July PS imports to Ukraine grew by a quarter

MOSCOW (MRC) -- July imports of polystyrene (PS) to Ukraine rose by 25% from June on stronger seasonal demand and expectations of higher purchase prices, according to MRC DataScope.

July PS imports to the country increased by 1,400 tonnes and totalled 7,300 tonnes. Russian grades of expandable polystyrene (EPS) accounted for the bult of imports to the Ukrainian market. The total import of EPS to Ukraine last month amounted to 2,700 tonnes.

General purpose polystyrene (GPPS) accounted for the largest increase in supplies. July GPPS mports rose by 65% to 1,700 tonnes.
Exports of Ukrainian grades increased this year. Over the first seven months of 2013, export shipments of Ukrainian PS increased by 7% year on year. Thus, over 5,000 tonnes of polystyrene were shipped to foreign markets in January-July. Traditionally, Ukrainian GPPS grades accounted for the largest share of shipments. The share of GPPS in the structure of total exports accounted for 66% (3,300 tonnes).


SPVC imports to Ukraine in July dropped by 12%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Following record high in June imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) to Ukraine dropped by 12% in July 2013 compared with previous month on the back of reduction of US PVC supply, according to MRC DataScope.

July imports SPVC to Ukraine declined to 11,750 tonnes, following the peak in June of 13,400 tonnes. Though the supply of European resin grew, it did not offset a serious reduction in the purchases of US SPVC.

Imports of North American PVC in July decreased by 37% compared with June's level to 4,800 tonnes. Such a serious reduction in the supply of US suspension resulted from the stronger prices of US resin in May amid lower prices from European producers.

A lot of Ukrainian companies also limited their purchases of US resin in June - July this year, anticipating the resumption of PVC production at the facilities of Karpatneftehim (LUKOIL group) and the introduction of anti-dumping duty.

Supplies of the European PVC to the Ukrainian market in July grew by 20% compared with June and totalled about 6,900 tonnes.

The limited imports of Hungarian suspension was fully offset by an increase in the supply of Polish resin.

The imports of SPVC to Ukraine exceeded 73,000 tonnes in the first seven months of this year, from 44,000 tonnes year on year.


Formosa Plastics to shut PVC plant for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) is in plans to shut a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant for maintenance turnaround, according to Apic-Online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the plant is likely to be shut in September 2013. The plant is expected to remain off-stream for around two weeks.

Located in Mailiao, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of around 500,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, Formosa Petrochemical is in plans to shut two crude units for maintenance at its Mailiao refinery. A source in Taiwan informed that an 80,000 bpd vacuum distillation unit (VDU) and 84,000 bpd residual fluid catalytic cracking unit (RFCC) are planned to be taken off-stream. The units are likely to be shut in October 2013. They are expected to remain off-stream for around three weeks.

Formosa Plastics Corporation is a Taiwanese company based in Taiwan that primarily produces polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins and other intermediate plastic products.

Petrobras net income in H1 2013 increased by 77%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, posts financial results for the first half of 2013. The company's net income increased by 77% over the previous six-month period, due to the higher operating result, and the lower impact of exchange rates on the financial result, according to the company's statement.

The 23% operating income upturn was chiefly due to higher diesel and gasoline prices, increased oil product output, lower write-offs of dry and economically unviable wells and divestments.

Total oil and natural gas production averaged 2,553 million bpd in the first half of 2013, 3% less than in the previous six-month period, associated with natural decline (10-12% p.a.) and the concentration of scheduled stoppages in the first half of 2013.

Domestic oil product output increased by 8% in the first six months of 2013, as refineries improved their operating performance and were therefore able to meet the 6% increase in domestic demand, leading to a 19% in oil product imports.

Extension of hedge accounting to protect future exports, in mid-May, allowing exchange rate losses of RUSD7,982 billion related to approximately 70% of net debt exposed to exchange rate fluctuations to be recorded in Shareholders’ Equity.

Total net funding of USD15,1 billion in the second quarter of 2013, led by the USD11 billion global notes issued in May.

Investments totaled RUSD44,113 billion, 54% of which in Exploration and Production activities.

As MRC reported earlier, Petrobras plans to launch the first of its new refineries in November 2014. The second line will be put in operation in May 2015. The refinery will add 230,000 bpd of processing capacity.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. or Petrobras is a semi-public Brazilian multinational energy corporation headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the largest company in the Southern Hemisphere by market capitalization and the largest in Latin America measured by 2011 revenues. Moody's changed the outlook for Petrobras to "negative" from "stable," citing rising debt levels and growing uncertainty over how quickly the oil company can bring new production onstream.

Motiva to run reduced rates at Port Arthur refinery after fire in sulfur unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Motiva Enterprises refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, is running four hydrotreaters and three lube units at reduced rates during the repair of a sulfur recovery unit, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with operations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

According to the report, there was a fire at the unit's reactor on August 12, 2013. The sulfur unit may be shut as long as two more weeks.

Kim Windon, a Houston based spokeswoman for Motiva, confirmed that there was a small fire in a unit that was quickly extinguished. She declined to comment on repairs to the unit.

This is the latest in a series of setbacks at the refinery where the newest crude unit is expected to run up to 75,000 bpd below capacity due to a piping problem.

The 325,000 bpd crude unit called VPS-5 was beset by vibration problems when Motiva attempted to run it at or near its full capacity, as Reuters exclusively reported on Friday.

The first attempt to start the unit, at the end of a 5-year, USD10 billion expansion of the plant, was hampered by a chemical leak in June 2012.

The unit has been running at reduced rates ranging between 250,000 bpd and 285,000 bpd since it began production early this year.

Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery is the largest in the nation, with capacity to process 600,000 bpd of crude oil. Motiva is a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco.