Not Mayberry Anymore'

January 26, 2015 9:55 am | by SHARON COHEN, AP National Writer | Articles | Comments

Police chief Art Walgren knew how much the oil boom had changed this once-sleepy town when he spotted something that would have been unheard of not long ago: license plates from Sinaloa, Mexico, home to one of the world's most violent drug cartels.

1 Year After Explosion, Biofuels Plant Has Permits to Reopen

January 26, 2015 9:26 am | by Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal;Tupel, Miss. | News | Comments

A year after an explosion ripped apart the JNS Biofuel plant, the rebuilt plant in New Albany has all the permits it needs to reopen. However, state and local officials don't know when that will happen. TJN Biofuel LLC's president and owner, Steve Bolin, has not given official notice yet.

MeadWestvaco, Rock-Tenn Join to Form $16B Packaging Behemoth

January 26, 2015 9:13 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The company, which had not been named as of Monday, will have combined sales of $15.7 billion and its board will include eight directors from Rock-Tenn and six directors from MeadWestvaco. Shares of both companies hit all-time highs late last week.

Report: Manufacturing Wages Significantly Higher Than Comparable Workers

January 23, 2015 3:39 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

In the analysis from D.C.-based liberal think tank the Economic Policy Institute, author Robert E. Scott tabs the wage premium for manufacturing jobs at $1.78 per hour, calling the industry "a particularly important provider of jobs with good wages for workers without a college degree."

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