MAG-IT Surplus
Surplus Inventory for the Industrial Chemical Community

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Serving the chemical community since 1984

Vol 1 No. 6                              Online Edition                              October 25, 1999

Welcome to Volume 1 Number 6 of our World Wide Web based newsletter. Please feel free to e-mail us with your comments, suggestions, submissions for this newsletter, offers of items for sale and requests for items wanted.


Sodium Bromate
Low Foam surfactants
Alkyl naphthalene sulfonates
Glycol ethers
THF and NMP - small amounts of water and Gardner 5 color acceptable


On the merger front
- Viag and Veba are "on" again. The merger of these two European powerhouses will combine Viag's SKW Trotsberg and Th. Goldschmidt with Veba's Degussa-Huls (which itself is in the process of integrating their operations). The combined company will operate the specialty chemicals unit, which will be among the world's top five with sales in excess of US$15 billion, and the energy supply operations as it's two core businesses. Chemical & Engineering News, October 4, 1999, pg 9.

Dow is now a synthetic rubber company having acquired assets from Shell in the Netherlands and France and acquisition of three separate companies - BSL in the former East Germany, Sentrachem in South Africa and most recently, Union Carbide in the US. All of these companies or assets were acquired for reasons other than the synthetic rubber capacity. Nonetheless, Dow is now the world's third largest synthetic rubber producer, after Bayer and Goodyear. Annual capacity of the combined synthetic rubber assets are estimated at 300,000 MT of Styrene-butadiene and 180,000 MT of Polybutadiene. Dow is attempting to pull these assets together into a cohesive business unit as we publish. Chemical & Engineering News, October 11, 1999, pg 47.

ICE '99 in Dallas, AKA The Paint Show closed October 22. Hot topics continue to to be HAP limits and especially the more stringent than national standards established by SCAQMD in Southern California. HAP's also plague the aircraft coatings industry. The proposed banning of tributyltin as the active ingredient of marine antifouling coatings by IMO (UN's International Maritime Organization) is also generating debate. Concerns over effects on "non-target" marine animals is prompting the ban. TBT has already been banned in the US for vessels under 25 meters in length. Chemical Market Reporter, October 11, 1999, pg FR 18.

On the Y2K front
IBM warned investors on Oct 21 that hardware sales were down, apparently as a result of buyers deferring purchases until after Jan 1. Overall, the market reeled, with IBM dropping 16 to close at 91 and the DJIA down 95 points. The Greenville News, October 22, 1999, Sec D pg 1. from wire reports.

Sulfuric Acid
supply provides an insight into the complex interactions in the supply and demand of commodity chemicals. The US Commerce Department reports that US production of sulfuric acid in 1998 was 43.3 million metric tons, 4 million of which came from the smelting of copper. Apparently, sulfuric acid is a recovered by-product of copper smelting. A prolonged slump in copper prices has led to the shutdown of copper smelters in the US; 2 million metric tons of sulfuric acid has left the marketplace as a result. While this is only a fraction of US production, most US production is captive and used internally by producers, mainly in the phosphate fertilizer business. The loss of this material has caused a supply-demand imbalance in the merchant marketplace. While other producers scramble to meet the additional demand, prices are going up. Chemical & Engineering News, October 11, 1999, pg 13.

The AATCC Conference and Exhibition in Charlotte concluded this year on Oct 15 with the textile market continuing to be in a prolonged slump. The AATCC publication Textile Chemist and Colorist (AKA TCC) has purchased American Dyestuff Reporter (AKA ADR); the first consolidated issue was published September 1999. While we consider this sad milestone let's all hope that our domestic textile industry can rebound. Textile Chemist and Colorist, September 1999.

"Virtual" chemical trading firms continue to generate headlines and venture capital. The magnitude of what they are currently doing is questionable, but e-commerce in business-to-business transactions will continue to evolve and unquestionably grow. Whether you are a participant or observer depends on your resources and inclination.. The major concern among buyers appears to be the integration of e-commerce practices and existing purchasing practices. Chemical & Engineering News, October 4, 1999, pg 9.

Our apologies to those of you who have had trouble getting through to us the past several weeks. We have had reports of long periods in which a busy signal was all a caller would get. We also had trouble with our dial-outs. This was a great impediment to commerce, to say the least! Apparently, our phone switchgear was inadequate for the volume of calls our combined companies were handling. We are told that we needed more "NARS" which have now been installed.

For the most up to the minute chemical industry financial news - If you're here you are at least able to connect to the Internet, and if you're alive then you have heard of Yahoo!, the Internet business phenom. Their chemical industry news page is the probably best on the 'net right now. You can visit them at . Another good Yahoo! site is their Biz page specific for Chemicals. You can visit it at


The US Federal Reserve
met Oct 5 with no rate increase announced. The Fed did issue a statement signalling their commitment to maintain a stable economy and a willingness to move quickly if an increase was warranted. While it is always good news to hear the Fed is committed to doing their job the spectre of a rate hike spooked the markets. Expect a rate hike before the end of the year.

The economy is still very strong, but Fed Chairman Greenspan wants banks to increase "reserves" (this has a special meaning to banks and bank regulators) as insurance against a big financial-market downturn. This has been taken as a sign he is worried about a potential "bubble" in equity prices. "History tells us that sharp reversals in {investor} confidence occur abruptly, most often with little advance notice. These reversals can be self-reinforcing processes that can compress sizeable adjustments into a very short period." Sounds like he is describing the crash of 1987 to us. He seems particularly worried about loan portfolios secured by equities and the default of these loans if stocks drop abruptly. Look what happened to the Japaneese banks several years ago; most of their loan portfolios were secured/collateralized by real estate and stocks with irrational valuations. When the Japaneese stock market and real estate markets tanked, the banks crumbled and the economy crashed. Only this year, after several years of "recession" has the Japaneese economy began to show some life. Mr. Greenspan hopes to avoid this here, and increasing bank reserve and capital requirements is the Fed's mechanism to do it. Reuters, Oct 15.1999

The stalemate in Washington over what to do with the budget "surplus" will benefit the economy as a whole. While the GOP wanted tax cuts the Democrats wanted new spending programs. We agree with Mr. Greenspan; neither course of action benefits the country as much as paying down the deficit. With the economy roaring along, the magnitude of this "automatic" national debt reduction would have been unimangineable even a year ago. Unless given back as tax cuts or consumed with new spending programs the only way to "store" these "excess" goverment reciepts is by buying back t-bills. This is the same as paying down the national debt as most of our debt has been financed by the Treasury Department through the issuance of bonds. For once at least, a stalemate has produced the best possible result for the American people. Let's hope the stalemate continues!

Congress and the White House have struck a deal that essentially repeals the Glass-Stegall Act, in place since the Depression, which limited banks, insurance companies and brokerage houses from offering similar competitive services. While the world is a much different place than it was in 1930, this legislation was designed to protect our nation's financial structure by separating banking from securities brokerage and insurance. Bank regulations in place prior to Glass-Stegall did not prevent the Great Crash of 1929 and despite some severe disruptions in the economy since then the Glass-Stegall Act (along with newer amendments and some industry self-regulation) has prevented a similar economic catastrophe over the past 70 years. Consumer rights groups are concerned over anticipated higher consumer financial services costs and fees and privacy advocates are concerned over some fine print on the deal that opens the door for increased electronic eavesdropping. Stay tuned.

Pizza Hut has entered politics with it's latest ad depicting a mythical female candidate for senate and her preference for New York style pizza. Hilliary Clinton's spinmeisters have been working overtime to control damage from these ads. We too enjoy genuine, native New York style pizza but doubt that Pizza Hut is genuine New York anymore than Hillary is!

Errors in processing uranium for fuel in Japan led to the Set 30 accident. Apparently, workers under pressure to increase productivity batched 16 kg of material when 2.4 kg was the standard. In addition, the material batched was 19% instead of the usual 4% Uranium. A self-sustaining nuclear reaction resulted. It so happens that this reaction releases tremendous amounts of radiation. Contributing to the event was the water jacket on the batch vessel. The water reflected the nutrons back into the vessel, helping sustain the reaction. The emergency workers finally figured this out and after draining the water jacket and dousing the reactants with boric acid (Boron absorbs neutrons) the runaway reaction was halted 17 hours and 58 contaminated workers later. The morals to be learned here are haste makes (nuclear) waste and don't underestimate what uninformed workers will do when pressured to increase throughput. Chemical & Engineering News, October 11, 1999, pg 19

The stock markets have been hammered
recently, with a resistance level of 10,500 broken in early October. If the DJIA drops below 10,000 watch out for a stampede of bears. October has historically been a bad month for the stock markets anyway. Many great crashes in the market occurred in this month, notabley the great crash of 1932 and and the crash in 1987, both of which had one day losses in the 25% range. There are other instances of lesser drops in the market in Octobers of other years. Carefully increasing your cash position now will enable you to take advantage of bargains if the market drops considerably further. One possible explanation and scenario is that concerns over Y2K has led to everyone moving their money to "cash" in anticipation of disruptions in commerce after Jan 1. If this is so the market might go to 8,000 or even less on the DJIA before the end of the year. At a level of 8,000 there will be MANY buying opportunities, if you have the cash. Excepting Internet and technology stocks like YAHOO! the market is resonably valued with the DJIA between 10,000 and 11,000. But who said stock markets are reasonable?

What does all this mean for your business? The recent Fed move to increase bank reserves will mean a reigning in of loans, higher collateralization requirements and higher rates for loans. Working capital loan rates will continue to rise due to the Fed reserve requirements. You can reduce your working capital loan costs by reducing your dead inventory, overstock and surplus, turning the inventory into cash. This will reduce your loan requirements and interest burdens and increase cash flow. Remember, that surplus inventory on the floor is consuming your cash flow. Call us or visit our web site at Available and send us a description of your list of dead, surplus or obsolete inventory.

In an environment of soft prices and rising materials costs it is even more important to save money on raw materials. Remember, the most leveraged area to save on costs, and thus increase profit, is on the materials purchased side of operations. Even spot buys of small quantities can add to the bottom line. We have in stock many materials in good to excellent condition, often in sealed drums, ready to ship to meet your requirements. Many of these materials are on-spec, but simply are aged or labeled with the name of a company which has been acquired, was in warehouse stock at the time of the change and/or was packaged with the acquired company's color scheme. Chem-Find can be relied upon to provide quality surplus chemicals priced as low as pennies on a dollar! See our current mailer at Wanted and our current physical inventory list at to see what we have in our current offerings.


There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple or pine in pineapple. And while no one knows what is
in a hotdog, you can be pretty sure it isn't canine.

English muffins were not invented in England nor French fries in France.

Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are
square, and guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, two meese?
Is cheese the plural of choose? One mouse, 2 mice. One louse, 2 lice. One house, 2 hice?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Why do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Ship by truck or car and send cargo by ship? Have noses
that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

How can the weather be hot as heck one day and cold as heck another? When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill
in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on. You get in and out of a car, yet you get on and
off a bus. When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it?

English is a silly language ... it doesn't know if it is coming or going!!!